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The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs New & Classic Works at Carnegie Hall

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, photo by Chris Lee
A promising new season at Carnegie Hall reached an early high-point—on the evening of Tuesday, October 15th—with an magnificent concert featuring the superb musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra under the stellar direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The program began wonderfully with the New York premiere of the orchestration of Umoja, Anthem for Unity by the contemporary composer Valerie Coleman. Much of the melodious piece—which is characterized by fine orchestral writing—has a quintessentially American sound, as is typified by Antonin Dvorák’s New World Symphony or the mid-period works of Aaron Copland, for example. The author ascended the stage for generous applause.
Soloist Hélène Grimaud then joined the musicians for a marvelous account of Béla Bartók’s extraordinary Piano Concerto No. 3, one of his more accessible works. The opening Allegretto was enchantingly lyrical, while the ensuing Adagio religioso movement was more introspective, at least in its outer sections. The propulsive finale proved thrilling and the pianist also received an enthusiastic ovation.
The second half of the evening was devoted to a masterful reading of Richard Strauss’s expansive, mystical An Alpine Symphony—the conductor succeeded in eliciting the maximum of grandeur from this challenging masterwork. The artists again earned a standing ovation; their next appearance is eagerly awaited.

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