Friday, August 17, 2018

Tanglewood — 2016/08/17-19

This weekend the season at Tanglewood continues, with all three of the major concerts available over WCRB. (See also the additional programming information on their website.)


Friday, August 17, 2018.  Here's the description from the BSO program detail page:

Andris Nelsons conducts Beethoven and Shostakovich
UnderScore Friday Concert

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

Patrons will hear comments about the program directly from onstage BSO musician J. William Hudgins (percussion).

Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4-part of Maestro Nelsons' and the orchestra's ongoing project of performing and recording the composer's complete symphonies-a fine, substantial work that had to wait 25 years for its premiere due to censorship by the Soviet regime. One the first half of the program, frequent BSO guest pianist Yefim Bronfman joins Maestro Nelsons and the orchestra for Beethoven's expansive and lyrical Piano Concerto No. 4, which contains moments of grandeur and pomp as well as passages of glorious weightlessness and ephemeral brushes of color.
(Some emphasis added.)

There are also the usual links to program notes, audio previews, and performer bios.

Of course, you can't go wrong with Beethoven. As for the Shostakovich, here's what I wrote after hearing it in Symphony Hall last March:
I wasn't really expecting to like the Shostakovich, but it turned out to be pretty good. Despite its length, I never felt that it was getting to be too much. There is enough variety, especially going from full orchestra to featuring solo instruments, and plentiful musical ideas, to keep it from getting dull. I had never heard either piece [this one or the Bernstein Second Symphony which preceded it on that program], and now I wouldn't mind seeing either on another program.
So it should be an evening of good listening.


Saturday, August 18, 2018.  It's an all Bernstein program. As always, we turn to the BSO program detail page for links and this description:

Andris Nelsons conducts an All-Bernstein Program with the Boston Ballet and featuring violinist Baiba Skride

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

Andris Nelsons and the BSO present an all-Bernstein program, which begins with a fully-staged performance of the composer's ballet Fancy Free in a first-ever collaboration with the Boston Ballet. Bernstein's first ballet score and Robbins' first full-scale choreographic effort, Fancy Free catapulted both artists (who were both just 25) to stardom. In what would become his signature style, Robbins combined classical choreography with jazz and popular dance moves. Just months after Fancy Free was premiered at the old Metropolitan Opera House, its scenario had become the basis for Bernstein and Robbins' hit Broadway musical On the Town (performed July 7). Fancy Free is being presented here using Robbins' original choreography. The program continues with the Divertimento for Orchestra, composed for the BSO's centenary celebration in 1980, and concludes with the Serenade (after Plato's "Symposium"), for violin and orchestra, featuring soloist Baiba Skride.
(Some emphasis added.)

My brother's call from Japan will take me away from the Serenade and maybe the end of the Divertimento. I'd rather miss "Fancy Free" — although if we could see the dancing, I'd be more interested in the ballet — but there you have it.


Sunday, August 19, 2018.  This concert brings us four works, including a Tanglewood-related world premiere, more by Bernstein, and the BSO's "own" piece by Bartók. Herewith, the performance detail page's synopsis:

Yo-Yo Ma joins Andris Nelsons for Copland, Bernstein, Williams and Bartók
The Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert
Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma returns to Tanglewood alongside Maestro Nelsons and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra for the annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. The program celebrates the completion of sculptures that John Williams commissioned for the Tanglewood grounds of three of the Festival's seminal figures, who are also personal heroes of the composer: Aaron Copland, Serge Koussevitzky, and Leonard Bernstein. The program features Yo-Yo Ma, Andris Nelsons, and the BSO in the world premiere of a new John Williams work for cello and orchestra, specially written for this occasion. Mr. Ma is also featured in Bernstein's Three Meditations from Mass, for cello and orchestra, the composer's reworking of selections from ambitious staged pageant/oratorio composed for the 1971 inauguration of Washington's Kennedy Center. Aptly opening the concert is Copland's An Outdoor Overture, a 1938 work from the beginning of the composer's American populist period and the first work by Copland that Bernstein conducted at Tanglewood. Concluding the program is perhaps Koussevitzky's most famous commission, Bartók's incandescent Concerto for Orchestra, which the BSO premiered in 1944.
(Some emphasis added.)

