Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic do justice to a lot of Tchaikovsky’s orchestral music, while John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony play Robert Schumann’s famously-dense orchestrations with clarity. But Michael Stern’s account of The Planets completely lacks mystery.
The BSO recently announced an extension to artistic partner Thomas Adès’s contract. It is lucky to have him. So are the rest of us.
Pianist Kirill Gerstein’s take on Busoni is exhilarating; the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra serves the forceful music of composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann, and violinist Elina Vähälä does right by Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto.
The San Francisco Symphony delivers performances of chamber-like sensitivity and remarkable transparency.
In the Piano Concerto, Ferruccio Busoni seemed to want to have the final word in the tradition of the Romantic concerto.
Lara Downes’ America Again is a great album, and one with multiple layers of meaning.
The BSO’s Americana concert could only provide four beautiful snapshots of a very complicated landscape.
With “In Seven Days,” Thomas Adés seems to have developed a musical language that’s complex yet not forbidding: there’s no sense that his music is weighed down by expectations of the past, even as he freely refers to archaic compositional forms.
Like other great artists –- Martha Argerich and Steve Lacy come to mind right away — pianist Kirill Gerstein approaches every note with a sense of how important that note is in relation to every one that has come before and every one that is to come after.
By Helen Epstein July 30 featured a Russian warhorse program at Tanglewood: Glinka’s “Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila”; Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, and Prokofiev’s Music from the ballet Romeo and Juliet. These are familiar (some might say over-familiar) works for orchestra, but, of course, there’s a reason they’re still being programmed. […]