Naturgesetz, etc.

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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:46 pm

This evening WCRB rebroadcasts the BSO concert of March 19, 2016. Here's the description from WCRB: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/post/shah ... n-williams

Saturday at 8pm, the Boston Symphony Orchestra performs the Violin Concerto by John Williams with soloist Gil Shaham, and Stéphane Denève conducts Jennifer Higdon's Blue Cathedral and the Symphony No. 3, the "Organ" Symphony, by Saint-Saëns.

Saturday, February 6, 2021
8:00 PM

Stéphane Denève, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin

HIGDON blue cathedral
WILLIAMS Violin Concerto
SAINT-SAENS Symphony No. 3, "Organ"

This concert is no longer available on demand.

Stéphane Denève describes the connections between the first two pieces in the concert and reveals the way a single note in Saint-Saëns's "Organ" Symphony carries that theme into the second half (transcript below):



Gil Shaham previews the Violin Concerto by John Williams and describes the process of learning the piece with the composer (transcript below):


There are transcripts of the interviews on that page, and they are interesting to read.

Here, edited, is what I wrote back then:

This week's BSO concert provides some interesting music. The orchestra's performance detail page […] gives this description:

French conductor Stéphane Denève, a frequent BSO guest in recent seasons, leads this diverse program including John Williams's Violin Concerto, a soaring and heartfelt work that has been championed by Gil Shaham-and which he recorded with John Williams and the BSO. Opening the program is music by another American composer, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon, whose colorful, atmospheric tone poem Blue Cathedral is her most frequently performed orchestral work. Closing the program and featuring the grand Symphony Hall organ is the sonorous, ultimately uplifting Symphony No. 3 by Camille Saint-Saëns.

(Most emphasis added.)

The Globe review https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/ ... story.html finds nothing to dislike. So far, the Boston Musical Intelligencer hasn't published a review. If they do, I'll note it.

I was there on Thursday evening and found it all okay. The first piece, "Blue Cathedral," is pretty well described in the program notes, and it was nice to be able to follow it as it unfolded. I noticed that the four horn players had the glasses with water in them, which they were to play by dipping a finger in the water and rubbing the rim. (You can try this at home.) They didn't actually play them until toward the end, as it got quiet, but even the quiet music drowned them out for a while. Eventually they were faintly audible for five or ten seconds. Other musicians then started playing the chinese bells. The whole effect was charming. The Williams violin concerto didn't remind me of his movie music. Gil Shaham seemed to do a very nice job with it, but the piece itself isn't something I feel I need to hear again (although I'll give it another hearing during the broadcast — it isn't unpleasant). In the Saint-Saëns I had never actually noticed the organ before it enters loudly in the final movement. But this time I heard it quietly accompanying some of the softer parts earlier in the piece. Listen carefully, and you may hear it too. The sound is just a bit different from the woodwinds.

The place to listen is WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org/#stream/0 via radio or web at 8:00 p.m. EST (Boston Time)[…].


The BMInt did publish a favorable review. https://www.classical-scene.com/2016/03 ... arsis-bso/ In the absence of program notes, its description of the pieces, along with WCRB's interviews, will give some sense of what's happening.

Perhaps the music isn't the greatest of all time, but it should be good listening, and the unifying theme may give some additional meaning to it.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:59 pm

This week we get a rebroadcast of the Boston Symphony concert of March 26, 2016. Here's WCRB's blurb: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/post/luga ... asterpiece

Saturday at 8pm, pianist Nikolai Lugansky is the soloist in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 and Giya Kancheli's Dixi, with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Saturday, February 13, 2021
8:00 PM

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Nikolai Lugansky, piano
Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Betsy Burleigh, guest conductor

KANCHELI Dixi, for chorus and orchestra (American premiere)
RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 8


As you see, there are no interviews or other explanatory material. "Just the facts." My own preview, edited to be relevant to the rebroadcast, follows:

This week's concerts start with the American premiere performances of Dixi by Giya [Kancheli] and continue with the too often performed Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff, featuring Nikolai Lugansky as piano soloist. After intermission, we'll get Shostakovich's Symphony № 8. All is under the baton of Music Director Andris Nelsons. [The BSO's performance detail page describes] the concert (in reverse order) thus:

Continuing the BSO's survey of the Stalin-era works of Dmitri Shostakovich, Andris Nelsons leads the composer's wartime Eighth Symphony. Written only a decade earlier, Rachmaninoff's perennially popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, here played by the Russian virtuoso Nikolai Lugansky, is a tour de force of compositional craft. Georgian-born Giya Kancheli, one of the world's most esteemed living composers, remained primarily in Tbilisi until 1990 but has developed a significant worldwide reputation. He developed a personal style that draws strongly on the music of the Christian Orthodox church. Dixi(2009) is a 22-minute work for chorus and orchestra setting fragments of Latin text.

