Salonen and Josefowicz for NY Premiere of Violin Concerto

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Esa-Pekka Salonen (Benjamin Suomela)

Tune in Thursday night at 9 pm as violinist Leila Josefowicz joins the New York Philharmonic to perform in the New York concert premiere of Salonen's Violin Concerto under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen. Included in the program is Ravel's Mother Goose and Sibelius's Symphony No 5

CONDUCTOR: Esa-Pekka Salonen
SOLOIST: Leila Josefowicz, violin

RAVEL: Mother Goose
SALONEN: Violin Concerto (New York concert premiere)
SIBELIUS: Symphony No 5

Comments [1]

Les from Miami, Florida

The Mother Goose Suite boasted of careful balance between the woodwind string and percussion choirs ... there are only two horns to represent the brass ... and there was great sensitivity in the phrasing and articulation. I always prefer a rapid, tight vibrato in the flute be it in orchestral or operatic or chamber music literature; and so the opening material of the "Sleeping Beauty Pavane" left me wanting. There was a curious rallantando followed by a resumption of the principal tempo in the "Little Homely" movement, namely, at Number 4 and Number 5 respectively...oboe answered by flute... and again at Number 16 and 17 respectively...flute answered by English horn...the reason for which eludes me. The contrabassoon solos throughout the "Beauty and the Beast Conversations" section were excellent. The slow tempo in "The Fairy Garden" section and the carefully built crescendos took my breath away, as did the rallantando one bar before the written indication at Number 4, "Retenu". This work, for me, was the programs's highlight. I was disappointed at the somewhat lagging tempo in the first movement of the Sibelius Fifth Symphony...all the material up to "Allegro moderato (ma poco a poco stretto)... and even more so in the last movement during which the pairs of horns alternate that never-to-be-forgotten motto. Rightly, the tempo was slow in the last statement of same on the three trumpets at seven bars after Letter O "Largamente assai". Of Mr. Salonen's Violin Concerto, I found myself enchanted by "Pulse 1" and "Pulse 2": in fact, I would have preferred that they began the concerto and that the "Adieu" movement concluded it as a three-movement concerto, which is clearly not what Mr. Salonen intends, but that was my reaction nonetheless. All praise should be given to Ms. Josefowicz for her interest in and her mastery of the work to the point of memorization; and the New York Philharmonic sounded as convincing as if it were playing a time-honored masterpiece by an old master.

Jan. 24 2016 04:27 PM

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