After you finish packing away your picnics and scrubbing down your barbecues on Monday, come to our Free Annual Memorial Day Concert at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. On this day of special thanks and acknowledgement Music Director Alan Gilbert will be leading the Philharmonic in Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3. He and the musicians are well warmed up on this powerful piece, having recently played it in European cultural capitals, including in the composer’s own home of Vienna.
The locals had to give it up to the New Yorkers, with a critic writing that they played “this unwieldy, sensitive, unrestrained, seething work … like a light-footed dance,’ and praise the “extreme transparency in the interpretation, a seemingly effortless undertaking that invited the listener to savor it.”
This is your chance to experience it for yourself — for free! Tickets are required, and will be distributed on line beginning at 6:00 p.m. If it’s full up when you get there, never fear: the performance will be audio broadcast onto Pulpit Green (adjacent to The Cathedral) weather permitting.
While performing arts groups around the world have taken the 2012-13 season to celebrate the music of Richard Wagner, it was on May 22 in 1813 that the man who defined “gesamtkunstwerk” was born. The New York Philharmonic tips its hat to Wagner’s works with A Ring Journey, an “orchestral synthesis” of the composer’s epic Ring Cycle arranged by our very own Alan Gilbert (after Erich Leinsdorf).
Meanwhile, you can sate your appetite for all things Niebelungen thanks to the Philharmonic’s Digital Archives, which houses a number of scores from all four parts of the Ring, many (like the excerpts shown above) marked by Leonard Bernstein.
The New York Philharmonic mourns the loss and celebrates the life and music of Henri Dutilleux, our inaugural Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music laureate, a brilliant composer (who summed up his work with the above quote), and a true friend to the Phil. As our 2012 Kravis Emerging Composer Sean Shepherd wrote earlier today on Twitter: “Henri Dutilleux was my hero in music. Much to love and to admire about both the man and his exquisite body of work. Very sad day.”
In this 2011 video, Dutilleux is informed (in French) by Alan Gilbert that he won the inaugural Kravis Prize during a recording session that also features Renée Fleming.
(Photo: Chris Lee)
Billy Bard @WilliamBard
Upon recommendation from @NLebrecht’s @SinfiniMusic Album of the Week, now listening to the 1958 @nyphil “Rite” w/ Bernstein… HOLY COW!
This time of year, our home base of Avery Fisher Hall is, by day, a bustle of activity for college graduation ceremonies as students from the likes of NYU and Fordham march across the stage, sheepskin in hand. It recently led us to unearth this score copy of Elgar’s Military March No. 1, the trio of which is better known as Pomp and Circumstance, from our Digital Archives. But, as one of our Facebook fans asked: Why is this the graduation song to beat all graduation songs?
“Pomp and Circumstance” was first heard in its popular use at Yale University’s 1905 graduation, where Elgar was receiving an honorary doctorate of music. As a result, Yale music professor Samuel Sanford (a friend of Elgar’s) incorporated a few works by the composer into the proceedings, including the trio from March No. 1 as a recessional. It’s still used in that capacity at Yale, and quickly became a popular processional for other colleges and high schools. The work was first heard at the Philharmonic two years after Elgar received his honorary degree from Yale, in 1907 at a concert conducted by Walter Damrosch.
Delve into our season finale, A Dancer’s Dream, with a look at our newest Pinterest board: Inside “A Dancer’s Dream.” Director and designer Doug Fitch (who helped create our productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen) has given us an exclusive peek at the inspiration boards that went into costuming Columbine, the Moor, Petrushka, and the Ice Maiden for Petrushka and The Fairy’s Kiss, two ballets by Stravinsky that make up our season finale in June that stars NYC Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns. See how designers like Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Comme des Garçons, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Viktor & Rolf combine with artful origami and the looks of everyone from Mad Max to classical ballet to create this one of a kind Dream.
The Orchestra may be back from a three-week tour, but there’s no rest for the wicked as we prepare to launch into our final month of the 2012–13 season. Following next Monday’s Free Annual Memorial Day Concert at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, we host a slew of guest artists including Wynton Marsalis, Paulo Szot, Megan Hilty, Marin Mazzie, Lisa Batiashvili, Gerald Finley, Patricia Racette, Lionel Bringuier, Leonidas Kavakos, Emanuel Ax, and Sara Mearns. For a full calendar of our June journey, click here.