Critical acclaim confirms what everyone around here has seen, heard, and felt this past week: Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic are off to a bright start to the season.
Of last Thursday's concert, The New York Times' Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote:
"There were many moments during this first subscription concert, in which Alan Gilbert conducted works by Ravel, Bernstein and Tchaikovsky, when the musicians seemed to be having far too much fun to justify the word 'work.' For starters, Mr. Gilbert could not stop dancing. His conducting is always physically animated, but in Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances From West Side Story, the Latin rhythms took shape in expressive body movements that ranged from a quick forward snap of the shoulder and a slight twitch of the hips to the theatrical flamenco arm gesture with which he brought the Alborada to a close."
Tickets are still available for tonight's performance of that program.
Reviewing the Opening Gala, which took place last Wednesday, Sedgwick Clark wrote, in Musical America, that Mr. Gilbert and the Orchestra delivered "a smashing performance. ... The Philharmonic is in great shape these days." In New York Classical Review, Eric C. Simpson, describing Boléro, wrote that "Gilbert certainly deserves credit for drawing disciplined playing and vibrant tone out of his orchestra."
Noting the standing ovation the audience gave the Philharmonic and Yo-Yo Ma's performance Osvaldo Golijov's Azul, Simpson wrote, "New York audiences have a reputation for stodginess, but Gilbert has demonstrated repeatedly that compelling performances of admirable new music can be invigorating for both performers and listeners."