Michael Tilson Thomas earns an intermissionNews
The conductor, 76, returned to the podium Thursdy night after the removal of a brain tumour. He set the New York Philharmonic a testing programme and asked for no concessions – except one.
… Although the Philharmonic has been performing lately without intermissions, Tilson Thomas was understandably granted one before tackling the “Eroica.” It wasn’t long after the two opening chords rang out that one sensed that this performance was going to be about fierce energy channeled through precise rhythm, to exhilarating effect.
But one first had to get through a first movement that backslid in places. Conducting the opening pages with sweeping gestures, he let the pervasive long-short rhythm go out of focus at times, robbing the music of momentum. But other sections sparkled, and the brief fugato on the main theme never sounded wittier.
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photo: NYPO/Chris Lee