“I have seldom heard the score [to Mahler’s Symphony No. 1] played with more rhythmic vigor, incisive attack and surging energy, especially in the finale, in which Mr. Gilbert drew brassy, triumphant playing from the Philharmonic. The audience responded with an ardent standing ovation,” New York Times Senior Music Critic Anthony Tommasini wrote of Tuesday’s concert.
Tuesday’s was the first of four performances of Mahler’s First and Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto with Kari Kriikku (at left above) as soloist.
Chin’s “haunting” concerto received a “vivid, colorful and technically stunning account,” he added. “The concert was terrific.”
In the Financial Times, George Loomis wrote, of the finale of the Mahler:
"Gilbert unleashed its manic outbursts within a cogently organised framework. Earlier he found an apt balance between the work’s mysteries and its gentle expressions of lyricism, as in the first movement. ... the orchestra played brilliantly, from rich, chorale-like brass statements to the lone string bass’s shadowy statement of the “Frère Jacques” theme."
(Photo: Chris Lee)