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(no subject) [Mar. 28th, 2015|01:49 am]
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Scheherazade.2 [Mar. 27th, 2015|01:26 am]

Tonight the Philharmonic premiered a new work by John Adams, a "dramatic symphony" for violinist Leila Josefowicz which she'll soon also perform with co-commissioners in Amsterdam and Sydney. I need to hear it again to have more of a sense of it, and I want to hear it again. It's a big, lyrical beast of a work, a tale of a mistreated woman empowered and liberated, inspired by Scheherazade. Adams' minimalist mode is almost entirely absent, instead it's his structurally and melodically expansive aspect at work here. I suspect there's some traditional form in the background, though just as a jumping-off point.

I've heard Josefowicz before, though I've never seen her perform live. Adams has been collaborating with and writing for her for 15 years, and her passion for his work is evident. Aside from tossing off the considerable difficulties with apparent ease, she was performing from start to finish. Many soloists with orchestra display little personality, or appear involved only in the parts when they're playing. As a programmatic work this one naturally offers more to hold on to, but I have the distinct impression that this fierce engagement is her way. It was a marvel to watch as well as hear.

Petrushka in the first half was also impressive, though a bit lacking. Gilbert's reading is short on subtlety. It's big and bold (and sometimes a bit overbalanced to the brass). The structure is sound, he's perfectly on how one thing leads to another, but I don't feel so much clarity about why. Strange, since not long ago he led the orchestra's staged performances, in a production they'll soon be reprising on tour. (Though I seem to recall I thought that also a bit lacking in coherence.) There's a lot about it that's very fine, and the orchestra is superb in it; it just seems like one last piece is missing.

Anyway, catch the Adams if you get a chance (good general advice anyway) and don't say I didn't warn you about the Petrushka.
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(no subject) [Mar. 26th, 2015|12:55 am]
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(no subject) [Mar. 25th, 2015|01:57 am]
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(no subject) [Mar. 24th, 2015|01:32 am]
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(no subject) [Mar. 23rd, 2015|12:27 am]
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(no subject) [Mar. 22nd, 2015|12:48 am]
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(no subject) [Mar. 21st, 2015|01:43 am]
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(no subject) [Mar. 20th, 2015|01:28 am]
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(no subject) [Mar. 19th, 2015|01:07 am]
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