Lucky for Philadelphia Orchestra guest conductors they don't know what's come before them. Gianandrea Noseda might have hesitated to program Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 had he known he would have to live up to the indelible imprint left on this piece by Simon Rattle three years back. But by the end of his Friday concert in his weekend-after-Thanksgiving series, Noseda performed the symphony with different-but-equal conceptual strengths.
Well-laid plans for any new music ensemble probably don't exist - it's a side effect of embracing the unknown - which means the Orchestra 2001's opening-season concert on Friday was extremely promising in ways that weren't superficially apparent amid peripheral problems.
Despite the odds, Orchestra 2001 has arrived at its 29th season, apparently thriving amid a previously impossible future. The new-music ensemble - a collective that could be anything from full orchestra to one person leading John Cage's 4'33" of silence - seemed inextricably bound to the retiring founder/director James Freeman. Yet an ambitious Orchestra 2001 program en
Just about the time the Philadelphia Orchestra was bidding farewell to "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" at the Kimmel Center, the Relache Ensemble was across the river at the Penn Museum on Sunday, giving ironic jazz accompaniment something more Satanic and hugely interesting: Three short Georges Méliès films made between 1903 and 1909, in which the pioneering French director plays the devil himself.
Reverberations of Rattle. If you didn't get a chance to hear Simon Rattle's recent Mahler in Philadelphia or at Carnegie Hall, pull up the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall and listen to his Mahler Symphony No. 7. The performance is captured with crystalline, close-up views of Rattle and the Philharmonic, and has a bonus interview in which Rattle discusses the work. www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/home
David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.