Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/07/27-29

Since I'll be away later this week, I'm trying to schedule this to post on Thursday.

July 27.  The weekend begins with the Friday evening concert at 8:30. The BSO website only tells us what is on the program and links the program notes. But if you put your cursor on a picture, a pop-up box identifies the artist; and if you click on the picture, you get the artist's bio. It turns out the conductor is Marcelo Lehninger, and the pianist is Nelson Freire.

MOZART - Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466
VILLA-LOBOS - Momoprecoce, Fantasy for piano and orchestra
MUSSORGSKY (orch. RAVEL) - Pictures at an Exhibition
For Classical New England's preview material go to their BSO Tanglewood page, and scroll down to the weekend of July 27-29.

July 28.  Saturday night brings, per the website
BERLIOZ - La Damnation de Faust
Charles Dutoit conducts. You can check the website page for the singers and choruses. Not much at Classical New England's website for this one. Maybe more will come later.

July 29.  The Sunday matinee at 2:30 brings Charles Dutoit and Emmanuel Ax in the following program:

BEETHOVEN - Piano Concerto No. 3
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 5
The BSO website is here. The CNE website (link above) has a preview of the Tchaikovsky.

Ron Della Chiesa's "pre-game show" begins a half hour before each concert, and for the hour before that they give something called "Tanglewood Today" with recordings that somehow relate to Tanglewood. As always, the webstream is at and the broadcasts on 99.5 FM.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/07/20-22

Greetings, music lovers young and old, near and far. Another weekend arrives, and again we look to Tanglewood for three programs to be broadcast and streamed around the world from western Massachusetts by Classical New England.

July 20.  It's Berkshires Night at Tanglewood (1,000 free tickets have been made available to residents of the area), and there is a program of music by Bernstein and Tchaikovsky. Inexplicably, they aren't identifying the performers, either on the homepage or on the detail page, but they at least tell us what is scheduled to be performed.

BERNSTEIN - Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium) for violin and orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

But Classical New England spills the beans.

Christoph Eschenbach conducts Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, the "Pathétique," and violinist Dan Zhu is the soloist in Bernstein's Serenade, live from Tanglewood.

Tonight at 7pm on Classical New England

I'm not familiar with the Bernstein Serenade, but having read the Symposium in college, I'd like to hear what he does with it. Unfortunately, I'll be out having dinner with the Race Committee, so I'll probably miss it.

July 21.  Saturday brings us an all Wagner program. Again, they don't tell us who's conducting this program, but the detail page does have a link to the program notes on the music.
Overture to Rienzi
Siegfried Idyll
Prelude and Love-death from Tristan und Isolde
Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre
Forest Murmurs from Siegfried
Prelude to Parsifal
Overture to Tannhäuser
Again, CNE is more forthcoming with information and links to their own preview material.
The BSO and conductor Asher Fisch re-create a 1937 Tanglewood program that's gone down in history./

Some of it is stuff I like, but I can do without the Liebestod. I don't quite recall the Parsifal  prelude, but in general, I can do without the opera. The Rienzi and Tannhäuser overtures, OTOH, are just my figurative cup of metaphorical tea.

July 22.  On Sunday afternoon we get an all Mozart program under the baton of Kurt Masur and his son Ken-David. Here the website is not afraid to give some details:
In yet another nod to history on Sunday, July 22, at 2:30 p.m., the BSO presents an all-Mozart program, a popular model in the early years of the festival, led by Kurt Masur (a Tanglewood guest more than 25 times), and his son, both conductor and grammy-nominated producer, Ken-David Masur, and featuring pianist Gerhard Oppitz in the Piano Concerto No. 24, among the very greatest and most dramatic of Mozart's works in the genre and one of just two in a minor key.
Also on the program are the Symphony No. 36, Linz-which bears the name of the Austrian city in which it was composed over a period of just four days in 1783-and one of Mozart's most enduringly popular works, Eine kleine Nachtmusik.

By now, you should know the drill: evening concerts at 8:30, Sunday afternoon at 2:30, all with introductory material beforehand.

I'll be in Europe  next week. If I get a chance, I'll put something about next weekend here before I go — maybe even try to  schedule it to publish while I'm gone. But if I don't get around to it, just check the BSO and Classical New England websites.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/07/13-15

July 13  Friday evening's concert, beginning at 8:30, is all Mozart. As the BSO website succinctly puts it:

All-Mozart Program: July 13 at Tanglewood

Eminent German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter follows up her July 11 Ozawa Hall recital with an appearance as both soloist and conductor on Friday, July 13, at 8:30 p.m. Mutter, who opened the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 2011-12 subscription season with performances of the five Mozart violin concertos, rejoins the orchestra at Tanglewood for the composer's Second, Third, and Fifth concertos.
There are links to program notes and audio material at this page.

