Som første store, musikalske markering af Carl Nielses jubilæumsår i 2015 opførte New York Philharmonic og Alan Gilbert i sidste uge Nielsens klarinetkoncert med orkestrets nye soloklarinettist Anthony McGill i front. Koncerten blev live-indspillet til den fjerde og sidste udgivelse i The Nielsen Project, som udkommer til april og senere vil indgå i den samlede boks-version af Nielsen Project.
Blandt publikum i Avery Fisher Hall sad en håndfuld amerikanske kritikere, som var begejstrede over kombinationen af McGill og Nielsen:
"Mr. Gilbert, as he has demonstrated, is an inspired Nielsen conductor. In Mr. McGill he had an ideal collaborator. Coming to the Philharmonic after a decade as a principal with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Mr. McGill played with his trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character. That the ovation was so enthusiastic was no surprise." New York Times
"Anthony McGill, the new principal clarinettist in residence, stepped forward to project the inherent zigzags, tricky jolts and dreamy wisps with elegant ease. Sensitively supported by Gilbert and the orchestra, the soloist made every convoluted impulse seem properly perky, agreeably jerky and, yes, compulsively quirky." Financial Times
"McGill’s playing was marvelous. He showed a whimsical, rhapsodic wit, and was able to paint in numerous hues, evoking both intimacy and distance. Nowhere was this more evident than in the cadenza, twisting and turning with airy but earnest sentiment." New York Classical Review
"Stylish, passionate and limitlessly fluent on the clarinet, McGill galvanized the concerto into motion, breathing life into every note. The fast passages bubbled through the air with electrifying speed (...) There was action, movement and emotion behind every line, culminating in what is perhaps the most entertaining performance by a soloist I have yet seen. McGill is a virtuoso for the 21st century, with a fresh and unique voice that should leave its mark on classical music." Bachtrack
"As Mr. McGill navigated the elaborate gyrations, his melodic lines rose and took form, sometimes supported by the orchestra, at others by only air. This was bravura stuff, and proof positive of the skill of the Philharmonic's newest principal player." Superconductor
Nielsens klarinetkoncert udkommer på CD sammen med komponistens koncerter for fløjte og violin til april. De øvrige solister er Nikolaj Znaider og Robert Langevin.
Anthony McGill. Foto: David Finlayson