Review: A Conductor’s Exciting Return to the completely new York Philharmonic

In Debussy’s “La Mer,” you can almost hear the heaving sea speckled with dawn sunlight, the dancing waves, the gusty winds.

in which’s certainly the painterly, descriptive way audiences are often encouraged to think of This specific repertory staple. although on Thursday at David Geffen Hall, the Finnish conductor Susanna Malkki led the completely new York Philharmonic in a performance of the work in which was so urgent, detailed in addition to exciting in which I forgot all about cresting sea in addition to splashing waves. I was, instead, engrossed by the way Ms. Malkki brought out the colors, intricacies in addition to radicalism of “La Mer” (1905), which came across as Debussy’s idea for an alternative kind of 20th-century symphony.

Ms. Malkki, producing her return to the Philharmonic after a belated debut in 2015, certainly drew out the atmospheric sonorities inside subdued music the opens the piece, with the softly rumbling timpani, flecks of harp, heaving low strings in addition to woodwind lines in which seem to peek through the mist. although I was more struck by the unusual clarity of the textures, the careful voicing of chords to highlight pungent harmonies. inside final movement, Ms. Malkki deftly balanced the music’s tumultuous frenzy with symphonic majesty, driving headlong to the brassy climax without a trace of cinematic excess.

She preceded “La Mer” with the completely new York concert premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “Helix,” by 2005, which the composer has described as a nine-minute accelerando. The music starts tentatively, with halting chords, eerie blips in addition to a strange, tolling bass riff. Moment by moment, This specific dark music gains intensity in addition to volume, as jerky rhythms break out in addition to fragments try to coalesce into phrases. the idea hurtles to a dizzying, blazing final stretch, played to the hilt here.

The concert began that has a vanishingly rare sight at the Philharmonic: two women appearing together as concerto soloist in addition to conductor. The brilliant Latvian violinist Baiba Skride gave a magnificent account of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Her distinctive sound — full-bodied in addition to sumptuous although never forced — ideally suited the passages of melting lyricism in addition to nobility. She brought tender grace to the rueful slow movement. in addition to, with the alert Ms. Malkki there to keep the orchestra right with her, Ms. Skride tore through the breathless finale with impetuous energy in addition to impressive precision.

This specific season Ms. Malkki began her tenure as principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. If only she had in which post here in completely new York.

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