(Emphasis in original.)

This concert wasn't part of my subscription, and it's just as well, since it's Holy Week, and I wouldn't have gone. I always attend the Holy Thursday evening Mass. So I can't give any personal observations. I won't even hear much or any of it during the live broadcast since I'll be in church for the Easter Vigil, and then there will be the weekly call from my brother in Japan. I did, however, buy a ticket for the concert next Tuesday, which will include the Kancheli and Shostakovich pieces, but will drop the Rachmaninoff and open with Shosty's Suite from the incidental music to Hamlet, which they played, and I heard, in February. I'm glad to be able to hear that unfamiliar music again, rather that having to sit through the Rhapsody once more.

The Globe reviewer https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/ ... story.html leans more to describing the music than the way it was performed, but he finds elements of the latter to admire and nothing to criticize. He is bemused, however, by the Kancheli piece (unsurprisingly, given how it's described in this review and the BMInt's). The Boston Musical Intelligencer, as usual, has a longer review. https://www.classical-scene.com/2016/03/25/bso-exiles/ Like the Globe, it is not highly impressed by "Dixi," but the reviewer has praise for elements of the performance, as well as for the playing in the Rachmaninoff. He saves his warmest praise, however for the orchestra's handling of the Shostakovich, section by section, and soloist by soloist. He is however mildly critical of the conductor for somehow failing to develop an overall cohesive approach to the symphony, despite his impressive handling of various sections.

In the light of all that, I'm prepared to be unimpressed by "dixi," when I hear it next Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to some impressive playing in the Shostakovich 8th. As always, you can hear the Saturday performance live over WCRB (broadcast or webstream) at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time[…].

Overall, then, I'd say this probably isn't quite at the level of "must hear," but it seems there will be some good playing and singing. Despite my carping, the Rachmaninoff will probably be the easiest to take for many listeners (myself included, probably, although I'm developing a tolerance for Shostakovich).


If you're interested, you know where to find it.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:44 pm

Back after missing a week.

This evening WCRB gives us the Boston Symphony concert of April 9, 2021. Here's what they say about it: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/post/lowe ... -stage-bso
Saturday at 8pm, in an encore broadcast from 2016, Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Bruckner's Symphony No. 3, and now-former Concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and Principal Violist Steven Ansell are the soloists in Mozart's Sinfonia concertante.

Saturday, February 27, 2021
8:00 PM

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Malcolm Lowe, violin
Steven Ansell, viola

MOZART Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for violin
and viola, K.364
BRUCKNER Symphony No. 3 (1889 version)


They don't add any interviews or links to other background material. There is some in what I wrote at the time, although I've had to edit out references to items that ar no longer accessible:
We get two very different works this week: Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra, and Symphony №3 by Bruckner in the 1889 version. Boston Symphony principals Malcolm Lowe and Steven Ansell perform the violin and viola solos, while Music Director Andris Nelsons conducts the concert. The orchestra's performance detail page […] give[s] the following description:
BSO concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and principal viola Steven Ansell join Andris Nelsons and the BSO for one of Mozart's greatest concertos, the Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola. Mozart wrote this exemplar of Classical form and style during a lengthy trip to Paris. Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 was originally composed in 1872 but was subjected to a number of revisions by the composer (the present version being the "1889 version"). The symphony everywhere reveals its deep debt to Richard Wagner, to whom Bruckner dedicated the work "in deepest reverence.

(Emphasis in original.)

I was there for the Thursday concert and, to my surprise, found both pieces enjoyable. It was no surprise with the Mozart. Watching the performers did add to the enjoyment. But I was expecting the Bruckner to become tedious. A colleague once quoted a critic as saying that Bruckner's symphonies are like a walk in the woods: you see many nice things, but nothing happens. But somehow on Thursday evening it held my attention and did not seem too long. It was interesting music. As far as I could tell, both pieces were well played. I was especially impressed by the solos by James Somerville on horn and Elizabeth Rowe on flute.

