3 April 2013
Better Know a Bach Soloist: András Schiff
While this week marks his first time conducting us, it’s not Hungarian-born pianist András Schiff's first time at the New York Philharmonic rodeo; in fact, tonight will mark his 20th performance with the Orchestra when he appears both as conductor and pianist for The Bach Variations’s final series: Bach's Keyboard Concertos in F minor and D major, plus Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 9 and Schumann's Symphony No. 4.
"[I]t was as if Mr. Schiff were channeling Bach, not just performing him," raved The New York Times of András’s artistry. Get a taste for that channeling above with the Prelude and Fugue in C minor from Book I of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier.
15 March 2013
Et Tu, Schumann?
Beware the Ides of March, they say. But Robert Schumann embraced the 15th of the month with his Overture to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which portrays the piercing downfall of the star-crossed statesman. You can browse both individual parts and the Overture’s full score, as conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos in 1954, courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives.
16 January 2013
Just Good Friends?
“I can do nothing but think of you,” wrote Johannes Brahms to Clara Schumann in 1855.
The relationship between the composer and the widow of composer Robert Schumann, a distinguished pianist and composer in her own right, has long been the subject of speculation, fueled in part by the passion expressed in their letters to each other.
“Who knows better than yourself … how enthusiastically and deeply I absorb everything that comes from you,” wrote Clara to Johannes in 1860.
Wherever the truth lies, Brahms relied on Clara for advice on his works, such as the Piano Concerto No. 1, performed this week by Yefim Bronfman and the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Lorin Maazel.
14 December 2012
A Schumann Shoo-in
Following his first-ever rehearsal with the New York Philharmonic, we caught up with 17-year-old pianist (yes, you read that right) Jan Lisiecki to discuss his debut program, on which he performs Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Check out this new video for a sneak peek of his interpretation.
Rush on over to Avery Fisher Hall to catch Jan and the Philharmonic, led by David Zinman, before the program ends tomorrow night.
10 December 2012
Zinman to the Rescue
Stepping in at the last moment for Daniel Harding (recovering from an illness), David Zinman heads back to the Philharmonic this week for a program of Sibelius symphonies and Schumann’s Piano Concerto, with 17-year-old Jan Lisiecki in his Philharmonic debut.
Zinman last appeared with the Orchestra in March, when he led The Modern Beethoven festival, prompting The New York Times to write: “Mr. Zinman and the Philharmonic mined its dark beauty with a disciplined directness.”
12 October 2012
The Philharmonic Ensembles series at Merkin Concert Hall begins Sunday. As always, it’s a chance to hear the Orchestra’s musicians up close, taking the spotlight in the intimate context of chamber music.
This first of the season’s six concerts includes works by Victor Yoran, Mozart, and Schumann, as well as Barber’s Summer Music for Wind Quintet, the lush American composer’s evocation of a languid summer afternoon — just the thing to warm you up on a chilly autumn afternoon.
28 September 2012
At today’s matinee Daniil Trifonov made such a splash in his Philharmonic debut that his performance of Prokofiev’s thrilling and challenging Piano Concerto No. 3 was greeted with shouts for more, which the 21-year-old dynamo rewarded with an encore: Liszt’s arrangement of Widmung from Schumann’s Myrthen, Op. 25, No. 1.
Missed the moment? You can still catch history in the making as Trifonov continues his Philharmonic performances tomorrow night and Tuesday.
11 June 2012
A Maestro’s Marginalia
This week, for only the second time in its history, the New York Philharmonic will perform Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, Sinfonia espansiva. The Philharmonic’s first performed the work to open the 1965–66 season, under then-Music Director Leonard Bernstein, an early Nielsen champion.
His score offers some scribbled insights: "Phrase-lengths — mad; seemingly arbitrary, but once studied, clean and right." He also drew a schematic connecting Schumann’s “Rhenish” Symphony and Brahms to Nielsen, and Nielsen to Shostakovich and, maybe, Mahler (with a question mark).
Learn more about Symphony No. 3 in our online program notes.