Conductor: Alan Gilbert
Violin: Lisa Batiashvili
Hector Berlioz, Le Corsaire Overture (1844)
Marc Neikrug, Concerto for Orchestra (World Premiere)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216, Strassburg (1775)
Claude Debussy, La Mer (1905)
When Alan Gilbert was at Vail with the Philharmonic a couple of summers ago, and Marc Neikrug was Composer in Residence at the Vail Music Festival, they began to discuss the possibility of a commission. The composer thought possibly a wind concerto, but Alan Gilbert said that’s not what he had in mind; he wanted something “with more flash”…something a little more “sparkly.” Neikrug suggested that a concerto for orchestra might fill the bill. Traditional concertos for orchestra (by Bartók, Lutoslawski, for example) tend to highlight sections of the orchestra as virtuoso entities, but rarely pick out individual instruments or players, the way a solo concerto would. By contrast, the present work will build the concerto from multiple layers to show off the Philharmonic: the brilliance of the entire orchestra playing together; sections of the orchestra (e.g., strings, winds, percussion); smaller groups of musicians (a trio of strings, for example); as well as individual players.The concerto turned out to be a rather serious piece with a percussive opening in the first movement, followed by a scherzo with winds sounding vaguely like Stravinsky, and then an adagio for strings, evoking Mahler. The finale was quite grand and impressive and involved the entire orchestra.