New World Symphony Takes Sail with New Video Commissions

Written By ArtBurst Team
December 18, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Every orchestra should enter triumphantly and take a bow at the beginning of each concert. Especially orchestras that sound as good as the New World Symphony did on their season opener October 5. Showing off their pristine sound, the orchestra began with Stravinsky’s Suite from Pulicinella, a ballet whose original costumes and sets were designed by none other than Picasso. This piece might as well be a concerto for orchestra, with the amount of solo work most of the instruments have to do throughout. A loud bravo goes to Alexander Kienle for making his horn sound like rose petals. After such an elegant opening, the fellows of the New World Symphony ceded a bit of attention to the Israeli filmmaker Tal Rosner, and accompanied the world premiere of his video based on Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes. This marks the first of four video commissions to be displayed on the New World Center concert hall’s acoustic sails throughout this season. The Four Interludes connect the different scenes of the opera, about a misanthrope suspected of having killed two apprentices. Rather than reflect the opera’s plot, however, vidographer Rosner represented each of the four cities whose orchestras co-commissioned the video: New World Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. “I chose to focus on overpasses and bridges, “ Rosner explains in the program notes, “which are in many ways interludes themselves, connecting between point A and Point B.” Rosner’s images at times showed cityscapes in a style reminiscent of James Bond films, at times almost like Fantasia. Keeping with the title and the mood, he lingered on images of the sea. Next came Gershwin’s “Rhumba,” as it was spelled on the program, conducted by Colombian conductor Andrés Lopera, a young emerging artist. Later renaming it Cuban Overture, Gershwin wrote Rumba after a vacation to Cuba, where he became fascinated by the island’s percussion instruments. Lopera took us on the same trip. Dancing as much as conducting, Lopera took the “H” right out of Rumba and had the audience dancing in our seats. For the next piece, the baton found its way back to Michael Tilson Thomas and the program ended with Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, played heroically by Yuja Wang. Wang wore a red dress so tight it made the old men in the front row turn off their pacemakers. However, after modern dance-like bow, she sat down and played with a silky tone and fabulous fingers. The way New World Symphony played throughout, it’s no wonder the orchestra members took their bow before the concert even started. The next world premiere video commission concert is entitle “Poetry in Motion”, and will feature a video installation by Netia Jones to accompany Castiglioni’s Inverno in-ver. The performance will take place at The New World Center on October 17, at 7:30pm. For more info and tickets go to

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