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There will be no late seating for this performance. Please allow enough time to arrive at the hall so that you are seated on time.
Emanuel Ax Plays Mozart and Alan Gilbert Conducts Bruckner
This concert is now past.
Location: Avery Fisher Hall  (Directions)
Price Range: $41.00 - $139.00
 
Wed, Apr, 24, 2013
7:30 PM
 
Thu, Apr, 25, 2013
7:30 PM
 
Sat, Apr, 27, 2013
8:00 PM
Emanuel Ax

Program

  (Click the red play button to listen)
Piano Concerto No. 25
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503 (1786)


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's star was in decline when he was writing his 25th piano concerto. He had moved to the imperial city of Vienna in 1781 to make his fortune in the world's music capital, and had indeed been successful for a time. But interest in his works and concerts would soon wane (with the notable exception of continued acclaim for his operas). In an effort to raise money, he composed this 25th concerto in 1786 for a series of Advent concerts (though they apparently never took place). It was the last of twelve concertos he had written for his own use over an amazing three-year span of creativity. It was finally premiered in 1787. But with the exception of a performance in the mid-1930s by the eminent pianist Artur Schnabel and the Vienna Philharmonic, it lay essentially neglected for a century and a half until after World War II, when it entered the regular concert repertoire. Today it is appreciated for the masterpiece it is. In his commentary on Mozart's piano concertos the renowned music authority, H. C. Robbins Landon, was high in praise of K. 503, calling it "the grandest, most difficult and most symphonic of them all." It is a creation of stately proportions and classic elegance, with the accompanying orchestra, enhanced by trumpets and timpani, playing a greater role than in Mozart's earlier composition in the genre. Restrained nobility characterizes the opening movement, which then gives way to a certain calm in the lyrical Andante. Charles Rosen in his book The Classical Style refers to its "beautiful combination of simplicity and lavish decoration (with a great variety and contrast of rhythms)." The finale shifts between major and minor modes, passion and songful passages, tenderness and majesty — a satisfying way to end this splendid concerto.
Symphony No. 3 in D Minor
ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 3 in D Minor, "Wagner" (1873, plus many revisions)

In 1873, in hopes of finding a champion, the timid but determined Anton Bruckner showed up on the Bayreuth doorstep of his idol, composer Richard Wagner, and asked whether he might dedicate a symphony to him, and offering a choice between his Second and the as-yet-unfinished Third symphonies. Not known for his humility, Wagner selected the Third, which included quotations from his operas, Die Walküre and Tristan und Isolde, and which Bruckner therefore dubbed "Wagner Symphony." That dedication plunged the shy and not-worldly-wise Bruckner into the middle of the poisonous musical wars in full force in Vienna between the "avant-garde," pro-Wagner faction and the more traditional classical, pro-Brahms faction. And it meant that Bruckner would be asking for a scathing review from the influential, mean-spirited, pro-Brahms music critic, Eduard Hanslick. Bruckner hoped that the Vienna Philharmonic would schedule a performance of the Third Symphony, but they were understandably skeptical about its audience appeal without Hanslick's imprimatur. Bruckner revised and shortened the work and deleted the Wagner references, and was finally able to premiere it himself in 1877. Still, it was a failure. The Third Symphony exists in no fewer than nine versions, because Bruckner was all too ready to accept the tinkering of others who thought they could improve on the composer's works. After a variety of false starts and changes of minds, Hans Richter conducted the 1890 performance that garnered Bruckner 12 curtain calls. It is usually the 1889 version of the Symphony No. 3 that is performed today. The epic sweep and rich brass sonorities unfolding in all their majesty — hallmarks of Bruckner's unique sound — make the Third Symphony an exhilarating sonic experience.

Artists

Alan Gilbert

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of pride for the city and country. “He is building a legacy that matters and is helping to change the template for what an American orchestra can be,” The New York Times praised.

Mr. Gilbert and the Philharmonic have forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, held in the 2013–14 season by Christopher Rouse and pianist Yefim Bronfman, respectively; an annual festival, which this season is The Beethoven Piano Concertos; CONTACT!, the new-music series, extending its reach this season with more concerts in new venues across the city; and, beginning in the spring of 2014, the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers.

In the 2013–14 season Alan Gilbert conducts Mozart’s three final symphonies; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey as the film is screened, as part of THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic; the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Frieze coupled with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; world premieres; an all-Britten program celebrating the composer’s centennial; and a staged production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. He also continues The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012. The Music Director will preside over the ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour, with stops including Tokyo and Seoul, featuring Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman performing Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse’s Rapture, and Alan Gilbert narrating Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra in Japanese at a Young People’s Concert in Tokyo.

Last season’s highlights included Bach’s B-minor Mass and Ives’s Fourth Symphony, and, during the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour, participating in the Vienna Konzerthaus’s centennial and performing Lindberg’s Kraft and Rouse’s Prospero’s Rooms at the Volkswagen Transparent Factory. The season concluded with A Dancer’s Dream, a multidisciplinary reimagining of Stravinsky’s The Fairy’s Kiss and Petrushka, created by Giants Are Small and starring New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns.

High points of Mr. Gilbert’s first three Philharmonic seasons included the critically celebrated productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) and Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen (2011) — both cited as the top cultural events of their respective years — and Philharmonic 360 (2012), the acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen.  Other highlights include World Premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and composers featured on CONTACT!; Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, on A Concert for New York on September 10; Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic debut as violin soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins; five concerts at Carnegie Hall; five tours to Europe; and the Asia Horizons tour.

In September 2011 Alan Gilbert became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he is also the first holder of Juilliard’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic. His 2013–14 season engagements include appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Juilliard Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Munich Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de Lyon.

Alan Gilbert made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; the DVD and Blu-ray of this production received the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. Earlier releases garnered Grammy Award nominations and top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine.

Mr. Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard and was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra (1995–97). In May 2010 he received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Curtis, and in December 2011 he received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Visit Alan Gilbert's Official Website

Emanuel Ax

Internationally renowned pianist Emanuel Ax began his 2013–14 season with appearances at the Barbican Centre; with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink, at Avery Fisher Hall; and collaborations with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Mariss Jansons, in Amsterdam, Bucharest, China, and Japan, as part of that orchestra’s world-wide centenary celebrations. The second half of the season sees the realization of a project that includes performances of works by Brahms along with new pieces from composers Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Brett Dean, and Anders Hillborg, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances Berkeley, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall, and featuring appearances by mezzo-soprano Anne-Sophie von Otter and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. At the conclusion of the season, Mr. Ax will travel to Hong Kong and Australia for a complete cycle of Beethoven concertos conducted by David Robertson in Sydney and with Sir Andrew Davis in Melbourne.

In conjunction with his role as the New York Philharmonic’s 2012–13 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, Sony Classical released his latest recital disc of works ranging from Haydn to Schumann to Copland, reflecting their different uses of the “variation” concept. In the spring of 2013 he joined the Orchestra on its European tour led by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Mr. Ax has been a Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987. His releases include Mendelssohn trios with cellist Yo-Yo- Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman; R. Strauss’s Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart; and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. In recent years Mr. Ax has premiered the music of 20th-century composers John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner. 

Born in Lvov, Poland, pianist Emanuel Ax studied at The Juilliard School, won a Young Concert Artists Award, and majored in French at Columbia University. In 1974 he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, followed by the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, and the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. 

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Concert Duration

2 hours

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Emanuel Ax is The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence

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