The new work by Williams is titled "Highwood's Ghost, An Encounter for Harp, Cello, and Orchestra." I always like to hear world premieres, so I'm looking forward to it, and Copland can be very enjoyable. Bernstein should be okay, and I've heard the Bartók so often that it's lost its shock value, and I can sort of enjoy it.

Don't forget: the Sunday concert is heard by "tape" delay at 7:00 p.m. — the Friday and Saturday are presented live at 8:00, EDT.

It should be a pretty good series of concerts. Enjoy.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Tanglewood — 2016/08/10-12

This weekend the BSO is deviating from their usual format. Instead of the usual 8:00 p.m. concert on Friday, they are giving a one-hour Young People's concert at 7:00 p.m., in homage to Bernstein's Young People's Concerts when he was Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. WCRB will not be broadcasting it, but I thought you might like to see the description from the BSO's program description page.

Young People's Concert

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

Building on a tradition of educational concerts for young listeners that dated back decades, in 1958 Leonard Bernstein, who had just begun his tenure as conductor of the New York Philharmonic, initiated his own series of "Young People's Concerts" to be broadcast on CBS television. The fourteen-season series-totaling fifty-three episodes in all-became a model for educational programming, making a point of avoiding condescension and pedantry, not shying away from the unfamiliar, and allowing Bernstein's boundless enthusiasm and charisma to carry the day. It was lightning in a bottle-only rarely have similar programs approached the show's popularity since it went off the air in 1972. Bernstein's guests included Aaron Copland, the then-fifteen-year-old Israeli composer Shulamit Ran, singers Marni Nixon and Walter Berry, conductors Seiji Ozawa and James DePreist, and the "New York Rock and Roll Ensemble," among many others. Between 2004 and 2013, these programs were released on DVD.

The first few programs, beginning with the introductory "What Is Music?" telecast in January 1958, had a broad focus-American music, orchestration, the nature of classical music, and the like. As the series progressed, there were segments on more specific subjects-the music of Mahler, Sibelius, Hindemith, and Charles Ives, birthday celebrations of Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, and Dmitri Shostakovich, the acoustics of concert halls, and an entire show on Beethoven's opera Fidelio-subject matter that few elementary educational curricula would dare broach today. But perhaps Bernstein was onto something there: by trusting and challenging his countless young listeners to go beyond their own expectations of themselves, he planted seeds of curiosity that long continued to bear fruit.
WCRB will give us a rebroadcast from a couple of years ago at the usual time.


Friday, August 10, 2018.  WCRB rebroadcasts and streams the Tanglewood concert of August 27, 2016. The program detail page is no longer available on the BSO website, but here's the synopsis I copied at the time.
Tanglewood favorite Yo-Yo Ma joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor Michael Stern on Saturday, August 27, to open the final weekend of the BSO's 2016 Tanglewood season, performing Haydn's Cello Concerto in C and John Williams's Heartwood,for cello and orchestra, and Rosewood and Pickin', for solo cello, on a program that also includes Bernstein's Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront and Respighi's Pines of Rome.
(Some emphasis added.)
The order of performance is Bernstein, Haydn, Williams, and Respighi. I suppose the intermission is after the Haydn. It should be worth listening to.


Saturday, August 11, 2018.  It's Boston Pops this evening, playing film music, as described, with extreme brevity on the program detail page:

John Williams' Film Night

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

John Williams' Film Night has long been established as one of the Tanglewood calendar's most consistently captivating evenings. Join Mr. Williams as he presents this year's celebration of the music of Hollywood and beyond, featuring the Boston Pops and BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons.
(Some emphasis added.)
My father used to use the line about concerts at the bandstand in the park: "You can't tell from where you're sitting what the band is going to play." Just listen and enjoy.


