Friday, August 23, 2013

Tanglewood — 2013/08/23-25

This is the last weekend of the 2013 Tanglewood Season. The BSO will be playing on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, with the Boston Pops on Saturday. Sunday afternoon's concert will give us the customary season-ending Beethoven 9th Symphony. Specifics follow.

August 23  The 8:30 p.m. Friday concert is an "Underscore Friday," in which a member of the orchestra gives an introduction to the music from the stage. This evening, per the program note, there will be "introductory comments from the stage by BSO trumpet player Michael Martin." As it happens, I've missed the previous two "Underscore Friday" concerts this season, so this will be a first for me. The program is described thus for us on the orchestra's performance detail page.
The BSO kicks off the final weekend of its 2013 Tanglewood season on Friday, August 23, at 8:30 p.m. with a program featuring pianist  Peter Serkin and led by BSO Assistant Conductor  Andris Poga in his Tanglewood debut. Mr. Serkin will join Mr. Poga and the orchestra for Stravinsky's Concerto for Piano and Winds, a Bach-inspired work from the beginning of the composer's neoclassical period, about which he wrote "I have gone back in the centuries and have begun over again, on a historic foundation. What I write today has its roots in the style and methods of Palestrina and Bach." The program also includes Prokofiev's Haydnesque Symphony No. 1,  Classical, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.
As usual, if you go to that page you will find links to program notes and audio previews, as well as to performer bios when you click on their photos.

August 24 brings "Film Night at Tanglewood." The performance detail page puts it this way:
A beloved summer tradition continues on August 24 at 8:30 p.m. in the Shed with  John Williams' Film Night.  Joining maestro Williams and the  Boston Pops for this special program-which features selections by Alfred Newman, Henry Mancini, Max Steiner, and more-are guest conductor  David Newman, son of Alfred Newman and a film composer in his own right, and superstar vocalist and Broadway and screen actress  Audra McDonald, who recently won a Tony Award for her performance as the leading lady inPorgy and Bess. Ms. McDonald will join the orchestra for selections from a number of films, including  A Star Is Born State Fair, and  The West Point Story. Mr. Williams will also lead the Pops in his own film music, including pieces from Jaws Indiana Jones, and  Hook.
If I understand the program notes correctly, Maestro Newman will conduct the first half, some of which will be music composed by his father; and after intermission, Maestro Williams will conduct some of his own compositions. It's not clear to me whether Maestro Williams or Brian Hertz will be on the podium when Ms. McDonald sings.

August 25
The BSO's 2013 Tanglewood season comes to a close on Sunday, August 25, at 2:30 p.m. with the traditional performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, led by BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink. Maestro Haitink, the orchestra, and Tanglewood Festival Chorus will be joined for this season's valedictory concert by soprano  Erin Wall, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenor  Joseph Kaiser, and bass-baritone John Relyea. Completed in 1824 near the end of the composer's life when he was completely deaf, mostly destitute, and increasingly ill, this monument of musical innovation and accomplishment has stood as an iconic tribute to and example of the ability of the human spirit to triumph over adversity ever since.
Visit the performance detail page (from which the quote was taken) for the usual links to further info.

You can listen to the concerts over Classical New England, by radio if you're within range, otherwise via their webstream. As usual, there is a pre-concert program a half hour before each concert's stated start time, and there are links of various sorts on the station's BSO page. BTW, if you haven't already noticed, you might want to scan the home page of the website for links to descriptions of some of their other programming.

After this weekend, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be off until the Symphony Hall season begins in Boston on September 21. I'm not sure what CNE will be presenting on the two intervening Saturday evenings, but I expect it will include rebroadcasts of some BSO concerts. I'll let you know, if I find out. Otherwise, you can just listen in at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.

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