New and Old from Robertson and Aimard

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Thursday, April 07, 2016

David Robertson David Robertson (Michael Tammaro)

Something old, something new, the New York Philharmonic under conductor David Robertson and with soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard marry favorite works from the classical era with newer compositions by Olivier Messiaen and Tristan Murail. The program airs this Thursday at 9 pm.

Program Details:

David Robertson, conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano

Messiaen: Les Offrandes oubliées: Symphonic Meditation

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major

Tristan Murail: Le Désenchantement du monde, Symphonic Concerto for piano and orchestra (US premiere of New York Philharmonic co-commission with the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D Major

Comments [1]

Les from Miami, Florida

The Messiaen piece, as in all his works I've heard, are characterized by fervor and ecstasy and the strings' long-lined phrases played as softly as they were were breathtaking. There was no Mozart piano concerto heard on the performance available on the Philharmonic's website. The Murail piano concerto didn't spark or hold any interest for me outside of a very interesting downward-moving sequence in the orchestra spelling out a piquant harmony that was only played once. The Beethoven Second Symphony was a delight to hear. The reiterated D major chord --- the second (longer chord) heard at the very beginning --- grabbed my attention by being played at the prescribed tempo and not with a fermata over it, as all the scores and performances I've seen and heard so have it. One is struck by the adventurousness of young Beethoven in his wandering through so many keys in the Introduction, let alone in the main argument of the Allegro con brio to follow: more than the three related by non-tonic ones that open the First Symphony. I would have liked the many "sforzando" indications to be more rigidly adhered to, especially those that precede the dynamic indication "piano". That aside, I'd have to say that the balance and the clarity between reeds, brass, timpani and strings was spot-on: as good as I've ever heard it. The split violins --- firsts on the left and seconds on the right --- do much to aid and abet this. The major seconds in the horns, heard at an appropriately loud dynamic in the third movement, made me realize again what a "modern" sound this symphony was for Beethoven as well as his century: perhaps that was the idea of programming it with a contemporary work and a nearly-contemporary work. The tempos in each movement of the Symphony seemed ideal; and if the same cavil about the sforzandos in the first movement is repeated with regard to the third movement, it's made because I feel it's what's preventing me to call this an ideal performance.

Apr. 10 2016 03:36 PM

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