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Philharmonic's All-Christopher Rouse Recording Nominated for Grammy Award

NY Philharmonic Christopher Rouse Grammy Award

Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic’s recording of music by former Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse, released in May 2016 on Dacapo, is a rousing success: it’s been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance!

The recording features Rouse’s Third and Fourth Symphonies (the Fourth was commissioned and premiered by the Philharmonic for the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL and called “skillful and mature … the best Rouse I’ve heard in 20 years” by Musical America), Odna Zhizn (commissioned and premiered by the Orchestra), and Prospero’s Rooms (commissioned and premiered by the Philharmonic, and dedicated to Alan Gilbert).

Buy the CD here, or check it out on Spotify and iTunes.

From the Inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL: Premiere of Rouse's Fourth Symphony

NY Philharmonic Rouse NY PHIL BIENNIAL

With the NY PHIL BIENNIAL 2016 in full swing, relive the inaugural edition with the newly released Dacapo recording of Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 4 (among other rousing Rouse works), which received its acclaimed World Premiere at the 2014 NY PHIL BIENNIAL. Musical America calls the Fourth Symphony “skillful and mature … the best Rouse I’ve heard in 20 years.”

Buy the CD here, or check it out on Spotify and iTunes.

Catch this year's biennial World Premiere with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic: William Bolcom's Trombone Concerto, with Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi as soloist, June 10.

Praise for Alan Gilbert and Philharmonic's Rouse Requiem at Carnegie Hall

Alan Gilbert NY Philharmonic Carnegie Hall 

"Spring for Music opened on Monday evening at Carnegie Hall with a powerful performance of Christopher Rouse’s Requiem by the New York Philharmonic and the Westminster Symphonic Choir, conducted by Alan Gilbert," The New York Times review began. "[I]t is hard to imagine Mr. Rouse’s work receiving a more rapt reception — or a more passionate performance..."

Superconductor's Paul J. Pelkonen wrote:

The Sanctus was a slow-building crescendo, started by the singers of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus in the first tier of the hall. Conducting with eyes in the back of his head, Mr. Gilbert divided his attention between this offstage force and the massive orchestra in front of him, adding elements of sound as the whole rose to a stupefying climax. ...

Alan Gilbert directed this flow of musical traffic, ensuring a smooth switching between these interacting blocks of sound, building one upon another like the alternating sections of a Bruckner chorale. The work came to a soft, redemptive close with a soft final statement of the Requiem theme. The applause that followed was another welcome, percussive roar of sound. 

Concerto.net said:

Conductor Alan Gilbert conducted this New York premiere with his usual aplomb, care and actual excitement. Without that excitement, in fact, the Rouse Requiem might have been a lament only for the dead, rather than the very living participants.

Listen to WQXR's archived audio stream.

(Photo: Chris Lee)

Spring for Music 'an Opportunity to Make a Statement,' Alan Gilbert Tells NYT

In a preview of Spring for Music, the festival that kicks off Monday at Carnegie Hall with a New York Philharmonic performance of Rouse's Requiem led by Alan Gilbert, The New York Times wrote: 

Philharmonic veterans could perhaps be excused for feeling a bit blasé about yet another appearance in Carnegie. But Mr. Gilbert, the music director, is having none of that.

“We’re very honored to be a part of Spring for Music,” he said, “fortunate to play in Carnegie Hall. It’s an opportunity to make a statement.”

Mr. Gilbert will finally take on Christopher Rouse’s Requiem, a big, long, difficult work and a project he has been toying with for several years. The orchestra will be joined by Jacques Imbrailo, a baritone; the Westminster Symphonic Choir; and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

“It is a massive undertaking,” Mr. Gilbert said, “emotionally, physically and logistically demanding. It is too much its own beast to be performed several nights in a subscription week.”

The work had its premiere in 2007, presented by Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Orchestra, and has not been performed since.

“Fun is not the word,” Mr. Gilbert said of the challenge. “It is vintage Chris,” he added, referring to Mr. Rouse, the Philharmonic’s composer in residence, whom he called “one of the real composers working these days.”

Mr. Rouse’s music, he added, “has true human dimension.”

Photos: Tour Concludes in Taiwan

The ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour came to a triumphant conclusion this week with a concert in Yokohama and two in Taipei. Joining Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic for brilliant concerto performances were new and longtime friends: jazz sensation Makoto Ozone; pianist Yefim Bronfman, the Philharmonic’s current Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence; and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, who will succeed him next season. After two weeks, ten concerts, six cities, and three countries, the Orchestra headed back to New York to resume performing for their hometown audience.

PHOTOS: Tokyo

The Philharmonic's week in Tokyo was packed with performances: a concert for families featuring Alan Gilbert narrating Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra in Japanese and the Orchestra playing music by 10- to 15-year-old composers from New York and Fukushima; concertos with jazz pianist Makoto Ozone, Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman, and violinist Lisa Batiashvili; and the Principal Woodwind Quintet in chamber music at the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy.

Alan Gilbert’s Tchaikovsky 5 ‘Bespoke and Modeled with Style’: N.Y. Times

Alan Gilbert 

Alan Gilbert made Tchaikovsky’s Fifth feel “bespoke and modeled with style,” The New York Times said of Thursday’s concert.

Critic Steve Smith added that Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2 “constantly seduces with its arresting instrumental textures and barreling energy. Mr. Bronfman’s electric presence ... cause[d] a hearty roar”; and Rouse’s Rapture “elicited positively glorious sounds from the orchestra.”

Smith noted how rare second or third hearings of major new works are, adding: "credit, then, goes to Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic, who have provided a chance to hear" the Lindberg concerto again.

The Financial Times' Martin Bernheimer echoed this: "Alan Gilbert, a maestro who plays by his own rules, apparently doesn’t care [that second performances are rare]."

Michael Cameron, in New York Classical Review, praised Gilbert's direction in the Tchaikovsky, "from the vigorous sweep and structural integrity of the opening movement to the hushed urgency and propulsive drive of the Scherzo. ... Gilbert received sustained warm and richly deserved applause from both audience and orchestra."​

Rhapsody Names Stucky/Rouse/Ives Recording One of Best of 2013

Stucky, Rouse, Ives 

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic’s recording Steven Stucky, Christopher Rouse, Ives is fourth on Rhapsody’s Top 25 Classical Albums of 2013.

“The New York Philharmonic’s live recording of Charles Ives’ Fourth Symphony still gives me chills,” wrote Seth Colter Walls. “This is one of the finest Ives recordings in recent memory.”

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