“Philharmonic Renewed Under a Bold Conductor”, reads the headline of a New York Times article by Steve Smith. The article’s focus, however, is not so much on the orchestra but that section of the repertoire in which their music director, Alan Gilbert, has distinguished himself: music by postwar composers, particularly high-profile performances of music by György Ligeti, Magnus Lindberg, and others.
The program: Beethoven and Adams. My review is up at Classical Source.
You can read my full review at Classical Source. I’ll add here that Alan Gilbert’s decision to program this massive work by New York Philharmonic composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg was a bold move that paid off handsomely, even if it did drive a few dozen luddites from the hall. Kraft is one of those works that must be experienced, and orchestra, soloists, and Gilbert made it memorable. Gilbert may not be the right man to have on the podium for Mahler or Richard Strauss (though I have heard far worse from more prominent conductors), but he seems at last to be hitting his stride with the Philharmonic when post-romantic are involved.