Just a few short hours ago the New York Philharmonic blew the goddamned roof off Avery Fisher Hall with a most heroic and hardcore performance of Beethoven’s Symphony #3. It sounds like a stupid thing to say. It sounds like, “wow, the Alps are tall.” But when you are hearing Beethoven performed live by a top notch symphony orchestra the only reaction is, “wow, this is some good music.” And since I really had nowhere to be tonight I went to the “pre-concert talk,” which I am now going to do every time I see the NY Phil. I only did this once before, about six years ago, and I’m thinking that time was just a dud. This time the talk was held in a small room on the third floor with complimentary snacks where a man with a quick and zippy sense of humor (Charles Zachary Bornstein) sat at a piano and made some fun observations. He’d bang out a chord and ask, “hear that? hear that?” making his point and when we’d answer yes he’d respond “good, you’re all smart!” Also on the menu tonight was pianist Joyce Yang, age 20 (!), performing Rachmaninoff’s Variations of a Theme from Paganini. It was good, but short, and got way overshadowed by the Eroica. Lastly – Conductor Lorin Maazel is starting to grow his hair like mine. . .which is to say like Krusty the Klown. But on him, it makes him look like a genius.