Friday, September 22, 2017

BSO — Friday, 2017/09/22 — Opening Night Gala

This evening WCRB will broadcast/stream the Boston Symphon'y' opening night gala. It's an all-Bernstein program, as the orchestra begins to mark the centennial of his birth(in Lawrence, Massachusetts). The concert begins at 6:00 and is expected to end at about 7:30. The broadcast begins at 5:30. The performance detail page says the following:
In several concerts this season the BSO celebrates the centennial of the great Leonard Bernstein, the legendary conductor, Broadway and concert composer, pianist, educator, and personality whose talent changed the course of American music. Born in Lawrence, MA, in 1918, Bernstein attended Boston Latin School and Harvard University. A member of the very first class of the Tanglewood Music Center in 1940 and a protégé of legendary BSO conductor Serge Koussevitzky, Bernstein remained a dynamic, irrepressible, and inspiring presence at Tanglewood for fifty years. Led by Andris Nelsons, this Opening Night program features popular vocal selections sung by host Frederica von Stade and acclaimed soprano Julia Bullock, as well as BSO principal flute Elizabeth Rowe. Bookending the program are the composer's delightfully varied Divertimento and familiar, vibrant music drawn from West Side Story.
(Some emphasis added.)

The actual listing of the program will enable you to make sense of the last two sentences I quoted from the page.

"West Side Story" is overly familiar, but I'm looking forward to the instrumental pieces at the beginning.

Again, remember this is Friday, beginning at 5:30, Boston Time. The Saturday concert will be at the usual time.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

BSO/Classical New England — 2017/09/16

The BSO's Symphony Hall season will open on Friday, September 22 (and will continue through Saturday, May 5, with the usual month off in December). For the final week of rebroadcasts, WCRB has chosen the concert of April 22, 2017. Radu Lupu joins the orchestra and Maestro Andris Nelsons as soloist in Piano Concerto № 24 in c minor by Mozart. Then we hear the same composer's Requiem with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and four vocal soloists.

Here's a link to the orchestra's performance detail page, where you can find the usual links the usual background information. Posting about it at the time, I noted generally favorable reviews and gave my own favorable impressions, implicitly suggesting that the reviewers were a bit too dramatic.

I can't listen because I'm going to a concert performance of Tchaikovsky's opera "The Maid of Orleans," which opens Odyssey Opera's 2017-2018 season. But if I were going to be home. I'd certainly enjoy hearing the BSO concert again. I definitely recommend listening over the air or the internet at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time, via WCRB.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

BSO/Classical New England — 2017/09/09

This week, WCRB's Saturday evening Boston Symphony broadcast (also streamed) is the concert performed on April 15 of this year. It consists of Piano Concerto No. 20 in d minor by Mozart, with Mitsuko Uchida as soloist. After intermission the orchestra plays Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 6. Music Director Andris Nelsons is on the podium.

I posted briefly about it at the time, but since I hadn't attended an earlier performance of the program, I had no comments of my own. I did include this synopsis from the Orchestra's performance detail page
Japanese pianist Mitsuko Uchida, one of the foremost Mozart pianists of  our age, plays the composer's mysterious, stormy, proto-Romantic D minor piano concerto, a work owing much to the composer's sensitivity to operatic drama and emotion. Bruckner's seldom heard Symphony No. 6, written between 1879 and 1881, was the work he considered his boldest, though only the second and third movements were performed during his lifetime. Gustav Mahler led all four movements-but with cuts-in 1899, in Vienna; the first complete, uncut performance was given in 1901, in Stuttgart. Energetic, lyrical, and expansive, the Symphony No. 6 is a uniquely absorbing example of the composer's monumental symphonic style.
 as well as links to reviews.

The show begins at 8:00 p.m. Boston Time on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

BSO/Classical New England — 2017/09/02

Sorry to be so late. I've been busy. Here are the essentials from the WCRB website.
Saturday, September 2, 2017
8:00 PM
This is an encore broadcast originally recorded on April 1, 2017.
Alain Altinoglu, conductor
Renaud Capuçon, violin
BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture
LALO Symphonie espagnole
DUTILLEUX Symphony No. 2, Le Double
ROUSSEL Bacchus et Ariane, Suite No. 2
Hear a preview with Alain Altinoglu on The Answered Question:

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tanglewood — 2017/08/25-27

It's the final weekend of this year's Boston Symphony season at Tanglewood. As has become traditional, the final piece on Sunday will be Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Friday evening's concert will be the score to "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" performed by the Boston Pops to accompany a showing of the movie. For whatever reason, it will not be broadcast. Perhaps it doesn't work without the visuals. Instead, WCRB will give us a reprise of a concert from last summer.

