Saturday, April 23, 2011

BSO — 2011/04/21-23

As usual, here's info from the BSO website.

Featured Artists 
[Masaaki Suzuki] 
Masaaki Suzuki 
[Hana Blazikova] 
Hana Blažíková 
[Ingeborg Danz] 
Ingeborg Danz 
[Christoph Prégardien] 
Christoph Prégardien 
tenor (Evangelist and arias)
Hanno Müller-Brachmann 
bass-baritone (Jesus and arias)
J.S. Bach's great St. John Passion returns to the BSO repertoire after an absence of thirty years. The esteemed Japanese conductor Masaaki Suzuki, is a noted period-performance scholar and director of the Bach Collegium Japan. He brings his historically informed approach to these performances of one of Bach's greatest achievements. Bach revised the work several times after its first performance in 1724, but the "definitive" 1749 version, restores much of the original score. Joining Mr. Suzuki, the BSO, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus is a terrific cast of soloists including the Czech soprano Blažíková in her BSO debut. 

It's an unusual thing for a modern orchestra and chorus to perform baroque pieces nowadays, but Bach's St. John Passion is well worth hearing, and Maestro Suzuki is certainly one who knows the music. So I think it's worth hearing. Sadly, the reviews were mixed. The Globe was not thrilled(but see the comments on the article for a rejoinder from a member of the chorus). The online Boston Musical Intelligencer was, with commenters both agreeing and disagreeing with the rave review. I was at an open rehearsal Wednesday evening, and the tenor was having vocal trouble. But just listening to it for the text and the music, rather than specifics of the performances, made it a worthwhile experience.

As usual, the BSO website offers their "Media Center" for additional information, and the Program Notes, available through that page or directly, give an English translation of the text, as well as a whole lot of other info.

The usual pre-concert features will be on WCRB at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and the Performance is scheduled for 8:00.

You might also be interested in watching and hearing the videos WCRB is offering on their site of a performance of Handel's Israel in Egypt. I attended a performance, and liked it pretty well.

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