3 weeks ago
Classical music — orchestral and opera — has been one of my major interests for most of my life. I'll use this blog to tell about some of the concerts I'm attending and the opportunities to listen to some of them and other good programs on the web.
On Thursday, I was there for a program which had the Rachmaninoff, but began with Moussorgsky's Night on Bare Mountain and ended with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. The Boston Globe's review of that program has more background than actual review, but does have a favorable impression of the soloist in the Paganini and seems content with the rest. As is often the case, the Boston Musical Intelligencer went into greater detail. The reviewer articulated my vague feelings, especially about the Moussorgsky seeming somehow tame.
The Globe review was generally favorable. As is generally the case, with the Boston Musical Intelligencer, less is more. That is, less restriction on the length of the review yields more description of the music and the performance. The reviewer was mildly disappointed with the Mozart, but quite pleased with the Mahler.Charles Dutoit conducts the final three weeks of the BSO's 2013-14 season. On April 17 and 19, he leads Mozart's elegant Prague Symphony, a work the composer wrote as a kind of "thank you" to the city of Prague upon its overwhelmingly positive response to his opera The Marriage of Figaro. Anchoring these concerts is Mahler's Symphony No. 5. Composed in 1901-02 following Mahler's intensive study of Bach's counterpoint, the Fifth was the composer's first completely instrumental symphony since No. 1.Eminent Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit has graciously offered to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the orchestra's final programs, April 17-26, stepping in for Lorin Maazel who has been obliged to interrupt his conducting activities due to an accident and on the advice of his doctors until the third week of May. In addition to the BSO concerts at Symphony Hall, Maestro Dutoit will now also lead the BSO on its tour to China and Japan, May 1-10.
(Some emphasis supplied) See that page also for the usual links: performer info, program notes, and audio previews.
Robert Spano leads the orchestra's final world premiere of 2013-14, Bernard Rands's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, a BSO commission composed for the probing American pianist Jonathan Biss. Claude Debussy's Nuages and Fêtes are two contrasting movements from the impressionistic orchestral Nocturnes. Rachmaninoff wrote his colorful final work, Symphonic Dances, in 1940 for the Philadelphia Orchestra.As noted above, I was there on Thursday, and as the new piece was being played, I had the thought that this was something that could well enter the standard repertory* — it is pleasant to listen to, even if not as melodious as the music of the baroque, classical, and romantic eras; it avoids the unpleasant dissonances and general incoherence (as I hear it) of many recent compositions. The Globe's reviewer liked it as well, and gives a fuller description of what it's like than I could. On the other hand, the Boston Musical Intelligencer's reviewer was disappointed in the Rands piece, as well as the first of the two Nocturnes, only waxing enthusiastic for the Rachmaninoff.