Review: New York Phil premieres John Adams’s “Scheherazade.2”

Posted on: March 30, 2015

In The New York Times on Friday (3/27), Anthony Tommasini reviews the New York Philharmonic’s world premiere performances of John Adams’s Scheherazade.2. Two years ago, he writes, Adams attended an exhibition about the Arabian Nights at the Arab World Institute in Paris, and “as Mr. Adams said in a brief discussion with conductor Gilbert at Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday night, he was ‘shocked and appalled’ by the ‘casual brutality’ toward women that is a given in the Arabian Nights. That exhibition was the impetus for Mr. Adams’s new work, Scheherazade.2, a dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra.… [Adams] described the brilliant violinist Leila Josefowicz, for whom he wrote this work in a commission from the Philharmonic, as the embodiment of his heroine as a fearless and empowered artist. Long an Adams champion, Ms. Josefowicz gave a dazzling and inspired performance, backed by the glittering, rhapsodic and supremely confident playing of the orchestra under Mr. Gilbert.” The program opened with Anatoly Lyadov’s tone poem The Enchanted Lake. Gilbert “then led an organic, insightful account Stravinsky’s Petrushka, a performance full of ideas. He had the piece sounding almost as radical as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.”

Posted March 30, 2015