The superb Harvard University Choir, which is arguably one of the best ensembles of its kind in the country, was in fine form throughout the evening.
While I’m not necessarily sold on this particular interpretation of Mahler Symphony no. 1, it was a thoughtful reading led with conviction; conductor Ludovic Morlot drew a committed performance from the BSO, and that counts for something.
It was clear from the moment Ludovic Morlot mounted the podium that he and the Boston Symphony Orchestra possess a strong chemistry: the players clearly respect him and they responded to his leadership with precision, energy, and feeling.
The Worcester Chamber Music Society’s combination of repertoire demonstrated how creative programming can lead to highly satisfying musical results: each piece had something to say to or about its neighbors and the cumulative effect of hearing them in such a context made for a deeply memorable evening of music making.
While the BSO’s inventive program this week had the potential to plumb the heights and depths of human experience, Saturday’s performance generally lacked the necessary conviction, purpose, and mystery required to do so.
The New Century Chamber Orchestra’s ability to vividly bring to life music of delicate character was on full display in this concert, part of the 152nd Worcester Music Festival.
The Boston Lyric Opera’s new production of “Macbeth,” with sets designed by John Conklin, is based on elements of a New York City Opera production and plays up the macabre elements of the story, which are many.
After intermission, Mr. Lang closed the concert with Frederic Chopin’s Twelve Etudes (Op. 25). This is music in which Mr. Lang is completely in his element, and his performance of these fearsomely difficult pieces was a marvel of extraordinary technical skill.
Throughout his career, conductor Kurt Masur has focused primarily on conducting the standard German repertoire, and now, at age 84, his mastery and understanding of this music is unmatched.
Despite some interpretive shortcomings, Sean Newhouse, the orchestra’s 30-year-old assistant conductor has solid technique, and a major orchestra whose players, management, and audience believe in him.