The review in the Boston Globe https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/s ... story.html is favorable — faintly so for the Bruckner. The reviewer spends more time describing the Mozart. So far, there is no review in the BMInt.

I definitely recommend listening on WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org/#stream/0 at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. […]

Need I say more?
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat May 22, 2021 9:19 pm

It's Mozart symphonies this evening for the WCRB Boston Symphony rebroadcast. https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... rt-concert

Saturday, May 22, 2021
8:00 PM

In a 2018 all-Mozart concert, Herbert Blomstedt leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in three of the Austrian composer's greatest symphonies: No. 34, the "Linz," and the "Jupiter."

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Herbert Blomstedt, conductor

ALL-MOZART PROGRAM
Symphony No. 34
Symphony No. 36, Linz
Symphony No. 41, Jupiter

Encore broadcast from February, 24, 2018


If you go to the page I've linked, you'll find an interview woth Maestro Blomstedt, which you can listen to by clicking the Play button at the top or read in the transcript which follows the text I've quoted. Worth checking out IMO.

My write-up from back then follows:

This evening's program is all Mozart: three of his symphonies. The [performance] detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/88642/ gives further detail, appropriately enough, along with the usual links to background material on the music and the conductor:

Renowned Massachusetts-born Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedtreturns to the Symphony Hall stage with a trio of Mozart symphonies. Composed in 1780 for an unknown occasion, the three-movement No. 34 in C major was the last symphony Mozart completed in Salzburg before relocating permanently to Vienna. The story of his Linz[ ]Symphony, No. 36, is one of those illustrating his surpassing genius. Passing through Linz in late 1783 on his way back to Vienna from a Salzburg visit, he was honored with a request for a concert of his music, but had no symphony with him-so he wrote this delightful piece in a mere four days. Composed five years later, the Jupiter Symphony was Mozart's last. Its elegance, mastery of counterpoint, and expressive power have secured its place as an epitome of the genre.

(Some emphasis added.)

What's not to like about Mozart? I was there on Thursday and enjoyed the show. The word "comfortable" occurs to describe the performance. Nothing seemed forced. Even in the fast and (relatively) loud parts, there was an underlying calmness. The performance so captivated the audience that there was virtually none of the usual coughing from them during the slower and quieter parts. Strangely, though, there were a couple of points during longer movements when I felt they had gone on long enough, that they were becoming redundant, that there was no noticeable development going on. This is a feeling I've had with some late romantic pieces, but the first time I've felt that way about Mozart.

There was an amusing moment during the curtain call after the "Linz" symphony. In one of the movements there was a section where the first oboe delivered a brief solo line, then repeated it with the first bassoon following a couple of beats behind. This happened again three or four times. When Maestro Blomstedt returned to the stage during the applause, he invited them to stand for solo bows. As he headed offstage, Richard Sebring, first horn, took a handkerchief and reached across the aisle to Richard Svoboda, the bassoonist, and mopped his forehead (as if the solo had been a strenuous workout).

I'm looking forward to hearing it again. This evening's concert will be transmitted […] over WCRB on air and on line at 8:00, EST.[…]

The reviews are in. The Globe https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/ ... story.html is favorable, and the Intelligencer https://www.classical-scene.com/2018/02 ... blomstedt/ is enthusiastic. The photo in the Intelligencer review reminds me that Maestro Blomstedt conducted throughout without a baton, using his hands more to shape the music than to beat time strictly. He didn't even give a cut-off sign at the end of movements. He just stopped moving his hands, and the small orchestra stopped in unison. The photo also shows the unopened score on the podium during the first half of the concert. After intermission, he had an electronic device which he never opened.

Enjoy the concert!


So you can treat yourself to some fine music this evening. Enjoy.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat May 29, 2021 10:40 pm

There seems to be a typo in WCRB's synopsis https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... is-nelsons of this evening's rebroadcast. They begin by saying that it is from 2017, but at the end they identify two concerts from 2016 as the originals. Consulting my posts, I see that the music in question was indeed performed in 2016 on the dates mentioned.

Saturday, May 29, 2021
8:00 PM

In an encore broadcast from 2017, Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Brahms's boldly dramatic Symphony No. 1 and ruminative Symphony No. 3.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor

BRAHMS Symphony No. 1
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3

Encore broadcast from November 10 and 17, 2016


I'll also note that November 10 and 17, 2016, were Thursdays. The Brahms First Symphony concluded the concert on the 10th, and the Third was given on the 17th. In both cases, other works preceded them, but neither had been scheduled for the following Saturday. So I don't see much point in reproducing what I wrote for each of the Saturdays. Instead, I'll give you links to the available reviews.

