MANHATTAN — Move over MTV. The New York Philharmonic is making music videos.
The famed orchestra of Lincoln Center launched a new video series this week called “Follow the Sound,” as the Philharmonic musicians and its music director Alan Gilbert prepare for their cross-town performance, “Philharmonic 360” at the Park Avenue Armory.
The Philharmonic is posting new videos daily as the group makes its trek to the Upper East Side for the June 29 and 30 shows.
Soprano Julianna Di Giacomo sings to the pharaohs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s iconic Temple of Dendur. Oboe player Liang Wang and timpani player Kyle Zerna stage on an impromptu rehearsal for the show in the back of a checker cab as they drive from Avery Fisher Hall Center to the Armory on Park Avenue and East 67th Street.
The videos, in their iconic and beautiful surroundings, only hint at what the Philharmonic is planning for its two-night performance, which will explore the awe-inspiring spatial qualities of the Armory’s soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.
The orchestra will perform four works in which the musicians will surround the audience. There will also be eight ensembles playing around the space’s balconies.
The centerpiece will be “Gruppen” by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It’s a rarely performed work because it requires three orchestras and conductors — but it’s suits the vast spaces of the drill hall, which looks like a 19th century European train station. Pierre Boulez’s "Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna," the Finale of Act I from Mozart’s opera "Don Giovanni" and Charles Ives’ "The Unanswered Question" are also on the bill.
Gilbert said, in a video on the Armory’s website, that he’s long had the “idea of building a program around spatial music [which] relies on the physical space or is about the physical space in which it’s performed.”
He added: “The armory is a playground for artists with outsized imaginations.”