Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tanglewood — 2014/08/08-10

I'm writing this more than a week in advance, since I'll be away until late Friday afternoon, but I expect to be back by the time the concerts begin. It looks like a rather eclectic weekend.

Friday August 8  This evening's concert features music of the three B's (not the usual three people speak of, but Bolcom, Barlow, and Barber) along with Elgar. It is under the baton of Leonard Slatkin and in honor of his 70th birthday. (Yikes! He's younger than me. I imagined he was older.) The performance detail page, as of this writing — July 31 — has links only for the program notes for the Barber and the performer bios: no notes on the other pieces and no audio links. I hope more will be added as the performance draws near. There is at least the following summary:
The BSO celebrates American conductor Leonard Slatkin's 70th birthday on Friday, August 8, as he leads the orchestra in a program featuring the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom's Circus Overture, commissioned by the BSO for the event. The program also features Wayne Barlow's soulful The Winter's Past, for oboe and strings, with BSO principal oboist John Ferrillo as soloist. Gil Shaham joins Mr. Slatkin and the Orchestra for Barber's Violin Concerto, and the concert concludes with Elgar's kaleidoscopic Enigma Variations.
(Some emphasis added)

Saturday August 9  Again a wide-ranging program awaits on the 9th. The program detail page gives the usual links this time, except for the Szymanowski, and describes the program as follows:
On Saturday, August 9, at 8:30 p.m., French maestro Stéphane Denève takes the podium for a BSO performance pairing music by Tchaikovsky with Debussy's quietly revolutionary Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, which conductor/composer Pierre Boulez said "brought new breath to the art of music." Mr. Denève and the orchestra are then joined by virtuoso Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos for early-20th-century Polish composer Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 2. The drama and adrenaline of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 bring the concert to a close.
(Some emphasis added)
Debussy isn't my figurative cup of metaphorical tea, but at least the piece is short. Szymanowski can be quite "modern," but I'm not familiar with this concerto, so I'll be interested to hear how accessible it is.

Sunday August 10  Sunday continues the Tchaikovsky with an all-Tchaikovsky program conducted by David Zinman with Yo-Yo Ma featured as soloist in two of the works. The program detail page tells us
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma once again takes the stage at Tanglewood on Sunday, August 10, at 2:30 p.m., this time in an all-Tchaikovsky program with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by American maestro David Zinman. Mr. Ma is featured in two works: the Andante cantabile, for cello and strings, and the Variation on a Rococo Theme, for cello and orchestra. The program also includes the Polonaise from Tchaikovsky's operatic masterpiece Eugene Onegin and the perennial favorite Symphony No. 6, Pathétique.
(Some emphasis added)
Again, as of July 31, the links to background material are scant, but that may improve.

WCRB will broadcast and stream all three at the usual times, with pre-concert features a half hour in advance; and their BSO page will probably have links to background material.

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