October 2012 listings for the New York Philharmonic

October 2012 listings for the New York Philharmonic

Sundays at 3:00 p.m.

The late Luciano Pavarotti



An historic recording with the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti can be heard on October 14th.

10/7    Thomas Adès: Polaris Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Alan Gilbert, cond)

10/14  Massenet: Angelus from Scènes pittoresques Debusy/Roger Ducasse:  Rhapsody for Saxophone and Piano Debussy: Images pour orchestra, Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien Massenet: Pourquoi me réveiller? from Werther (Maria Ewing, nar; Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, s; Nancy Maultsby & Mary Ann McCormick, ms; Luciano Pavarotti, t; Westminster Symphonic Choir; Kurt Masur, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Joseph Stransky, cond)

10/21  Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade (Daniil Trifonov, p; Glenn Dicterow, v; Alan Gilbert, cond)

10/28  J.S. Bach: Keyboard Concerto Schoenberg: Piano Concerto Mozart: Symphony No. 36, Linz (Emmanuel Ax, p; Alan Gilbert, cond)


the Bach, Schoenberg, Mozart concert

Structure was and is the underlying paradigm of the Bach keyboard concerto and likewise the Schoenberg concerto, suggested to the septagenerian composer by pianist, wit, and fellow dododecaphonic composer Oscar Levant. The Bach d minor concerto seems, like all of the master that I've heard, to have existed forever outside of time/space. The Schoenberg concerto, in which the four movements (Andante, Molto allegro, Adagio, Rondo giocoso) are played consecutively as one movement. The world premiere by Stokowski and the NBC Symphony Orchestra two years after it was written caused the conductor to become persona non grata to Toscanini for 10 years, after which he made recordings with the aforementioned and later with the abandoned/reconstituted Symphony of the Air. I have no comment about the Schoenberg concerto's performance. The Bach surprising in the Adagio passacaglia movement which was performed as Andante. The solo ornamentation was thoughtfully and convincingly performed. In the Allegro movements, there was much freshness and unexpectedness in the violins' articulating half of their bar phrases legato followed by the second half staccato. Is this because of the performing edition used and/or the decision of Mr. Gilbert? I prefer hearing the concerto performed on a modern grand since the appogiaturas (replete in the slow movement) are resolved at a lower dynamic than is possible than if played on a harpsichord or Bach's favorite the clavichord. Mozart's "Linz" Symphony concluded the program; and outside of a few crescendi/diminuendi that seemed mannered in the first movement, the articulation and phrasing were examplary in the fast movements. My score had some staccato phrasing in the slow movement that were played legato, but this is hardly news since Sir Thomas Beecham did much in the editing and bowing department of his beloved Mozart. The oboe and bassoon solo in the third movement Trio was a delight to hear. I wouldn't have minded if the entire Trio were played with one to a part, strings included! The final Presto movement seemed to be the same tempo as the conclusion of "Le Nozze di Figaro" 's Presto, which seemed perfectly right. Scored for oboes, bassoons horns and trumpets in pairs with timpani and strings, the variety, imagination and sheer delight of Mozart's symphonic dramaturgy was vividly displayed.

Sunday's NYP concert


Thank you again for your detailed comments about this past Sunday's NYPO concert. I am always impressed by how well you know the repertoire.

Keep listening!

Ruth Phinney
WXXI-FM Program Director

the Mussorgsky, Prokofieff and Rimsky-Korsakoff concert

This is a highly-powered and highly enjoyable concert that I would urge listeners to hear again via the New York Philharmonic's website. Rimsky-Korsakoff figured prominently in the program, not only in his perennial "Scheherazade", but also as the orchestrator of Mussorgsky's "A Night on Bald Mountain" that opened the concert. A revealingly rough-hewn performance it was: a compliment regarding the piece's nature; and the peaceful conclusion "Meno Mosso. Tranquillo." The Prokofieff Third Piano Concerto with Daniil Tifonov as soloist, impressed me from the start with the real sense of a dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra. The orchestra was more prominent than I usually hear. In the slow movement's fourth variation "Andante meditivo", the tempo was more like "Adagio meditivo", but time seemed to stand still for all that and I was both persuaded and impressed. My favorite "Scheherazade" is the Monteux/San Francisco Symphony recording with concertmaster Naom Blinder. Glenn Dicterow was outstanding in his own right, with the harp responding even more quietly after "Scheherazade's motives sounded...a real dialogue in and of itself. The first movement was a bit slow for my taste, but Alan Gilbert has Rimsky-Korsakoff's imprimatur on his side since the 6/4 E-major theme is marked "Allegro non troppo". I confess to a preference for a very tight flute vibrato (as well as opera singers' vibrato), which seems to be out of fashion today. That aside, the second movement's solos were played masterfully. I can't help but think that student Stravinsky had this movement in mind when he composed the second tableau of "Petrouchka", but that's sheer speculation. My preference is for the flute and clarinet runs in Phrygian mode in the third movement be done in strict tempo notwithstanding, it offered much delight in its sensuality. I thought the last movement was outstanding throughout. My hoped-for anticipation of the cymbals being allowed to vibrate on their first note followed by an abrupt stop on the second note was gleefully heard in this world-class performance. I wonder if the two plates were crashed at head-level as in the "good old days"?!