Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur leads the New York Philharmonic in an all-Brahms program.
Brahms: Symphony No. 3
Brahms: Symphony No. 4
My opinion is that Maestro Masur's long-lined and unhurried approach to Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 4 would have delighted Brahms. Beneficiaries were the inner voices that I heard with greater understanding as well as clarity than usual; and the many instances in which Brahms employs three against two were also heard not only great clarity but with also greater understanding for me. The antiphonal violin seating plan with violas restored to their right of podium position is preferred by me for the above reasons. Revelations: the timpani playing sixteenth notes rather than a roll that's usually heard at the end of the Fourth Movement in Symphony No. 3; the tenuto of the B natural in the first and second violins that begins the Symphony No. 4 --- how telling --- and in Variation 13 in the Fourth Movement of Symphony No. 4 the 'cellos' E-D#-E motive reminded me of the main motive of the Symphony No. 2 which is D-C#-D. I wonder if that's a Brahms self-reference or whether I'm reading something into it that really isn't there. As usual, the Orchestra's playing is beyond praise. At any rate, thank you, Maestro Masur.
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With Alan Gilbert as music director, and Emmy Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin as the host, the 2015-16 season is an exciting one to tune in for The New York Philharmonic This Week.