October 17, 2007 |
Behind great pianists, there's usually much more than just Steinway grands and the genius composers who wrote for them. In spare moments, when you'd think pianist Leif Ove Andsnes would be analyzing the great Brahms recordings of the past in preparation for this week's Philadelphia Orchestra concerts, he's rhapsodizing over music so distant from what he does as to be irrelevant to his career. And that's Bach's 200-plus cantatas - rarely heard vocal works meant for utilitarian use in church services almost 300 years ago. "It's such an unbelievable world, an inexhaustible world," he said the other morning in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton, where he's staying during his Thursday-through-Saturday concerts at the Kimmel Center.
April 3, 2016
1-3 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): In the last installment in the Vienna series, the orchestra plays Im Sommerwind , by a 20-year-old Anton Weber. Leif Ove Andsnes, one of the world's great pianists, plays Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor . The Vienna series ends with Brahms' magisterial Symphony No. 2 .
February 1, 1997 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra has played lots of concerts since its strike ended in November. But none of them with the same kind of ensemble precision the group regularly displayed before the 64-day work stoppage. Under a parade of guest conductors, the musicians have been performing on the same stage, but hardly singing from the same hymnal. Until yesterday. Music director Wolfgang Sawallisch was back atop the podium to perform with the orchestra in its first subscription concert together in many months.
January 24, 2002 |
The performance is outrageous in ways that it's supposed to be but rarely is. German violinist Christian Tetzlaff and Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes are playing the blues, reimagined in Maurice Ravel's 1927 Violin Sonata, as if the instruments have just emerged from a speakeasy at daybreak - belching, staggering and holding each other up like a silent-movie comedy team. That's typical. Individually, neither Tetzlaff nor Andsnes is musically demure, which is why they are two of the Philadelphia Orchestra's more exciting visiting soloists.
January 31, 2016 |
In the first minute or so of Webern's Im Sommerwind , the Philadelphia Orchestra produced such a gentle, otherworldly glow, you couldn't help feeling you had heard the most beautiful sound of the concert. The celebrated pianist Leif Ove Andsnes then played the Schumann Piano Concerto - though fitfully. After intermission came Brahms (his comfortable Symphony No. 2 ). Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin captured that work's combination of candid emotions and formal rigor, which has eluded in the past, but not Thursday.
October 20, 2007 |
The rap on Osmo V?nsk?, the Finnish-born music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, is that he's great with Sibelius but not nearly as revelatory in other repertoire. It has always seemed like a specious charge, which made the conductor's Thursday night Philadelphia Orchestra appearance expectant with a chance to set the record straight. The Sibelius was indeed a knockout. And the Brahms, though a concerto, where one might expect the soloist to dominate, was full of V?nsk?'s oversized personality.
May 4, 2004 |
Chances are quite good that when the Kimmel Center revealed it would be restoring the city's tradition of hosting visiting orchestras, almost no local orchestraphile started counting the days until the Tonhalle-Orchester Z?rich would arrive. The orchestra is not a newsmaker on the international scene the way the big ensembles of Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam are. And yet, in another important affirmation of its mission, the Kimmel Center proved smart by capturing Switzerland's oldest orchestra Sunday afternoon in the midst of a U.S. tour.
April 10, 1999 |
The musical repertoire of fury at inhumanity, tyranny and disaster is fairly large. Penderecki, for one, evoked formations of bombers in his score for Hiroshima Threnody, and Britten wrote long keening songs for his War Requiem. John Corigliano may have had Picasso's famous mural, Guernica, as a model when he wrote his Symphony No. 1 in response to the AIDS epidemic. The piece, which had its local premiere Thursday with Andre Raphel Smith conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music, comes with a visual element: part of an AIDS quilt travels with it and was hung in the Academy lobby.
November 16, 2002 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra, until Thursday night, had somehow managed to avoid two major symphonic exhilarants: Finnish conductor Osmo V?nsk? and Nielsen's Symphony No. 3 in D minor. The symphony I can't hear again soon enough. The conductor, who becomes music director of the Minnesota Orchestra beginning next fall, I can't wait to hear again - but mostly because I've heard him enough with other orchestras to know what he's capable of. The Nielsen, for all of its sonic glories, was a bit of a mess.