Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert and MarieJosée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse. New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert and MarieJosée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse. (Chris Lee)

Alan Gilbert leads the New York Philharmonic in Christopher Rouse’s Phantasmata, Bloch's Schelomo featuring cellist Jan Vogler, and Brahms's Symphony No. 1.

Program playlist:
Rouse: Phantasmata
Bloch: Schelomo (Hebraic Rhapsody)
Brahms: Symphony No. 1

Comments [1]

Les from Miami, Florida

Hearing this concert was a complete delight and a triumph for Mr. Gilbert from the standpoints of programming and interpretation: a relatively new work followed by a familiar one not often played followed by an imperishable masterpiece. I had the idea while listening to "Phantasmata" that it should be included in a "Young People's Concert" especially since they --- presumably --- have no preconceived notions about what orchestral literature should or should not be; and there seems to be a feeling of fun and discovery througout. I venture to say it's fun to play. I enjoyed the textures and harmonies throughout. The opening struck me a descendent of "Variations on a theme of Thomas Tallis", though with harmonies I'm sure Tallis never dreamed of. The second part seemed to me to be a moto perpetuo with variations ending with (or over?) an ostinato. The "Schelomo" performance with Jan Vogler struck just the right balance between strict adherence to time signatures and flexibility in that the solo 'cello's rubatos were done with taste and not excess. I enjoyed the fullness of tone and evenness of vibrato all through the work. This is the first time I've heard Mr. Vogler's work and I look forward to many more outstanding performances. The range changes often, sometimes with every bar through the bass, tenor and soprano clefs. At one point, an octave above middle C, the note C is notated with the addition of a quarter tone! The brass were solid in their many fourths and fifths as well as unisons required of them, as were the woodwinds and strings. Celesta and the two harps were always together in their triplet figurations. The real revelation to me in the Brahms First Symphony was the importance and prominence of the timpani when called upon, often looked over by some of the most illustrious conductors of same. Most startling to me was the playing of eighth notes in the Introduction to the first movement in bars 21 and 22 --- my score has sixteenth notes for both bars --- before playing sixteenth notes in bars 23 and 24 followed by the trill (roll) at bar 25: the orchestral tutti. The iteration of the motto from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony that permeates so much of the first movement was especially vivid, thanks to the timpani. I was delighted also by the chordings and overall balance of the final chords that end each of the movements. I wouldn't expect anything less of the New York Philharmonic!

Mar. 15 2015 02:58 PM

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