In his second week of concerts, François-Xavier Roth works with outstanding French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard in Bartók's percussive, glittering Piano Concerto No. 1, in which the composer's love for Central European folk music merges imaginatively with early 20th-century modernism. Music by two close Bartók contemporaries fills out the program. Anton Webern's lush twelve-minute, single-movement Passacaglia from 1908 predates the crystalline miniatures for which he is best-known. Composed the following year is Stravinsky's The Firebird, the breathtakingly magical score for the Ballets Russes that catapulted the 27-year-old composer to fame and which, more than a century later, remains one of his most beloved pieces.(Some emphasis added.)
The reviews are in — one in the Boston Globe, and two (!) in the Boston Musical Intelligencer (here and here). All three are favorable, although putting different takes on various elements of the music. They and the program notes and audio previews on the orchestra's page, should give you a pretty good idea of what you're in for if you listen, which you can this evening at 8:00 Boston Time via WCRB on line and on air. Challenging though I consider it, I'll be listening until my brother calls from Japan. Although there is language somewhere on the website which promises a rebroadcast on Monday a week later (which would be January 22 for this concert — and last Saturday's on January 15) I don't see it specifically for this or last week's concert. But it's worth trying if you're interested.