In the November 29 issue of the Guardian (UK), author and music critic for The New Yorker Alex Ross cites Alan Gilbert’s efforts in performing modern repertoire, and poses the question: Are classical music audiences missing out by looking too much to its past?
Alan Gilbert, who took over as the New York Philharmonic’s music director last season, has had startling successes with such rowdy fare as Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Varèse’s Amériques, and, at the beginning of this season, Magnus Lindberg’s Kraft. Veteran observers were agog at the sight of Philharmonic subscribers cheering Lindberg’s piece, which contains hardly a trace of tonality and requires the use of discarded car parts as percussion. What made the difference was Gilbert’s gift for talking audiences through unfamiliar territory: in a mini-lecture, he mapped out the structure of the piece, demonstrated a few highlights, made jokes at his own expense, and generally gave people the idea that if they left early they’d be missing out.
This is a couple of months old, but it’s related to my previous post, so I’m reblogging it.