July 14  For Saturday evening, they are giving us a "Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration."
To celebrate Tanglewood's 75th Anniversary, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and Tanglewood Festival Chorus will all appear, along with conductors John Williams, Keith Lockhart, Andris Nelsons, and David Zinman; soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, James Taylor, and Anne-Sophie Mutter. The program will be wide-ranging and will include works by Tanglewood legends including Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.
Here's a more complete rundown from the detail page.
Program to include -
COPLAND - Fanfare for the Common Man
BERNSTEIN - Three dance episodes fromOn the Town
- Selections from The Great American Songbook
HAYDN - Piano Concerto in D, 2nd and 3rd movements
TCHAIKOVSKY - Andante cantabile, for cello and strings
SARASATE - Carmen Fantasy, for violin and orchestra
RAVEL - La Valse
BEETHOVEN - Choral Fantasy

I'm definitely looking forward to the Choral Fantasy. The rest of it should be okay, too.

July 15  Here's the official description of the Sunday afternoon concert:

Stravinsky and Brahms: July 15 at Tanglewood

Latvian conductor and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons, who has previously conducted the BSO only at Carnegie Hall, makes his Tanglewood debut Sunday, July 15, at 2:30 p.m. Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra are joined by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. The program also includes Brahms's exhilarating Symphony No. 2.

And here's the link to the page with the links to notes and audio previews. As I noted when it happened, the BSO and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, with Bernard Haitink as conductor, performed the Symphony of Psalms in the program which concluded the regular season two months ago.

The usual broadcast/webstreams are available from Classical New England, which also has its own information about the music to be performed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/07/06-8

It has kind of "snuck up" on me. (For my foreign readers, the correct word is theoretically "sneaked," but "snuck" is regularly used colloquially, as if it were an irregular verb like a German strong verb.) The Tanglewood season of the Boston Symphony opens this evening, July 6, at 8:30, Eastern Time. Since this is the 75 Anniversary season of BSO concerts at Tanglewood, and they'll be performing a lot of music from that season or related to their 75  years at Tanglewood, I had been thinking of doing a season preview with just dates and composers, but I procrastinated too much, so I'll just try to do the weekly previews.

July 6  The BSO website says

July 6 is Opening Night at Tanglewood!

On August 5, 1937, what was then the Berkshire Symphonic Festival's largest crowd assembled under a tent for the first Tanglewood concert, an all-Beethoven program including the Leonore Overture No. 3 and the Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6. To open the 75th Tanglewood season, revered conductor and 1952 Tanglewood Music Center alumnus Christoph von Dohnányi and the BSO reprise that program on Friday, July 6, at 8:30 p.m.

For links to program notes and audio previews, you can go to the page for this concert.

I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

July 7  The website tells us

Barber, Ravel, Meyer and Tchaikovsky: July 7 at Tanglewood

On Saturday, July 7, at 8:30 p.m., Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern makes his BSO and Tanglewood debuts in a concert featuring popular violinist Joshua Bell Tanglewood guest every year since 1989-and bassist-composer Edgar Meyer, who last appeared at Tanglewood in 2000.

The page for this particular program also has links to notes and audio. It also gives this fuller description of the program:
Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern makes his BSO and Tanglewood debuts in a concert featuring popular violinist Joshua Bell-a Tanglewood guest every year since 1989-and bassist-composer Edgar Meyer, who last appeared at Tanglewood in 2000. The program will include the world premiere of Mr. Meyer's Double Concerto for violin, double bass, and orchestra-an appropriate programming nod to Tanglewood's founder and BSO Music Director 1925-1949, Serge Koussevitzky, himself a virtuoso bass player. Bell and Meyer have collaborated for many years in music ranging from bluegrass to classical. The program also includes Barber's Overture to The School for Scandal and two works by Tchaikovsky: Meditation, for violin and orchestra and the Symphony No. 4, a work performed as part of the second-ever Tanglewood concert on August 7, 1937.

Unfortunately, my brother will probably call from Japan during the world premiere of the Meyer concerto. I'll try to remember to set up my tape recording system (yes, I still record on audiocassettes) so I can listen later — maybe during the Pops concert on Sunday.  ;)

July 8  On Sunday we get

Sunday, 2:30 PM

Boston Pops Orchestra with Bernadette Peters

Further detail from the day's page:
Broadway superstar Bernadette Peters has dazzled audiences with performances on stage and screen. With Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, she returns to Tanglewood with her singular style, presenting selections such as Let Me Entertain You, Fever, and Some Enchanted Evening.

As usual, you can listen to the concerts on Classical New England's webstream (or broadcast, if you're within range of the transmitter.) They tell us somewhere that the broadcast/webstream will begin at 8:00 this evening, but I can't find the times for the remaining broadcasts. I'll guess that they will also be 1/2 hour before the scheduled concert time — therefore 8:00 again on Saturday, and 2:00 on Sunday. But your guess is as good as mine. Classical New England also has a page where they have links to all sorts of audio material — mostly the producer, Brian Bell, analyzing some of the music to be played and interviewing conductors and performers. Some of that material may also be included in the pre-concert broadcast and during intermissions. You can reach that page either through the link I provided or by clicking on "Boston Symphony Orchestra" under the heading "Classical New England Programs" on the right side of the CNE home page.

Edited July 7 to correct date in title.