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The NY Philharmonic in 2015

by Seth Colter Walls

The NY Philharmonic in 2015


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The orchestra-world rumor mill is currently working overtime on the question of who will take over conductor Alan Gilbert's podium at the New York Philharmonic when Gilbert's tenure is up in 2018. But in the meantime, it's worth noting that he has the orchestra sounding vibrant across a broad repertoire. This season's spate of live recordings shows off the orchestra's prowess in a variety of modern and contemporary pieces. To start, just listen to its well-wrought performances of works by up-and-coming composers Julia Adolphe ("Dark Sand, Sifting Light") and Andrew McManus ("Strobe").

When heard alongside recent takes on Mozart's Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola, Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin suite and Stravinsky's Petrushka — all of which are included in our attached playlist — it's easy to perceive that the next conductor of the Philharmonic will, at a minimum, be inheriting a stylistically flexible ensemble. And if the organization's next music director should turn out to be the composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen (whose recent piece "Nyx" makes our mix), Gilbert's successor will also be inheriting an orchestra that's deeply familiar with his own aesthetic.

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