The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (207): New York in autumn

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (207): New York in autumn


norman lebrecht

October 13, 2020

A wonderful town? It used to be.

Today’s news is a blip. It will bounce back.



  • B. Guerrero says:

    Another great N.Y. tune is “Sunday in New York”, made famous by Bobby Darin. Of course, there’s “Manhattan” – a staple tune for both Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington. Other great autumn tunes I know are “Early Autumn” and ” ‘Tis Autumn”. I’m sure there are millions of them.

  • Yes, it will bounce back to what it was, sure enough. But that is a city with one symphony orchestra and one opera house. Comparable cities like Berlin, London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague, and Paris have five to seven full time symphony orchestras and at least two full time opera houses. They also lack the massive roach and rat infested racial ghettos, an antiquated, dehumanizing subway system, and a dichotomous distribution of wealth like found only in so-called Third World countries.

    • adista says:

      Dude your shtick is so old. We get it, Europe is totally 100 percent superior to America in every conceivable way. Give it a rest, no one cares.

      • Those concerned about the arts do care:

        Most major cities in continental Europe have several 52-week season orchestras (see a sample list below which I’ve posted before-,) while most American cities cannot maintain even one 52 week orchestra. This neglect of the arts stems from the same social and economic concepts that have decimated our cities, an unmitigated form of radical laissez faire capitalism that sets the USA apart from the social democracies of every other developed country in the world.
        Even some cities in less rich countries like Mexico City and Caracas have multiple full time orchestras. Moscow has 12, London 8, Paris at least 6, Minsk 8, Munich 7, Vienna 7, Berlin 7, Prague 8, Stockholm 3, Budapest 9, Madrid 4, Barcelona 2, Athens 5, Bucharest 5, Caracas at least 6, and Mexico City at least 5. Here’s a list of these orchestras. Corrections welcomed. Even Tokyo has 8 full time orchestras.

