Saturday, January 9, 2010

BSO — 2010/01/09, 16, 23

With the changes in ownership (WGBH bought WCRB and shifted its classical programming to the already all-classical WCRB), WGBH has dropped its broadcasts of Friday afternoon BSO concerts. This means the only broadcast and webstream is on WCRB. Since I'm going to be off the internet for a bit, I thought I'd give you a heads up on today and the next two Saturdays.

Today, January 9 (already the 10th in England and points east) they are giving a concert of Haydn's Symphony No. 98 and Cello Concerto No. 1, with famed virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma as soloist. After intermission they will play C.P.E. Bach's Symphony in G, which they never played before this week, and Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony in b minor. Conductor is early music specialist Ton Koopman. Reviews were favorable, and I very much enjoyed the performance I attended on Thursday evening. The concert is scheduled for 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. At 7:00 Ron Della Chiesa begins his "pregame show," which normally includes interviews by his producer with performers as well as other features. You can get the stream through the website at It has become unusual for symphony orchestras to perform Haydn since the rise of the early music, "historically informed" movement, but the BSO gives a fine performance.

On January 16, Sir Colin Davis, whose history of guest appearances with the BSO goes way back, will conduct Mozart's Symphony No. 38, "Prague," and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Nikolaj Znaider as soloist.

And on January 23, Sir Colin returns to conduct James MacMillan's "St. John Passion" in the American premiere series of the work which the BSO co-commissioned in honor of Sir Colin's 80th birthday and which had its world premiere under Sir Colin in London in 2008. Baritone Christopher Maltman will sing the part of Jesus, as he did at the world premiere. The Tanglewood Festival Chorus will also sing. James and Bob and I are planning to attend the Thursday performance, which will actually be the American premiere.