8:13PM – Concertmaster takes the stage, ensemble tunes . . . Gilbert takes a bow . . . and we’re off . . .
. . . Briefly clangorous opening gesture, followed by quiet little turns in the winds, like Lutoslawski’s ad lib music . . . music builds to some brief moments both of intensity and sonority . . . the music is quiet colorful, with a really expressive language and a commitment to dramatic gestures . . . keep thinking of Lutoslawski, a great and important master of making music with a chaotic aspect yet still in complete overall control of his materials and structures, and very fine example to emulate . . . now the instruments trade off a rapidly rising run, which turns into a quote from The Planets, a charming surprise . . . rapid, bright and lively . . . now there’s a slightly boozy quality to the music the strings (a quartet with bass) are playing, and I’m always in favor of that . . . fascinating orchestration here, trills, chattering and percussion, has a real physical quality, you can almost smell and taste it . . . dialogue between muted trumpet and cello in high register . . . music is now pensive, going effectively through a variety of emotional states, neither rushing nor lingering . . . the writing is imaginative and active while feeling organic, never arbitrary . . . first bit of post-Minimal language, interesting that it’s taken so long to appear in a piece by an American composer just over 30 . . . two fairly young people leaving, Philistines! . . . no, I didn’t shout . . . this part is making a deliberate, fanfare like statement, feels like a coda . . . good call on that coda, if I may say so. Generous and deserved applause, very well-crafted piece, really holds the attention. Nice to hear this kind of contemporary neo-Romanticism. Playing by the Philharmonic ensemble seemed totally sharp, confident and controlled.