Sunday, August 12, 2018.  At 7:00 p.m., we get to hear the afternoon concert. As a curtain raiser, Michael Tilson Thomas conducts a piece he composed, Then we hear Rachmaninoff and Mahler. More detail comes from the BSO's page:

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Tilson Thomas, Rachmaninoff and Mahler

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

San Francisco Symphony Music Director and former BSO Assistant Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas returns to Tanglewood, where he won the Koussevitzky Music Prize as a student of Bernstein's in 1969. To open the program, he leads the BSO in his own Agnegram, a 1998 work that is alternately jazzy, elegant, humorous, and direct. Brilliant young Russian pianist Igor Levit then takes center stage for Rachmaninoff's virtuosic and glittering Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Closing the concert is Mahler's at times brooding, at times vigorously energetic Symphony No. 1. Bernstein's championing of Mahler's symphonies was a big factor in making his music a staple of the orchestral repertoire.
(Some emphasis added.)


So there you have it — three concerts for your enjoyment on air and on line over WCRB.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tanglewood — 2016/08/03-05

The BSO is giving us one piece by Bernstein and a whole slew of music by composers from Eastern Europe this weekend. I'm looking forward to some of it.


Friday, August 3, 2018.  We begin with approximately five minutes of sheer delight: the Overture to "Ruslan and Ludmila" by Glinka. Then there's a piano concerto by Rachmaninoff. After intermission comes the complete score to Firebird by Stravinsky, which is not as jarring as "The Rite of Spring." The official explanation, along with links to further information, can be found on the performance detail page:

Glinka, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky with Kirill Gerstein
UndersScore Friday Concert

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

Patrons will hear comments about the program directly from onstage BSO musician Robert Sheena (English horn).

Koussevitzky Artist Kirill Gerstein joins BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur and the BSO for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, a prime example of the composer's Russian-tinged Romanticism. The program begins with Glinka's infectiously energetic Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila, the second of his two operas. After intermission, Mr. Masur leads the orchestra in a performance of the complete music from Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird, a scintillating score that proved to be the composer's breakout success when the ballet opened in Paris in 1910.
(Some emphasis added.)

It will be interesting to hear how Robert Sheena handles the introducer's duties at the beginning. At any rate, for me the best part of the concert comes at the beginning. I'll listen to the rest while watching the Red Sox.


Saturday, August 4, 2018.  Check out the performance detail page for links to further resources (including performer bios when you click the thumbnail pics). It gives the folloeing synopsis of this evening's progrsam:

Bramwell Tovey conducts Bernstein and Sibelius

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

British conductor Bramwell Tovey leads the BSO in a program that pays tribute to Bernstein as both conductor and composer. First, the orchestra is joined by a cast of outstanding singers-soprano Nadine Sierra, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, tenor Nicholas Phan, baritone Elliot Madore, and bass Eric Owens- for Bernstein's celebratory orchestral song cycle Songfest, composed for the American Bicentennial in 1976. Then, Mr. Tovey leads the BSO in Sibelius's sweeping Symphony No. 2, a staple of Bernstein's conducting repertory.
(Some emphasis added.)

I've never heard the "Songfest," so I don't know how it will be. The Sibelius is music I like. Unfortunately, it will be played during my brother's weekly call from Japan, but you can enjoy it.


Sunday, August 5, 2018.  Apparently the staff ran out of time: the synopsis on the program detail page has a typo and is, as Joe Friday would say, "just the facts," and there are no audio previews for two of the three pieces. Here's what they say:

Dima Slobodeniouk conducts Borodin, Wieniawski and Prokofiev featuring Joshua Bell 

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

Conductor Dima Slobodeniouk makes his BSO debut Sunday, August 5, leading the orchestra in Borodin's Poloytsian [sic] Dances, Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring Joshua Bell, and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5. 
(Some emphasis added.)

