Remembrance and Foreboding

Brad Miner | March 1, 2022

It was a night of elegance – a benefit this past Thursday for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra held at New York’s Knickerbocker Club, among the most-exclusive gentlemen’s clubs in the world. Allowing the rest of us into the Club now and then for a little chamber music and dinner and champagne helps to pay the bills for a building just off 5thAvenue in Midtown – some very expensive real estate indeed.

A short concert featured Antonin Dvořák’s Quintet for Strings No. 2 in G Major, Op 77, and included two young musicians from the Orchestra’s Academy. One was an American violinist; the other a Hungarian cellist. The American, Lucas Stratmann, told me later he began studying the violin at age 3-1/2.

But this isn’t about music.

The food was remarkably good, especially the Sevruga caviar atop an egg flan, served in an eggshell and accompanied by a fine white Burgundy. This was followed by loin of lamb wrapped in a veal-and-watercress mousseline, served with a 2014 Pauillac. Dessert was a dark-chocolate tartufo and a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

But this isn’t about the food or the wine.

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