The Globe reviewed the first concert, https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/ ... story.html as did the Intelligencer. https://www.classical-scene.com/2016/11 ... -festival/

Here's the Globe on the concert of November 15, https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/ ... story.html which was reprised on the 17th. The Intelligencer review concentrates on the first two pieces and says only this about the Third Symphony: "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."

Anyway, The Brahms symphonies qualify as "warhorses," so if you're listening to WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time this evening, you'll probably enjoy the show
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:34 pm

Here's WCRB's page about this evening's BSO rebroadcast.

Encore broadcast from October 14, 2017

Saturday night at 8 in an encore broadcast of the BSO, Hilary Hahn is the guest soloist in Dvorák’s jovial Violin Concerto, and Gustavo Gimeno leads Schumann’s verdant “Spring” Symphony.

Gustavo Gimeno, conductor

Hilary Hahn, violin

LIGETI Concert Românesc
DVORÁK Violin Concerto
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 1, Spring

Hilary Hahn talks with CRB's Brian McCreath about Dvorák's concerto, the wide range of creative projects she undertakes, and, specifically, her encore commissions, "In 27 Pieces." For audio, use the player above. Transcript:

Brian McCreath [00:00:00] I'm Brian McCreath from WCRB with Hilary Hahn, who is […]


You can read the transcript of the Hahn-McCreath interview by going to the WCRB page I've linked.



At the time of the concert, I wrote the following:

The Boston Symphony Orchestra's [performance] detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/88601/ synopsizes this week's program as follows:

Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno and American violinist Hilary Hahnjoin forces for Dvořák's Violin Concerto, composed in 1879 for the great Joseph Joachim. At times lyrical, Dvořák's concerto also contains passages of great energy based on music from his Czech heritage, especially in the delightful, dance-like finale. Also based on music from Central Europe, György Ligeti's early "Romanian Concerto" is a Bartók influenced orchestral work from early in the great Hungarian composer's career. Robert Schumann's First Symphony is bursting with energy, power, and optimism.

(Emphasis added.)

The reviews in both the Boston Globehttps://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/m ... story.html and the Boston Musical Intelligencer https://www.classical-scene.com/2017/10 ... lary-hahn/ were quite favorable, both overall, and particularly with regard to Hilary Hahn (with the Intelligencer gushing). I was there on Thursday and found it all enjoyable to listen to, although there was nothing that I'd consider spectacular, just good playing. The third horn in the Ligeti was played offstage through a door that was ajar. Mike Winter seemed slightly embarrassed to come onstage for a bow when other soloists were asked to stand, and he stayed to the side, just inside the door.

You can hear it all this evening over WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org/#stream/0 radio or internet at 8:00 p.m., Boston Time. Their homepage has links to additional information about their programs, including future BSO concerts and other special programs. […]

Enjoy!


The link to the performance detail page still works as of now.

You can hear two pieces from the standard repertory preceded by an unfamiliar piece if you listen. Again, I recommend listening.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:22 pm

This week we get the concert from February 17, 2018. WCRB says:

Saturday, June 12, 2021
8:00 PM

Jean-Yves Thibaudet is the soloist in Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, and Jacques Lacombe leads the Boston Symphony in the composer's Daphnis and Chloe, in an encore broadcast from 2018.

Jacques Lacombe, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Tanglewood Festival Chorus

DEBUSSY (orch. RAVEL) Sarabande et Danse
RAVEL Piano Concerto for the left hand
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé (complete)

See the original program Ravel conducted in 1928 (courtesy of the BSO Archives).

Hear a preview with Jacques Lacombe in the player above.

TRANSCRIPT:


As you can see on the WCRB page, there is an interview with the conductor which is available on audio or a transcript.

At the time I wrote:

It's French Impressionists this week. (Are there Impressionists from any other country?) Here's the synopsis from the BSO's [performance] detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/88639/ (where you can also find the usual links to background information):

This all-French program features pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Ravel's serious, single-movement Piano Concerto for the left hand.Closing the program is a work that's long been a staple of the BSO repertoire, Ravel's ballet score Daphnis et Chloé, a tourde-[sic] force of orchestral coloration and dramatic atmosphere the composer felt was one of his best works. Opening the program are Ravel's orchestrations of two contrasting Debussy piano pieces. These concerts mark the 90th anniversary of Ravel's conducting the BSO at Symphony Hall while visiting America in 1928.

