Overview: When the Philharmonic Applauds the Soloist

Overview: When the Philharmonic Applauds the Soloist

After the musicians of the New York Philharmonic completed Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto on Thursday evening, they did one thing they don’t often do: They applauded the soloist.

With a violinist on the order of Leonidas Kavakos, that response felt justified. He is a marvel. The music flowed out of him like a river — huge, glistening and unobstructed, but additionally tasteful in its frictionless subtleties.

Shostakovich, below the watch of Soviet authorities and delivered to heel at Stalin’s pleasure, accomplished the concerto in 1948 however, presumably fearing retribution for failing to glorify the nation and its individuals, shelved it till after Stalin’s demise in 1953. The work is constructed as a collection of actions. It opens with a personality piece, a murkily coloured Nocturne that lives within the Upside Down of Chopin’s genre-defining works for piano, and reaches a climax in a Baroque-derived Passacaglia, directly august and austere, that leads right into a fiendish five-minute cadenza for the soloist.

Playing from reminiscence, Kavakos cleared one hazard after one other in Shostakovich’s stupendously authentic rating. He didn’t simply spin legato strains within the looking, conversational Nocturne; he expounded total legato paragraphs in an eloquent, unbroken stream of consciousness. Shredding his manner by means of the Scherzo, his tone was poised, even lavish. Where some violinists convey a way of anguish in demanding passages — taking part in two melodies in duet or an limitless seesaw of double stops — he sounded easy. Even his harmonics had a juicy ping.

The orchestra, led by Gianandrea Noseda, light into the background. The gamers did not envelop Kavakos within the Nocturne’s glimmering, unsettling darkness. The Scherzo had no abandon, and the Burlesque’s funhouse-mirror distortions of the concerto’s once-noble themes had no derision. Noseda fitfully ratcheted up the depth of the Passacaglia with its implacable 17-bar sample. As vitality slacked, shy deference reigned.

Without interaction from the orchestra, Kavakos discovered stress in his personal taking part in. In the cadenza, he might have been a caged animal reacquainting itself with its personal majesty. His encore, taken from Bach’s Partita No. 1, was spellbinding.

It was arduous to think about how something might observe Kavakos’s efficiency, and maybe somebody on the Philharmonic felt the identical manner. After he left the stage, an announcement was made that the subsequent piece, George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 1, could be pushed to after intermission.

During the break, I questioned if the clear, vibrant acoustics of the Philharmonic’s new corridor have been partly guilty for the orchestra’s displaying within the Shostakovich. Each instrumental part sounded crisp, soloistic and unblended.

The Walker, an imaginative train in disparate timbres, dispelled these suspicions. The orchestra, from the pointed brasses to the curling woodwinds, discovered its approach to unanimity of utterance.

The last piece, Respighi’s “Roman Festivals,” gave the Philharmonic a possibility to show how far it has are available in calibrating its sound to the improved acoustics of its new auditorium. A composer of sunny bombast, Respighi offered the stirring finale for the ensemble’s first subscription program of the season in October with “Pines of Rome,” the second piece in his Roman trilogy. At the time, colours virtually bounced off the partitions within the full of life acoustic; climaxes, maybe overshot, took on a fuzzy high quality.

On Thursday, the orchestra confirmed off the readability of fortissimo passages, layering percussion, brass and strings in good-looking tiers. Corrosive brasses and heated strings enlivened the Respighi’s first motion, and gray-toned woodwinds, clear violins, and luxuriant cellos and basses coloured the second.

In one thing of a redo of Shostakovich’s Burlesque, “Roman Festivals” closes with a portrait of the antic, circuslike crowds of Piazza Navona in Rome. The Philharmonic’s gamers got here alive within the coordinated chaos. It was the sound of revelers falling right into a shared rhythm — and of an orchestra relearning the best way to play with itself.

New York Philharmonic

This program repeats by means of Saturday at David Geffen Hall, Manhattan; nyphil.org.

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