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

Posted May 02, 2014

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.”