Friday, August 26, 2011

Tanglewood — 2011/08/26-28 — Season Finale

The BSO website informs us:

Final Weekend of BSO Concerts at Tanglewood! 

Gerswhin's Porgy and Bess 
Nicole CabellFriday, August 26, 8:30PMTix

The BSO begins its final weekend of the 2011 Tanglewood season Friday, August 26, with its first-ever  performance of George Gershwin’s great American masterpiece, the blues-and-jazz-inflected Porgy and Bess, which examines African-American life in the South during the 1920s. Described by the composer as an “American folk opera,” Porgy and Bess premiered on Broadway in 1935. Three-quarters of a century later, the work has assumed its rightful place among the greatest of America’s music, and its songs are sung all over the world. 
All-Beethoven Program 
[ItzhakPerlman]Saturday, August 27, 8:30PMTix

The great Itzhak Perlman joins the orchestra August 27 for an all-Beethoven program that demonstrates his talents as both violinist and conductor. Mr. Perlman will act as soloist and leader for the Romances Nos. 1 and 2 for violin and orchestra, two relatively brief early-period works (written 1798–1802) that possess an understated elegance and foreshadow Beethoven’s great Violin Concerto, which would follow a few years later. Mr. Perlman then trades his fiddle for a baton and conducts the composer’s First and Fifth symphonies. 
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 
[Maazel]Sunday, August 28, 2:30PMTix

On August 28, the Boston Symphony Orchestra brings its portion of the 2011 Tanglewood season to a close with the traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven’s transcendent Symphony No. 9. Eminent maestro Lorin Maazel presides over this year’s final evening and is joined by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, soprano Joyce El-Khoury (BSO and Tanglewood debut), mezzo-soprano Margaret Gawrysiak (BSO and Tanglewood debut), tenor Garrett Sorenson, and bass-baritone Eric Owens (Tanglewood debut). The all-encompassing Ninth Symphony is not only one of the greatest and most well-known works ever, but also is a rare example of music that leaves behind the time in which it was written and heralds the arrival of a new era.

Further info is available both on the website of WCRB (which streams the concerts, with pre-concert coverage beginning 1 1/2 hours before each concert) and on the BSO's own website. Here's a link to the WCRB page which includes interviews with performers scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings and with BSO General Manager Mark Volpe. The BSO's page for Friday evening lists cast and conductor. The Saturday page has links to notes and audio for the symphonies, and the page for the Sunday concert lists soloists, conductor and chorus, with links to notes and audio. The BSO pages also give info about broadcasts on other stations as well as WCRB, so if you're in range for any of the broadcast stations you can listen there, as well.

"But just a minute," you say, "what about the hurricane which is expected to be around?" Well, a little while ago the announcers on WCRB said that as of then, all systems were "go" for all three concerts as far as the BSO was concerned. They pointed out that never in the 74 years of concerts at Tanglewood has a concert been cancelled because of weather.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tanglewood — 2011/08/19-21 — Boston Pops on Saturday

Once more, the BSO website gives us the basics for this weekend.

Schoenberg, Schumann and Beethoven 

[Christoph Von Dohnanyi]Friday, August 19, 8:30PMTix

Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi returns to the BSO podium on August 19 for his second program of the 2011 Tanglewood season, leading the BSO in Beethoven’s revolutionary Symphony No. 3, Eroica, a piece that never seems to age no matter how much it is performed, and Schumann’s powerful yet lyrical Piano Concerto, the only work in the genre the composer completed despite a number of other attempts, with pianistMartin Helmchen in his BSO and Tanglewood debuts as soloist. Opening the program is Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1, a fascinating and eloquent early work for chamber orchestra that distills the traditional symphonic form into a single concise movement. 
Film Night at Tanglewood 
[John Williams]Saturday, August 20, 8:30PMTix

One of the season's most enduring and popular traditions, the annualFilm Night at Tanglewood concert August 20 celebrates the music of the movies. This summer, John Williams and the Boston Pops are joined by frequent collaborator Gil Shaham in a program featuring film music arranged for violin and orchestra, including Gardel’s Por Una Cabeza (Tango from Scent of a Woman), three pieces from Schindler’s List, and excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof. Also on the program will be Mr. Williams’s nostalgic evocation of early 20th-century America from the 1969 The Reivers, based on the book of the same name by William Faulkner, with special guest Morgan Freeman as narrator. Along with The Reivers, Williams will lead the orchestra in a salute to the Hollywood Western, including John Dunbar’s Theme from Dances with Wolves, the theme from How the West Was Won, and Williams’s own The Cowboys Overture. 
All-Mozart Program 
[bso]Sunday, August 21, 2:30PMTix

Bernard Labadie, renowned Music Director of the Canadian Baroque and Classical specialist orchestra Les Violons du Roy, makes his Tanglewood debut August 21 as he brings his expertise to the BSO in an all-Mozart program. Opening the concert is the Chaconne from the early opera seria Idomeneo, the composer’s first mature opera. Pianist Benedetto Lupo makes his BSO and Tanglewood debuts as soloist for the Piano Concerto No. 18 in B-flat, K. 456, and the program concludes with the Symphony No. 41, Jupiter, Mozart’s final symphony and one of history’s greatest works in the genre.

