10 June 2013
Unlocking The Prisoner
"Mr. Gilbert’s deep involvement with Dallapiccola’s astonishing 50-minute opera came through in every moment of the blazing, inspired and beautiful performance he drew from the Philharmonic, which sounded great, and from a riveting cast, led by the superb bass-baritone Gerald Finley in the title role," writes The New York Times of the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Il Prigioniero by Dallapiccola, as part of Gilbert’s Playlist.
The review from the first night of the program (which also features Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, as played by Lisa Batiashvili) goes on to say that, “This is one of the highlights to date of Mr. Gilbert’s tenure.” You can read the full rundown here, but act fast: We only have one performance of this work left, set for tomorrow night.
(Photo: Chris Lee)
3 June 2013
Fighting the Power
“In a totalitarian regime the individual is powerless. Only by means of music would I be able to express my anger.”
So wrote composer Luigi Dallapiccola,Italy’s largest proponent of 12-tone music, of his protest opera, Il Prigioniero (1944-1948). Performed by the Philharmonic with Gerald Finley, Patricia Racette, and more this week, Il Prigioniero follows the story of a man imprisoned during the Inquisition who, when hopeful of his escape, finds that he’s been duped into believing he is on his way to freedom when he falls into the arms of the Grand Inquisitor himself. The work dramatizes 20th-century totalitarian oppression, a theme with which Dallapiccola was familiar having lived under the Austrian Empire and later under Mussolini.
“Il Prigioniero’s exploration of questions of oppression and rebellion is compelling and powerful, and the musical language is incorporated in a way that works well dramatically,” says Music Director Alan Gilbert, who conducts the work as part of the Philharmonic’s monthlong festival, Gilbert’s Playlist. Don’t miss your chance to experience this powerful work, whose themes and ideas still resonate profoundly today.
19 November 2012
"This time there’s a new and crucial element in the mix: …"
"Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic, conducting with a quicksilver touch that brings out the sparkle in the score but also plumbs its considerable emotional depths.”
— The Wall Street Journal, on the production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tuttethat opened Wednesday at The Juilliard School, the third collaborative venture between The Julliard School and The Metropolitan Opera, with the former providing musicians and the latter, the singers through its Lindemann Young Artist Development Program — now with Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, also Juilliard’s Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies, on the podium.
Alan conducts one more performance of Cosi fan tutte tonight.
(Chris Lee photo)
28 August 2012
Take This Down, It’s Richard Tucker Day
By mayoral proclamation, New York City honors legendary tenor Richard Tucker today, on what would have been his 99th birthday. Centennial year celebrations get underway with a 5 p.m. gathering at, where else, Richard Tucker Square, between 65th and 66th on Broadway, that will include soprano Renée Fleming and other artists. Tucker’s recordings will be played in the square throughout the day.
The Brooklyn-born tenor appeared with the Philharmonic almost 20 times, in performances ranging from operatic favorites to Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand. His work as a cantor will also be recognized this evening on the Lower East Side, in a performance including tenor Paul Appleby, recipient of a 2011 Richard Tucker Music Foundation grant, who made his Phlharmonic debut in June.
(photo: Tucker as Roldolfo in Puccini’s La boheme, one of his most famous roles. © Richard Tucker Music Foundation)
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.
15 August 2012
Bon Appétit, Bernstein!
On today, Julia Child’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the perfect pairing of food and music. What do Julia Child and Leonard Bernstein have in common? Lee Hoiby’s 1989 opera, Bon Appétit, was not only based on Julia Child’s own words and recipes from her television show, but it also, at one point, included Lenny’s early song cycle La Bonne Cuisine, set to excerpts from Julia’s autobiography.
Celebrate Julia today with this clip from the opera, as performed by Debra McVicker.
7 June 2012
What was soprano Julianna DiGiacomo doing presenting an unusual concert to the statues at The Metropolitan Museum of Art? Check nyphil360.com on June 11 for more.
27 April 2012
One Surreal Game-Changer
Gyorgy Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre gets a nod as NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog surveys the opera landscape for game-changingl postwar works. The black comedy shows Ligeti’s dramatic sense of humor from the first note: “The piece, although not performed often, seems to be a success whenever it shows up, as was the case when it became the hit of the New York Philharmonic’s 2009-10 season.”
Take another walk through the Philharmonic’s hit production of Ligeti’s “anti-anti-opera” here.
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.