Continuing his recent multi-season "residency" with the BSO for two weeks of concerts this season, Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit leads German violinist Julia Fischer in the great Brahms Violin Concerto, composed in 1878 for Brahms's lifelong friend, the virtuoso violinist-teacher Joseph Joachim. Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks is named for the Washington, D.C., estate of its commissioners; its premiere took place there under the baton of Nadia Boulanger. This brief, objective, consummately neoclassical chamber concerto is a "concerto" in the sense that each section is treated as a solo participant. Debussy's Images is at the other end of the spectrum, a richly orchestrated, richly illustrative triptych drawing on an English jig, idealized Spanish music, and a subtle, evocative Spring Round.(Some emphasis added.)
When they speak of the "commissioners," they mean "the people who commissioned it," not some government officials. And the Brahms comes last on the program despite its being mentioned first. The Stravinsky leads off. As usual, the performance detail page has links to interviews with the conductor and soloist, audio previews of the music, program notes, and performer bios (click on the photos).
Although I haven't heard the concert, I have heard the Stravinsky and Brahms pieces, so I can recommend it, even for people who are leery of Stravinsky. The Dumbarton Oaks Concerto was composed, as they note, in his "neoclassical period," and is nothing like "The Rite of Spring." And of course Brahms and Debussy are to the taste of most concert-goers. So I think most will find it a pretty good show.
The review in the Globe calls the program "genial," and sees similarities between the Stravinsky concerto and the Bach Brandenburg Concertos. It is a favorable review overall, if not quite a rave. On the other hand, the Boston Musical Intelligencer review is such a rave that I'm tempted to get a ticket for the Tuesday performance next week. The reviewer finds strong performances in all three pieces, as well as in the encore that was given by Julia Fischer at the end of the evening.
You can hear it all for yourself on Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m., Boston time, over WCRB; and if you miss it, there's the rebroadcast on Monday, March 9, likewise at 8:00. Their own BSO page has a link to "a preview with Julia Fischer and Charles Dutoit," as well as information about other concerts. On March 2, comes the repeat broadcast/webstream of the February 21 concert.