The Orchestra Now at Symphony Space

The Orchestra Now at Symphony Space with Conductor Zachary Schwartzman. Photo credit: Edward Kliszus
The Orchestra Now at Symphony Space with Conductor Zachary Schwartzman. Photo credit: Edward Kliszus

This event was one of The Orchestra Now’s concerts delving into the works of Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss, and Jean Sibelius. Immediately notable was the Orchestra’s gift tonight of a free concert of marvelous orchestral music. On this cold rainy night, audience members lined up down 95th street, waiting for doors to open for a full house of appreciative patrons.

The music was diverse, and while Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 is more often held among standard orchestra repertoire, the less-heard Schumann’s Genoveva Overture and Strauss’ Four Symphonic Interludes from Intermezzo provided both audience and musician alike with unique, rich, artistic, and musical experiences.

This notable variety of musical works is apposite for The Orchestra Now, an ensemble of young professionals assembling to hone their skills for careers in music around the world. This evening, under the able baton of conductor Zachary Schwartzman, these artists expanded their repertoire and contexts for their future challenges. Each work provided ample opportunity for solos, marvelous brass, string and wind tuttis, lush strings, and musical poetry.

As Genoveva began with lush, elegant, and plaintive strings, one reflected on Schumann’s orchestra works which are among the most inspired creations of the 19th century. As a joyous French horn section tutti intoned at prescribed intervals, Schumann’s aesthetic of reflecting an inner state of mind or form imposed by pure ideas emerged. Genoveva was mood, color, suggestion, and allusion at its best, superbly performed by the musicians with the passion and exuberance of Florestan and thoughtful reflections of Eusebius.

During this post Hugo von Hofmannsthal era, Strauss crafted the libretto for his opera Intermezzo (1924). The music expressed a domestic, autobiographical yarn about jealousy between Strass and his wife, Pauline. The work emerged after Der Rosenkavalier during a time when an anachronistic Strauss clung to his old formulas. Putting that aside, the Orchestra articulated and experienced Strauss’ brilliant orchestrations, inventiveness, sumptuous melodies, and grand waltzes.

The Orchestra Now at Symphony Space. Photo credit: Edward Kliszus
The Orchestra Now at Symphony Space. Photo credit: Edward Kliszus

Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 is an early work displaying the composer’s deference to Tchaikovsky, the Russian School, and his command of short motifs and abrupt development. For many, it requires a patient, self-disciplined expectation for the work’s dramatic denouement. While some critics may consider Sibelius an anachronistic relic of post-Romanticism, his later works have been described as an evolved mosaic style that avoids Romantic rhetoric. The Symphony No. 2 Is replete with lush, delightful melodies, French Horn tuttis, and broad scenes of Scandinavian landscapes.

The Orchestra Now presents vibrant, masterful performances of major and minor works. Orchestra members contribute program notes and introduce concert works from their respective musical perspectives. It is always a treat to experience their concerts. Be sure to peruse links to upcoming events.

Runtime two hours, including intermission.

The Orchestra Now

Leon Botstein, Music Director and Conductor
Zachary Schwartzman, Conductor
For information, calendar and tickets go to

PO Box 5000
30 Campus Rd.
Bard College
Annandale-on-Hudson NY  12504

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of The Orchestra Now presents Sight and Sound, The Orchestra Now presents the Lost Generation, Master Your Mindset: The Master’s Way, and The American Classical Orchestra presents Remember.

More to explore...

Chez Josephine Restaurant Entrance. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Chez Josephine

Chez Josephine was the brainchild of Jean-Claude Baker from Burgundy, who named his restaurant after his adoptive mother, Josephine Baker. Baker (born Freda Josephine McDonald was an American-born naturalized French citizen famed as a dancer, singer, and actress.

WTC Oculus and Path to NJ Entrance. Photo by Edward Kliszus

Latham House in Jersey City

I frequently dine around Manhattan while checking out the latest shows, jazz, and classical music venues. Friends recently reminded me that unique, excellent restaurants and sites could be found minutes away in Jersey City.

Pershing Square Café Sign and Entry. Photo by Edward Kliszus.

Pershing Square Café

I’ve often enjoyed Pershing Square Café’s wonderful breakfast specials and especially their legendary pancakes. After enjoying an early evening of swinging jazz across town at Birdland Jazz Club, I walked east from 8th Ave through Times Square on 42nd Street, past Bryant Park and Grand Central towards peaceful Tudor City. Nestled next to Grand Central where Park Avenue intersects 42nd Street is the Pershing Square Café. Tonight, it looked like the perfect quiet place for a post-jazz bite.

Review Categories
Events Tickets Center


The Orchestra Now at Symphony Space

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Please Join Us!

Sign up to receive the latest posts and reviews.