Cadenza: The Orchestra Now Slays a Monster

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“‘Movie music without the movie’ is how Emmanuel Koh, a violist in The Orchestra Now (TŌN), described Reinhold Glière’s Symphony No. 3, ‘Ilya Muromets,’ Op. 42. This international ensemble of distinguished Master’s degree students in residence at Bard College tackled the giant symphony in a concert at Carnegie Hall Friday night entitled ‘Russian Evolution: From Rimsky-Korsakov to Glière,’ and emerged victorious.

Lasting well more than 70 minutes, and calling for enormous forces (three bassoons plus contrabassoon, eight horns, two harps, etc.), the piece provided a healthy opportunity for the young musicians of TŌN to dig their teeth into a work of Bruckner-like proportions, and they clearly enjoyed indulging in this musically extravagant undertaking.

The horns are called upon to do athletic things, and they, in particular, played with rhythmic verve in their many wide leaping outcries. . . . The tone painting also includes lots of nature-inspired effects in the high woodwinds, chirping birdsong, and TŌN’s woodwind section excelled. ” —Brian Taylor

Photo by David DeNee