22 May 2013
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.
30 March 2013
The Ride of the Valkyrpeeps
With the approach of Easter comes the annual Peeps contest, and one entrant (#2 in this slideshow) must have been as eager as we are to hear Alan Gilbert conducting A Ring Journey, his synthesis of Wagner’s epic, this coming June. We salute the inventive minds behind this diorama, as well as all the others on display here. Happy Easter!
26 February 2013
The Last Five Years
Hard to believe that it’s been half a decade, but five years ago today the Philharmonic made one of its more unprecedented debuts with its first concert in North Korea under then-Music Director Lorin Maazel. Following the U.S. and DPRK national anthems, the Orchestra played works by Wagner, Dvořák, Gershwin, and Bernstein (the latter three were all originally Philharmonic premieres).
Relive the journey via the photos above (all by Chris Lee) or on The Pyongyang Concert, EuroArts’s DVD available in the Philharmonic shop that includes the entire concert as well as a behind-the-scenes documentary.
27 August 2012
A New Spin
Music Director Alan Gilbert puts a different — and concise — spin on Wagner’s Ring Cycle in the 2012–13 Philharmonic season with A Ring Journey, his own arrangement of conductor Eric Leinsdorf’s synthesis of orchestral music from the four operas. A Ring Journey moves chronologically through the entire saga, but lets the rich orchestral score tell the story. Hear it during June Journey: Gilbert’s Playlist, June 20–22.
17 July 2012
Countless studies have documented the effects of music on the human brain (there is a reason they pump classical music into Penn Station). However, we don’t believe scientists have documented anything like the effect the New York Philharmonic had on these concertgoers in Central Park Friday evening, caught on tape by a friend of The New York Observer.
The Concerts in the Parks party continues tonight in Van Cortlandt Park as Andrey Boreyko leads the New York Philharmonic in Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms.
8 June 2012
Overture to an Overture
Grab your hankies. In this week’s On the Music: The New York Philharmonic Podcast, host Mark Travis reveals the tragic story behind Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture: to avenge his banishment from Rome after long and valiant service, the general Coriolan leads an opposing army against his native city. When his mother, wife, and son plead with him to relent, the tortured general places his fate in the hands of the Roman mob, effectively choosing suicide
Operatic, no? In fact, Wagner was convinced that Beethoven intended the Coriolan Overture to be a self-portrait. Decide for yourself as the Philharmonic performs this powerful work June 14-16.
17 April 2012
Cheers from Stockholm
Music Director Alan Gilbert is at the tail end of a stint with the Royal Stockholm Opera where he has been conducting Wagner’s Lohengrin. George Loomis praised the performance in the International Herald Tribune, saying: “The orchestra plays beautifully for him…. this is Gilbert’s show and makes one eager for his next appearance in an opera house.”
Kudos, Alan! See you back in New York soon.
4 April 2012
Where in the World is Alan Gilbert?
To those New Yorkers who are wondering where their hometown Music Director is these days, the answer is … Stockholm. The former resident of the Swedish capital has returned there for double duty, as he prepares to conduct Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Royal Swedish Opera (April 7, 9, 11, 13, 16 and 20) as well as Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (April 12 and 14). Fear not: he shall be back soon, and in fact will conduct the New York Philharmonic in Mahler’s Sixth soon after his return, on May 2, at Carnegie Hall.