Friday, January 20, 2017

BSO — 2017/01/21

This week's Boston Symphony concert begins and ends with familiar works. In the middle is one that is much less well known, one that the BSO has never played before. In fact, they've never played anything by this composer. Here's how the BSO performance detail page summarizes it:
The great Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer joins Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena and the BSO for the Polish-born Soviet composer Moisey Weinberg's Violin Concerto. Weinberg-whose music has never been performed by the BSO-moved to the Soviet Union at the start of World War II, becoming a friend and protégé of Dmitri Shostakovich, who intervened with authorities when Weinberg was arrested on political grounds. Weinberg's Violin Concerto (1959) is a substantial work with a strong stylistic kinship to Shostakovich's music. Opening the program is Prokofiev's brief and delightful Classical Symphony, modeled on the symphonies of Haydn and Mozart. Tchaikovsky's emotionally intense Fourth Symphony, completed in 1878, represents the culmination of a traumatic period in the composer's life.
(Most emphases added.)

Also check out the links on that page for program notes, audio previews, performer bios (click on the thumbnail pictures), and podcasts.

This concert wasn't part of my subscription, so I can't give you any opinions of my own. The reviews in the Boston Globe and the Boston Musical Intelligencer found no fault with any of the music or the playing, except for one item mentioned by the Globe reviewer. As noted, though, the Weinberg piece inhabits the same musical universe as Shostakovich, so it could be a bit challenging, but why not give it a whirl?

You can hear the performance Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m., EST, over WCRB, radio or internet. Check out other pages on their website for further information about their programming and their podcast.I'll be out celebrating my birthday during the first part of the broadcast, and talking to my brother in Japan after I get home, so I'll have to wait for the rebroadcast on January 30 to hear how it was.


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