Saturday, April 2, 2016

BSO — 2016/03/31-04/05

Another week: another big symphony. Last week it was Shostakovich's 8th; this week we hear Mahler's 1st; and in the next two weeks, the Bruckner No. 3 and back to Mahler for No. 9. The usual background material is linked at the BSO' program detail page, which gives the following brief overview of the concert:
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.)

There is a glowing review in the Boston Musical Intelligencer (with a couple of comments that are less enthusiastic). The Globe reviewer was less enthusiastic.

I enjoyed it all. Everybody seemed to play well. Still, on reflection, I understand the Globe reviewer's mild criticism. For all the beauty of the music, neither piece was performed in a way that was really gripping (if it should be). On the other hand, I was expecting the Mahler to be tediously long, but it wasn't, except toward the end of the last movement. It had moved along, holding my interest. Then came a point where the music had built up and seemed ready to conclude. Instead Mahler inserted a couple of minutes of quiet music which, to me, seemed to be superfluous and interrupted the progress toward the end. Overall, though, it was a pleasant evening in Symphony Hall.

The Saturday performance will be broadcast and streamed approximately live over WCRB at 8:00 p.m., Boston time, and retransmitted at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, April 11. Their BSO page has an interview with Bernard Haitink in the podcast which is linked there.


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