Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert

Courtesy of John Marcher, I attended the New York Philharmonic's 2nd concert at Davies Hall on Monday. The long line at the men's room told me right away that the house was packed. The NY Phil fielded a large orchestra, with at least 9 stands of violins in each section, as well as 2 harps. The program began with a high-energy performance of Berlioz's Le Corsaire Overture. All the musicians played out, & the orchestra made a brilliant sound. Concert master Glenn Dicterow was soloist for the Bartók Violin Concerto No. 1. The piece is in 2 large movements that are each one long statement for the violin. Mr. Dicterow read from the music, & his playing was consistent & sustained. The orchestra supported him nicely. I was impressed that Mr. Dicterow returned after intermission to resume his 1st chair duties for Debussy's La Mer & Ravel's La Valse. The orchestra's brash, out-going manner made the Berlioz, Debussy & Ravel sound the same to me. For some reason I found myself focusing on the bassoons during La Valse.

Conductor Alan Gilbert looks great on the podium. He's in constant motion & seems to be conducting along with the orchestra rather than leading. He sometimes resembled someone in an aerobics class & went airborne on the final chord of La Mer. The audience gave the performers a cheering standing ovation & remained standing for a cute 2nd encore in which 5 members of the brass section stood up & played a jaunty Dixieland piece. They even marched around as the audience clapped along. I was unexpectedly seated in the same row as the Opera Tattler & signaled to her my dismay that she followed a Met Ring Cycle with a performance of La Bohème a week later.

§ New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert
New York Philharmonic
Alan Gilbert, conductor
Glenn Dicterow, violin

Berlioz: Le Corsaire Overture
Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 1
Debussy: La Mer
Ravel: La Valse

Chabrier: España
Dixieland(?) Brass Quintet

Mon, May 14, 2012 8:00pm
Davies Symphony Hall


sfmike said...

And a "La Boheme" in Los Angeles besides. For shame.

I heard the NY Phil the night before and was not all that impressed, at least not in the way that I was impressed by the orchestras from Boston, Chicago, and Cleveland that played here earlier this year.

Axel Feldheim said...

In a way, NY Phil under Gilbert was just like what I was expecting: a lot of big playing & sweaty conducting.