johnleiser

Joyce DiDonato & Peter Lieberson & Mahler @ the NY Phil

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2009 at 5:58 pm

There was so much going on at this concert last night it is hard to explain. First the Mahler piece “Blumine”  and then a world premier of Peter Lieberson’s “The World In Flower” and then Mahler’s Symphony no. 1. The theme is new performances; sound familiar? First time ever for “The World In Flower” first time as a stand alone piece for “Blumine” and the first time for Symphony no. 1 was when Mahler conducted it 100 years ago. Alan Gilbert is going to have intelligent programs and link the old and the new and make us active listeners .

“Bluminine was part of the 1st Symphony and cut until the score was discovered in 1980 at auction, so it’s a new old piece that is delightful, very Mahler with a little push from Richard Strauss? The Philharmonic commissioned Peter Lieberman to compose a new choral piece and he wrote this with his late wife Lorraine in mind. Joyce DiDonato is very brave to take on such an emotionally charged premier and she is up to the challenge with wonderful singing and phrasing and presence. Russell Braun makes a great NYP debut in the baritone part and the NY Choral artists are always perfect. The songs that Lieberson sets are varied; from Rilke, to 20th century Navajo,  Whitman, and Hopkins ,Rumi and Mechthild of Madeburg and Igluik and Spanish songs. This will not be absorbed into the repertoire, but I hope it doesn’t get lost because it is should be heard.

After all that Alan Gilbert gets one of the best performances of Mahler in recent memory from a VERY engaged NYP and gets a well deserved standing O!

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