May 14, 2016 |
NEW YORK - Speculation over Yannick Nézet-Séguin's appointment to the Metropolitan Opera continues to rage - but you wouldn't suspect that amid the nonchalant Carnegie Hall crowd at the Philadelphia Orchestra's final concert of its season here. Usually the orchestra plays Carnegie Hall at the end of a subscription series. Wednesday's concert, though, preceded the same program Thursday through Saturday at the Kimmel Center. Though not at its most polished, the orchestra delivered a program of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Lang Lang and the Mahler Symphony No. 10 that was greeted with considerable receptivity, though at nearly 21/2 hours, the concert had listeners leaving to catch their trains the minute the symphony ended.
March 9, 2016 |
WILMINGTON - At any given time between October and May, it's a safe bet that any number of major international orchestras are coming through Philadelphia, only to see the city through an Amtrak widow. Of course, we don't see them at all. More important, we don't hear them - not since the Kimmel Center decided a few years ago that its visiting orchestra series was a luxury the city could not afford. In April, for instance, both the San Francisco Symphony and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra play New York and D.C., and they will miss hitting one particularly great orchestra town in between.
February 14, 2016
1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): Dazzling Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski will perform Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini , as Gianandrea Noseda conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as the overture to Rossini's opera La Gazza Ladra and the U.S. premiere of Symphony No. 2 by Alfredo Casella.
January 30, 2016 |
Constructing a recital of just two pieces might seem to limit the number of chances to take in the whole personality of the performer. But Rachmaninoff's Thirteen Preludes and Schumann's Carnaval are two exceptionally sprawling and varied canvases, and on Wednesday night, Alexandre Moutouzkine proved a pianist exceptionally sensitive to worlds the composers might have hoped for beyond the written page. In his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital debut at the American Philosophical Society, Moutouzkine revealed a series of beautifully detailed character sketches - one by an artist (Rachmaninoff)
October 4, 2015 |
So the Rachmaninoff concerto recordings continue with the Philadelphia Orchestra after all. With the wildfire acclaim for the orchestra's collaboration with pianist Daniil Trifonov in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (just released on Deutsche Grammophon), a follow-up this week with the same forces and same composer's Piano Concerto No. 4 seemed planned, with four concerts to record Thursday through Sunday at the Kimmel Center. When questioned, the recording company was vague.
September 27, 2015 |
Everyone in the Philadelphia Orchestra could assume, even before collaborating with pianist Daniil Trifonov, that he was much more than your typical hot competition winner. When he recorded Rachmaninoff with the orchestra in March in Philadelphia, it was under costly studio conditions, unusual for any major recording company working in America. The Deutsche Grammophon production was made from scratch, not in concert - rare since the CD heyday of the 1990s. Trifonov, 24, played Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with relentless tenacity, take after take, hour after hour, never letting the tension go slack, according to musicians present.
September 22, 2015 |
Yet another charming, youthful conductor has arrived on classical music's doorstep. The 31-year-old Bulgarian Stilian Kirov, fresh from the associate conductorship of the Seattle Symphony, has promptly filled the void left by Symphony in C's departing longtime music director, Rossen Milanov. Kirov's debut concert Saturday at the Gordon Theater at Rutgers-Camden raised a lot of questions that will be answered only in future concerts, but one thing was clear: He is maintaining the orchestra's high standard of playing.
August 16, 2015 |
A paradox, perhaps, but it's a significant marker of individualism that every time Alexandre Moutouzkine appears, he sounds like a slightly different pianist. The basic character of his playing morphed even in a single recital, Thursday night, part of the Philadelphia Young Pianists' Academy (PYPA). Many listeners came to know Moutouzkine through his affiliation with Astral Artists, for which he devised in 2011 an unusually inventive live transcription of Stravinsky's The Firebird as the sound track to the animated short Who Stole the Mona Lisa?
June 8, 2015 |
LONDON - The Philadelphia Orchestra's Europe 2015 tour can't be just about long ovations, great reviews, and full houses, because few if any tours are going to have those consistently. In Amsterdam on Thursday, Nico Muhly's new Mixed Messages got a chilly reception. In Berlin on May 26, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin "whirled about but clarified nothing" in Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 , according to Ulrich Amling in Der Tagesspiegel. And at London's Royal Festival Hall on Friday, the first of two concerts there was only 60 percent full.
May 20, 2015 |
No commemorative speeches. No plaques. No tear jerking. Artistic director David Hayes barely announced the encore at the farewell concert of the Philadelphia Singers, going out of business after 43 years, but let the occasion speak with music, the best performance coming last - Rachmaninoff's Vespers , the "Rejoice O Virgin" section. Maybe Hayes was focusing his energy, having survived last week's Amtrak derailment in reportedly functional though bruised form, which had him walking on and off stage with care.