2010 Repertoire Report- Alan Gilbert

Well, just when we thought Repertoire Report season was winding down, Anthony from New York took the initiative to get one last report in under the wire, for recently appointed New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert. Thanks, Anthony.

When Anthony emailed me, the first thing I did was look at the list of programs on his website. It’s a truly punishing schedule, and I can’t really believe that he managed such a range of work with just 89 pieces.

Of course, as with Bychkov, the secret is in repeating some central pieces a lot. Alan may have set the all-time record for most performances of Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphasis in a single year in 2010. I think that’s very cool. Still, if you’re going to learn 3 hour Ligeti operas and the nearly-complete works of Varese, you can’t be doing a different Hindemith work every week.

I was particularly impressed by the fact that Alan did Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande on children’s and family concerts- I doubt anyone else has had the guts to do that before. I’m glad he’s waving the flag for P&M- it’s a great, great piece. Also, it was a wonderful idea for him to include works by “very young composers” on his young people’s concerts with the Philharmonic. That’s both a great way to reach out to youngsters in the audience, who can see a possible connection between their own creativity and the orchestra, and a life changing opportunity for the young composers themselves.

Alan is the only conductor besides me in 2010 who has any work as a player on his rep list in 2010. Props to him for playing the Brahms 2nd Sextet with colleagues from the NYP over the summer. When I spoke with him at the 2000 Aspen American Academy of Conducting, he said that giving up playing was the great regret of his career. I think it takes great courage and humility for any conductor to play chamber music with his or her colleagues in the orchestra, and working up your chops to NYP stadards is a big time commitment, especially for one piece. Props to Maestro Gilbert.

Props also for doing most of the music of Varese in one concert. He also had one of the best programs I’ve seen this year- Sibelius 7 and Das Lied von der Erde. That works on many levels!

He’s also the only conductor so far whose repertoire actually spans from “Adams to Zemlinsky.” Why not stretch all the way to Zwilch?

1. John Adams: Harmonielehre
2. Adams: The Wound-Dresser
3. Julian Anderson: Comedy of Change(U.S. Premiere)
4. Beethoven: Egmont Overture
5. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1
6. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
7. Beethoven: “Die Weihe des Hauses,” Overture for Orchestra, Op. 124
8. Beethoven: Triple Concerto
9. Beethoven: Missa solemnis
10. Beethoven: Violin Concerto
11. Berg: Three Orchestral Pieces
12. Adam Bernstein: Changing Scenes
13. Brahms: String Sextet No. 2 (as violist)
14. Brahms: Violin Concerto
15. Brahms: Symphony No. 2
16. Brahms: Symphony No. 4
17. Chopin: Piano Concerto TBA
18. Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
19. Debussy: Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun
20. Isaac Draper: Angel’s Landing
21. Amina Durakovic: Relative…
22. Henri Dutilleux: Métaboles
23. Ethan D’Ver: Brooklyn-Bound F Train
24. Stella Fiorenzoli: The Sixty-Sixth Center
25. Grisey: Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil
26. HK Gruber: Aerial
27. Haydn: Symphony No. 49, “La Passione”
28. Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber
29. Noah Jimenez: Caleb
30. Ligeti: Atmospheres
31. Ligeti: Le Grand Macabre, opera in four acts
32. Lindberg: Al largo (World Premiere)
33. Magnus Lindberg: Souvenir (in memoriam Gérard Grisey) (World Premiere)
34. Lindberg: Clarinet Concerto (U.S. Premiere)
35. Magnus Lindberg: Kraft
36. Lindberg: EXPO
37. Lindberg: Arena
38. Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
39. Mahler: Symphony No. 6
40. Wynton Marsalis: Swing Symphony (Symphony No. 3
41. James Matheson: True South (World Premiere)
42. Mendelssohn: Elijah
43. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23
44. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
45. Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Winds
46. Mozart: Symphony No. 25
47. Mozart: Symphony No. 38, “Prague”
48. Mozart: Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”
49. Muhly: Detailed Instructions
50. Nielsen: Symphony No. 2, “The Four Temperaments”
51. Elmir Nikocevic: Lost in the Forest
52. Michael Parsons: The Plain of Six Glaciers
53. Pintscher: songs from Solomon’s garden
54. Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2
55. Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2
56. Ravel: Boléro
57. Rouse: Zhizn (World Premiere)
58. Brooke Samerson: Manifest Destiny
59. Schoenberg: Pelleas und Melisande
60. Schoenberg: Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16
61. Schubert: Symphony in B minor, “Unfinished”
62. Schumann: Symphony No. 2
63. Shepherd: These Particular Circumstances
64. Sibelius: Valse triste
65. Sibelius: Violin Concerto
66. Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
67. Sibelius: Symphony No. 7
68. Smith: The Star Spangled Banner
69. R. Strauss: Don Juan
70. Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947)
71. Tchaikovsky: Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
72. Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, selections
73. Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra
74. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
75. Varèse: Ionisation
76. Varèse: Octandre
77. Varèse: Tuning Up
78. Varèse: Arcana
79. Varèse: Nocturnal
80. Vivaldi: Concerto for Four Violins, Op. 3, No. 10
81. Varèse: Amériques (1929)
82. Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
83. Wagner: Overture to Rienzi
84. R. Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
85. Webern: Passacaglia, Op. 1
86. Webern: Symphony, Op. 21
87. Webern: Im Sommerwind
88. Jay Alan Yim: neverthesamerivertwice(World Premiere)
89. Zemlinsky: Six Songs After Poems by Maurice Maeterlinck, op. 13

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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