(Some emphasis added.)

This concert wasn't part of my subscription, so I have no impressions of my own to offer. The reviews are favorable. The Globe https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2018/0 ... story.html finds no fault. The Boston Musical Intelligencer https://www.classical-scene.com/2018/02/16/bso-roots/ finds a few bits that were less than perfect, but overall is very satisfied. That review also gives extensive information about the pieces, almost like program notes.

You can hear it all this evening […] over WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org/#stream/0 at 8:00 p.m., Eastern time […]. Impressionists aren't my favorite figurative cup of metaphorical tea, but most people like them, so enjoy.


Need I say more?
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Jun 26, 2021 10:47 pm

WCRB posts the following: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... ine-escape

Saturday, June 26, 2021
8:00 PM

In an encore broadcast from 2017, Leonidas Kavakos is the soloist in Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2, and Andris Nelsons and the BSO traverse the mountainous panorama of Richard Strauss's An Alpine Symphony.

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Leonidas Kavakos, violin

Derek BERMEL Elixir
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 2
STRAUSS An Alpine Symphony


When I posted about it, I hadn't heard it, and I can't recall it now. So here, FWIW, ia what I said on December 12, 2017:

After this evening, the Boston Symphony gives way to Holiday Pops until January. In December, WCRB will give rebroadcasts of three concerts from last summer at Tanglewood and, on December 23, Christmas-themed music conducted by Seiji Ozawa. For now, I'll let the BSO's performance detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/88617/ tell us about this evening's concert, which will be under the baton of Music Director Andris Nelsons.

Greek-born violinist Leonidas Kavakos returns to Symphony Hall as soloist in Sergei Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2. Composed in the mid-1930s, the concerto is by turns beautifully lyrical and scintillatingly virtuosic, with a Spanish-flavored finale as a nod to Madrid, where the work was premiered in 1935. Opening these concerts is American composer Derek Bermel's "spectral love potion" Elixir, which combines colorfully tranquil music for strings with exuberant, Messiaen-like exclamations from wind instruments deployed throughout the auditorium. Completing the program is Richard Strauss's cinematic tone poem An Alpine Symphony, illustrating an excursion up, then down (at a faster pace!) a mountain, with a huge range of instrumental and compositional effects.

(Some emphasis added.)

You can get the usual descriptive material, including program notes, via the usual links on that page.

I wasn't there on Thursday so we have to rely on the reviews in the Globe (brief, satisfied), http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2 ... l#comments and Boston Musical Intelligencer (extensive, metaphor laden, grandiloquent, approving) https://www.classical-scene.com/2017/12 ... -triumphs/ for insights into the performances, while the orchestra's program notes tell about the music as composed.

It'll be interesting to hear what the Bermel piece actually sounds like, although the program notes suggest you really need to be in the auditorium to get the full effect. But I'm looking forward to hearing it over WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org/#stream/0 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern [Daylight] Time. Since I'm not a great fan of Strauss, I won't mind missing the Alpine Symphony when my brother calls from Tokyo. […]


The links still work.

This isn't exactly "must listen" in my book, but it should be okay if you decide to tune in. I'll probably listen to the first part to refresh my memory, and If my brother weren't going to call I'd listen to the Strauss as well despite my lack of enthusiasm. It does have its striking elements.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Jul 03, 2021 9:35 pm

Once more we get an encore broadcast of the BSO from WCRB. NextSaturday live concert broadcasts resume from Tanglewood. This evening's "encore broadcast" features some infrequently heard music that could be interesting. Here's what WCRB says on their website: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... i-concerto

In an encore broadcast, Lisa Batiashvili is the soloist in Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1, and Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Copland's majestic Third Symphony.

Saturday, July 3, 2021
8:00 PM

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Lisa Batiashvili, violin

Olly WILSON Lumina
SZYMANOWSKI Violin Concerto No. 1
COPLAND Symphony No. 3

Encore broadcast from Saturday, February 9, 2019

Hear a preview of Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1 with Lisa Batiashvili in the player above.

Interview transcript:

Brian McCreath [00:00:00] I'm Brian McCreath at Symphony Hall with Lisa Batiashvili, and Lisa, it's so good to see you here back in Boston. It's been quite a while. I do remember your Tanglewood performance from a few years ago, which was fantastic. But thanks for taking a few minutes with me right now to talk about Szymanowski.