And, as always, you can get the concerts and WCRB's pre-concert features beginning 1 1/2 hours before the scheduled start of each concert via their webstream.

There is also online info available about these concerts both at the WCRB link above and at additional pages of the BSO website for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tanglewood — 2011/08/12-14

The BSO website says it best:

Bizet, Rodrigo, Boccherini/Berio, Falla, Granados and Giménez 
[Rafael Fruhbeck de  Burgos]Friday, August 12, 8:30PMTix

Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos returns for the second week in a row to lead the BSO in an August 12 program dedicated to Spanish and Spanish-inspired music, repertoire championed by Mr. Frühbeck throughout his career. World-renowned guitar virtuoso and fellow Spaniard Pepe Romero makes his Tanglewood debut in this concert, highlights of which include Preludes from Bizet’s Seville-set opera Carmen; Rodrigo’sConcierto de Aranjuez, surely the best-known work for guitar and orchestra; and the Interlude and First Dance from Falla’s La vida breve (Life is Short), an opera about the doomed love of a gypsy woman for an upper-class man. 
Prokofiev, Schumann and Brahms 
[Christoph Von Dohnanyi]Saturday, August 13, 8:30PMTix

Two of classical music’s most decorated artists join the BSO August 13 as the inimitable cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs as soloist and German-Hungarian conductor Christoph von Dohnányi leads the orchestra. Opening the program is Prokofiev’s effervescent Symphony No. 1, Classical. Mr. Ma takes the lead in Schumann’s free-flowing and adventurous Cello Concerto, and the evening concludes with Brahms’s monumental Symphony No. 1, with which the composer finally took up the imposing symphonic mantel [sic] of Beethoven. 
Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra: All-Brahms 
[Stephanie Blythe]Sunday, August 14, 2:30PMTix

On Sunday afternoon, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra pays homage to Brahms with a concert dedicated entirely to his music, including Nänie, a work for chorus and orchestra that sets a poem by Schiller contemplating mortality; Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), something of a miniature counterpart to the German Requiem; the Alto Rhapsody¸ a piece for mezzo-soprano, male chorus, and orchestra written as a wedding gift for Schumann’s daughter; and the great Symphony No. 2. The young orchestra is conducted by Mr. Frühbeck and joined by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. 

Careful readers will have noted that although the heading for Friday evening promises "Bizet, Rodrigo, Boccherini/Berio, Falla, Granados and Giménez ", the body says nothing about Boccherini/Berio, Granados, or Giménez. But elsewhere, the website promises us "BOCCHERINI/BERIO Ritirata notturna di Madrid" before the Falla and "GRANADOS Intermezzo from Goyescas" and "GIMÉNEZ Intermezzo from La boda de Luís Alonso" afterwards. (Maybe the BSO website doesn't say it best, after all.) This website page with complete listings in turn has links to notes on all the works, and audio for all but Bizet and Granados.

Other pages offer links for notes and audio for the Saturday and Sunday concerts.

Go to WCRB for the stream, including pre-concert features, if you don't have a broadcast provider where you live.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tanglewood — 2011/08/05-07

Here's how the BSO website describe's this weekend's offerings at Tanglewood.

Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Strauss 

[Rafael Fruhbeck de  Burgos]Friday, August 5, 8:30PMTix

Spanish conductor and longtime, beloved Tanglewood guest Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos takes the podium on August 5 for a BSO program featuring the young Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, who makes her Tanglewood debut in Rachmaninoff’s perennial audience favorite Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, a virtuosic set of 24 variations for piano and orchestra on the final and most famous of Paganini’s 24 dazzling caprices for solo violin. Also on the program are Beethoven’s boisterous Symphony No. 8—which the composer considered superior to the more popular and more “serious” Symphony No. 7—and a suite from Richard Strauss’s opulent and romantic operatic comedy Der Rosenkavalier, which tells a traditional theatrical tale of impulsive young love pitted against a previously arranged marriage. 
Jalbert, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff 
[Sarah Chang]Saturday, August 6, 8:30PMTix

On August 6, renowned violinist Sarah Chang joins the BSO for Mendelssohn’s sparkling Violin Concerto, the composer’s last full-scale orchestral work and a staple of the repertoire. Completed in 1845, the concerto is familiar and traditional to modern ears, but its solo-violin opening and three movements that all flow together without pause were very unusual for their time. The program also includes Rachmaninoff’s sweeping Symphony No. 2 and American composer Pierre Jalbert’s sparklingly orchestrated Music of air and fire, which premiered in California in 2007. Sean Newhouse, one of the BSO’s Assistant Conductors, will lead the orchestra for the first time at Tanglewood. 
Smetana, Mozart and Tchaikovsky 
[EmanuelAx]Sunday, August 7, 2:30PMTix

The BSO’s weekend comes to a close August 7 with one of the world’s foremost concert pianists, Emanuel Ax, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K.482, written in Vienna in 1785 when the young composer was writing many new concertos for performances featuring himself as soloist. Lionel Bringuier, an Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra who makes his BSO and Tanglewood debuts in this program, also will conduct Tchaikovsky’s iconic Symphony No. 5 and Smetana’s The Moldau, a musical portrait of a river from the composer’s iconic work of musical nationalism, Má Vlast.

As always, you can listen via WCRB's webstream, with pre-concert interviews comments and related music beginning 1 1/2 hours before the scheduled concert.