Saturday, January 28, 2012

BSO — 2012/01/26-31 Info and Reviews

This week we have just one piece on the Boston Symphony program, Lobgesang, or "Song of Praise," by Felix Mendelssohn.

Here's a bit from the BSO website, with more available at the link.
Conductor Bramwell Tovey will lead the orchestra January 26-31 in Mendelssohn's Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise), for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, with sopranos Carolyn Sampson and Camilla Tilling, tenor John Tessier, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Mendelssohn wrote this big work in 1840 for a three-day festival in Leipzig celebrating the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg's movable-type printing method. This will be only the second time the BSO has performed the complete work at Symphony Hall; the fist was under Seiji Ozawa in 1988. The BSO's only performance prior to that took place in Pittsburg, PA, under Arthur Nikisch in May of 1890! 

I really enjoyed the performance on Thursday evening. Mendelssohn's music is very "accessible." Like me, the Boston Globe's reviewer found it well performed by chorus and orchestra. I'd even call it exhilarating.

So I think you're in for a treat if you listen to the broadcast/stream on Classical New England this evening or tomorrow afternoon or on demand over the next two weeks. The link also gives access to an interview with the conductor.

(I suppose at the time Mendelssohn wrote the piece, he thought of the "night" which Gutenberg helped dispel with his invention of movable type as being the pre-Reformation era, but that was then and this is now.)

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