New York Philharmonic – Honeck and Thibaudet

honeckFeatured on this concert of the New York Philharmonic were works of Walter Braunfels, Edvard Grieg and Beethoven. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra music director Manfred Honeck led the Philharmonic in Braunfel’s Suite from Fantastic Apparitions on a Theme by Berlioz, Op. 25, Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 15 with Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92.

It was helpful to attend the pre-concert talk presented by Harvey Sachs, the Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic. I learned that Walter Braunfels was a German composer of the early 1900s who was “forgotten” around World War II because of his Jewish ancestry. The evening’s conductor, Manfred Honeck, along with other musicians, are committed to resurrecting the work of Braunfels in the 21st century. The Apparitions was a very Straussian sounding work with full orchestra. It was enjoyable, and I am definitely open to listening to more of his work.

The first half concluded with Grieg’s famous Piano Concerto. I was familiar with the first movement, but the second and third were not familiar to me. Thibaudet has a phenomenal technique and musical sense. He approaches his music with confidence and sensitivity. A pleasure to listen to and definitely worth seeking out recordings on iTunes.

The evening concluded with a rousing performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Honeck is a fun conductor to watch. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and clearly enjoys conducting. Another satisfying program and performance from the New York Philharmonic.

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