Mälkki folded the piano into the feel like a firing engine, enabling Aimard, a longtime buddy and champion of the composer, to propel the piece. Aimard, one thing of a sublime mathematician, dealt with polyrhythms with a by line and sense of ease. Pianistic results, like scales, crunchy chord clusters and operating sixteenth notes with a number of voicings, had unfussy finesse. The “leggiero, non legato” (“mild, however not linked”) passage within the Presto luminoso had a discrete, glockenspiel-like tone that didn’t flip percussive. Aimard and Mälkki had been unable to achieve the end line within the Presto in three minutes or much less, as Ligeti requests within the rating, however it was nonetheless a bravura efficiency.
The Ligeti topped the primary half of this system, which was themed round Hungarian composers. The Budapest-born musician Jeno Lisztes opened the live performance with a stunning solo association of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 for cimbalom, a conventional Hungarian instrument within the dulcimer household that makes use of a pedal mechanism and mallets that resemble cotton-padded bar spoons. His efficiency had melancholy grace and a rollicking climax that left me questioning the place this symphony of notes was coming from. In Bartók’s transient Romanian Folks Dances, the orchestra sounded sturdy and grounded.
After intermission, Mälkki and the orchestra leaned closely into the grotesquerie that characterizes half of the pictures that Mussorgsky depicts in “Photos at an Exhibition.” “Gnomus” had a harmful agility, each aggressive and stunning, and “Bydlo” was moody and theatrical. The brasses, summoning deep, forbidding energy, made a meal of “Catacombae.” The penultimate motion, “The Hut on Hen’s Legs” — and never Mälkki’s muscular tackle the magnificent “The Nice Gate of Kiev” — supplied the piece’s true finale. The hut, which homes a witch of Russian folklore, lurched in gleeful, monstrous methods as its inhabitant sniffed out younger kids to devour.
Mälkki and the gamers dug into the fantastical components of “Photos” as if possessed, virtually as if they couldn’t shake off the Ligeti — and after such an incredible efficiency, neither may I.
New York Philharmonic, carried out by Susanna Mälkki
By means of Saturday at David Geffen Corridor; nyphil.org