3 weeks ago
Classical music — orchestral and opera — has been one of my major interests for most of my life. I'll use this blog to tell about some of the concerts I'm attending and the opportunities to listen to some of them and other good programs on the web.
In the final concerts of the 2015-2016 season, Andris Nelsons and the BSO are joined by soprano Kristine Opolais for two Russian-language pieces: Rachmaninoff's lovely ( How fair this place; and the gorgeous Letter Scene from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. The larger part of the program is devoted to French orchestral music. Henri Dutilleux's Métaboles continues the BSO's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth. Dutilleux's music, though unique, drew strongly on that of his great predecessors, Ravel and Debussy. Debussy's La Merevokes the constant dynamic change of the sea. Ravel's dreamlike La Valse is a kind of elegy for Europe's Belle Époque, which ended with the onset of World War I.(Some emphasis added.)
For the penultimate concerts of the BSO's 2015-2016 season, Andris Nelsons leads Mahler's Ninth Symphony, the work with which he made his debut with the orchestra in 2011, at Carnegie Hall. The composer's last completed work, the Ninth is a stunningly moving piece that has been interpreted as a meditation on death. On the boundary between the Romantic and the modern eras, it is doubtless one of the most beautiful symphonies in the literature.Of course, whether it is "one of the most beautiful symphonies in the literature" is a matter of opinion, and you can judge for yourself.
BSO concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and principal viola Steven Ansell join Andris Nelsons and the BSO for one of Mozart's greatest concertos, the Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola. Mozart wrote this exemplar of Classical form and style during a lengthy trip to Paris. Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 was originally composed in 1872 but was subjected to a number of revisions by the composer (the present version being the "1889 version"). The symphony everywhere reveals its deep debt to Richard Wagner, to whom Bruckner dedicated the work "in deepest reverence.(Emphasis in original.)
BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink and the great American pianist Murray Perahia collaborate with the orchestra in Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. Completed in 1806, the concerto begins surprisingly with unaccompanied piano, and is cast in Beethoven's warm, relaxed mode. Mahler's Symphony No. 1, completed in his late twenties, is in a four-movement, mostly traditional form, but already hints at the expansiveness and innovation of his later symphonies.(Emphasis added.)