Friday, August 12, 2016

Tanglewood — 2016/08/12-14

Friday, August 12.  Here's how the BSO's performance detail page — with its usual links — describes the program:
On Friday, August 12, at 8 p.m., Swiss maestro Charles Dutoit, one of the BSO's most popular guest conductors since his debut with the orchestra in 1981, conducts his first performance of the season as Tanglewood's 2016 Koussevitzky Artist-an honorary title reflecting the BSO's deep appreciation for his generous commitment to Tanglewood and for his extraordinary 30-plus-year dedication to the BSO at Tanglewood, in Boston, and on the orchestra's 2014 tour to China and Japan. The program opens with the overture to Nicolai's charming, witty operetta The Merry Wives of Windsor, a piece the BSO hasn't performed since 1984. Following the overture is Mozart's warm Piano Concerto No. 22, a personal favorite of American pianist and annual Tanglewood guest Emanuel Ax. Maestro Dutoit also leads the BSO in Debussy's La Merand Ravel's Bolero, music of which Maestro Dutoit is a foremost interpreter, and which has a special place in the BSO repertoire.
(Some emphasis added.)

This time, they've actually listed the pieces  in the order they'll be performed. The music is fairly familiar, although I can't at this moment call to mind any tune from the Nicolai or the Mozart, but I'm especially looking forward to the first half. The Debussy is tolerable and it's always interesting to hear the music build in "Boléro."

Saturday, August 13.  Saturday brings us Film Night with the Boston Pops instead of the BSO. John Williams himself shares the podium with Richard Kaufman in a program about which we read, on the performance detail page:
A beloved summer tradition continues on Saturday, August 13, at 8 p.m., with John Williams' Film Night, featuring conductors John Williams and Richard Kaufman with the Boston Pops. John Williams' Film Night has long been established as one of the Tanglewood calendar's most consistently appreciated evenings. The second half of the concert will feature John Williams leading the Boston Pops in the unforgettable themes he composed for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back,and Return of the Jedi, as well as Rey's Theme and The Jedi Steps & Finale from the franchise's latest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For the first half of the program, Richard Kaufman leads music from iconic cinematic flight sequences-with music from movies including HookOut of AfricaE.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Superman.
(Some emphasis added.)

Need I say more?

Sunday, August 14.  On Sunday, we get Beethoven and Schumann. This is the concert I'm most looking forward to this weekend. The program detail page informs us:
For The Serge and Olga Koussevitzky Memorial Concert on Sunday, August 14, at 2:30 p.m., German conductor David Afkham and Russian-German pianist Igor Levit both make their Boston Symphony Orchestra debuts in an afternoon program of Beethoven and Schumann in the Koussevitzky Music Shed. Mr. Afkham leads the BSO in Beethoven's dramatic, foreboding Coriolan Overture, written for Heinrich Joseph von Collin's 1804 play; as well as Schumann's ambitious and innovative Symphony No. 4, a lyrically powerful work that proceeds through all four movements without pause. Mr. Levit performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, the stormiest of the composer's five essays in the genre, as the centerpiece of this program.
(Some emphasis added)

The Beethoven precedes intermission, and the Schumann concludes the concert. These may not be the most performed of the composers' works in each genre, but they're all fine pieces, well worth hearing, IMO.

The Friday and Saturday concerts can be heard via WCRB radio or web at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time, and the Sunday program will be aired and streamed at 7:00, p.m. (not live at 2:30). Their home page, in addition to the link for listening over the web, gives information about other special programming which may be of interest. Their BSO page, in addition to listing the works to be played on Friday and Sunday and giving a short blurb about Film Night, gives similar information about the remaining Tanglewood concert broadcasts and various other interesting items and links.


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