Saturday, April 20, 2013

BSO — 2013/04/18-23

This week's concerts showcase the various sections of the orchestra playing without a conductor. The Orchestra's performance detail page, with links to an audio preview, an interview, and program notes. describes it as follows:
Following the great success of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's "members-only" concerts in January 2012, the individual sections of the orchestra again take the stage conductor-less to perform Britten's Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury, Mozart's Serenade No. 11 in E-flat for winds, K.375, Dvořák's Serenade for Strings, and Tippett's Praeludium for brass, bells, and percussion. The full ensemble then joins forces for Britten's well-known Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, which shines a spotlight on each section of the orchestra in turn.

I was at the Thursday performance (before the police chase began). It was okay, but not really exciting. The part I liked best was actually the Britten "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," which they played with a conductor. The other Britten and the Tippett were also fairly enjoyable, but the others seemed too long. Players introduced each piece, and the violinist who introduced the Dvořák said that playing without a conductor wasn't a stunt, but for such a big piece, I think it may have been. I'm not sorry I was there, but it wasn't "must hear" IMO. The Boston Globe's reviewer was not unhappy, and tells a bit more about what happened.

See what you think. You can listen this evening over Classical New England at the usual time, with the rebroadcast/webstream on April 28. On April 21, the rebroadcast/stream will be of last week's concert, and CNE's "page 2" has audio and video links to related material.

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