Friday, August 25, 2017.  WCRB tells us they will rebroadcast
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Lisa Batiashvili, violin
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
DVORÁK Violin Concerto
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5 
Recorded July 22, 2016.
This encore broadcast is not available on-demand.

(Emphasis added.)

At the time the performance took place, the BSO performance detail page told us
English conductor  Sir Andrew Davis-currently music director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra-returns to the Shed stage for the first time since 2008. To open the program, he leads the  Boston Symphony Orchestra  in Vaughan Williams's haunting  Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, inspired by a melody by the great English Renaissance composer. Renowned Georgian violinist  Lisa Batiashvili joins the orchestra for Dvořák's Violin Concerto, and Maestro Davis and the BSO close the program with Sibelius's soaring Symphony No. 5, written in 1915 on commission from the Finnish government in celebration of the composer's 50th birthday and subsequently revised in 1916 and 1919.
It should be worth listening to.

Saturday, August 26, 2017,  brings vocal soloists to the stage along with the Boston Symphony. To wit:
On Saturday, August 26, soprano Kristine Opolais, bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus join Music Director Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra for an evening of opera and song.Bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel replaces baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Saturday, August 26, opera gala program at Tanglewood.
(Some emphasis added.)

But wait, there's more from the performance detail page. Here's the complete list of pieces:
PUCCINI Tosca, Act IIWAGNER "Entrance of the Guests" from Tannhäuser, Act IIWAGNER "Wie duftet doch der Flieder" (Hans Sachs' "Flieder monologue")from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act IIDVOŘÁK "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka, Act IDVOŘÁK Polonaise from Rusalka, Act IIGERSHWIN From Porgy and Bess:Introduction and Jasbo Brown Blues, from Act I"Summertime," from Act I"I got plenty o' nuttin'," from Act II"Bess, you is my woman now," from Act II
The program notes, available by a link from the performance detail page, tell who will perform in which pieces.

I'll have to miss this one because my high school class, most of whom were born in 1942, is having a 75th birthday party that evening. Opera may not exactly be your cup of tea; and I must admit, the selections (other than the Entry of the Guests, which is magnificent) are not what I would have chosen. So I can understand if you decide to give it a pass. On the other hand, if you don't know the music, why not give it a try. I'd listen if I were at home.

Sunday, August 27, 2017.  For several years, the Beethoven 9th was the only piece performed at the Sunday afternoon season finale. Recently, there has been a curtain raiser to precede it, as is the case this year. Again, the performance detail page gives some particulars:
For the second year in a row, Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in its traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Sunday, August 27. The performance features soprano Katie Van Kooten in her BSO and Tanglewood debuts; mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford; tenor Russell Thomas; and bass-baritone John Relyea, along with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Maestro Nelsons and the BSO open the program with Charles Ives's tribute to Western Massachusetts, "The Housatonic at Stockbridge" from Three Places in New England.
(Some emphasis added.)

As usual, you can hear it all via WCRB at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:00 on Sunday, EDT. Enjoy.

Between now and the opening of the Symphony Hall season on September 22, they will rebroadcast concerts from last April. In addition, they will broadcast and stream Opening Night on Friday, September 22, beginning at 5:30. You can see the specifics at their Upcoming BSO page.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Tanglewood — 2017/08/18-20

Three orchestras in three days at Tanglewood.

Friday, August 18, 2017.  It's an Underscore Friday, with introductory remarks from Principal Trombone Toby Oft. The Boston Symphony plays this evening. On the performance detail page we read:
On Friday, August 18, British baritone Simon Keenlyside makes his Tanglewood debut performing selections from Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Rückert-Lieder with conductor David Afkham and the orchestra. Mr. Afkham also leads the BSO in Brahms's energetic Symphony No. 2. Patrons will hear comments about this program from BSO Principal Trombone Toby Oft.
(Some emphasis added.)

The page has the usual links.

