Friday, August 14. The weekend kicks off with Music Director Andris Nelsons leading the orchestra and solo violinist Christian Tetzlaff in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Mahler's Symphony No. 6. The performance detail page give links to the usual program notes, audio previews, and performer bios. It also gives the following notice:
Several Friday-evening Shed performances will be part of the popular UnderScore Friday series this season. At these performances, patrons will hear comments about the program directly from an onstage BSO musician. UnderScore Fridays will occur on July 17, July 31, and August 14.This time, trumpeter Benjamin Wright will give the opening remarks.
Saturday, August 15. Maestro Nelsons returns to the podium, and his wife, Kristine Opolais, joins him and the orchestra for a couple of operatic numbers, including — appropriately for Assumption Day — an Ave Maria. The performance detail page gives this description:
Andris Nelsons conducts an array of Italian operas which include Verdi's Willow Song and "Ave Maria" from Otello, Act IV, Puccini's Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut Act III, and Boito's "L'altra notte in fondo al mare" from MefistofeleAct III starring soprano, Kristine Opolais. The BSO will then perform Strauss's Ein Heldenleben and Barber's Second Essay for Orchestra.(Some emphasis added.)
Although the way they phrase it implies that both the Strauss and the Barber pieces will come after the operatic selections, the way they are listed lower in the page suggests that the Barber will open the concert, not conclude it. So far there is no background material on the music other than the Strauss.
Sunday, August 16. As indicated above, this is the final broadcast concert of this Tanglewood season. The performance detail page has some of the usual links, as well as this information about the concert:
The BSO's final concert of the 2015 Tanglewood season, under the direction of Asher Fisch, will open with the TMC Orchestra playing Copland's Symphonic Ode. Also in the program is Beethoven's Symphony no.9, with the Tanglewod Festival Chorus and the TMC Ochestra. Special guests include Julianna Di Giacomo, Renée Tatum, Paul Groves,and John Relyea.(Emphasis added.)
Although this blurb indicates that the TMC Orchestra (not the BSO) will be performing the Beethoven, elsewhere on the page, when it mentions the TMC Orchestra it puts "(Copland)" after the listing, which suggests they will not be playing the Beethoven. We'll find out who plays the Beethoven when we listen in, I guess.
The Tanglewood Festival Chorus was founded 40 years ago with John Oliver as its director, to serve as the chorus for Boston Symphony and Pops concerts. Among their notable achievements is that they perform without having the printed music in their hands. They memorize every piece they sing, and that is Maestro Oliver's doing. For forty years he has been preparing the chorus for every performance. He is retiring at the end of the Tanglewood season, so the Beethoven Ninth will be the last performance for which he will have prepared the chorus.
The Friday and Saturday concerts will be at 8:30, and the Sunday at 2:30, Boston Time. WCRB will broadcast and stream them. The station's BSO page also has brief blurbs about these concerts. More importantly, since this is the end of the Tanglewood broadcast season, they revert on August 22 to the regular pattern of weekly concerts at 8:00 on Saturdays. That BSO page gives the schedule of "Encore Broadcasts" of concerts from last season that will take us from August 22 through September 26, after which the BSO returns to Symphony Hall and the live broadcasts/webstreams will resume.
The orchestra will be on tour in Europe, with concerts on 12 days in the period August 22—September 5. Then they may be able to take a little vacation before they have to start rehearsing for opening night in Symphony Hall, October 1.