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Subject: FW: Philharmoniv finale / FT review
From: Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 12 Jun 2017 18:27:07 +0000

text/plain (45 lines)

-----Original Message-----
From: mb [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2017 8:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Philharmoniv finale / FT review

From Martin Bernheimer
New York

Angels in America
***[4 stars]

	Alan Gilbert, New York Philharmonic music director since 2009, led the final programme of his tenure at Lincoln Center on Thursday. It turned out to be a long, quirky, sentimental yet compelling evening of mixed emotions on several levels.

	The maestro, about to depart for professional pursuits unknown, chose the occasion to partake of both the ridiculous and the sublime.
Luckily, he proved the courage of his unorthodox convictions, and the subscribers responded, as always, with generous ovations.

	The first half of the event was devoted to a fiery chamber-music frenzy, once past a throat-clearing film clip and the now sadly inevitable verbal introductions (more chit-chat, in all, than music-making). Gilbert, whose parents were both members of this orchestra, took up the fiddle con brio and joined a few colleagues, including none less than Yo-Yo Ma, in two short pieces: Kinan Azmeh's Ibn Arabi Postlude and Edward Perez's The Latina
6/8 Suite. The first proved edgy and subtle, even plaintive, despite raucous punctuation. The second turned out to be a jumble of piquant noise, an amusing and bemusing orgy of rhythmic assaults. Cristina Pato enlivened the drama, or unreasonable facsimile thereof, with small talk, sexy choreography and otherworldly solos on Galician bagpipes.

	After the ruckus, Gilbert turned super-serious with a suave yet gutsy performance of Mahler's Seventh Symphony. Lasting nearly 90 minutes, it was ferocious one moment, dreamy the next, just as the composer prescribed. It could not be claimed that the maestro made the long stretches of Sturm und Drang seem short - even he cannot muster that sort of magic.
But the massive meandering retained as much tension as Mahler would allow, and grandstanding was avoided, thank goodness, at every bombastic turn.
This, indeed, eine grosse Nachtmusik.

	The supercrowded stage, not incidentally, hosted not just the Philharmonic but also musicians from orchestras around the world who, according to official announcements, "celebrate the power of music to build bridges". Somehow Gilbert got the mob to play with equal parts passion and precision, a notable achievement.

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