The Borodin has long been a staple of the classical radio playlists, so I guess it's pretty popular, but it's not one of my favorites. On the other hand, I have no recollection of the other two pieces, although I may have heard the Prokofiev before. After reading the program note for the Wieniawski, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing it. I'm sure Joshua Bell will give a great performance. The BSO debut of the conductor adds interest to the concert.


In summary, there is music I definitely want to hear, and music I don't care about, but nothing I'm planning to avoid altogether. Hear it all through the on line and on air facilities of WCRB — Friday and Saturday live at 8:00 p.m. RDST, and Sunday via tape delay at 7:00 p.m. Also note all their other offerings, as linked on their webpage.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Tanglewood — 2016/07/27-29

For some reason WCRB will transmit the Friday evening and (by tape delay) Sunday concerts of  the BSO from Tanglewood, But instead of the BSO's performance of "West Side Story" on Saturday, they will give us a repeat of a Boston Pops performance of Bernstein's music from two months ago. I don't know why they are making the substitution on Saturday, but I'd guess the copyright holders of the film or the musical wouldn't allow the live concert to be broadcast.

At any rate, here's what you can hear over WCRB.

Friday, July 27,  2018.  The program detail page tells us:

Juanjo Mena conducts Britten, Mozart and Brahms with Garrick Ohlsson

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena leads the BSO in a program that begins with the Four Sea Interludes from Britten's opera Peter Grimes, a work of particular significance to Bernstein, who conducted the first American performances of the opera at Tanglewood in 1946 and also led the Four Sea Interludes to open the last concert he ever conducted, on August 19, 1990 in the Shed. Following the Britten, Garrick Ohlsson joins the orchestra as soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat, K.271, and the concert concludes with Brahms's marvelously energetic and compact Symphony No. 3.
(Some emphasis added.)

The usual background information is available via links on the detail page. (BTW, I think Garrick Ohlsson looks like Robert Bork in the pictures there.)


Saturday, July 28, 2018. In lieu of the "West Side Story" from Tanglewood, WCRB will give us the following, as described on their website:
Saturday night at 8, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops celebrate Leonard Bernstein's centennial in a program of his most celebrated works, including "West Side Story" and "Candide."
Saturday, July 28, 2018
8:00 PM
Recorded at Symphony Hall on May 30, 2018
Boston Pops Orchestra
Keith Lockhart, conductor
Matthew Anderson, Teresa Blume, Aimee Doherty, David McFerrin, and Andrew Tighe, vocalists
Overture to Candide
Three Dance Variations from Fancy Free
On the Town: New York, New York; Lonely Town; I Can Cook, Too; Lucky To Be Me
Love Theme and Finale from On the Waterfront
Wrong Note Rag from Wonderful Town
Wonderful Town: What a Waste; A Little Bit in Love; Conga!
West Side Story: Mambo
West Side Story: Something's Coming; One Hand, One Heart; Tonight
America
Candide: The Best of All Possible Worlds; Gliter and Be Gay; I Am Easily Assimilated; Make Our Garden Grow
Some Other Time
 WILLIAMS To Lenny! To Lenny!
(Some emphasis added.)

Actually, I think I'd rather hear this than a complete screening of "West Side Story" with live orchestra. Too bad the excerpts from "Candid will come during my brother's call from Japan.


Sunday, July 29, 2018.  We're back with the BSO at Tanglewood to hear the concert which they describe as follows on their performance detail page:

Gil Shaham plays Prokofiev

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map

Juanjo Mena returns for a second BSO performance to conduct works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, with American virtuoso and frequent Tanglewood guest artist Gil Shaham as soloist. The concert begins with Haydn's Symphony No. 88, one of the composer's best-known works in the genre and a favorite of Bernstein's (including a Tanglewood performance in 1988), and completing the program is Mozart's dramatic Symphony No. 40 in G minor, one of Mozart's final trio of symphonies and one of only two that he wrote in a minor key.
(Some emphasis added.)

