Saturday, January 21, 2012

BSO — 2012/01/19-24 Info and Reviews

This week's scheduled conductor, Ricardo Chailly, bowed out because of health reasons. Giancarlo Guerrero takes over conducting duties for "The Rite of Spring," by Stravinsky, which concludes the concert. But the orchestra threw out the pieces originally scheduled for before the intermission, and chose instead to play four pieces without a conductor — two for the brass section and percussion, one for woodwinds and horns, and one just for strings. The BSO website lists them as follows:
The Boston Symphony Orchestra itself will be showcased on the first half of the BSO program of January 19-24, originally to have been conducted by Riccardo Chailly, when it performs-without a conductor-music for brass, for winds, and for strings: Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and the "Procession du Vendredi-saint" ("Good Friday Procession") from French composer Henri Tomasi's Fanfares liturgiques for brass and percussion; Richard Strauss's Serenade in E-flat, Op. 7, for winds; and Tchaikovsky's Serenade in C for Strings, Op. 48. Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero will then step in for Riccardo Chailly on the second half of the program to lead Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, which was originally scheduled to conclude these concerts. The works on the first half of the program will be introduced by members of the BSO's brass, wind, and string sections.

Visit this page for links to additional information.

I was there on Thursday, and found it all pretty good. They kept together pretty well without a conductor, I thought, and the pieces before intermission were worth hearing. Of course, we know the Copland and Tchaikovsky. Tomasi was  born in 1901, so he's a contemporary of Copland. Someone near me remarked that his piece for a procession is similar to Respighi's piece in "The Pines of Rome" depicting the march of Roman Legion on the Appian Way. "The Rite of Spring"  is no longer really shocking, and I thought it was done cleanly. The Boston Globe reviewer had some criticism of a couple of details, but was overall favorable.

Listening opportunities on Saturday and Sunday are as usual.

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