30 September, 2018

Jaap Conrad Tao Bruckner

Review: Jaap and Conrad Tao

Sept 27, 2018, Geffen Hall
New York Philharmonic - Jaap - Conrad Tao
Tao - Bruckner

Jaap programs more or less the same things in HK and in NYC, and so this NYC Bruckner's 8th was preceded by last year's HKPO concert (which I did not attend). Pianist/Composer Conrad Tao had appeared before in HK. This night premiers his newest commission, a sort of appendage before the start of Bruckner's 8th (for details, see the NYT review).

Everything Must Go uses the same orchestra as Bruckner's, with a third harp (desired by Bruckner) and extra percussions. It is fine by itself, though I do not find it particularly relevant. It ends quietly as the Bruckner begins.

As in many other Jaap concerts, as well played and meticulously dissected and planned as the Bruckner 8th is, it lacks mystery and grandeur. The first two movements fare better. I find the slow movement singularly lacking in feeling and the finale has no apotheosis. The low brass is awesome, probably the best I have heard - indeed organ-like. But I have trouble with the coarse tone of the horns and Wagner tubas. I miss Philip Meyers and I think the horn section was much more musical under his leadership.

The audience went wild, but I was non-plussed.

No comments:

Post a Comment