Concert Review: Philadelphia Orchestra premieres Walker concerto

Posted on: December 14, 2009

In Saturday’s (12/12) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes, “The powerful romanticism that comes with late-period works was unavoidable at the world premiere of George Walker’s Violin Concerto Thursday by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Though written two years ago, the concerto was unveiled as the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, long associated with Philadelphia in many capacities, looks forward to his 88th birthday.” Neemi Järvi conducted and Walker’s son Gregory served as soloist. The third movement, writes Stearns, was “full of intermingling incidents—a fugue, repeated, enigmatic knocks at the door—that spoke to intriguing programmatic undercurrents. The ending had no bromides: The muscular chords kept threatening to reach some conventionally tonal conclusion but never did. Did this train of musical thought simply defy conclusion? Or was there a bitterness that couldn’t, in all creative honesty, be resolved?” Also on the program was a Henk de Vlieger-arranged suite of music from Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Posted December 14, 2009