Saturday, April 2, 2011

BSO — 2011/04/02

Sorry for not posting for a while. The BSO was on tour two weeks ago, and I was away last week.

Anyway, as I write, the pre-concert show on WCRB has already begun. Here's what the BSO says about this week's program.

Having appeared with the BSO several times at Tanglewood, the veteran American conductor John Nelson makes his subscription series debut joined by Evgeny Kissin as soloist in two contrasting concertos. Chopin wrote both of his piano concertos—the First in E minor and No. 2 in F minor—within a year of each other as vehicles for himself, then barely out of his teens and having barely finished his formal studies. Grieg’s concerto—one of the most popular of all time—is also an early work, exhibiting both a Romantic bent and a hint of the folk-music influence that would inform Grieg’s later music. Also on the program are two contrasting orchestral works by Franz Liszt, the 200th anniversary of whose birth is being marked this season. The Mephisto Waltz—which exists also in a version for solo piano—depicts a village wedding at which Mephistopheles seizes a strolling fiddler’s violin and strikes up a wild, diabolic dance. Orpheus, one of the dozen symphonic poems that typified Liszt’s orchestral output in the 1850s, is a contemplative work inspired by the poet-musician famous from Greek mythology for calming the wild beasts with his singing.

Interestingly, Ron Della Chiesa said at the beginning of the broadcast that they will be playing a recording of one of the performances earlier this week rather than broadcasting tonight's performance live. The Globe's review was lukewarm, but favorable enough to indicate it's worth hearing.

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