Saturday, February 20, 2016

BSO — 2016/02/18-20

The BSO's program detail page for this week's concerts has the following description:
In a concert of distinctly opposed moods, Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski leads two rarely heard works of Haydn's. His three-movement Symphony No. 26, Lamentatione, takes its nickname from its use of a Gregorian chant melody linked to the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Poised between the Baroque and Classical eras, Haydn's Violin Concerto No. 1 was written early in Haydn's service to the Esterházys. Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova, in her BSO debut, plays this and the important German composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Concerto funebre, the composer's 1939 meditation on the approach of war [extensively revised in 1959, per the program notes]. Concluding the concert is Beethoven's high-spirited Symphony No. 2.
(Some emphasis added.)

The actual order of performance is as shown on the performance detail page, where you can also find the usual links to background information.

The Globe's brief review is favorable — somewhat more so of the conductor than of the soloist. The more extensive and insightful Boston Musical Intelligencer review (of the Friday matinee) is also very favorable, but not without minor criticisms. On Thursday, I enjoyed the concert. I thought the violinist played very well, as did the orchestra. I'm not a musicologist, but as an amateur listener, I found no fault. The Haydn was genial; the Hartmann was serious, but not unpleasant to hear; and the Beethoven was full of good cheer. My only complaint is that the audience should have given longer ovations. I was happy to see a couple of younger players getting first chair duties. Wesley Collins, visible behind the conductor in the Globe photo, was first chair viola in all four pieces; and Clint Foreman was first chair flute in the Beethoven, which was the only piece with flutes in it, and handled his solos flawlessly to my ears.

So by all means, listen in on Saturday over WCRB radio or webstream at 8:00 p.m. and/or to the repeat on Monday, February 29, also at 8. Their BSO page has brief descriptions of this and upcoming concerts, as well as a link to their podcast preview which includes interviews with conductor and soloist.

Also worth noting is that at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 21, WCRB will be presenting their recording of the performance last season by the Handel and Haydn Society of Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah. I didn't get to it and I very much want to hear the broadcast. There's a link to the program book here on the station's website.

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