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Alan Gilbert in the news

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"Alan Gilbert shows himself as 'American in Paris', shining with pithy, springy rhythms, especially in 'Iberia', the 'Fragments.'"

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"With a keen eye he observes the mixture of styles, the quotes and sounding set pieces of all possible worlds of life, from which the composer has assembled his own world of sound."

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"Right in the middle and central: Gilbert, as a mediator between notes and orchestra. His Mahler picture is not an exalted reflection of one's own sensitivities, but a close-up portrait."

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"The New Yorker will be the new NDR Chief Conductor in 2019. Now he gives his first concerts with his orchestra in the Elbphilharmonie."

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"So mellow and warm were the strings in the opening Allegro, so full-bodied the brass, Gilbert seemed almost to be showing off the orchestra. Similarly, in the finale, the objective seemed not only to make a bold statement but also to have fun with the orchestra's quick reflexes, its responsiveness to changes in dynamics, phrasing, and tempo."

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"Gilbert led a thoughtful if not particularly seductive account of Debussy’s overtly sensual ballet “Jeux.” Far more persuasive was Sibelius’s darkly brooding tone poem “En Saga,” given a wonderfully characterful performance to open the night. One Finnish writer called this music “as simple as a folk song, as gloomy as the forest primeval.” Gilbert shaped those long Sibelian paragraphs of orchestral sound with a lidded intensity, and the orchestra played superbly for him. In the tone poem’s final moments, William Hudgins held the entire hall with a lone, dusky clarinet solo. You could almost hear the icy wind blowing behind the notes."

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"For Gilbert, the greatness of human existence manifests itself above all in beauty. It is at the center of his efforts, not rebellion or pride, anger or triumph. As quickly as possible, he allows the strings to light up, to sparkle the wood, to make the sheet look prickly. What is dangerous, because such a musical attitude tends too quickly to clot and remain of Beethoven's symphonic mental building only the beautiful places, with creative murmurs in between. But the fact that this does not happen shows the creative and also the technical format of this great conductor."

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"For eight years, from 2009 to 2017, Alan Gilbert, born in 1967, was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic and one of the most important posts in the music industry. In 2019 he will become the boss of the most famous cultural property in Germany: at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. In between, he conducts the traditional performances of Beethoven's Ninth at the turn of the year on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Gewandhaus. Peter Korfmacher spoke with the American, who is a welcome guest at the Gewandhaus Orchestra."

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“In the first movement, “Prophecy,” Mr. Gilbert drew out all the cinematic colorings and weighty fervor of the music, which builds to bold, brassy climaxes, without ever letting it seem overblown.”

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"Gilbert's extraordinary reading reminds us that he directed the New York Philharmonic at the David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center. He knows what it means to paint al fresco, to breathe deeply, to sculpt a vast and voluminous sound, as the Orchester de Paris seldom produces ... but of which he is fully capable! Execution always in movement, with strong tectonic springs, where the geography of instrumental geysers is part of a constantly controlled whole."

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“Gilbert gives us a reading almost Brahmsian, powerful, penetrating, lucid. It shows an astonishing ability to maintain the balance between technical mastery - that of a great conductor attentive to the clarity of sound, rhythm, and the balance of the desks - and the other. commitment, which by its fever or abandonment breathes a warm breath, a life."

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Gilbert turned super-serious with a suave yet gutsy performance of Mahler's Seventh Symphony. Lasting nearly 90 minutes, it was ferocious one moment, dreamy the next, just as the composer prescribed.

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Once again this was a chance to hear the conductor’s great strength in holding the long view and seeing that everything supported it. His pace throughout was deliberate not lethargic, the music unfolding and putting itself together in front of the listener.

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Gilbert gave each of these events an intimate physicality: When the orchestra galloped, you could feel the heat rising from its haunches.

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Since Gilbert has been leading the Philharmonic, there has been a sense of rejuvenation as the orchestra is now playing with more energy and force than audiences had seen in years and that was demonstrated on the final performance of "Das Rhiengold."

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So nothing stands in the way of an extraordinary — indeed, flawless — young Anglo-American cast. Mr. Owens lends weary, granitic power, but the moral — that is to say, amoral — center is provided by Christopher Purves, who plays the bitter, grasping Alberich as chillingly human.

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...Mr. Gilbert has expanded the mind-set of the Philharmonic — the major legacy of his tenure. His artistic priorities now seem embedded in the orchestra’s identity. It must champion contemporary music. It must foster associations with living composers and maintain the composer-in-residence position...

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The orchestra played with an exceptionally warm sound and blend, with individual voices and statements floating above the textures. Gilbert's attention to phrasing and form added an elegance to the middle two movements. The trio in the scherzo and the cantabile section of the slow movement took notable shape and emphasis by emerging out of the cornucopia of ideas and reveries in the music.

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...the orchestra's luminous strings, pristine woodwind, vibrant brass and dashing percussion underpinned Gilbert's realisation of Mahler's complex and rewarding vision.

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The third movement of Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta was a revelation, conjuring up an image of walking through a graveyard at night as the skeletons below ground spring to life, before dying away again into nothingness.

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...there were many moments of magic, especially in the last two movements, welcome reminders of the orchestra's considerable form with this music.

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