Three Warhorses and a World Premiere
This weeks Boston Symphony program begins with the Overture to "Euryanthe", by Carl Maria von Weber, followed by Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Leif Ove Andsnes as soloist. After the intermission we have the world premiere performances of John Harbison's Symphony No. 6, which was commissioned by the BSO and is dedicated to former Music Director James Levine, who secured the commission. Soloist in the first movement is Paula Murrihy, mezzo-soprano. The final work on the program is "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks", by Richard Strauss. Conductor is David Zinman.
As usual, the BSO website has additional info, including the program notes for the four pieces and audio previews of the three "warhorses." There are also previews with the conductor, the pianist, and the composer at WCRB/Classical New England.
Broadcasts/webstreams are Saturday at 8:00 and Sunday at 1:00 p.m., with the concert available On Demand for two weeks after that. And there are the usual pre-concert features at 7:00 on Saturday.
I was there for the absolute premiere of the Harbison 6th on Thursday evening and again on Friday afternoon. I liked it better than his 5th symphony, which was played earlier this season. The singing in the first movement seemed a bit more lyrical, and although there were cacophonous moments here and there throughout the symphony, there was more that was not unpleasant, with musical figures or themes being repeated, given changed pitch, and developed. I won't be able to listen to the broadcast tonight, but I hope to hear the rebroadcast tomorrow afternoon and record it.
Here's the Boston Globe reviewer's take on the concert, and here's a feature about the Harbison symphony that was published a week ago.