Review: New York Youth Symphony takes on a premiere—and Mahler 2

Posted on: June 2, 2016

The first half of the program “the New York Youth Symphony presented at Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon … consisted of the world premiere of a 10-minute work specially commissioned from an emerging composer,” Brendan Faegre’s Collective, writes Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in Tuesday’s (5/31) New York Times. “After the intermission came Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony.… Which offered the more valuable experience for the orchestra’s teenage and college-age members? Sure, educational programs like this offer an opportunity for young players to cut their teeth on canonic masterworks under the direction of a maestro of stature—here the New York Philharmonic’s assistant conductor, Joshua Gersen…. But just as important … is the opportunity to take part in the creation of new music.” In Faegre’s “darkly exhilarating” Collective, “cellists and bassists played on instruments tricked out with crumpled paper scrunched around the bridge, which lent a snarling buzz to the bottom of the orchestral texture.… Some of the orchestra’s strengths—its voluptuous and flexible string sound, the first-rate horn section led by Todd Leighton—only truly came to the fore in the Mahler.… [For] each [musician] the experience of being part of something larger than themselves—much, much larger—must have been ecstatic.”

Posted June 2, 2016