Review: NY Phil Biennial wraps up for 2016

Posted on: June 22, 2016

“ ‘What composers do is, without exaggeration and without any shred of hyperbole, the most important thing that is happening in music at any given time.’ So said Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, at this year’s NY Phil Biennial, a sprawling three-week survey of new and recent music in the classical tradition,” writes Alex Ross in the June 27 issue of The New Yorker. “The most arresting of the world premières was Ashley Fure’s ‘Bound to the Bow,’ which appeared on a program by the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.” The final Biennial concert, with Gilbert and the Philharmonic, was “an all-out tour de force…. The first piece was Per Nørgård’s Eighth Symphony… [On] the second half of the concert … came a bow to Pierre Boulez, who died in January, in the form of his skittering ‘Messagesquisse,’ for seven cellos. Then came Steven Stucky’s Second Concerto for Orchestra, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize…. The work has the exuberance of the great American symphonies of the mid-twentieth century, its swaggering brass choirs and lunging string melodies well suited to the Philharmonic’s muscular sound. Gilbert conducted it as if it had been in the repertory for a hundred years.”

Posted June 22, 2016