Review: NY premiere of Adolphe work by Van Zweden and the NY Phil

Posted on: November 22, 2016

“Jaap van Zweden, a Dutch maestro with a silhouette like a hip flask and a musketeer’s way with a baton, is making his first appearances with the New York Philharmonic since he was chosen to succeed Alan Gilbert as music director,” writes Justin Davidson in Friday’s (11/18) New York magazine. “He won’t officially take the post for nearly two years, but his high-speed performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony suggested he would love to hurry that date along … the New York premiere of Julia Adolphe’s viola concerto Unearth, Release also proved that he’s no slouch with a glimmering pianissimo or a complex new score…. Adolphe, who at 28 qualifies as a bona fide phenom, has written a concerto … for Cynthia Phelps, the orchestra’s stupendous section leader.… It’s the final movement that lingers longest in the mind, the viola curling softly on a vaporous pillow of strings. I did not know while I was hearing that passage that Adolphe had subtitled it ‘Embracing Mist,’ but I didn’t need to: The score conjures the image with wondrous precision.” Unearth, Release was jointly commissioned by the Philharmonic and the League of American Orchestras as part of a League program for female composers supported by the Virginia Toulmin Foundation. Click here to read a first-person article by Adolphe in Symphony magazine.

Posted November 22, 2016