As you can see from what I wrote at the time, I didn't like the Wilson piece, but found the remainder okay.

It's all 20th Century music this week, but it could be worse. Some of it is very good and some of the rest isn't tough to take (at least for me). I'll let the BSO's [performance] detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/96147/ give the introduction:

The Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili joins Andris Nelsons and the BSO as soloist in the important Polish composer Karol Szymanowski'sViolin Concerto No. 1, a brilliant piece colored by both French Impressionism and German late Romanticism. American orchestral works open and close the concert. The St. Louis-born Olly Wilson, who died in March 2018 (and whose Sinfonia was commissioned by the BSO for its centennial), was a longtime faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. His well-traveled orchestral work Lumina is a scintillating, single-movement orchestral landscape. Aaron Copland'sSymphony No. 3, premiered by the BSO under Serge Koussevitzky in 1946, is a substantial, expressively rich work incorporating the composer's familiar Fanfare for the Common Man as the theme of its final movement.

(Some emphasis added.)
Don't forget the links to performer bios and other info on the performance detail page.

I attended the performance on Thursday. The opening piece struck me as unmelodious and disjointed. I thought of Elliot Carter and Milton Babbitt, but this wasn't quite as cacophonous as their stuff. Anyway, I wouldn't blame anybody for skipping it. (The problem is knowing when to come back for the next piece. You should be safe if you're tuned in by 8:17.) Or, you might want to listen and see if it's better than I think it is. In the past Szymanowski's music has also struck me as unpleasant, but this is better than the things of his I had previously heard, so it was a pleasant surprise — lush is a word that comes to mind for the overall impression. After intermission Copland did not disappoint.

The reviews are in, and while both the Globe https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/ ... story.html and the more extensive Intelligencer https://www.classical-scene.com/2019/02 ... ening-bso/ found minor details to criticize, both were generally satisfied. An interesting sidelight: when the reviewer in the Intelligencer, Mark DeVoto, was a college student, Aaron Copland autographed DeVoto's copy of the score of this evening's symphony.

As always, you can go to the WCRB website https://www.classicalwcrb.org/#stream/0 for information about their programs as well as the link to their live stream, where you can listen this evening at 8:00, EST if you're outside their broadcast range.[…]


I wonder if they chose this concert for this weekend because it includes Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Anyway, there it is.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:49 pm

The Boston Symphony is back, giving live concerts at Tanglewood. WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org is broadcasting the Saturday concerts live at 8:00 p.m. and the Sunday matinees at 7:00 p.m. Of course, there are no reviews to link for the Tanglewood concerts, since the same programs aren't already performed earlier in the week, as happens at Symphony Hall.



Saturday, July 10, 2021. For Opening Night we get to enjoy an all-Beethoven concert. The BSO's performance detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113217/ gives some links and summarizes:
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor
Symphony No. 5

(Some emphasis added.)
It's surprising that they don't have the sort of overview we got in pre-Covid days. Maybe there have been staff reductions, and nobody has time to produce the write up. As always, you can click on the link to progrsm notes for a description of each piece. But what's not to like in this program? I'm especially looking forward to the "Emperor" Concerto. Listen on line or on the air at 8:00 p.m. Boston Time to enjoy.

Sunday, July 11, 2021. The performance detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113218/ lists the works being given only toward the end.
Carlos SIMON - Fate Now Conquers (2020) SIBELIUS - Violin Concerto (32 min) DVOŘÁK - Symphony No. 6

Andris Nelsons conducts and Baiba Skride is the violin soloist. I have no idea what the first piece will be like, but the program note promises that it will be short. The others should be pretty good. Don't forget, the Sunday broadcast is an hour earlier than the one on Saturday — 7:00 p.m.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:18 pm

It seems that we won't be getting much preview material from the BSO or WCRB for these Tanglewood concerts, and of course there are no reviews of concerts if the program hasn't been given earlier in the week. At Symphony Hall, the Saturday evening concert has already been played on Thursday and often on Friday afternoon, but each Tanglewood concert is only given once. The BSO performance detail pages aren't giving us a short introduction, and sometimes even the program notes aren't available. Similarly, WCRB just gives a bare-bones note.

So I'll give you what those two supply and throw in any ideas I have, if I have something to say.


