Saturday, February 5, 2011

BSO — 2011/02/03-08; Met — 02/05

This week's BSO program has Moussorgsky, Beethoven, and Prokofiev. Here's how the website describes it.
Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo makes his BSO debut in these concerts and is joined by Romanian pianist Radu Lupu in Beethoven’s stormy Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor. Oramo also leads Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony, a three movement work moving from dark to light that Prokofiev wrote just after World War II in the Soviet Union. Beginning the program is Mussorgsky’s thrilling Night on Bald Mountain. [emphasis added]

I was there on Thursday, and, frankly, I was not looking forward to the "Night on Bald Mountain." I guess I consider it one of these pieces that gets played too often on the radio and not really worth spending time on. But, with an assist from the pre-concert lecture, I actually found it interesting and worthwhile. The Beethoven was well-played, I thought. The pre-concert lecture described the Prokofiev symphony as one of his most tragic works, but with that expectation in mind, I actually found it very engaging. I joined the standing ovation at the end. The conductor uses very broad gestures and swings and sways. But as the Globe reviewer notes, he drew top-notch playing from everyone.

As always, you can listen on WCRB. The concert begins at 8:00. And there is information about the music on the BSO website.
 Click on Media Center.

As I type, the Met is giving  Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, one of my favorites. James Levine is conducting.

Everything is available at the usual times over the usual webstreams.

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