"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.
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.
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(Photo: Chris Lee)