Saturday, August, 19, 2017.  The Boston Pops are in the Shed for John Williams' Film Night. Andris Nelsons and John Williams share the podium. From the performance detail page:
John Williams' Film Night has long been established as one of the Tanglewood calendar's most consistently popular evenings. Sharing the podium this summer for what surely will be an historic concert is BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons. The program will feature classic cinema scores by Erich Korngold, Bernard Herrmann, and Alex North, as well as music by Mr. Williams himself, including selections from the Harry Potter series, E.T., and Far and Away. Also on the program will be music from Mr. Williams' score to Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, with a special guest trumpet soloist.
(Some emphasis added.)

Sunday, August 20, 2017,  brings the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert, performed by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. The performance detail page tells us,
Andris Nelsons leads the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert on Sunday, August 20, in the Shed. Brilliant English pianist Paul Lewis joins Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra for Beethoven's dramatic and tumultuous Third Piano Concerto. Strauss's large-scale An Alpine Symphony, the composer's last tone poem, depicting an eleven-hour hike of an Alpine mountain, closes the program.
(Some emphasis added.)

Hear it all on line or on air via WCRB at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7:00 p. m. on Sunday.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tanglewood — 2017/08/11-13

This week I'll be able to enjoy the concerts live, barring unforeseen developments. A friend from the Syracuse area and I will meet a fellow blogger/tweeter from Western PA at Tanglewood. It's a weekend of mostly standard repertoire, the most challenging of which is Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." The only new piece is "Incantesimi," a curtain raiser by Julian Anderson, which was given its American premiere last January by the BSO. Christoph von Dohnányi had been scheduled to conduct back then and this weekend, but health considerations forced him to cancel both times, and both times, Juanjo Mena is his replacement. I posted about it on January 28, and you can see my comments and the links there. Briefly, I found it pretty good, and I recommend reading the program notes in advance and maybe even while listening on Saturday evening.

Friday, August 11, 2017,  brings us the "dreaded Rite of Spring," but not till we've heard some Dvořák and Brahms and refreshed ourselves during the intermission. Here's more from the BSO's own performance detail page, taking the pieces out of performance order as is their wont:
Violinist Gil Shaham and cellist Alisa Weilerstein join forces on Friday, August 11, for a performance of Brahms's Double Concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra, with Costa Rican conductor Giancarlo Guerrero and the BSO. Brahms composed the concerto-his final orchestral work-as an olive branch to his old friend and close musical collaborator Joseph Joachim, with whom he'd had a falling out over Joachim's divorce. Also on the program are Dvořák's Carnival Overture and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, the score to an intensely dramatic ballet and on its own some of the most dramatic music ever written.
(Some emphasis supplied.)

See the performance detail page also for the usual links to program notes, audio previews, and performer bios.

Saturday, August 12, 2017.  The concert begins with "Incantesimi," and the program detail page tells about that and the rest of the concert:
Conductor Juanjo Mena leads the BSO in Julian Anderson'sIncantesimi, a BSO-commissioned work that receives its American premiere with the BSO in January 2017.Incantesimi is a study in long lines, using "five musical ideas that orbit each other in ever-differing relationships." Mr. Mena and the orchestra are then joined by violinist Nikolaj Znaider for Brahms's lyrical and refined Violin Concerto. The BSO closes out the program with Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, one of the composer's most popular works.
At the advice of his doctors, Maestro Christoph von Dohnányi regrets that he cannot appear with the Boston Symphony this summer at Tanglewood. He is continuing to heal from a fall he suffered earlier this year and looks forward to leading the BSO as scheduled in November. Conductor Juanjo Mena steps in for Maestro von Dohnányi on Saturday, August 12, on a program featuring violinist Nikolaj Znaider performing Brahms's Violin Concerto. The program also includes Julian Anderson's Incantesimi and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7
(Some emphasis supplied.)

The usual links are on the performance detail page.

Sunday, August 13, 2017.  Read all about it on the program detail page and the material at the links there:
On Sunday, August 13, young Israeli conductor Lahav Shani makes his BSO debut on a program featuring Tanglewood regular, violinist Joshua Bell in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.  Mr. Shani also lead the BSO in the overture to Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Schubert's Symphony in C, The Great. The composer's ultimate symphony (in both senses of the word: it is his biggest and last work in the genre), the C major was famously praised for its "heavenly length" by Robert Schumann, who observed also that it "transports us into a world we cannot recall ever having been before."
(Some emphasis added.)

It looks like a great series of concerts. You can listen on air or on line over the facilities of WCRB at 8:00 p.m. EDT Friday and Saturday, and 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Their homepage also gives links to a lot of other programming information.

Enjoy the shows.