Friday, January 22, 2016

BSO — 2016/01/21-23

This week it's an all-Czech program under the baton of Ludovic Morlot, who has stepped in to replace Czech conductor Jiři Bělohlávek, who had been scheduled to conduct these concerts. First on the program is Vltava (The Moldau), by Smetana. That is followed by Martinů's Fantaisies symphoniques (Symphony № 6). After intermission, Johannes Moser is soloist in Dvořák's Cello Concerto. The orchestra's performance detail page has all the usual links to background information, which is well worth reading and listening to. It also has the following note about two of the pieces on the program (no idea why they don't mention the Dvořák):
Seattle Symphony Orchestra Music Director and former BSO Assistant Conductor Ludovic Morlot  leads an all-Czech program featuring three different generations of composers. Smetana was the first and most important Czech nationalist composer, and the tone poem The Moldau, from his large orchestral suite My Country, is by far his most familiar piece. Bohuslav Martinů studied in Paris and adopted a more cosmopolitan style, but a Czech flavor infuses much of his work. The rich and colorful, thirty-minute Fantaisies symphoniques was commissioned for the orchestra's 75th anniversary and was premiered in 1955.
I'm not familiar with the Martinů symphony, but the others are staples of the repertory and pleasant enough to listen to. The Globe's reviewer was pleased with the performances and even more pleased that the orchestra was playing the symphony they had commissioned over 60 years ago. The Boston Musical Intelligencer gives a very favorable review, including a very imaginative description if the Martinů. I had to miss the concert in order to attend a meeting I needed to be at, so I  can't add anything to the published reviews. Based on them, I'm looking forward to the broadcast on WCRB at 8:00 p.m. Saturday (to be rebroadcast on Monday, February 1, also at 8:00). It is also streamed over the web at those times.

WCRB also has their own Boston Symphony page with the broadcast/streaming schedule for the remainder of the season as well as links to their podcast, "The Answered Question," and on-demand access to a year's worth of previous BSO concerts. This week's podcast includes interviews with both the conductor and the soloist in the concert.

So I think this'll be worth hearing, although the Martinů may be a bit "advanced." Enjoy!

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