Saturday, July 17, 2021. WCRB tells us: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... l-trifonov

Saturday, July 17, 2021
8:00 PM

(A) Russian pianist takes center stage for Brahms’s monumental Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Andris Nelsons conducts Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, Saturday night at 8pm.

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Daniil Trifonov, piano

PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 1, Classical
BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1


(Some emphasis added.)

I'm glad the Prokofiev comes first, since I like it better than Brahms, so it'll be okay if my brother's call interrupts the concerto. But lots of people like Brahms, so don't let me scare you off.

The BSO performance detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113223/ has links to the program notes and performer bios (click the thumbnail photos).You can listen in at 8:00 this evening via WCRB.



Sunday, July 18, 2021. Again we get a bit from WCRB: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... tanglewood

Sunday, July 18, 2021
7:00 PM

Gil Shaham returns to the Berkshires as the soloist in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3, and Andris Nelsons conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra in pieces by a musical sibling pair: Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Sunday night at 7pm.

Andris Nelsons, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin

MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL Overture in C
MOZART Violin Concerto No. 3
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 5, Reformation


(Some emphasis added.)

The BSO performance detail pagehttps://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113225/ doesn't have much more detail, except in the program notes (not all of which are there via the links). Strangely, the annotator for the Mendelssohn symphony doesn't seem to have noticed that the second movement uses the tune for "Away in a Manger" but with a different rhythm (if I remember correctly).

I don't recall the Overture, but I'm confident people will like this concert, to be broadcast and streamed on Sunday at 7:00.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Aug 07, 2021 3:59 am

This weekend we get famous string players Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma in concerts featuring Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

Saturday, August 7, 2021. As usual, WCRB gives us the basics: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... oshua-bell

Saturday night at 8pm live from Tanglewood, Joshua Bell makes his return to the BSO’s summer home as the soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, and Herbert Blomstedt is the guest conductor for the Symphony No. 7.

Herbert Blomstedt, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin

ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 7


(Emphasis added.)

Two great pieces with a top-notch soloist and a remarkable conductor (a Massachusetts-born nonagenarian Swede) should make for a not-to-be-missed evening of musical enjoyment. Further information, if desired, is available via the links at the BSO's performance detail page. https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113241/ I may even leave the radio on in the background when my brother calls from Tokyo.



Sunday, August 8, 2021. The concert will be played at 2:30, and WCRB will transmit it at 7:00 Boston Time. Once more, we go to WCRB https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... tanglewood for a brief summary:

The American conductor [Karina Canellakis] makes her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in a program featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, plus a work by Missy Mazzoli, Sunday night at 7pm.

Karina Canellakis, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Missy MAZZOLI Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)
TCHAIKOVSKY Variations on a Rococo Theme, for cello and orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4


(Some emphasis added.)

In my book, Tchaikovsky is not quite at Beethoven's level, and I don't think I've heard of the conductor, but this should still be worth hearing. The program note for the Mazzoli piece, makes it sound "interesting." Using a bunch of harmonicas seems gimmicky and frivolous, We'll see if it turns out to be any good, but I have lowered expectations. You can read the program note via the link at the performance detail page. https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113242/
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:18 pm

It's the last weekend of the BSO's Tanglewood season. It will not close with the traditional Beethoven 9th Symphony, but with Herbert Blomstedt coming back to lead an all-Brahms program on Sunday. But first we get the Saturday concert with a mixi of the new and the familiar led by a BSO assistant conductor.



Saturday, August 14, 2021. WCRB's capsule https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... wood-debut tells us:

Saturday night at 8pm, live from Tanglewood, the BSO Assistant Conductor leads Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Elena Langer’s Figaro Gets a Divorce, and Ravel’s jazz-infused Piano Concerto in G, with soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Anna Rakitina, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Elena LANGER Suite from Figaro Gets a Divorce
RAVEL Piano Concerto in G
ELGAR Enigma Variations


(Some emphasis added.)

I read the program note for the Suite from "Figaro Gets a Divorce," (accessible via the link on the BSO's performance detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113247/ ), and I still have no idea what to expect. Of course, it won't be as good as Mozart or Rossini, but I set the bar very low for new music: as long as it's tolerable, I'm content. I don't care about the Ravel concerto either. I just hope that they'll be able to give a good chunk of the Elgar before my brother calls from Tokyo.



Sunday, August 15, 2021. As I mentioned, it's all Brahms. WCRB provides specifics: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... ewood-2021

In the closing concert of the 2021 Boston Symphony Orchestra season at Tanglewood, it’s an all-Brahms concert with Leonidas Kavakos as the soloist in the Violin Concerto and Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Symphony No. 4, Sunday evening at 7pm.

