Friday, August 31, 2012

Three Weeks' Hiatus

As you can see from the left column of Classical New England's Boston Symphony page, the orchestra is not performing any concerts until September 22. Meanwhile Classical New England is filling the regular BSO slots on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with an "Opera Bash" on September 1&2, "Last Night at the Proms" on Sept. 8&9, and rebroadcasts of two different BSO concerts on Sept. 15&16. Then, as you scroll down the page, you get capsule descriptions of all the Saturday BSO concerts for the coming season. So you can look them over and see when you'll want to decline invitations so you can stay home and listen to the concert. I expect to resume posting info about each concert as the time comes, including my own "review" if I heard it on Thursday.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/08/24-26

August 24.  This evening Tanglewood invites us:
Gershwin and Friends
Join Keith Lockhart, the Pops, and favorite guest vocalists for a celebration of George Gershwin and the creators of the Great American Songbook, including Irving Berlin,  Jerome Kern and Cole Porter. The program also features Gershwin's classic Rhapsody in Blue.
The link above contains a further link to the program notes for the concert and pictures of performers that give identification when you put your cursor on them.

August 25.  Saturday evening, frequent guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos will lead a program of Spanish Music:
ALBÉNIZ - (arr. Frühbeck de Burgos) Suite española
FALLA - La vida breve
Full Program Notes - Saturday, August 25, 8:30pm
Program notes are available by clicking the icons to the right of the listings, and, again, information about soloists is given on the detail page when you bring the cursor to the picture — more detail if you click on it.

August 26.  On Sunday afternoon Maestro Frühbeck leads the now-traditional Beethoven Ninth to close the Tanglewood season with a guaranteed "standing O." But there's more: the world premiere of a piece titled "Koussevitsky Said," by John Harbison, for chorus and orchestra, commissioned by the BSO for Tanglewood's 75th anniversary. Here's the listing on the detail page with its links to notes (and audio for the Beethoven):
HARBISON - Koussevitzky said:, for chorus and orchestra (world premiere; BSO commission)
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 9
Full Program Notes - Sunday, August 26, 2:30pm
I'm really looking forward to hearing the Harbison piece — even more so after reading the program notes. I think once you read the notes, you'll want to hear it too.

Broadcasts and webstreams are scheduled as in previous weeks on Classical New England. CNE's "second page" via the BSO label, has a link to an interesting interview with John Harbison (not just a rehash of the BSO program notes). The page also tells us what Classical New England will use to fill the BSO concert slots on the three weekends between the end of the Tanglewood Season and the opening night of the Symphony Hall Season.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/08/17-19

August 17.   On Friday evening, the BSO will perform
COPLAND - Suite from Appalachian Spring
BARBER - Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 7
For links to program notes and audio previews, go to the BSO concert details page (or click on the icons above). The Copland is easy listening (but not bad stuff), and the Beethoven 7th is a guaranteed standing ovation producer. Augustin Hadelich solos in the Barber. Click on his photo for more info about him. It will be interesting to hear his first performance with the BSO.

August 18.  Saturday brings us "John Williams' 80th Birthday Celebration." On the details page, you can find photos depicting some of the participants (but no links to notes or audio). You get name and position by moving your cursor to the picture, and more info by clicking on it. They will give us
WILLIAMS - Olympic Fanfare and Theme
KERN & HAMMERSTEIN - "The Song Is You"
WILLIAMS - Three Concert Pieces
WILLIAMS - Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra-terrestrial
WILLIAMS - Fanfare for Fenway
WILLIAMS - Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
ARR. WILLIAMS - Air and Simple Gifts
WILLIAMS - Going to School from Memoirs of a Geisha
WILLIAMS - Theme from Schindler's List
WILLIAMS - Main Title from Star Wars
WILLIAMS - Happy Birthday Variations

August 19.  The Sunday matinee brings us the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert, conducted this year by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
BEETHOVEN - Violin Concerto
BARTÓK - Concerto for Orchestra
This time the details page gives us the usual links to notes and audio. Gil Shaham solos in the Beethoven "Mientkiewicz" Concerto. It's one of the pieces I really like. The Bartók Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned by Serge Koussevitsky and premiered by the BSO. I have the feeling that the BSO owns this piece. So I'm especially looking forward to this concert. Edited to add: But it's not the Boston Symphony Orchestra that will be playing on Sunday afternoon. It will be the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra: the students who are attending the BSO's"summer school" at Tanglewood.

Classical New England will broadcast/stream all three, with the usual warm-ups beforehand. See also their page about the BSO. Friday and Saturday concerts are at 7:30, Boston Time, and Sunday's is at 2:30. Tanglewood-related (loosely, at least) material begins 1 1/2 hours before the concert, with Ron Della Chiesa taking over as announcer 1/2 hour before the concert.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/08/10-12

August 10.  This weekend we start with an all Bach program on Friday evening. I take the listings from the BSO website's details page, which also has links to the program notes for the concert.
BACH - Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
BACH - Concerto in C minor for violin, oboe, and strings, BWV 1060
BACH - Concerto in D minor for two violins and strings, BWV 1043
BACH - Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041
BACH - Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

Pinchas Zukerman will play violin and conduct.

August 11.   Saturday evening brings us a world premiere.

PREVIN - Music for Boston (world premiere; BSO commission)
ELGAR - Cello Concerto
SHOSTAKOVICH - Symphony No. 5

Stephane Denève will conduct, and Yo-Yo Ma will be the cello soloist. Links to notes and audio previews of the Elgar and Shostakovich pieces are on the detail page.

August 12.   The least "interesting" program, to my taste, is the only one I can be home to hear in its entirety: Christoph von Dohnányi on the podium with Paul Lewis as piano soloist in

BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 4
MOZART - Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K.488
STRAUSS - Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

The 4th has never really appealed to me, apart from the slow movement, and if I never hear "Till Eulenspiegel" again, it will be soon enough (but I may listen out of a sense of duty). See the links on the detail page, if you want.

I wish I could be at home for the Bach and for the Previn premiere. Thank goodness for the on demand streaming.

Classical New England offers it all, plus some other performances and features, on their website.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tanglewood — 2012/08/03-05

Sorry for being so late posting: I've been preoccupied with other things, some of which were important. Anyway, here's the line-up for this weekend.

Friday, August 3.  Lorin Maazel is scheduled to conduct the following:
MOZART - Symphony No. 38, Prague
MOZART - Arias from Così fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni
RAVEL - Alborada del gracioso
RAVEL - Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, for baritone and orchestra
RAVEL - Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2
Baritone Gerald Finley will be the soloist. Links to notes and audio previews are on this page of the BSO website

Saturday, August 4.  Under the baton of Christoph von Dohnány the orchestra will play Schumann's Symphony No. 4 and Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2, with Yefim Bronfman as soloist in the latter piece. The BSO performance detail page, with links for notes and audio previews is here.

Sunday, August 5.  Sunday afternoon brings us a world premiere, a piece by Michael Gandolfi titled "Night Train to Perugia," which he composed on commission from the BSO. Also on the program are Piano Concerto No. 5, "Egyptian," by Saint-Saëns, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist and the Symphonie Fantastique of Berlioz at the end to keep the audience in their seats until the end of the show. Lorin Maazel conducts again. The performance detail page links only notes and audio for the Berlioz.

The website for Classical New England, which streams and broadcasts these concerts, has its own links to material about the concerts, both on the home page (as of this writing) and on their page devoted to their BSO program(me)s.

For timings, see my posts for previous Tanglewood weekends.