As usual, this will be transmitted on air and on line at 7:00 p.m., Boston Time, while Friday and Saturday's shows will begin at 8:00. This should make for some enjoyable listening.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Tanglewood — 2016/07/20-22

This weekend the broadcasts/online streams from Tanglewood will include an all-Mozart program, more Mozart along with Bernstein and Haydn, and Adès and Sibelius. All three should be well worth hearing.



Friday, July 20, 2018.  The orchestra's program detail page has the usual links to background information and gives the following description of the program:

All-Mozart Program with Emanuel Ax
UnderScore Friday Concert

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map






The Jackie and Larry Horn Family Concert
Patrons will hear comments about the program directly from onstage BSO musician Kathryn Sievers (viola). 
Herbert Blomstedt, a longtime collaborator with the BSO, conducts the orchestra in an all-Mozart program. Emanuel Ax joins the orchestra for the Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K.453, a work Bernstein returned to frequently and performed several times at Tanglewood. The second half of the program is dedicated to the Symphony No. 41, Jupiter, the composer's final work in the genre and one of history's great symphonies.
(Some emphasis added.)

As noted last time Maestro Blomstedt conducted the BSO, although he is Swedish and grew up in Sweden, he was born in the U.S.A. — Springfield, MA IIRC.

I'll be listening to this even during the Red Sox game, although I may have the TV on in the living room and multitask until it's time to prepare dinner.


Saturday, July 21, 2018.  Again, from the performance detail page:

Herbert Blomstedt conducts Mozart, Bernstein and Haydn

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map






Maestro Blomstedt conducts the BSO in a second performance, featuring Haydn's majestic Missa in angustiis(Lord Nelson Mass)-a work Bernstein conducted at Tanglewood in 1977 as part of a years-long survey of the Haydn masses-with soprano Hannah Morrison, mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Kulman, tenor Nicholas Phan, baritone Michael Nagy, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. At the heart of the program is Bernstein's own Ḥalil, Nocturne for flute and orchestra, with BSO principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe as soloist. Maestro Blomstedt begins the program by conducting Mozart's Symphony No. 34.
(Some emphasis added.)

Don't forget, you can see performer bios for conductor and soloists by clicking on the thumbnail photos.

My brother's call from Japan will take me away from the Haydn Mass, but I've heard it before and I think it's well worth hearing — as are his other Masses — so stick around after intermission. I'm not familiar with the Bernstein, and I'm looking forward to hearing it. Again, the concert will crowd out the Red Sox on the airwaves.


Sunday, July 22, 2018.  On Sunday, we get to hear a delayed broadcast as Thomas Adès conducts his own music and that of Sibelius. This synopsis appears in the orchestra's performance detail page:

Thomas Adès conducts Adès and Sibelius with Christian Tetzlaff

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map



BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès makes his first Tanglewood appearance of 2018, taking the podium to lead the BSO in his own Suite from Powder Her Face, the composer's 1995 chamber opera, which helped cement an already impressive reputation. Mr. Adès will also lead the orchestra in Sibelius's Symphony No. 5, and renowned German violinist Christian Tetzlaff joins the orchestra for Sibelius's Violin Concerto.
(Some emphasis added.)

I make no guarantees about "Powder Her Face," but I like Sibelius. His music is among the most tonal and least dissonant of works by prominent composers of the early 20th Century.


Again, a reminder that WCRB presents the Friday and Saturday evening concerts virtually live at 8:00, Boston Time, and the Sunday concert at 7:00 p.m. This looks like a great weekend for listening to the BSO.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Tanglewood — 2016/07/06-08, 13-15 —Double Post

The Boston Symphony's Tanglewood season opens this evening, July 6, and runs through August 26 — eight glorious weekends with major concerts* on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30. WCRB broadcasts and streams them all; Friday and Saturday concerts are transmitted virtually live, and the Sunday concerts are given a delayed transmission at 7:00 p.m.

