This performance of Ives’ Third was the most welcome entry in the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra’s celebratory season – a beautifully considered, powerfully rendered account of this too-neglected score.
Benjamin Zander conducts a conspicuously fine Mahler Nine; François-Xavier Roth’s new account of Mahler’s Symphony no. 3 proffers nothing particularly special.
This Sunday’s BPYO concert tied together a number of highly personal strands, presenting music connected to two of conductor Benjamin Zander’s mentors — Benjamin Britten and Gustav Holst.
Bread-and-butter of the orchestral repertoire though this music may be, there was no complacency to be heard in the orchestra’s playing of it.
Without question, this BPYO rendition of Shostakovich Ten was one of the most urgent and necessary of any symphonic score I’ve heard all year.
This was a truly great performance, one that fully suited the BPO’s season-long, dual commemorations.
Rarely in my experience has Ives’s visionary score sounded so fired with purpose.
Benjamin Zander, who’s led some distinctly fine concerts in recent years, drew the best out of his band.
The BPYO is as responsive, confident, technically skilled, and emotionally expressive an orchestra as they come.
So, what is one to make of the BPYO’s weekend effort? It was a bit bold, to be sure. But it was also stirring, heartfelt, and timely.