New York Times’ Best Classical Music of 2021

The Philadelphia Orchestra Opens Carnegie Hall

“On paper, the concert with which Carnegie Hall returned to live performances after being closed for 572 days looked simply crowd-pleasing, as befits a fund-raising gala. Nézet-Séguin — leading the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he also directs — included Bernstein’s festive “Candide” overture and Beethoven’s omnipresent Fifth Symphony.
Yet the program opened with Valerie Coleman’s “Seven O’Clock Shout,” written during the pandemic as a tribute to frontline workers, followed by the pianist Yuja Wang in a crackling account of Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto. Beethoven’s Fifth was preceded by Imam Habibi’s dark, restless “Jeder Baum spricht,” written in dialogue with the symphony. And there was nothing standard about the volatile performance of the Fifth that Nézet-Séguin drew from the orchestra.”

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times