Just some of the 15,000 (official estimate) who turned out to…

Just some of the 15,000 (official estimate) who turned out to hear the @nyphil in Prospect Park last night. The Phil parks concerts have long been one of the best things in New York City during summertime, and this year’s series is no different, especially with enormous crowds like this.

The program is mainstream romanticism—Strauss, Smetana, Tchaikovsky—and the musicians play it well. But this is mainly about the social experience, which is gentle and satisfying. I was impressed with how attentive the crowd was last night, even with the problematic nature of amplifying an orchestra out of doors (there’s the strange, artificial nostalgia of hearing something that sounds like an Oskar Fried acetate).

Music is a social activity, and the bourgeois protocols of the standard classical concert work against that, but that falls away in the parks concerts. They are free, people drink wine and beer in the open (the NYPC could not care less if the crowd is mainly white and middle class), and you get fireworks at the end! Here’s the full remaining schedule, with events in each borough.


Author: gtra1n

I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.