Andris Nelsons’s conception of Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung was impressive, marked by strong contrasts of character, flexibility of phrasing, and a commendable grasp of musical space.
Interpretively, this installment in the BSO’s cycle of Dmitri Shostakovich’s fifteen symphonies is occasionally (and a bit surprisingly) spotty.
The orchestra’s summer home is operating at reduced capacity this season, but it’s wonderful to have the BSO and its public reunited.
One can only hope that Gail Samuel’s hiring means that the BSO’s welcome-but-fitful efforts at expanding its repertoire and engaging the community of late will become central to its post-pandemic mission.
If ever there was a season the BSO needed to put its right foot forward — balancing the core repertory with some strong steps outside of it — this is the one.
A collection that provides a fascinating bit of context for how Andris Nelsons has developed as a conductor over the last decade-plus, and an honest, mostly flattering, tribute to a much-loved conductor, the late Mariss Jansons.
Terrific, fiery playing from George Li, one of the most compelling young pianists on the scene; Mariss Jansons’ recording of Shostakovich’s Tenth trudges from start to finish; irrefutable proof of Andris Nelsons’ excellence as a new-music conductor.
In the right hands, Shostakovich’s Twelfth can come off as nothing less than an intriguing, lively symphonic essay.
Arguably, the strongest entry in the BSO’s complete Shostakovich symphony cycle thus far; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s 2016 Cello Concerto is emotionally direct and, at times, simply gorgeous; the resurgence of interest in the music of Boston-educated composer Florence Price is a good thing.
The final two concerts of the BSO’s season were in the orchestra’s sweet spot.