Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki returns to the BSO podium with a widely varied program, and is joined by German cellist Alban Gerhardt for the American premiere of the Korean-German composer Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto, written for Gerhardt. Gerhardt also plays Dvořák’s surpassingly melodic Silent Woods, an 1894 reworking of a movement from his 1883 piano suite From the Bohemian Woods. Haydn’s Symphony No. 59 in A major, nicknamed “Fire” has never been performed by the BSO. The Finnish composer Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5 is one of the composer’s best known, a majestic masterpiece completed in 1919.The Globe reviewer liked it. I was there on Thursday, and I enjoyed it too. The piece is definitely modern, but to my ears it is also definitely musical. One thing that is really amazing is that the cellist plays it entirely from memory, and did so at the world premiere as well, after having studied it for about a month. He told us that during the pre-concert talk. He also said he got a little lost toward the end in that first performance. The cellist and composer agreed that the BSO plays it very well indeed, and the "lecturer" suggested that it might be partly because of their recent experience with the concerto for flute and oboe by Ligeti. Chin studied for a while under Ligeti, and there is a bit of similarity between the sound in tonight's concerto and that of Ligeti. I thought the other pieces went well also, so it's a concert well worth hearing IMO. Amazing that the BSO has never played the Haydn 59th Symphony before this week, which means that the entire first half of the concert is music that's new to them.
Usual time, usual stations.