Inconsistent performances have dogged the New York Philharmonic for decades. As CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM points out in a recent New Times review, “Two orchestras showed up on Thursday evening at Avery Fisher Hall. One featured a band of uninterested players policed by a conductor who, for the most part, seemed content to beat time. The other was a tight-knit group of musicians who offered an incandescent performance under the direction of an artist with a fine sense of line and color.”
There times, you just want to walk out during the first half of a typical concert, no matter who is at the helm only to be amazed at the playing virtuosity that inevitably occurs after intermission.