Summertime Classics

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bramwell Tovey conducts his second “Summertime Classics” concert this season at the New York Philharmonic. The program opens with John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, one of two pieces in his Two Fanfares for Orchestra.

Next is “Ballet of the Snowflakes” from Jacques Offenbach’s French operetta Le Voyage dans la lune. Tovey will then lead one of Josef Strauss’ waltzes, Music of the Spheres. The program closes with Gustav Holst’s The Planets, an orchestral suite whose movements each represent and characterize a planet in the solar system.

This program was presented at Avery Fisher Hall earlier this month with a massive video display featuring imagery of the solar system.


Program details:

Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Offenbach: Ballet of the Snowflakes from Le Voyage dans la lune

Josef Strauss: Music of the Spheres

Holst: The Planets


Comments [2]

Les from Miami, Florida

This is one of the outstanding concerts of the year. Maestro Tovey, an engaging raconteur and wit, proved again his expertise in creative and thought-provoking programming. The Offenbach ballet music to "Voyage to the Moon" is delightful and engaging. One of the dances, whose name I don't know, was used by Manuel Rosenthal in his "Gaite Parisienne" compilation. The Strauss "Music of the Spheres" had all the lyricism and charm one could ask for. Sir Edwin Hubbell's only recorded speech, from a New York Philharmonic concert in November of 1945, was played in its entirety. "The Planets" was a triumph of sonority and dynamics. The tempo and scope of "Mars, Bringer of War" and "Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age" were at once gripping and frightening in their power. Solos throughout the work, including violin, bass flute and bass oboe were outstanding. To my ears, there was no organ. If only there were an organ pedal at the end of "Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age" and the full swell as called for in "Uranus, the Magician", I would have thought this performance by Maestro Tovey was as ideal as one could imagine. He was a conducting student of Sir Adrian Boult, who conducted the premiere. I'm certain Holst and Boult would have been proud to hear this performance.

Jul. 28 2013 05:51 PM
Motts McGregor

Is it possible to hear Edwin Hubble's intermission speech from last night's broadcast again? Thanks.

Jul. 26 2013 06:12 AM

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