June 29, 1989 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra has been keeping alive the music of composer Vincent Persichetti with greater care since his death than before. James DePreist, in his first concert of the season, conducted the orchestra in Persichetti's Symphony No. 4 last night at the Mann Music Center. It was a good reminder off the composer's range, for this piece is full of bright good spirits and short bursts of melody. The dark, acerbic sounds of some of his other symphonies appear only occasionally in this piece.
November 6, 1993 |
A Mozart piano concerto at an Orchestra 2001 concert? When musical director James Freeman realized that the group's November concerts would come on the heels of a Russian tour, he thought he'd program something more traditional than their usual new-music fare - something his musicians would likely already know. He was thinking ahead, too, when he asked Philadelphia pianist Cynthia Raim to be the soloist in the Concerto No. 19 in F major (K. 459). The former Curtis Institute student of Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski was a thoughtful interpreter of Mozart.
December 13, 1999 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra let down its long hair Friday night, and out tumbled a soft white beard with a familiar saint attached to it. Actually, Santa Claus was missing for a good part of the orchestra's annual holiday concert. Mrs. Claus nervously scurried out on stage at the last verse of David Ott's arrangement of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and asked if anyone had seen him. She then helped the orchestra through a 12th verse only a Philadelphian could love. The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia helped to make the legally required references to Mummers strumming, soft pretzels and Rocky movies.
December 15, 1990 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra yesterday offered the young person's guide to the orchestra. Under the direction of Hans Vonk, it premiered a work by the 26-year-old composer Augusta Read Thomas and introduced as its soloist the 19- year-old, American-born Israeli violinist Gil Shaham. Thomas' piece, Glass Moon, opened the concert - as it should, since it was about 11 minutes of boldly considered music that celebrated the sound of the instruments and seemed to reaffirm the vitality of orchestral music in general.
April 3, 1987 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra played the most imposing and probably the most difficult of its first three Constitution commissions last night at the Academy of Music. It was Ralph Shapey's Symphonie Concertante, and while parts of it may have sounded in passing like the clash of tectonic plates, its link with music's deep past is the strongest of the three. Riccardo Muti led the orchestra in this 30-minute work that, by title and design, brings up to date the 18th-century concerto grosso.
February 4, 1988 |
The Cleveland Orchestra rarely performs in Philadelphia, a situation that one hopes will be erased when the new concert hall is built and the Academy of Music can accommodate many more distinguished visitors. With its illustrious history, the Cleveland is one of our symphonic gems, and it has been rubbed to a further sheen in recent years by the progressive programming of its music director, Christoph von Dohnanyi. Dohnanyi was not on hand to lead the orchestra during its appearance Tuesday night at the Grand Opera House.
August 28, 1995 |
How do you make a conductor speechless? The Philadelphia Orchestra managed just that Saturday, when music director Wolfgang Sawallisch started toward the podium to lead an encore after a concert in the Alte Oper. Instead of an orchestra seated quietly and ready, he found the players standing, and before he could reach the podium, concertmaster Erez Ofer started "Happy Birthday. " The conductor was caught unprepared. So was the audience, because the tune is not internationally recognized, but enough concertgoers knew it, and the rest caught the drift of the tribute to Sawallisch's 72d birthday.
June 6, 1994 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's three-week Latin American tour ended on a triumphant note here Saturday. The program of Mozart, Bernstein and Mussorgsky brought forth seven curtain calls and two encores at the elegant Teatro Municipal. After the first encore, Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch bowed to the audience at least five times, gave the orchestra a bow, then walked over to say goodbye to the three veteran orchestra members who were on their final tour. Sawallisch thanked violist Irving Segall, cellist Marcel Farago and associate principal violist James Fawcett, all of whom will end their careers with the orchestra by the end of the summer.
May 13, 1986 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra began its continent-spanning tour last night with a program that won two standing ovations in the Salle Wilfred Pelletier in the Palace des Arts. It was the debut here for the orchestra and for music director Riccardo Muti. The program was a conscious nod to this French Canadian city, offering music by Faure and Stravinsky before playing for the only time on the tour Bruckner's massive Symphony No. 4. The audience heard the soft colors of the Faure Pelleas et Melisande and the orchestra's own edition of Firebird in the first half.