HomeMusicAssessment: A Rising Star Debuts With the Philharmonic

Assessment: A Rising Star Debuts With the Philharmonic


On paper, this week’s New York Philharmonic program had loads going for it: steadiness, an up-and-coming conductor, a longtime soloist. But at David Geffen Hall on Thursday, the live performance was solely generally on the verge of grand, and simply as typically one or two kindling sticks in need of a real fireplace.

Still, the present offered a chance to catch the rising star Jonathon Heyward, who was making his Philharmonic debut, filling in for Karina Canellakis. In a number of months, he’ll develop into the first Black music director of the Baltimore Symphony. And, from the beginning of Thursday’s efficiency, his popularity for dramatic feeling and a focus to dynamics gave the impression to be properly earned.

Heyward drew dynamism from the orchestra, with none recourse to stentorian quantity, within the opening minutes of Zosha Di Castri’s “Lineage,” an 11-minute piece from 2013. Like a few of her works on the current portrait album “Tachitipo,” this one derives momentum from hairpin turns that hyperlink collectively drone-ish states and startling streams of motivic exercise. But towards the tip of the work, in some hushed moments of still-busy writing, the Philharmonic’s interpretation slackened — sounding tentative, or in need of full dedication.

Something related transpired throughout Brahms’s prolonged and majestic Violin Concerto, which adopted. Initially, Heyward had the total consideration of the Philharmonic gamers. During the opening motion, he subtly formed a dramatic pause not lengthy earlier than the doorway of the soloist, Christian Tetzlaff; the orchestra responded with tactile precision to his dramatic, but not too mannered, methodology of navigating the transition.

Tetzlaff‌ was as spectacular right here as on a recent recording of this piece on the Ondine ‌label; although his strategy was clearly well-drilled upfront, he additionally proved delicate right here to Heyward’s beat. And his professional dealing with of Joseph Joachim’s first-movement cadenza — with taking part in that diversified in its timbral results, from rough-hewn to silvery to robustly expressive — confirmed an invention that had been lacking for a stretch of time within the broader ensemble taking part in.

Sometimes, Tetzlaff appeared to toss off a line studying, showing none too studied, however in service of organising explosive precision. A little bit of that moment-to-moment interpretive sensibility within the surrounding orchestral materials may need proved equally thrilling.

Thankfully, after intermission, a larger nimbleness prevailed throughout Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra. Although it’s not as formally radical as different works on this Polish modernist’s catalog, Heyward and the orchestra discovered an ideal wealth of rambunctious materials to savor. The first motion’s folk-like melody had a singing high quality that contrasted properly with some moments of raging, post-Stravinsky exclamation. The gentler center motion had an air of transporting thriller. And the passacaglia of the third motion progressed with persuasive momentum.

The last work additionally dispelled a way I had that the Brahms may need been hobbled by the marginally chilly acoustic of the not too long ago renovated Geffen Hall. In the Lutoslawski, there have been some rounded, heat sounds that had been lacking throughout the suitable passages within the Brahms. But the orchestra remains to be getting used to its new dwelling, and Heyward remains to be getting used to this orchestra; with time, a program like this would possibly discover a higher tone.

And he can be again. After Saturday’s efficiency — which is adopted by a Nightcap program drawn up by Di Castri — Heyward can be absent from Geffen Hall solely till he leads the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra there in August.

New York Philharmonic

This program repeats by Saturday at David Geffen Hall, Manhattan; nyphil.org.

Content Source: www.nytimes.com


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