Saturday, March 18, 2017

BSO — 2017/03/18

This week we enjoy a concert of music from before the 20th Century. I'll let the orchestra's performance detail page describe it:
BSO Conductor Emeritus Bernard Haitink leads the first BSO performances in thirty years of Joseph Haydn's 1774 Symphony No. 60, The Distracted, which was fashioned in six movements from music Haydn wrote for a play by that name. The women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus are a provocative, wordless presence in the "Sirens" movement of Debussy's three-movement orchestral suite Nocturnes. Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, premiered at the end of 1813, has been an audience favorite ever since. Wagner called it "the apotheosis of the dance"; its entrancing second-movement Allegretto, one of the most familiar movements in Beethoven's symphonies, was encored in its first performances.
(Some emphasis added.)

As usual, that page also has links to various informational material.

The reviews are favorable. The Globe's reviewer saw some room for improvement in the Haydn, but was otherwise pleased. The review by the musicologist at the Boston Musical Intelligencer nitpicks over a couple of details in the Debussy and suggests that the finale of the Beethoven was too fast, but in general is approving.

Both reviews note the immediate standing ovation for the Beethoven, but it's normal. Beethoven wrote a real crowd-pleaser with a guaranteed applause-catching finale. It would have been remarkable if the audience members hadn't given that ovation. I was quite happy with the whole thing. The Haydn was fun. Although I generally don't care for the French Impressionists, the "Nocturnes" were serene and the typical dissonances of the style were not annoying. The Beethoven 7th was performed just last spring, and normally that would be enough to set me off on my "don't keep playing the warhorses at the expense of other deserving rarely heard compositions" rant. But for Haitink I'll make an exception. It was definitely worth hearing, especially since fourth chair horn player Jason Snider did the "bullfrog" low notes in the 3rd movement perfectly every time.

So by all means listen in the the broadcast or webstream over WCRB at 8:00 p.m. Boston Time this evening (repeated at 8:00 on March 27 and subsequently available on demand for a year). This concert's a keeper. As always, the WCRB website is worth exploring for related information, such as their podcast and schedule of BSO broadcasts, as well as information about other programming.

No comments:

Post a Comment