Whatever Rachmaninoff’s conflicted feelings about writing symphonies were, there’s nothing ambiguous about the content of his Second Symphony. From start to finish, it’s a marvel of melodic freshness and brilliant instrumentation.
The season-long celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Benjamin Zander’s debut as a conductor, which gets underway later this month when the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) returns to the stage, doesn’t stint on festive spirit.
This was an epic performance of an epic piece, steeped in Brucknerian character.
For Benjamin Zander and his musicians – as for all of us – it was a strange, even desperate, several months.
A pianist of real character and refinement – plus a huge career in Europe – Lucas Debargue was on hand to lend his musicianship to a relatively rare outing of Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 2.
The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra’s first appearance of the season presented canonical selections without a hint of complacency or apathy.
Violinist Liza Ferschtman and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra’s account of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto lacked nothing for momentum and spirit.
There was nothing sleepy or commonplace about the ensemble’s performance of favorites by Mozart, Brahms, and Bartók.
Suffice it to say, the tour was an extraordinary experience, musically and culturally, and, for me, a conspicuously potent introduction to a new continent.
The BPYO’s repertoire in Brazil is drawn from last year’s programs and is built around Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2.