Saturday, September 27, 2014

BSO — 2014/09/27

Andris Nelsons' inaugural concert as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is only being performed this evening (although there will be the customary rebroadcast in nine days). This means that there are no reviews so far, just the usual preview information. There will be music of Wagner, Mascagni, Puccini, and Respighi. The BSO performance detail page has links to program notes, a couple of audio previews, and performer bios (click on the pictures). It also provides the following synopsis:
This wide-ranging one-night-only event celebrates the start of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons' tenure with the orchestra, and features two close colleagues of the conductor as soloists, the acclaimed Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, and the outstanding German tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Each sings selections from the Wagnerian and Italian verismo repertoires, after which they join forces for a powerful duet from Puccini's Manon Lescaut. The concert opens with Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture-the work that first inspired a five-year-old Nelsons to a life in music-and closes with Respighi's spectacular orchestral showcase,Pines of Rome.
(Some emphasis added.)

As usual, you can listen on air or over the web via WCRB at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time. And since the concert is sold out  —something I don't recall seeing before, although it must have happened occasionally at least on opening nights — that's the only way you can hear it. Their BSO page has links to several interesting-looking interviews and to the complete season broadcast/stream schedule. (And dang! during the past week they've had a retrospective on previous music directors from Koussevitsky through Levine, with programs Sunday through Friday. If I had noticed, I could have listened while watching the Red Sox.)

It should be worth hearing.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

BSO — 2014/09/18-20

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is back at Symphony Hall for the season, which will extend until May 2, with a break for Holiday Pops in December. I was at the opening concert of the season on Thursday, and heard the program which will be given this evening, Sept. 20. Associate Conductor Marcelo Lehninger leads a concert which includes music of Mozart (?), Villa-Lobos, and Beethoven. On the orchestra's performance detail page we get this summary:
BSO Associate Conductor Marcelo Lehninger returns to the Symphony Hall podium for a concert spotlighting members of the orchestra. Four BSO principals take center stage for Mozart's seldom heard Sinfonia concertante for winds, last performed by the BSO in 1989 (with a different solo quartet). Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos's Bachianas brasileiras No. 5 for soprano and cellos is one of several like-named pieces intended to meld Brazilian musical ideas with the classical tradition. One of Villa-Lobos's most popular scores, the work is in two parts, sung in Portuguese: an Aria with words by Ruth Correa (who sang its premiere) and a Dance with words by Manuel Bandeira. The accompaniment for cellos alone makes it a rarity on orchestral concerts; these will be the first BSO performances of the piece. Closing the concert is Beethoven's powerful Symphony No. 5, among the best-known of all orchestral pieces.
The same page also has links to program notes , audio previews, an interview with the maestro, an — by clicking on the photos — performer bios.

Reviews were favorable, both in the Boston Globe and — even more favorable — in the Boston Musical Intelligencer. While I enjoyed it, I didn't think it was the best I've ever heard. Dynamics could have been better, in my opinion, and the Mozart and Beethoven sometimes seemed more like playing the notes than playing the music. Even so, the finale of the Beethoven can't help but be rousing when the notes are played correctly. So I think it's going to be enjoyable to listen to.

As always, WCRB will present the concert live, beginning at 8:00 p.m. You can hear it as a radio broadcast at 99.5 FM (or one of their satellite transmitters), if you're within range of the signal. Otherwise listen to the web stream by clicking the "Listen Live" button on the right side of their homepage. The station's BSO page has not only a brief description of the program, but also links to background interviews, information about on-demand listening to previous concerts, and the broadcast/streaming schedule for the whole season — which reminds us that each Saturday concert is rebroadcast nine days later, on Monday evening.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BSO — September Hiatus — 2014/09/13

For the final Saturday before live broadcasts from Symphony Hall resume, WCRB has chosen to give us an encore of the concert of October 19, 2013, the first Andris Nelsons conduct with the BSO after being chosen to be its music Director, a post he assumes this season. I posted my review of the concert on October 19, 2013.

Here is how WCRB summarizes the content on their BSO page:
In an encore broadcast, BSO Music Director Designate Andris Nelsons leads the orchestra in Wagner'sSiegfried Idyll and the Symphony No. 3 by Brahms, and Paul Lewis is the soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25.
(Some emphasis added.)
That page also contains a number of links you might wish to follow.

As usual, the concert broadcast, available also over the web by clicking the "Listen Live" button on the WCRB home page, begins at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time. Based on my review of 11 months ago, I think you'll enjoy it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

BSO — September Hiatus — 2014/09/06

This week's BSO rebroadcast and webstream over WCRB is a concert from last February. Here's how WCRB describes it on their BSO page:
In an encore broadcast, pianist Murray Perahia is the soloist in Schumann's Piano Concerto, and Bernard Haitink leads the BSO in Stucky's Funeral Music for Queen Mary, after Purcell, and the Symphony No. 4 by Brahms.
(Some emphasis added.)

As usual, the WCRB page has links to interviews and other material of  interest.

I heard the concert in the Hall on February 6 and published my p/review here on February 8. I won't bother to copy the links from that post. You can go there and see if they still work. Meanwhile, if you're interested in listening to it, the broadcast and webstream begin on WCRB at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time. I'm especially looking forward to listening to the Stucky piece again.