What’s better than eating Magnolia Bakery cupcakes? Eating Magnolia Bakery cupcakes right after a dazzling performance by classical violin superstar Itzhak Perlman with the NY Philharmonic.

The master violinist played a special concert at Lincoln Center last night as a fundraiser to end polio, which afflicted him as a young child, and we couldn’t think of a more exciting opportunity to bring the boys to their first live Philharmonic show. We were all enthralled!

The two pieces that the Philharmonic played without violin solo (“Les Préludes by Lizst and “Capriccio italien” by Tchaikovsky) were captivating and powerful, with a vibrant horn section. Watching Conductor Daniel Boico was fascinating. The 39-year old is engaging and expressive—magnetically charismatic—and to tell you the truth, I was giggling in my head much of the time because he totally looks like Andrew Dice Clay. And picture Dice conducting a world-renowned philharmonic. Or any philharmonic. OH!

And though it’s stating the obvious, there’s simply no other way to say it: the brilliant Mr. Perlman plays a breathtaking solo violin. He is one with his instrument, and the boys were positively enraptured at how the music seems to flow from his very soul right through the violin. He played three pieces with the philharmonic. I didn’t particularly like the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Bruch; Perlman’s playing was transformative, but I didn’t find the composition itself satisfying. He also played the Theme from Schindler’s List by Williams, which I thought would dissolve me into a puddle. It didn’t. Compared with theorchestration of the Lizst and Tchaikovsky pieces, the Williams piece didn’t come across so much evocative as manufactured. The final piece, “Tambourin Chinois” by Kreisler, a familiar tune to me, was playful and sparkling—the perfect ending to a truly memorable evening.

That is, of course, if you don’t count the cupcakes!

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