Jakub Hrusa and Santtu-Matias Rouvali, two of the world’s most revered rising maestros, maintain ending up in shut proximity. In 2017 they have been concurrently named the principal visitor conductors of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. (Rouvali was elevated to that ensemble’s high submit two years later.)
When Rouvali made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in fall 2019, it was every week earlier than Hrusa appeared there. And now they’ve returned to the orchestra, as soon as once more in tandem: Hrusa, 40, final week, and Rouvali, 36, on Thursday.
Their appearances — and people of other Philharmonic guest conductors this season — are being carefully watched for the reason that announcement in September that Jaap van Zweden could be stepping down as music director in 2024. These two younger, proficient artists are among the many outstanding candidates to succeed him.
Hrusa’s latest live performance was, Joshua Barone wrote in The New York Occasions, “wealthy with novelty and spirited all through.” Rouvali’s was, too — if not in its essential providing, Tchaikovsky’s all too typically performed Fifth Symphony. However this system on Thursday on the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Heart started with the American premiere of a latest work by Zibuokle Martinaityte, and continued with a uncommon account of the total set of Strauss’s six Op. 68 songs, the “Brentano-Lieder.”
Martinaityte’s dense, moody “Saudade” (2019) begins with a ceaselessly rocking motif and a top quality of awakening, which is swiftly obscured by unusual oscillations within the cellos and oozy, sliding dissonances within the violins.
A passage of grumbling darkness turns into virtually palpable, as within the unsettlingly visceral music of Ash Fure, earlier than progressively increasing right into a wailing full-orchestra crescendo. That climax comes about midway by way of the 17-minute piece, which loses some urgency after, with droning tidal motions persevering with to rise and fall, even when the colours in Martinaityte’s orchestral writing stay intriguingly agitated.
Making her Philharmonic debut within the Strauss songs, the soprano Golda Schultz was — as in “Le Nozze di Figaro” on the Metropolitan Opera last month — serene and assured, her voice silky and immaculate. You bought a way of why these items should not typically carried out as a gaggle; a voice mild and agile sufficient for the center 4 songs can wrestle with the grander ones that body them.
And Schultz, whose slender instrument sweetly penetrates however doesn’t precisely bloom, was not in her factor for the rapturous opening “An die Nacht.” However with Rouvali softening the orchestra into intimacy, she introduced characterful wit and zestful German to “Ich wollt ein Sträusslein binden” and “Säus’le, liebe Myrte!” and Zerbinetta-esque dexterity to “Amor.”
The closing “Lied der Frauen” needs tone a bit extra majestic, however Schultz attacked it with gusto and introduced light ambivalence to the top. And in “Als mir dein Lied erklang,” she was excellent, singing with the mixture of purity and humanity that characterizes the most effective Strauss ingénues.
All through the night, Rouvali stepped across the podium with a sort of cheery calm, like a genial normal directing troop actions. He stored a exact beat, his left hand typically clenched however for a pinpointing index finger.
His Tchaikovsky was logical, restrained and orderly — and in addition relaxed and pure in its phrasing, versus the mannered, manicured model that van Zweden typically brings to the usual repertory. However the straightforwardness of this Fifth typically tipped into plainness, as when the strings within the first motion lined rebellious passages within the winds. It was a brisk account, neither notably grand nor intense.
New York Philharmonic
This program continues by way of Saturday on the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Heart, Manhattan; nyphil.org.