This is a release that showcases many of Andris Nelsons’ strengths, including his strong sensitivity for instrumental colors, blends, and balances. At the same time, it also demonstrates the conductor’s hit-or-miss nature with the core repertoire.
Boston Symphony Orchestra
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.
A packed, wide-ranging conversation with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter that touches on several subjects, from a lifelong love of jazz to her verdict on John Williams’ Violin Concerto no. 2.
On first impression, John Williams’ second violin concerto didn’t strike me as an instant classic, but there’s more than a little here to warrant repeated listening.
The orchestra’s summer home is operating at reduced capacity this season, but it’s wonderful to have the BSO and its public reunited.
It behooves audiences to be aware of how workers in the arts organizations they frequent are treated and whether management is operating in good faith.
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.
In the right hands, Shostakovich’s Twelfth can come off as nothing less than an intriguing, lively symphonic essay.
That rarest of Opening Nights: a program that was mostly fun and entertaining, but also substantive and artistically satisfying.