Saturday, October 22, 2011

BSO — 2011/10/20-22

As usual, we start with the BSO website description.

All-Brahms Program 

October 20-22, Kurt Masur Leads the Orchestra in an all-Brahms Program including the Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yefim Bronfman as Soloist. 
[KurtMasur]We regret to share that Yefim Bronfman has been advised by his doctors to take one week to rest and recuperate from an injury to one of his fingers, and will not be able to perform Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 in the Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts of October 20, 21, and 22. Nicholas Angelich has graciously agreed to join us as soloist for these performances on short notice, making his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut.
Audio Concert Preview by Robert Kirzinger, narrated by Eleanor McGourty.

Brian Bell with Michael Steinberg 
In 1996, the BSO performed the Brahms Third Symphony. At the very same time, author Michael Steinberg was in town promoting his new book, The Symphony: A Listener's Guide. WGBH's Brian Bell took this as a sign. The result? This 18-minute conversation between Bell and Steinberg about Brahms's Third.
Revered German conductor Kurt Masur returns to the BSO podium for the first of two programs with the orchestra this season. (He leads Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the BSO in February.) In this all-Brahms program, he is joined by Nicholas Angelich for Brahms's by turns lyrical and majestic Piano Concerto No. 2, written more than twenty-five years after the First. Brahms's Symphony No. 3, the third and most classically contained of his four works in the genre, is as different from the other three as they are from each other, while at the same time matching the Piano Concerto No. 2 in its expressive intensity.

Brahms isn't my favorite composer, so I exchanged my ticket to this week's concert for November 10, when they'll play works of Weber, Barber, and Tchaikovsky. (I've been saying that they should do some Weber from time to time. Somebody must have heard me. LOL)

But the Globe liked it, and someone who was there said it was wonderful. So I'll listen on the radio tonight and again tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. You can catch the webstreams, as usual.



  1. So how was it on the radio? (btw. Weber -> Barber <- Tchaikovsky? hm) :)

  2. It was easy listening. I'm not so familiar with either piece that I could have detected anything wrong with the performances, but they sounded well played, except for a tiny fault in the attack by the horn on the first note of the concerto. I was pleasantly surprised at how "easy to take" both pieces were.

    We'll see how the Weber, Barber, Tchaikovsky goes. Years ago, the orchestra used to play pieces in the order in which they were composed. I suppose there was supposed to be some sort of progression which made the later works easier to take. But now it seems they've realized that when they play the piece that's most difficult to appreciate last, it just tempts more people to leave early. So bury it in the middle, and the audience has to sit through it to hear what they want.