Saturday, September 24, 2016

BSO — 2016/09/24

It's opening night at Symphony, and they are giving an all-Russian program — a fairly short one, maybe because there are post-concert celebrations for the musicians and audience to get to (just my guess). The orchestra's program detail page furnishes this description:
For this all-Russian program, superstar Chinese pianist Lang Lang joins Andris Nelsons and the BSO as soloist in Sergei Prokofiev's brilliant, witty Piano Concerto No. 3. The composer himself was soloist in the premiere in front of an unenthusiastic Chicago audience in 1921, but in short order this sparkling, virtuosic piece became one of the most popular of 20th-century concertos. Opening the concert is the celebratory Festive Overture of Dmitri Shostakovich, who wrote this short, exciting piece for the Bolshoi Theatre to mark the 37th anniversary of the Soviet Revolution. The great orchestral showpiece Pictures at an Exhibition-Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's solo-piano impressions of a series of paintings and illustrations-closes the program. Ravel made this famous orchestration for legendary BSO conductor Serge Koussevitzky.
Join us at 5pm for a celebratory pre-concert reception and a complimentary glass of wine or champagne.
(Some emphasis added.)

The program detail page also has links to a podcast featuring Maestro Nelsons, program notes, brief audio previews of the music, and performer bios (click on the thumbnail photo).

Since this is opening night, there are no reviews to link. I don't think I've ever heard the Shostaovich overture; I'm interested to hear it. I've probably heard the Prokofiev, but I couldn't quote any of the tunes, and I'm also looking forward to hearing it as an opportunity to get to know it (better). As for the "Pictures at an Exhibition," it must be good because so many people like it and it's so often performed. IMO, apart from "The Great Gate of Kiev," it's all quite forgettable, although it may well be very good as musical representation of the pictures in question. By the time they start playing, my brother's weekly phone call from Japan will be in progress, so I won't have to listen. Of course, it's always possible that this will be a performance for the ages, and all who hear it will count themselves among the blessed of the world. So, don't miss it.

If you can't get there, you can hear it over the radio or the internet via WCRB. Within radio range, tune in 99.5 or one of the other stations listed under the Ways to Listen tab. Outside the listening area, click the Listen Live button on the home page. The show begins at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time.

For the schedule of broadcasts/webstreams for the rest of the season, see the Upcoming BSO Broadcasts page(s).

Enjoy opening night and the rest of the season.

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