The Pianist, The Poem and The Captain of the Starship Enterprise

Last night was a night of culture and nerosity all in one delightful performance at 92Y.

Sir Patrick Stewart performed the epic poem Enoch Arden written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in the mid-1800’s. At his side was Emmanuel Ax performing the companion accompainiment on piano written by Richard Strauss in 1897.

I studied piano for 10 years of my life and am now mediocre at best, thanks to being a big quitter at the tender age of 15. You know who is neither a quitter nor mediocre? Emanuel Ax… that’s who!
It is one of the most wonderful things to behold, a true artist who not only understands his craft but uses it to the fullest of his potential. This is a trait Stewart and Ax share.

Patrick Stewart is best known as the Captain of a little starship called Enterprise and for a Trekkie like me, this was such a treat. His voice is at times booming, at times a mere whisper. He has such a melody to the way he speaks. I’d listen to him give orders on a starship. I’d listen to him read Shakespearean verse. Hell, I’d listen to him read the jokes on a Laffy Taffy wrapper.

I haven’t even gotten to the meat of the poem itself. (Too busy waxing poetic about the players to discuss the play.)

Enoch Arden is a tale of love, both enduring and heart-breaking. At the center are three players, Phillip, Annie Lee and Enoch Arden. To read it is to only.partially understand it. To hear it read aloud to Strauss’ music and by such a talented man, is to truly understand it better!!

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