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August 2013
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A Traffic Jam for Orchestra?

Composer and conductor Bramwell Tovey

Composer and conductor Bramwell Tovey

The New York Philharmonic this Week, Thursday at 8:00 PM


“Like all traffic jams, this one seems to disperse for no apparent reason.”

—Bramwell Tovey on the ending of Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret

With the wise-cracking, baton-wielding Bramwell Tovey, New Yorkers have come to expect a good time—there is something funny about a Brit conducting a 4th of July concert. Putting this particular quipster together with a great orchestra, a little Copland and a nice piece about a traffic jam, makes for first-rate family entertainment. But where does one find a piece about a traffic jam? Well, Tovey happens to be a composer. His piece, called The Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret, has a fairly specific scenario which envisions the Philharmonic’s principal trombone player, Joseph Alessi, driving through the Lincoln Tunnel on his way to work. Complete with broken pavement, stop-and-go traffic, and an utter standstill inside the tunnel (at which time, Joe pulls out his horn to entertain the other motorists), this rollicking commute creates a nice vehicle (no pun intended) for an outstanding soloist. Hear the piece, recorded at the 4th of July concert, on The New York Philharmonic this Week on Thursday at 8:00 PM.

Sample the piece and some classic Tovey:

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