For the final concerts of the season, Bernard Haitink is joined by the eminent Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires-in her first BSO appearances since 1999-for Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, from the series of great Vienna concertos the composer wrote at the height of his career there. The A major concerto, K.488, is one of the most chamber-musical and intimate of these works. Opening the program is Robert Schumann's dramatic Manfred Overture, composed in 1848 as part of incidental music for Byron's drama of the same name. Grappling with the shadow of Beethoven's symphonies, Brahms famously delayed completing and releasing his Symphony No. 1 to the world until after his fortieth birthday. It bears several deliberate touches of homage to Beethoven but is fully Brahmsian in its spirit and effect.(Some emphasis added.)
From now until July, in addition to the usual Monday repeats of the concert of nine days ago, WCRB will be giving us a variety of programming, including performances by the BSO and the Boston Pops.
The Globe review is admiring toward Maestro Haitink, but less than thrilled with how the Mozart went, especially the first movement. The Boston Musical Intelligencer liked the whole thing — no problem with the Mozart — a very favorable review. The Thursday performance was part of my subscription, but I had a personal obligation that evening, so I couldn't attend, and thus have no personal observations to add. I'm looking forward to hearing the Schumann and Mozart this evening. (Brahms isn't my cup of tea, and my brother will be calling from Japan while it's being performed.)
Listen at 8:00 Boston Time on May 2 and/or 11 over WCRB radio or web. See their BSO page for additional information and a link to an interview with conductor and pianist. Before the section of that page dealing with this week's concert, there is a preview of next year's Symphony Hall season. And further down there is information about what will fill the weeks between now and the Tanglewood season — some interesting stuff there.