Friday, October 2, 2015

BSO — 2015/10/01-03 — Updated

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is back where it belongs — in Symphony Hall. This week they open the 2015-2016 season with a concert described as follows in their performance detail page:
For the first concerts of the BSO's 2015-2016 season-an all-Russian program-Andris Nelsons and the orchestra continue their survey of Stalin-era works by Dmitri Shostakovich. Composed at the end of World War II, the atypically short, five-movement Ninth Symphony was criticized as being insufficiently serious for the time. Shostakovich's older compatriot Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his final work, the vibrant, symphony-like Symphonic Dances, in 1940 while living in the United States. In between these two pieces, the marvelous Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin plays Tchaikovsky's beloved Concerto No. 1.
Join the conversation online by using #BSOKissin for this concert series or #BSO1516 on your social networks to discover the excitement of the season and connect with one another!
(Some emphasis — most, actually — added.)
That performance detail page also has a number of links. Program notes are accessible by clicking icons in the "Notes" column near the bottom of the page, audio previews by clicking those under "Audio," and performer bios by clicking on the thumbnail photos of the "Featured Performers." In addition, there is a "Media Center: Podcasts/Notes" graphic which gives links to some of the same material, as well as a brief (approximately two-minute) introduction to the music.

I enjoyed the concert, especially the Shostakovich. The program note refers to "a darker mood" in the middle of the second movement and "ominous" moments and others of "grief and desolation" in the third. Although the note had me expecting those elements, I didn't hear anything I'd have characterized that way. It wasn't all rollicking and playful, but I'd have called some parts calm, and some solemn. Shostakovich has his dissonances, but, to me at least, they aren't hard to take in this symphony. The Boston Globe, as of this writing, hasn't favored us with a review. Maybe one will become available later on the page I've linked. There is a typically lengthy review at the Boston Musical Intelligencer. The reviewer was aware of nuances in the performances which I hadn't picked up on. Maybe I'll notice them during the Saturday broadcast. One thing I would add is that in addition to the fine solos he mentioned, Clint Foreman opened the second movement of the Tchaikovsky very well on the flute.

As always, WCRB will broadcast the Saturday evening performance over 99.5 FM in Boston and stream it over the web. (The "Listen Live" button is on the right side of their homepage, near the top.) They also have a page devoted to the BSO. That page features an interview with Maestro Nelsons about this concert, as well was their complete BSO broadcast/webstream schedule for the season, and other items. The concert coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. "Boston Time" on October 3. If you miss it then, they repeat the broadcast/stream on Monday, October 12, also at 8:00.

Happy listening.

Update: The Globe has published a favorable review. While I'm at it, let me also note a somewhat critical review in the online publication, The Arts Fuse.

No comments:

Post a Comment