June 2012 listings for the New York Philharmonic

June 2012 listings for the New York Philharmonic

Sundays at 3:00 p.m.

Carmina Burana composer Carl Orff

The New York Philharmonic joins voices for two major choral works - Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana this month.

6/3        Dvořák:   Carnival Overture  Magnus Lindberg: Piano Concerto No. 2 Tchaikovsky:  Symphony No. 4 (Yefim Bronfman, p; Alan Gilbert, cond)

6/10      Dvorák:  Cello Concerto Beethoven:  Symphony No. 9 (Yo-Yo Ma, c; Sylvia McNair, s; Florence Quivar, ms; Stuart Neil, t; Rene Pape, bs; NY Choral Artists; American Boychoir; Kurt Mazur, cond)

6/17      Falla:   Selections from Atlantida Orff:   Carmina Burana (Erin Morley, s; Nicholas Phan, t; Jacques Imbrallo, bar; Orfeón Pomplona; Igor Ijurra Fernández, Dir; Brooklyn Youth Chorus; Dianne Berkun, Dir; Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, cond)

6/24      J.S. Bach:  Violin Concerto Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 Stravinsky: Concerto for String Orchestra Mozart: Symphony No. 39 (Pinchas Zuckerman, v; and cond)


the Beethoven, Sibelius and Nielsen concert

"Ah, Perfido!" isn't heard enough, I think, because of the rapid changes of mood as well as tempo markings and appogiaturas that call for precise intonation, none of which pitfalls held terrors for Karita Mattila. The Beethoven Eighth Symphony benefitted from fleet tempos...there's no slow movement...and the timpani was heard prominently. Much is gained in clarity and in differentiating the voicings from Mr. Gilbert's decision to seat the first and second violins antiphonally, as was done pre-Stokowski and Sir Henry Wood. Beethoven wrote a vocal canon "An Ma"lzel" using the same principal subject as that of the second movement. I wish that movement ended without the ritardando, but that in itself is a time-honored practice, 'a la Furtwa"angler rather than ending in tempo, 'a la Toscanini. The last movement elicited clarity in the double triplet motive, so it wasn't blurred or ponderously slow. There was, however, a slight ritardando before that modulation to F# minor (!) 'a la Monteux. The Nielsen Second Symphony makes one want to hear Mr. Gilbert's project to play and record all of the symphonies. It sounded like the Orchestra was having fun playing it: the pylons of sound in the passages marked "fff" were awe-inspiring yet clear. The first violins set the mood for the third movement's pricipal subject played, as asked in the score, on the G string. The second movement with the barcarolle-like motive, was flowing and revealing in its simplicity; and the final movement was a wave of exhilaration set into motion from the first note, D, pizzicato in the 'cellos and contrabasses and sounded on the bassoons and the timpani. It was a rollicking performance, save the c minor Adagio molto before the coda, Tempo I., "Allegro sanguineo". The descending third idea connecting the first three movements and the rising thirds beginning the second and third movement make the composer's "progressive tonality" all the more palatable as a compositional process. I've long wondered why the Nielsen Symphonies have been so scarce on orchestra programs...I don't think the Orchestra has performed any of them since Bernstein's three recordings in the 1960's....as there's nothing of the twelve-tone system in them to be off-putting to many...and I think one of the legacies of Mr. Gilbert's tenure will be his championing of these symphonies.

Kurt Masur's Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

This performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from 31 December 1999 is one for the ages. I urge all music lovers and students to listen to this re-broadcast. The intensity and articulation made me think of the four Toscanini broadcasts and Furtwa"ngler at Bayreuth performances I treasure. There was a bit more expansiveness allowed the horn three before "Lo stesso tempo" in the third movement and a slight rallentando before the chorus enters at letter M in the Kalmus miniature score "Freude, scho"ner...". The contrabasses' and 'cellos' "in the character of a recitative, but in tempo" paid careful heed to the legato and staccato indications; and Rene' Pape was majesty itself in his opening, "O freunde..." intentionally without the grace note. The timpani part, especially in the second movement, was a revelation, as Maestro Masur described in his pre-concert talk. The three-note motive was heard fortissimo, then mezzo-forte the second time, then piano the third time. This performance is a fierce revelation of this imperishable masterwork. I'm so convinced by all that I heard that I think this is the most revealing performance I've ever heard.

Beethoven's Ninth

So glad you enjoyed it. You clearly know it well and are very familiar with various performances. We are so pleased to be able to bring the New York Philharmonic programs to our audience.

Ruth Phinney
Classical 91.5 FM Program Director