        + Moscow Chamber Orchestra
        + Moscow City Symphony Orchestra
        + Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
        + Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
        + Moscow Symphony Orchestra
        + Moscow Virtuosi
        + National Philharmonic of Russia
        + Russian National Orchestra
        + Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
        + State Symphony Capella of Russia
        + State Symphony Cinema Orchestra
        + Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra
        (Moscow also has more opera performances per year than any other city in the world, including Vienna, Paris, Berlin, and London. Meanwhile, New York is no longer even in the top 10.)
        + London Symphony Orchestra
        + London Philharmonic
        + Royal Philharmonic
        + Philharmonia
        + BBC Symphony Orchestra
        + BBC Concert Orchestra
        + Royal Opera Orchestra
        + English National Opera Orchestra
        (There are several other worldclass orchestras in London that are not full time such as the London Sinfonietta, English Chamber Orchestra, and Academy of St Martin’s in the Field.)
        + L’Orchestre National de Radio-France
        + Orchestre de Paris
        + Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
        + L’Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris
        + Ensemle Intercontemporain
        + Orchestre de Chambre de Paris
        + Orchestre des Concerts Pasdeloup.
        + Orchestre Colonne,
        + Orchestre Lamoureux
        (The Paris Opera Orchestra has 170 members since the services must be rotated to meet demand. The last two orchestras are more marginal and may not be full time.)
        + Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
        + Bavarian Radio Orchestra
        + Munich Philharmonic
        + Bavarian State Opera Orchestra
        + Gärtnerplatz Opera Orchestra
        + Munich Symphoniker
        + Munich Chamber Orchestra
        + Vienna Philharmonic
        + Vienna Symphony Orchestra
        + Vienna State Opera Orchestra
        + Vienna State Radio Orchestra
        + Volksoper Orchestra
        + Vienna Klang Forum
        + Tonkünstlerorchester
        (The VPO and State Opera Orchestra use the same personnel, but the ensemble has 149 positions so that they can rotate the services. I think there might be other orchestras in the city I don’t know about.)
        + Berliner Philharmoniker
        + Konzerthausorchester Berlin
        + Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
        + Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
        + Orchester der Staatsoper Unter den Linden/Staatskapelle Berlin
        + Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
        + Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin
        +Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
        + Czech National Symphonic Orchestra
        +Prague Symphony Orchestra “F.O.K.”
        +Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
        +National Theatre Opera Orchestra
        +The Capitol Prague Opera Orchestra
        +Prague Film Orchestra
        +Prague Chamber Philharmonic
        +Royal Stockholm Philharmonic
        +Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
        +Royal Opera House
        +Stockholm Chamber Orchestra
        +Budapest Festival Orchestra
        +Budapest Philharmonic
        +Hungarian National Philharmonic
        +Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok
        +Hungarian State Opera Orchestra
        +Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
        +Concerto Budapest
        +Danubia Orchestra
        +Hungarian Railway Symphony
        + Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid (royal opera)
        + Orquesta Sinfónica de la Radio y Televisión Española
        + Orquesta Nacional de España
        + Orquesta de la comunidad de madrid
        + Orquestra Simfónica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya
        + Orquestra Simfónica del Gran Teatre del Liceu” (opera)
        + State Orchestra of Athens
        + Orchestra of Athens
        + National Opera
        + Radio Symphony Orchestra
        + Philharmonia Orchestra
        +State Orchestra of Thessaloniki
        + Orchestra of Thessaloniki
        + New Orchestra of Thessaloniki
        + National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra
        + Belarusian State Academic Musical Theatre Orchestra
        + National Academic Concert Orchestra (jazz/pop)
        + Presidential Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus
        + State Academic Symphony Orchestra
        + State Chamber Orchestra
        + State Academic Zhynovich Folk Instruments Orchestra
        + State Radio Symphony Orchestra
        + The George Enescu Philharmonic
        + The Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra
        + The National Romanian Opera Orchestra
        + Radio Chamber Orchestra
        + Bucharest Operetta and Musical Orchestra
        Caracas, Venezuela
        +Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela
        +Orquesta Filarmonica de Venezuela
        +Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas
        +Orquesta Sinfónica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho
        +Orquesta Sinfónica Juan José Landaeta
        +Orquesta Sinfónica Simon Bolívar A
        +Orquesta Sinfónica Simon Bolívar
        +Orquesta Sinfónica Barroca
        Mexico City
        + Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional,
        + Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México
        + Orq. Filarmónica de la UNAM
        + Orq. Sinfónica del IPN
        + Orquesta del Teatro de Bellas Artes and
        Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes
        There are also two youth orchestras that are seen by some as providing full time jobs.
        + The NHK Symphony Orchestra
        + Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra
        + Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
        + Tokyo City Philharmonic
        + Japan Philharmonic
        + New Japan Philharmonic
        + Tokyo Philharmonic
        + Tokyo Symphony

    • kaa says:

      I dont know how you count orchestras or opera companies. Aside from the little orchestras there is St Luke and Orpheus and innumerable small orchestras. The same holds for opera companies. What is wrong with the subways? It takes you where you want to go 24 h a day. Have you tried to do that in Paris?

      • The paltry budgets and seasons of the companies do not add up to much compared to full time houses. Americans truly interested in the arts should consider this and search for solutions. In the meantime, countless American opera singers will continue to go abroad trying to find work.

  • Arnie Fein says:

    Nice Sinatra but better is Jo Stafford and the one with Ella and Satchmo. Yes, my city will be back but sadly it’ll be a very long haul!

  • Simon Dearsley says:

    I much prefer the 1948 release with Columbia, and Alex S. Arrangement

  • Larry says:

    Don’t forget Billie Holiday’s rendition.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    I am sorry but the only possible rendition of Autumn in New York that can be listened to seriously by serious music lovers is that by Jonathan and Darlene Edwards.