*There are also many other performances given during the week by those who are attending as students or guest artists.

Since I'll be away from my computer late next week, I'll preview this weekend and next in this post. Here goes!


Friday, July 6, 2018.  On the orchestra's performance detail page we read:

Opening Night at Tanglewood with Lang Lang

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map


The Robert and Jane Mayer Conert
Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra open their 2018 Tanglewood season with a gala performance featuring global superstar pianist Lang Lang. Opening the concert is the overture to Mozart's The Magic Flute, followed by the composer's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K.491, featuring Lang Lang. Maestro Nelsons then leads the orchestra in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5-a work Bernstein conducted three times at Tanglewood, including for his 70th-birthday weekend in 1988-which displays the composer's trademarks: an endless procession of memorable melodies, masterful and vivid use of the orchestra's full color palette, and a musical language of drama and energy.


(Some emphasis added.)

What's not to like?


Saturday, July 7, 2018,  brings only one work, "On the Town," with music by Bernstein and lyrics by Comden and Green. The Boston Pops, conducted by Keith Lockhart, is joined by the soloists listed on the performance detail page, which gives this synopsis:

Bernstein's On the Town

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map




The Wacks Family Concert in celebration of the marriage of Greg Wacks and Sarah DeArakie  
A collaboration with choreographer Jerome Robbins and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Leonard Bernstein's On the Town-the story of three sailors on shore leave in New York City- arrived on Broadway in December 1944, when he was just twenty-six. Based on his popular ballet collaboration with Robbins, Fancy Free (being performed August 18), it was not only his first musical, it was a first for Comden and Green, who would become Broadway and Hollywood legends in their own right. Hit songs include "New York, New York" and "Some Other Time."
Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops in a complete, semi-staged performance of Bernstein's hit musical, directed by Kathleen Marshall with musical director David Chase. The all-star cast includes Tony-Award winning actor Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle AlongHamilton) as Gabey, Christian Dante White (Hello DollyThe Book of Mormon) as Chip, Andy Karl (Groundhog DayOn the Twentieth Century) as Ozzie, Megan Lawrence (UrinetownHair) as Claire, Tony Award-winning actress Andrea Martin (PippinNoises Off) as Madame Dilly, Laura Osnes (CinderellaBandstand) as Claire, Georgina Pazoguin as Ivy, and Marc Kudisch as Pitkin.
See the performance detail for the rest of the cast as well as the usual links.

It should be fun


Sunday, July 8, 2018.  The performance detail page tells us:

Andris Nelsons conducts Brahms and Shostakovich

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map




Andris Nelsons and the BSO pay a special tribute to Bernstein by replicating the first full program Bernstein ever conducted with the orchestra in November 1944. On the first half of, pianist Rudolf Buchbinder joins the BSO for Brahms's ambitious and sprawling Piano Concerto No. 1. Bringing the concert to a close is Shostakovich's riveting Symphony No. 5, the composer's most accessible, popular, and controversial symphony. Bernstein conducted the work a total of eight times with the BSO, including five performances at Tanglewood.
(Emphasis added.)

The performance detail page also has the usual links to background information. I find it interesting that the Shostakovich symphony was led by Bernstein so early in his career and that he conducted it that often with the BSO — eight times suggests two or three different subscription series.


Now for the second weekend.


Friday, July 13, 2017.  Here's how the BSO performance detail page describes this evening's concert:

Tanglewood in the City - Free Event on Boston Common

Boston Symphony Orchestra 

Boston Common - Boston, MA 




Bring your lawn chair and picnic and head to the Common, Friday, July 13!
The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents "Tanglewood in the City," on a giant screen on Boston Common, featuring Moritz Gnann conducting a program of Wagner, Mozart and Schumann transmitted live from Tanglewood, the BSO's summer home in the Berkshire hills. This event will give music lovers in Boston a chance to experience Tanglewood without having to leave the city. The screen will be positioned near the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets.

