Mystery score

Mystery score

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Contrarian

The other major event during my absence was the appointment of Alan Gilbert as the next music director of the New York Philharmonic.

I almost wrote that there is rejoicing in the blogosphere over the appointment, but Alex's comments are more measured than rejoicing and Steve's are pleased and newsy.

I've heard Gilbert at San Francisco Symphony twice in the last few years. I reviewed one of those performances and blogged about the other.

I'll repost a general comment I made about Gilbert this past March:
The last time TSR and I saw Gilbert, the programming was similar: Adams's Naive and Sentimental Music plus Midori in a lax performance of the Beethoven violin concerto. It's a waste of Gilbert's talents. As I said, he is perfectly competent but not revelatory in Classical-era music, and a fine accompanist, but it's in contemporary and 20th century music that he shines.
I would cheer if the Philharmonic's programming were suddenly 90% contemporary and 20th century music, but it's not going to happen. Gilbert will still be conducting a high percentage of the core repertory of 18th and 19th century music. Admittedly, I have not heard him in very much of that repertory, but is "perfectly competent but not revelatory" good enough for someone succeeding Toscanini, Mengelberg, Bernstein?

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