Saturday, March 14, 2015

BSO — 2015/03/12-17

This week, the BSO gives us "easy listening" with music of Mozart and Richard Strauss. Christoph von Dohnányi conducts — except the first piece, which is a string sextet played without a conductor; and Emanuel Ax is soloist in two pieces. The orchestra's performance detail page gives additional specifics:
Revered German conductor Christoph von Dohnányi leads the BSO in two consecutive weeks of programs this season. The first features beloved pianist Emanuel Ax in two works-Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat, composed in early 1784 as the first of the dozen piano concertos dating from the height of his popularity in Vienna; and Richard Strauss's Burleske, a sparkling, classically stylish early work composed when he was twenty-one. The program opens with the lovely Sextet for strings from Strauss's final opera, Capriccio, and ends with Mozart's Haffner Symphony, which began life as a serenade composed for the Haffner family in 1782, then was turned by Mozart into a symphony introduced in Vienna the following year.
(Some emphasis added.)
You can also get the usual audio previews, program notes, and performer bios there, But unfortunately they don't list the players — all BSO members — in the opening sextet. They are Malcolm Lowe (concertmaster) and Haldan Martinson (principal second violin); violins, Steven Ansell and Cathy Basrak (principal and assistant principal), violas; and Jules Eskin (principal) and Sato Knudsen, cellos.

I found the Thursday performance enjoyable. The Mozart was typical Mozaert. As for the Strauss, the sextet was mostly gentle, while the "Burleske" was vigorous, with plenty of virtuoso piano playing. The Globe reviewer was pleased. There's also a link to a story from 18 months ago about the conductor's father, who was part of the resistance against Hitler and was killed by the Nazis in April 1945. The Boston Musical Intelligencer has a mixed review.

As always, you can listen for yourself on radio or the web over WCRB at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time (which is Daylight Saving Time), this evening or Monday, March 23. The station's BSO page has an interview with the conductor, the BSO concert broadcast schedule, and other links and information.


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