Saturday, March 4, 2017

BSO/Classical New England — 2017/03/04

The orchestra is on tour this week, so WCRB is playing the Brahms Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3, which were performed in concerts last November. We were not scheduled to hear them on Saturday nights, though, because of an unusual scheduling decision. The BSO played Symphony No. 1 on Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 8 and 10, and No. 3 on Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 15 and 17. In the Friday and Saturday concerts of those weeks, they played the even-numbered symphonies. (But then the pianist had to cancel for Saturday, Nov. 15. The orchestra responded by replacing the concerto with Symphony No. 3. WCRB, however, decided to broadcast a recording of the Thursday concert  instead of the live concert that evening.)

My posts for those weeks include my impressions of the 1st and 3rd Symphonies and links to reviews etc. So you can track them down for more info. Back then, a review hadn't appeared in BMInt for the 3rd Symphony. Soon after I posted, one did. All it says about the symphony is, "Nelsons then led the orchestra in a thrilling and a tuneful reading of Brahms’s  Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90 (1883). For all the music’s inherent excitement, I missed the careful attention to inner voices, the contrapuntal building blocks of Brahms’s compositional rhetoric. Leaping from peak to peak obscures value when the valleys disappear. While many in Symphony Hall reveled, I  left craving more."

I asked my brother, who is an amateur horn player, about the business in the horn section which I noted in my preview of the Nov. 19 concert, and he said that by Brahms' time, composers would indicate in the score which horn was to play which notes. So at least some of what I saw was probably specified by Brahms himself.

Note that in November the symphonies were played after intermission, with a new work and a piano concerto before the intermission. Those works will not be in the broadcast/stream this week, but they were also played on the Saturdays back then.

So, if you like Brahms, you're in for a treat this evening at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time, as WCRB gives you two symphonies, recorded in concert last November. And the show will be repeated on Monday, March 13, at 8:00.

Happy listening.

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