Saturday, November 2, 2013

BSO — 2013/10/31-11/5

Two very familiar pieces are presented this week — Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin and Elgar's "Enigma" Variations — along with the BSO's first performances of Concerto Grosso No.1 for Three Cellos and Orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki. Wait, wait! Don't run away! This is the later, mellower, Penderecki. It's really not hard to take. The performance detail page mentions the connection between composition and conductor:
In his first of two BSO programs this season, frequent guest conductor Charles Dutoit marks the 80th birthday of Krzysztof Penderecki with performances of the great Polish composer's Concerto Grosso No. 1 for three cellos and orchestra. Dutoit, the work's dedicatee, led the premiere with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 2001; for these BSO concerts he is joined by three of today's brightest cello soloists. Opening the program is Ravel's familiar Tombeau de Couperin, a colorful, multi-faceted work that originated as a piano suite. Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations is another work that explores a wide variety of moods and ideas, each of its movements sketching a portrait of one of Elgar's close friends.
There you also find the usual links to text, audio, and performer info. I found the program notes on the Elgar particularly interesting. Of course the notes on the Penderecki give a useful preview.

I was there for the Thursday performance, and was quite pleased overall. The Globe reviewer liked it, too. I'm not sure that I agree with his interpretation of everything — the extra-musical meanings — but I agree that it was well played. My favorite of the evening was the Elgar.

You can listen at 8:00 this evening (pre-game at 7:00) or to the rebroadcast on Nov. 11 over Classical New England. Also check out their BSO page for links to additional material.


  1. Love me some Penderecki!

    (Great blog; happy to have stumbled across it.)

  2. I'm glad you found the blog and like it!

    Thanks for commenting.

    Preview/spoiler for my next post: this week it's the Britten "War Requiem. I was there last evening — first time at a performance — and it was very impressive.