Review: New York Philharmonic premieres Andrew Norman work for piano and orchestra

Posted on: December 15, 2015

“Can the young American composer Andrew Norman keep this up?” writes Anthony Tommasini in Friday’s (12/11) New York Times. “I’m not just referring to the career roll he’s been on: This week the recording of Mr. Norman’s breathless orchestral work ‘Play’ was nominated for a Grammy Award in the contemporary classical composition category. I’m also wondering whether Mr. Norman can keep turning out pieces as audacious, exhilarating and, in a way, exhausting as ‘Split,’ a fantasy for piano and orchestra that had a spectacular premiere by the New York Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall on Thursday. Jeffrey Kahane, the dynamic pianist for whom the piece was written, was the soloist in this frenetic 25-minute work. The accomplished American conductor James Gaffigan (36, the same age as Mr. Norman) led the performance brilliantly, placing the piece intriguingly between Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony and Strauss’s ‘Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.’ … [Andrew Norman’s] music can seem like nonstop quick cuts from one idea to another.… But Mr. Norman brings to his work an acute ear for sonority, along with a sure feel for musical architecture. During every teeming, discombobulating moment of ‘Split,’ you sense a composer in control.”

Posted December 15, 2015