Herbert Blomstedt, conductor
Leonidas Kavakos, violin

ALL-BRAHMS PROGRAM
Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 4


(Emphasis added.)

Most people will probably like this one a lot. The performance detail page https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/113248/ has the usual links. As you know, I don't care very much for Brahms' symphonies and concertos, but I'm definitely in the minority on that. So enjoy.

Traditions are generally a good thing, but the one of concluding the Tanglewood season with the Beethoven 9th is fairly recent. I won't be upset if they don't go back to it if there's a full season next summer.
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Aug 21, 2021 10:34 pm

As I noted last week, this year's Tanglewood season didn't end with the usual performancve of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. So WCRB has decided to use the first "gap weekend" until Symphony Hall concerts resume by rebroadcasting the closer from 2019. Here's what they tell us: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... e-bso-2021

In an encore broadcast of the final concert of the 2019 Tanglewood season, Giancarlo Guerrero conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Schoenberg's "Peace on Earth" and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the "Ode to Joy," Saturday at 8pm.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
Nicole Cabell, soprano
J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Morris Robinson, bass
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, conductor

SCHOENBERG Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth), for unaccompanied chorus
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9

This concert was originally broadcast on August 25, 2019

In the audio player above: Giancarlo Guerrero describes his experiences at Tanglewood this summer and why this performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony carries extra significance.

TRANSCRIPT:


If you go to the web page which I have linked, you can listen to the audio of the interview or read the transcript. And here's what we find on the performance detail page: https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/100177/

With vocal soloists Nicole Cabell, J’Nai Bridges, Nicholas Phan, and Morris Robinson and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, returning guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero leads the BSO in the orchestra’s traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Sunday, August 25. The concert opens with Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth) for unaccompanied chorus, also featuring the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden will be conducted by James Burton.


(Most emphasis added.)

A lengthy review of the whole weekend in the Globe https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2019/0 ... ay_Results finally got around to a few tepid words about the Beethoven with a bit of criticism of the tempo (too fast at one point). The Intelligencer doesn't seem to have published a review.

Well, the Beethoven Ninth isn't half bad, so why not listen this evening at 8:00?
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Re: Naturgesetz, etc.

Postby Naturgesetz on Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:09 pm

Here's the scoop on this evening's concert, as given by WCRB: https://www.classicalwcrb.org/show/the- ... nd-the-bso

Tonight at 8pm, in an encore broadcast, Juanjo Mena conducts Mendelssohn's gracefully lyrical Violin Concerto with soloist Julian Rachlin and the hyper-charged brass fanfares of Janáček's Sinfonietta.

Juanjo Mena, conductor
Julian Rachlin, violin

HAYDN Symphony No. 44, Trauer
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto
JANÁČEK Suite from The Cunning Little Vixen
JANÁČEK Sinfonietta

Encore broadcast from February 2, 2019

Hear a preview of the concert with Juanjo Mena in the audio player above.

TRANSCRIPT:


As indicated, if you go to their page, you can hear or read the interview, or do both.

Here's a somewhat fuller description from the orchestra's performance detail page: https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/96143/

The popular Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena collaborates with Lithuanian violinist Julian Rachlin in Mendelssohn's evergreen Violin Concerto, among the most charming works in the standard repertoire. Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 44, Trauer ("Mourning"), is one of the composer's most serious and closely worked symphonies, written during a period of experimentation that saw the composer rapidly expanding the potential of the genre. Closing the program are two works from the 1920s by the great Czech composer Leoš Janáček: a suite of music from his folk-tale opera The Cunning Little Vixen and his brass-dominated Sinfonietta, both of which feature the pungent influence of the Czech musical tradition.


The usual links are available there, for additional background yf you want it.I didn't post anything about it at the time. Of course the Haydn and Mendelssohn are okay for most ears. Janáček is more advanced, but I find it tolerable — the music seems to be approaching standard repertoire status, but I won't promise you'll like it.

Apart from some unhappiness with parts of the Mendelssohn, the Globe review https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/ ... ed_Results was favorable. The one in the Boston Musical Intelligencer https://www.classical-scene.com/2019/02 ... -meno-bso/ was highly favorable about everything, including the Mendelssohn.

So it's probably worth listening to this evening at 8:00, Boston Time.
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