Friday, July 19, 2013

Tanglewood — 2013/07/19-21

This weekend we have mid-late 19th Century music on Friday and Saturday evenings and baroque on Sunday afternoon.

July 19  brings us Wagner, Liszt, and Brahms. The BSO performance detail page puts it like this:
Russian maestro Vladimir Jurowski, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, makes his Tanglewood debut on Friday, July 19, at 8:30 p.m., leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program of Wagner, Liszt, and Brahms. Eminent French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the orchestra as soloist in Liszt's devilishly difficult Totentanz, a barnstorming fantasia based on the Dies irae that is one of the showiest works in the repertoire. To begin the program is the pomp and grandeur of Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and concluding the evening is Brahms's monumental Symphony No. 1, with which the composer finally took up the imposing symphonic mantel of Beethoven.
      – some emphasis supplied
This we they have given us links to notes and audio material.

July 20  returns to Wagner for the final act of Die Walküre. You can find links to the program notes at the performance detail page. There you can also click on performer photos for bios. They synopsize the concert as follows:
On Saturday, July 20, at 8:30 p.m., German conductor Lothar Koenigs, music director of the Welsh National Opera, makes his BSO conducting debut, leading the orchestra in a concert performance of Act III of Wagner's Die Walküre. Though the act begins with the furor of the famous "Ride of the Valkyries," what fallows is some of the most intimate and emotionally charged music of the composer's massive Ring cycle. The cast of leading Wagnerian singers includes sopranos Katarina Dalayman (Brünnhilde) and Amber Wagner (Sieglinde), and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (Wotan). The performance, along with the prelude toDie Meistersinger on Friday evening, is part of the BSO's celebration of Wagner's Bicentennial in 2013.
     – some emphasis supplied

July 21  On Sunday afternoon, the orchestra goes for baroque. (The pun is an oldie but goodie, IMO, and I didn't try to resist.) The performance detail page has links to program notes and performer bios, and informs us
Conductor, violinist, and violist Pinchas Zukerman returns to the Shed stage on Sunday, July 21, at 2:30 p.m. for an afternoon of Baroque music, following the success of his all-Bach program with the BSO in 2012. The program will also feature a number of the BSO's players as part of the orchestra's ongoing commitment to feature the individual members of the orchestra. The afternoon's program includes Vivaldi's Concerto in B-flat for violin, cello, and strings, featuring Mr. Zukerman and his wife, cellist Amanda Forsyth; Vivaldi's Concerto in C minor for violin and strings, Il Sospetto; Bach's Concerto No. 2 in E for violin and strings, and Telemann's Concerto in G for viola and strings. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, featuring BSO principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe, principal oboe player John Ferrillo, and principal trumpet player Thomas Rolfs, completes the program.
     – some emphasis supplied

I'm happy to see our modern orchestra including baroque music in the repertory. For one thing, it's just enjoyable to listen to. For another, while the historically informed performances may be much more like what the composers expected and audiences heard back then, I see no need for modern ensembles to give up the repertoire entirely.

Classical New England will broadcast and stream all three concerts, as usual, with only a few seconds' delay, and their BSO page gives a brief summary of what is in store for this weekend and the remaining weekends of the Tanglewood season. I forget whether the warm-up material starts an hour or a half hour before concert time. Well, it's not too important either way. If you arrive early, you hear some music. And if you miss half of the preliminaries, that's not the important part, anyway.


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