December 8, 2008 |
Though still only 26, cellist Alisa Weilerstein is becoming a regular Philadelphia presence, invariably striding onto the stage with an eager air of "Look what I've discovered this time!" That keeps you coming back to her concerts, even with snowy Saturday weather to navigate en route to Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park - the first stop in a recital tour that includes New York's Zankel Hall tomorrow and San Francisco Thursday. And the discoveries? The seldom-heard 1991 Omaramor by the now-popular Osvaldo Golijov, plus a distinctively smart approach to Beethoven.
January 15, 2007 |
By the heart-on-sleeve-wearing standards set by Yo-Yo Ma and Jacqueline du Pr?, the young cellist Alisa Weilerstein might appear to occupy an artistic place of quieter ideas. Not so. Weilerstein, 24, who played the Elgar Concerto on Friday night with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta at Verizon Hall, is a strong personality, though a complex one. What she managed to say in the most hushed moments of the concerto (when the cough-stricken audience allowed it) could have changed listeners' view of the piece, especially those of us who first twigged onto the Elgar through du Pr?'s recordings.
December 15, 2012 |
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 3 has never quite taken off. The listening public adores the Fourth , Fifth , and Sixth , but mention the Third and you draw a stare. Is it that ideas in the Third , the "Polish," are exploited with greater economy and real edge in other Tchaikovsky works? Or has it suffered from inconsistent advocacy from the podium? Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda brought it out of the shadows Thursday night in Verizon Hall. His concepts of a lean sound and flexible beat were beneficial counterpoint to the Philadelphia Orchestra's natural inclination to swaddle Tchaikovsky in extra time and upholstery.
June 30, 2007 |
Composer Hector Berlioz signified many things, but on Thursday at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, he was the patron saint of young conductors. The artist in question was Ludovic Morlot, the young associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra who is accumulating prestigious debuts, among them his first outing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Berlioz overture, Le Corsaire , with its long opening string flourishes, seizes your attention dramatically - at least when well played - and assures you that you're not likely to forget the visual image of the conductor making it happen.
November 27, 2006 |
Too bad the words shock and awe have become forever glued to an increasingly regretted military event of recent years, because they can also describe Friday's Philadelphia Orchestra debut of the much-discussed young cellist Alisa Weilerstein. In Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1, she seemed to battle her cello as much as she played it, in a performance that was constantly striving - admirably but sometimes in vain - for something bigger, bolder and more all-encompassing. In a program that also included Mahler's Symphony No. 4, it wasn't enough - seemingly - for her to deliver ironic/earnest notes that were evidence of Shostakovich's difficult life under the Soviet regime.
November 7, 2009 |
Notes don't ring so much as they tend to be wrung from Dvorak's Cello Concerto: It's the grandest piece of its kind and solo cellists can't help loving it to their (and sometimes the audience's) distraction. Only when the concerto is performed by somebody as original and charismatic as Alisa Weilerstein, the Philadelphia Orchestra's featured soloist yesterday at the Kimmel Center, does one realize how much greater the overall effect can be when individual notes, typically punched and vibrated to the far reaches of the auditorium, have their identity subverted to a larger idea.
December 15, 2010 |
The best-of-the-year lists already have been written, but the Monday recital by cellist Alisa Weilerstein definitely belongs on one, no matter where it falls in the calendar year. A frequent concerto presence here, Weilerstein returned in a Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Perelman Theater - one not as consistently fine as her 2008 appearance at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, but with greater successes in unexpected places. The second half had the fun stuff: Stravinsky's amiable Suite Italienne adapted from his ballet Pulcinella , and Rachmaninoff's plush, soulful Cello Sonata in G minor . Few Rachmaninoff performances achieve pianist Inon Barnatan's sense of weight while not covering up the cellist.
December 17, 2012 |
This was no running with the bulls in Pamplona, but for dozens of cello lovers, the chance to mingle - and play - with professional musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra on Saturday was a thrill all its own. The "cello play-in" filled the typically spare lobby of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with musicians of all ages and skill levels. Also on hand, of course, were their parents, grandparents, and teachers, indeed anyone who loves the sound of a cello in classical, pop, and holiday music.
January 12, 2007 |
Few maestri have had the international visibility of Zubin Mehta. In late December, he could be seen on television as one of the Kennedy Center honorees, then conducting the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year's Day celebration. Between those shows, he received the Tel Aviv, Israel-based Dan David award for cultural achievement, splitting $1 million with French composer Pascal Dusapin. Nearly everyone on the planet saw him lead the colossally popular "Three Tenors" concert, and his current positions as Israel Philharmonic's conductor for life and head of Florence's Maggio Musicale keep him busy.
November 21, 2006 |
No sensible up-and-coming cellist would make an important Philadelphia Orchestra debut under Alisa Weilerstein's circumstances. For starters, she has been shuttling between two orchestral tours - the New York Philharmonic in Japan and the Moscow State Symphony in North America. Then, she was committed to playing with Maxim Vengerov in Paris (this week) and London (next). But the few days in between those European capitals coincided with cellist Truls Mork's cancellations Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia.