I missed this article in yesterday's New York Times about New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert's changes to the orchestra so far. On opening night, I noted the new seating arrangement for the orchestra, which puts the violin sections on either side of the conductor and the lower strings in the middle. Several musicians spoke to the Times about the changes and most of them seem happy with the new arrangement. One of the violists, Irene Breslaw, liked the change, saying that she can now hear what's happening in the wind section. However, the Philharmonic's tubist, Alan Baer, may have gotten the short end of the stick. He hasn't moved, but the basses have, to the opposite side of the stage. Since the low instruments usually play together, Baer has to listen for the basses from the other side and match them.
Speaking of the Philharmonic, this evening is my first subscription concert of the new season. The orchestra is wrapping up three performances of Mahler's 3rd Symphony and as my regular readers know, if they're playing Mahler, I'm there. I thoroughly enjoyed Gilbert's interpretation of Mahler's 1st Symphony last spring, and I can't wait to hear what he does with this immense work tonight. I'm also going to a performance this weekend, after I received an e-mail offering bargain prices for Brahms and Schoenberg. And I'm going to another concert next Wednesday when my mother and her boyfriend will be here. I may have an addiction.