The live video transmission of the July 13 concert from Tanglewood is made possible by a generous gift from Virginia Simpson Aisner and James E. Aisner.

Acclaimed English pianist Paul Lewis, who has given several memorable performances with the BSO in recent seasons, joins the orchestra for Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat, K.595, the composer's final work in the genre. BSO Assistant Conductor Moritz Gnann, who conducts the performance, also leads the orchestra in Wagner's  Siegfried Idyll and Schumann's Symphony No. 3,Rhenish. The symphony's subtitle refers to the mighty Rhine, the river that has inspired so many great works throughout music history, and the piece contains some of Schumann's most colorful and exuberant music, as well as some of his most accomplished writing for full orchestra.

(Some emphasis added.)

So if you're in the Boston area, you not only have the option of listening on WCRB, you can also watch the concert on Boston Common.

The Mozart piano concerto has been a favorite of mine ever since I chose it to play on the new record player a great aunt gave us in the mid 1950's. Even without that sort of connection, though, I think it's a delightful piece. Unfortunately, I won't be around to hear this concert. Maybe I'll listen to the Mozart on my car radio.


Saturday, July 14, 2018,  will be a night at the opera: "La Bohème" by Puccini. Again, the BSO tells us more on the performance detail page:

Andris Nelsons conducts Puccini's La bohème

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map




Semi-staged performance sung in Italian with English supertitles
The Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser Concert

Andris Nelsons, the BSO, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus-under the direction of Tanglewood Festival Chorus Conductor James Burton -continue their series of opera performances with a concert-staged performance of Puccini's La bohème, directed by Daniel Rigazzi and featuring soprano Kristine Opolais as Mimì, tenor Jonathan Tetelman  as Rodolfo, soprano Susanna Phillips as Musetta, baritone Franco Vassallo as Marcello, baritone Davide Luciano as Schaunard, and bass- baritone Luca Pisaroni as Colline. Perhaps the world's most popular opera, La bohème is an immortal story of love and loss set amidst the charming poverty of bohemian Paris. Though Bernstein never performed the work with the BSO, it was one of his favorite operas and one of the few he recorded.
See the performance detail for the cast. As I type this, there is no link to program notes, so if you're not familiar with the opera you'll need to do your own research for a summary of the action and for the libretto, if you want it. I suppose Ron Della Chiesa will give a summary of the plot before each section of the concert.

I find this opera and "Madama Butterfly" moving, but I don't care much for Puccini's music, so I may skip this one, but the performance detail page is correct in saying that this is among the world's most popular operas. So don't let me discourage you from listening. I was just making conversation.


Sunday, July 15, 2018.  A couple of "warhorses" (or maybe a warhorse and a police horse) precede a less familiar work:

Andris Nelsons conducts Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Bernstein with Yuja Wang

Tanglewood 

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA - View Map




The Nathan and Marilyn Hayward Concert

Pianist Yuja Wang joins Andris Nelsons and the BSO as soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, published before but written after the Piano Concerto No. 2. The work bears the marks of the highly original genius Beethoven would soon become, but is a natural progression from the Classical style of Mozart and Haydn. To begin the program, Maestro Nelsons leads the orchestra in Mendelssohn's elegant and fiery Symphony No. 4, Italian. Boy soprano Rafi Bellamy Plaice and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins [sic] the BSO for the concluding work, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, an uplifting work with Hebrew text, composed for a 1965 music festival at Chichester Cathedral in Sussex, England
(Some emphasis added.)

The above quote is, as you may have guessed from the orchestra's performance detail page, which also has the usual links to background information, except that it doesn't have notes or audio preview for the Bernstein, which I don't recall ever hearing. We're on our own for text and analysis. The wiki article looks pretty good, and there are performance videos and other articles available.

I'm definitely looking forward to hearing this concert on Sunday evening over WCRB. As I've mentioned other times, they have a lot going on in addition to these concert broadcasts,  so check out their web page for other offerings as well.