If the ambitious programme is any indication, he plans to make it count. For the first date on 31 Mar, Gilbert will lead the orchestra in two very distinct pieces. First comes Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste (1936), among the most accessible works by the great Hungarian modernist. It will be followed by Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (1899-1900), outwardly one of the Austrian’s gentle works. Built around a single song, its fourth movement will feature the talents of mezzo-soprano Christina Landshamer.
The second concert, on 1 Apr, continues this sense of playfulness. The first half couples excerpts from Beethoven’s String Quartets with John Adams’ Absolute Jest (2012). Based on scherzos by his illustrious predecessor, it seeks to capture Beethoven’s ecstatic power. Afterwards, the orchestra will play one of the ultimate thrills of the romantic repertoire, Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique (1830). Over five movements, it moves from bucolic pastoral to witch’s Sabbath.
The residency concludes the next day with a completely contemporary line-up. Two John Adams classics – Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986) and Harmonielehre (1985) – will sandwich a new commission from Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonia chief conductor. His Cello Concerto will be led by no less a cellist than Yo-Yo Ma, who in 2015 enchanted the Royal Albert Hall with solo Bach. Matched with the New York Phil and Gilbert, this should be an unmissable finale.
Tickets for the Barbican Centre’s 2016-17 season open to the general public at 10am on 10 Feb. Members booking opens at the same time on 3 Feb, while Members Plus can purchase from 1 Feb.
|What||New York Philharmonic Residency, Barbican Centre|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
On 31 Mar 17, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
On 01 Apr 17, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
On 02 Apr 17, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican website|