Review Roundup: Bernstein's Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival at New York Philharmonic
Bernstein's Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival was performed on Thursday, November 9 and Saturday, November 11. It will be performed again on Tuesday, November 14.
Leonard Slatkin leads the Philharmonic in the finale of our Bernstein festival. Oscar winner Jeremy Irons is the speaker in the powerful Kaddish Symphony, evoking the Jewish prayer of mourning and encompassing paeans to God, a confrontation between man and God, and a plea for peace. Strauss's witty vignettes plunge us into the delightful flights of fancy of the bumbling knight-errant Don Quixote.
The program is conducted by Leonard Slatkin. The artists include Cynthia Phelps on the viola, Carter Brey on the cello, and Jeremy Irons as speaker along with soprano Tamara Wilson, The Concert Chorale of New York, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The program includes R. Strauss's Don Quixote and Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times: Yet the work exudes a theatricality that is all Bernstein. Of course, that's the very quality some people have objected to. Not me, especially after this powerful performance. This program concludes Bernstein's Philharmonic, a series celebrating the centennial of the orchestra's still-beloved one time music director. The evening began with a glittering account of Strauss's tone poem "Don Quixote": The Philharmonic's Carter Brey played the extensive cello solo magnificently, and Cynthia Phelps excelled in the solo viola passages.
George Grella, New York Classical Review: Cynthia Phelps as Sancho Panza, playing from her first chair position. She stood out in tone and execution from the rest of her section. Brey was excellent, for a long time the only orchestral voice moving forward with a clear sense of direction and purpose... The playing in Symphony No. 3, in the second half, was exactly what one should expect every night from this orchestra: muscular, springy, precise.
Photo: Chris Lee