Concert Review by Brenda Repland
Adnan Khalil
Publish Date: 14 Jan 2017

Alhawadeth Media

Wynton Marsalis/ The Jungle

     Review by Brenda Repland


This week the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis joined the New York Philharmonic in a program featuring Copland, Bolcom and the world premiere of Mr. Marsalis’s “The Jungle.”  This piece was one of the New York Commissions for the Orchestra’s 175th anniversary.


The evening began with Quiet City by Aaron Copland. Both Grace Shryock on English Horn and Christopher Martin on Trumpet were outstanding in their solos.


Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone, then performed William’s Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto.  His command was excellent as was Carter Brey’s cello solo.  The movement entitled “Blues” sounded just like ice cycles. 


Given the current social volatility, The Jungle (Symphony No. 4) was certainly timely in its theme of social and racial inequality, tribal prejudices and endemic corruption.  With the framework of New York City, each movement is titled for its focus.  “The Big Show” with a ragtime syncopation and strong saxophones depicts a city of fluctuating energies and the immigrant’s transition.  “Lost In Sight,” is a picture of those who have become invisible:  the homeless, downtrodden, etc.  We hear city sounds including sirens and what emulated a chain gang.  (The horns were especially captivating here.)  “La Esquina,” (the corner) touches on the Afro-Latin culture.  “Us,” looks at the evening atmosphere in the city with dreamy, bluesy rhythms, outstanding saxophones and clarinets and, of course, trumpet (by Mr. Marsalis).


“Struggle in the Digital Market” with drums and squawking horns announces the ominous cost of living for profit alone.  The composer’s comments ask “Will we seek and find a more equitable long-term solution . . . or perish?”  The piece ends with a crashing climax.




Stephen Hough/ Beethoven & Brahms Symphony No. 3


Review by Brenda Repland


Conductor Alan Gilbert opened Thursday evening’s performance with kind words about the late Carl R. Schiebler, Orchestra Personnel Manager, who passed away in December.  On behalf of the entire orchestra, he dedicated the performance to Mr. Schiebler’s memory.


British-born classical pianist, composer and writer, Stephen Hough, joined the Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor.”  (It must be noted that what came to be the title of this, Beethoven’s last concerto, happened by fluke and was NOT one of which the composer would have approved.)


Mr. Hough launched the piece with a robust energy, symbolic of  Beethoven.  From the very familiar opening measures, the audience was captivated.  The bassoons and French horns added to a rousing momentum.  One of the most thrilling passages of the First Movement came when the strings responded to the piano for several measures.  In the Third Movement, the piano seemed to be floating over the orchestra until the return of the opening refrain. Special kudos to the timpanist who had quite a workout.



After intermission, the orchestra presented Brahms Symphony No. 3.  The bassoons and French horns provided more than enough excitement throughout.  The Third Movement is always a fan favorite, and this performance was no exception.  

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