The New York Philharmonic play 2001: A Space Odyssey
So begins the fifth year of Alan Gilbert’s quest to make the New York Philharmonic the very model of a modern symphony orchestra: a concert in which the music director spent the vast majority of this time seated stock still; in which the luckier of the musicians spent most of their hours looking up at a big screen; and in which the audience spent most of their evening entranced by visuals and jump cuts rather than focused on dissonance and sonata form. Only a single composition was played through from beginning to end, and that lasted a notch or two less than ten minutes. And yet the buzz in the marble halls of Avery Fisher Hall was as tangible as it has been in some time, the crowd was younger and more eclectically dressed than ever before, and the reaction after three hours of 2001: A Space Odyssey went well beyond ecstatic.
Read the rest of my first review of the season at Bachtrack here.