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January 12, 2009


Eric L.

Very cool!

Henry Holland

Pretty tame stuff, really --the usual smattering of New Music is in the usual "overture, 7-10 minutes" remit fir the most part-- but the continuing bizarreness of concert programming is present too.

Nov. 5, 6, 7 & 10
Matthias Pintscher: towards Osiris
Mozart: Symphony No. 38
Zemlinsky: Lyric Symphony

What on earth is the Mozart doing there, other than to get people to attend, because musically, that's a horrible choice. Pintscher's hyper-modernism and Zemlinsky's wonderful late-Romanticism would have been better served by playing, say, a Prokofiev piano concerto that's not #3 or some Bartok or Strauss.

Steve Smith

You're not wrong in either of your observations, Henry. Sedgewick Clark, a longtime observer of (and collaborator with) the Philharmonic, made the first point in his smart reportage yesterday at MusicalAmerica.com.

The overall sense of openness and friendliness toward new music, though, is something strikingly new, as is the fact that so many of the composers being tapped for Lindberg's "Contact" series are young and American. And the notion that among Thomas Hampson's planned activities is a Pintscher world premiere, or that one of the Young People's Concerts is being built around Lindberg's Feria? Things like that haven't happened here in a long, long time.

Truly, I think, if Gilbert is to make a lasting impact and bring the bulk of the existing audience along with him, evolution is perhaps a better tack than revolution. Don't tell your supporters that "everything you know is wrong" (or at least passé); get the core audience to understand and trust you, and then take it along for the ride.

You're definitely right about Mozart being a strange fit for the program you cite; I had a similar sense last week, when a wayward Mozart concerto was programmed among works by Debussy, Messiaen and Murail.

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