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."