David Geffen Corridor is the star as Jaap van Zweden conducts the New York Philharmonic – Seen and Heard Worldwide

United StatesUnited States Debussy, Caroline Shaw, Florence Value: Roomful of Tooth (vocal ensemble), New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden (conductor), David Geffen Corridor, New York Metropolis, 23.10.2022. (SRT)

Jaap van Zweden conducts the New York Philharmonic © Chris Lee

Debussy – Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Caroline Shaw – Microfictions (US premiere)
Florence Value – Symphony No.4 in D minor

Nicely, it’s official. After sixty years of false begins, annoyed hopes and architectural missteps, the New York Philharmonic lastly has a everlasting house in Manhattan that’s worthy of them. This isn’t the place to retell the story of the ups and downs of their Lincoln Middle house: simply let me reduce a protracted story quick by saying that the rebuild of their David Geffen Corridor is a triumph.

The keynote of the brand new corridor is readability. You possibly can hear every thing within the sound, with a presence and focus that’s the hallmark of many new halls, however which right here sounds notably targeted. Listening to Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune on this setting made it sound like a distinct piece of music. Performed with conscientious magnificence by the NY Phil, Debussy’s rating remained gentle however under no circumstances languid. The winds and horns glowed gently, however the shimmer on the strings felt so current it was as when you might hear each individually articulated observe, not simply the diaphanous curtain of sound that it usually appears. You possibly can determine for your self whether or not that forensic precision fits a chunk just like the Prélude, however there was no query that it suited their encore, certainly one of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances that sounded so recent and clear that each crash, twinkle and swoosh was as brilliant as a button.

It says one thing concerning the NY Phil that they haven’t chosen to open the David Geffen with European repertoire staples, although a Beethoven 9 is coming quickly. As an alternative, the main focus of their opening concert events has been on American composers, largely newly written music that the orchestra has commissioned. Caroline Shaw’s Microfictions, for instance, is a part of a mission to commemorate the centenary of ladies gaining the fitting to vote within the USA. Shaw’s music, written for the orchestra and the eight singers of her personal sharply named group Roomful of Tooth, was impressed by a sequence of miniature tales put out on Twitter in the course of the pandemic, therefore the title. It’s a suite of 5 items, every of which is a miniature tone poem, and so they work very nicely as a set starting from the light opening to the pounding vitality of the conclusion. Shaw’s music for the orchestra is tonal, persuasive and really efficient, whereas her writing for the vocal ensemble ranges from consonant sweetness to unmusical vocalisations. Both approach, the pairing works very nicely, and sounded nice on this house, although it’s arduous to know the way far the corridor flatters it with its state-of-the-art amplification system for the voices.

Thanks primarily to the nice workplaces (and recording contract) of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the music of Florence Value is significantly better recognized now than it was even simply a few years again. I’ve by no means fairly been on board with the approval given to her Symphony No.3, however I discovered this efficiency of Symphony No.4 immediately interesting. There’s a beautiful sunniness to the sound, with an nearly cinematic sweep to the primary motion’s most important theme that has a John Williams-ish pleasure in a easy tune and directness of method. The symphony’s sluggish motion mirrors the contours of the Largo from Dvořák’s New World so exactly that it looks like a homage and, as within the Third Symphony, Value features a foot-tapping Juba dance because the third motion. Music Director Jaap van Zweden paid the piece the praise of taking it critically, and the intense sheen of the sound gave it a sure sense of movie-star glamour that helped the sound enormously.

David Geffen Corridor © Lincoln Middle

By the top of the night, nonetheless, I used to be starting to marvel if the brand new auditorium might make nearly something sound good. Make no mistake: the corridor is the star right here. The orchestra and its group appear lastly to have cured the jinx by constructing a corridor that feels relaxed and sounds nice, with readability and precision throughout each frequency. New Yorkers ought to be fairly happy with what they’ve on their arms.

Simon Thompson