Friday, August 22, 2014

Tanglewood — 2014/08/22-24

The last weekend of the BSO's Tanglewood season concludes, as usual, with a Sunday matinee performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with Charles Dutoit conducting. The symphony will be preceded by the composer's Choral Fantasy with Yefim Bronfman as piano soloist. Before that, on Friday evening, there will be chamber music; and on Saturday, there's an Italian (largely Roman) theme.

Friday August 22  The score by Harold Arlen to the movie The Wizard of Oz will be played by the Boston Pops under Keith Lockhart. Apparently, there is no permission from the copyright holders to broadcast it, because WCRB will be substituting a concert recorded on July 1. The performance detail page lists the performers and works to be performed but lacks most of the usual links to background information. We find this information on the WCRB BSO page:
On Friday, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players celebrate 50 years as an ensemble in a concert that includes Yehudi Wyner's Into the Evening Air, Debussy's Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp, and Schubert's Octet. (recorded July 1)
(Some emphasis added.)

It might be interesting to hear the new piece by Wyner, and I'm sure the Schubert will be enjoyable. I'm not sure about the Debussy: I don't enjoy most of his music very much, but I'm not familiar with the flute sonata; so we'll see.

Saturday August 23  Saturday brings a more conventional program. Here's how the performance detail page puts it:
Charles Dutoit returns to the podium to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra. An Italian-themed program on August 23 begins with Berlioz's colorful Roman Carnival Overture and continues with Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, featuring pianist Kirill Gerstein as soloist. Completing the program is Respighi's scintillatingly orchestrated trio of Rome-centric tone poems: Roman Festivals, Fountains of Rome, and Pines of Rome.
(Some emphasis added.)

The usual links to performer bios, audio previews, and program notes can be found on that page as well. This should be quite a rousing concert.

Sunday August 24  It has become customary to close the BSO's Tanglewood season with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. As noted above, this year it is preceded by the Choral Fantasy. Consult the performance detail page for links to program notes, an audio preview, and performer bios. It gives this description of the program:
On August 24, the BSO's Tanglewood season comes to a close with its traditional performance of Beethoven's transcendent Symphony No. 9. The final concert begins with Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, which also features pianist Yefim Bronfman and which was a clear precedent for the Ninth Symphony's choral movement. Vocal soloists include sopranos Nicole Cabell and Meredith Hansen, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenors Noah Stewart and Alex Richardson, and bass-baritone John Relyea.
It should be good listening. I like the Choral Fantasy maybe even better than the Ninth Symphony, but certainly both are worth hearing.

WCRB will be broadcasting and streaming the Saturday and Sunday concerts live, as usual, in addition to the pre-recorded concert of Friday. After that, they go back to the regular schedule of presenting BSO concerts on Saturday evenings. Until the BSO begins the Symphony Hall season, the three intervening Saturdays will have rebroadcasts. The station's BSO page has descriptions of those concerts as well as this weekend's and other useful links about on-demand availability of earlier concerts etc.

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