Saturday, January 12, 2013

BSO — 2013/01/10-15

And we're back! This week's concerts by the Boston Symphony are described as follows on the BSO's website details page:
Violinist Julian Rachlin is featured in Tchaikovsky's ultra-Romantic Violin Concerto at the heart of a program conducted by New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert, who also leads the BSO in three 20th-century works: Dutilleux's Métaboles for Orchestra, Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements, the first major work the composer wrote after moving to the United States in 1939; and Ravel's remarkable musical deconstruction of dance, La Valse.

As, usual the details page also has links to program notes and audio previews, as well as an interview with the conductor.

I was there on Thursday evening and I really enjoyed it. There was a favorable review in the Boston Globe.

The first piece, by Dutilleux, was "interesting." The program notes gave a couple of hints, and I had an idea of which part was which, but it wasn't the sort of thing you can hear developing like Beethoven's symphonies — at least not on the first hearing. So I'm looking forward to listening again this evening.

The violinist for the Tchaikovsky was a last minute replacement, and it was his first time with the BSO in Symphony Hall. But if he was nervous, he didn't show it. A great thing happened. He did so well with the first movement that the audience gave him a real ovation (which you're "not supposed to do" between movements of a work).

After intermission, the rarely heard Stravinsky symphony had moments where the rhythm sounded to me like early rock 'n roll and other moments where I was reminded of "In the Mood." Basically, it was okay. And "La Valse" at the end was good too. Like the Globe reviewer, I found it more waltzy all the way through than I had expected, and IMO that's a good thing.

As always, the concert will be broadcast/streamed live on Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. Boston time on Classical New England, with a repeat on Sunday, January 20 at 1:00 p.m. I don't know what they'll be giving this Sunday, January 13, at 1:00. Check out CNE's Boston Symphony page for another interview with the conductor as well as a schedule of future broadcasts and repeats. Also, as usual, the BSO-related material begins at 7:00 on Saturday with the "pre-game show."

Happy Listening!

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