In Monday’s (4/19) New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer writes, “The New York Philharmonic’s sold-out concert in its new-music series ‘Contact!’ at Symphony Space on Friday evening had an air of excitement and a refreshing informality. Alan Gilbert inaugurated the admirable series this season, his first as music director of the Philharmonic. … Mr. Gilbert conducted a chamber orchestra in three premieres, each prefaced by a lively onstage discussion between the composer and the WNYC radio host John Schaefer. The concert opened with ‘These Particular Circumstances,’ by Sean Shepherd, a 30-year-old bassoonist and composer from a family of Nevada ranchers. … In Nico Muhly’s arresting ‘Detailed Instructions’ he eliminates the violins and doubles up on violas and cellos. During the preperformance chat Mr. Muhly, a 28-year-old American, described some of his more unusual musical directives, like asking the flute to play with a ‘dusky vibrato.’ … Matthias Pintscher’s ‘Songs from Solomon’s garden,’ for baritone and chamber orchestra, came after intermission, with the baritone Thomas Hampson, the Philharmonic’s resident artist this season, as soloist.”

Posted April 19, 2010