WAM’s Chamber Music Series is a model for what chamber music performance ought to be: excellent musicians performing in a small space with a rather informal air to the proceedings.
Ms. Son’s performance of Debussy’s Preludes nos. 3 – 8, while mostly note-perfect, was marked by a tentativeness that kept any of them from really blossoming.
The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra handled Lutosławski’s aleatoric textures with confidence, though the all-important brass interruptions felt more hesitant than decisive, making the work’s narrative quality rather episodic as opposed to smoothly flowing.
John Oliver, director of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, deserves the thanks of all involved for his willingness to take on this unenviable assignment, as well as credit for ensuring that the performance didn’t fall off the tracks.
The recording was made in December 2010 in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, and reveals an orchestra fully at home in John Adams’ distinctive idiom.
Perhaps most remarkably, BSO conductor Stéphane Denève managed to create an atmosphere in which the Symphony Hall audience, which at this time of year sometimes sounds like it’s made up of inpatients from a tuberculosis ward, was utterly captivated: even the quietest moments were accompanied by a welcomed, attentive silence.
To judge from the all-around energetic playing of the BSO, it seems conductor Jaap van Zweden has struck a good rapport with the players and I, for one, look forward to hearing more from him in coming seasons.
This is a book for anyone interested not just in the economic state of the symphony orchestra, but in the overall financial health of the arts in the United States.
After the “Lobgesang”’s premiere, Robert Schumann declared this movement “a glimpse of heaven filled with Raphael’s madonnas,” and Saturday’s performance by the BSO came about as close to that as one could imagine, sensitively phrased and beautifully blended.
Though there were differences in quality between the compositions in the BMOP concert, all of the pieces fulfilled the primary requirement of a concerto: they showed off the capabilities of the solo instrument in question, often memorably so.