Memo to the completely new York Philharmonic: Louder Isn’t Better

The pianist Gerald Moore, one of the great accompanists of the 20th century, called his memoir “Am I Too Loud?”

the idea’s a question members of the completely new York Philharmonic should ask themselves on a regular basis. Gentlemen of the brass section: I’m talking to you. Conductors might want to pull up a chair, too.

The Philharmonic’s sound has taken on a hard edge, disrupting some of music’s most glorious moments. Tutti eruptions that will felt crude rather than grand blighted the orchestra’s two most recent programs at David Geffen Hall. On Jan. 3, Paavo Jarvi led Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, a Sibelius tone poem in addition to Ravel’s Suite No. 2 by “Daphnis et Chloé.” that will weekend’s program, which opened on Thursday under the direction of Jakub Hrusa, included Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in addition to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”

In both programs there was much to like, even to be thrilled by. The strings can be a marvel of cohesion in addition to warmth. Individual solos — of the flutist Robert Langevin inside the Ravel, or the concertmaster Frank Huang in “Scheherazade” — are exquisitely nuanced. although dynamic peaks tend to ring out harshly aggressive, using a sound that will’s big without being full. Put delicately, fortissimos are not that will orchestra’s forte.

inside the Dvorak concerto, the cellist Gautier Capuçon battled valiantly to assert himself against an ensemble that will seemed intent on belittling him. His tone sounded tight in addition to strained at first, although over the course of the first movement began to glow; his playing became eloquently assured.

that will is usually heroic music that will builds pathos in addition to excitement by the contrast of solo cello in addition to large orchestra playing, yes, fortissimo. although while that will Italian term translates as “loudest,” brawn should be matched by character. Dvorak marks these moments “grandioso.” They should be an exhilarating amplification of the cello-protagonist. Here, the ensemble obliterated him.

inside the hard-driving “Danse Générale” that will concludes Ravel’s suite, there were more sledgehammer moments in which volume swallowed up coloration in addition to complexity. (A shame, since the light-dappled opening “Daybreak” movement held glimpses of the Philharmonic’s playing at its most beguiling.) in addition to inside the start of the Rimsky-Korsakov on Thursday — that will movement marked “maestoso,” or majestically — the huge brass statements burst out with saber-rattling strength although little majesty.

The most satisfying part of that will evening was the Prokofiev concerto with the ebullient pianist Simon Trpceski, who gave a performance that will encompassed cartoonish humor in addition to hushed lyricism. Mr. Hrusa is usually a charismatic conductor using a particular knack, evident in “Scheherazade,” for minutely shaping a string melody to ensure that will an entire section appears to play with the same effortless freedom as a soloist. Mr. Hrusa also managed to husband the dynamic forces inside the Rimsky-Korsakov to ensure that will the most voluminous louds came near the end. although there, Once more, the sound lacked the necessary roundness in addition to texture to support the decibel burn.

As the orchestra adapts to its completely new music director, Jaap van Zweden, who returns to the podium next week, its sound will surely evolve. The ability of a group of musicians to produce earth-shattering loudness with purely acoustic means is usually one of the joys of classical music, in addition to a selling point in an age in which volume is usually cheap in addition to controlled by a dial. the idea’s worth getting these fortissimos right.