Concert Review: Brooklyn Philharmonic’s portrait of its borough

Posted on: March 28, 2012

In Tuesday’s (3/27) New York Times, Steve Smith writes, “From the start of [Alan] Pierson’s tenure as the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s artistic director last year, this financially struggling but resilient organization has tried to re-evaluate what constitutes an orchestral concert and to integrate itself more closely into the borough’s disparate neighborhoods. ‘Brooklyn Village,’ jointly mounted with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Roulette, is not only the orchestra’s most ambitious step toward those goals, but also its most visionary undertaking in recent memory. Conceived by Mr. Pierson and the librettist Royce Vavrek, directed by Ted Sperling and produced with Beth Morrison Projects, the concert incorporated dialogue, choreography, projected images and audience participation, all of it prompted by the notion of Brooklyn as a living community. … Works came in a near-seamless flow, melded with recitations and ambient-sound transitions, and accompanied with photographs and paintings. The winsome melodies and sophisticated harmonies of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s ‘Here,’ performed by an unaccompanied Brooklyn Youth Chorus, led to the moody Prelude from Copland’s Symphony No. 1. Matthew Mehlan’s ‘Canvas,’ a quirky melting pot of avant-garde gestures, doo-wop and Broadway belting … prefaced a breezy excerpt from Sufjan Stevens’s ‘BQE.’ ” The review also discusses the premiere of David T. Little’s “Am I Born,” “an elaborate, multimovement cantata … Mr. Little demonstrated a thrilling authority in writing for larger forces, mixing orchestral movements of cinematic sweep and urgency with rich a cappella choral passages.”

Posted March 28, 2012