Programming Notes: July 2016

Jul 1, 2016

Our broadcasts of The Boston Symphony Orchestra live from the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood begin Friday, July 8th at 8 p.m. ♫ We will be airing the concerts live on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. through August.

Friday, July 8th at 8 p.m. ♫ The Boston Symphony Orchestra opens its 2016 Tanglewood season on Friday, July 8, at 8 p.m., with an Opening Night at Tanglewood program featuring music by Ravel, Saint-Saëns, and Prokofiev, led by Canadian conductor Jacques Lacombe. The performance features American violinist and Tanglewood favorite Joshua Bell as soloist in Saint-Saëns's romantic Violin Concerto No. 3. Mr. Lacombe opens the program with Ravel's raucous and colorfully Spanish-flavored Alborada del gracioso, and closes it with Prokofiev's popular Symphony No. 5, a work composed in just one month in 1944 and given its American premiere in 1945 by Serge Koussevitzky and the BSO.

Saturday, July 9th at 8 p.m. ♫ Jacques Lacombe returns to lead a second consecutive program with the BSO. Debussy's revolutionary symphonic poem Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun and Ravel's atmospheric and beautiful Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2, two quintessential French impressionist works that are specialties of the orchestra, open the program. For the second half, Mr. Lacombe and the BSO are joined by soprano Nadine Sierra and tenor Jean-Francis Monvoisin, both making their BSO and Tanglewood debuts, as well as baritone Stephen Powell and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, for the drama and the spectacle of Orff's rousing Carmina burana.

Sunday, July 10th at 2 p.m. ♫ Famed actor, writer, director, and vocalist Seth MacFarlane joins Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra on Sunday, July 10, performing both classics and hidden gems from the Great American Songbook. Although best known as the comedic mastermind behind television shows such as Family Guy, Mr. MacFarlane has a passion for uncovering tunes from America's rich musical past. Mr. MacFarlane will sing songs including Frank Sinatra's, "Ol' Man River," and the jazz standard "Autumn in New York" from his recent Grammy-nominated album, No One Ever Tells You.

Friday, July 15th at 8 p.m. ♫ Violinist Pinchas Zukerman, a frequent BSO guest over the years and a renowned Mozart performer, joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra once again Friday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ♫ as both conductor and soloist for a program devoted entirely to that composer's music. From the podium, Mr. Zukerman will lead the orchestra in the Haydnesque Symphony No. 25 and one of Mozart's great, final three symphonies, No. 39 in E-flat. At the heart of the program, he takes up his violin to lead the BSO as soloist in the Violin Concerto-or the second, third, and fourth movements-from the composer's Serenade in D, K.250, Haffner.

Saturday, July 16, at 8 p.m. ♫ Revered BSO guest conductor Christoph von Dohnányi returns to Tanglewood, along with celebrated American soprano Renée Fleming, for a performance of Strauss's powerfully emotional and autumnally beautiful Four Last Songs, the last major piece the composer wrote before his death a year later in 1949. Also on the program are Tchaikovsky's beloved Symphony No. 6, Pathetiqué-which was also its composer's final work before death-and Ives's atmospheric and ruminative The Unanswered Question, perhaps his most popular work. Ms. Fleming made her BSO debut at Tanglewood 25 years ago, on July 13, 1991, performing Mozart's Idomeneo with the BSO and Seiji Ozawa.

Sunday, July 17th at 2 p.m. ♫ Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno makes both his BSO and Tanglewood debuts on Sunday, July 17, at 2:30 p.m., leading the orchestra in Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1, Classical-a work that was inspired by and intended as a tribute to Haydn, and which is one of the earliest pieces in the so-called neoclassical style that became popular in the first half of the 20th century-and the suite from Stravinsky's breakthrough early ballet, The Firebird. Brilliant Chinese pianist Yuja Wang joins Mr. Gimeno and the BSO for two heavily jazz-influenced works: Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, at turns breathless and beautiful, and Gershwin's infectious and well-known Rhapsody in Blue.

Friday, July 22nd at 8 p.m. ♫ Sir Andrew Davis conducts Vaughan Williams, Dvořák and Sibelius featuring Lisa Batiashvili, violin. The orchestra will perform VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, DVOŘÁK Violin Concerto, and SIBELIUS Symphony No. 5.

Saturday, July 23rd at 8 p.m.-- Juanjo Mena conducts Tchaikovsky and Falla featuring Garrick Ohlsson, piano, and Raquel Lojendio, soprano. The orchestra will perform TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1, and FALLA The Three-cornered Hat (complete). Sunday, July 24th at 2 p.m.-- Juanjo Mena conducts Ginastera, Mozart and Beethoven featuring Veronika Eberle, violin. The orchestra will perform GINASTERA Variaciones concertantes, MOZART Violin Concerto No. 4, and BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 Pastoral, marking the 100th anniversary of Alberto Ginastera's birth.

Friday, July 29th at 8 p.m. ♫ Andris Nelsons conducts Mozart and Mahler featuring Jonathan Biss, piano. The BSO will perform MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat, K.595, and MAHLER Symphony No. 9.

Saturday, July 30th, at 8 p.m. ♫ Andris Nelsons conducts Corigliano, Sibelius and Beethoven featuring Augustin Hadelich, violin. The orchestra will be performing CORIGLIANO Fantasia on an Ostinato, SIBELIUS Violin Concerto, and BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7.

Sunday, July 31st at 2 p.m. ♫ The Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert with The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Featuring Andris Nelsons, conductor with Paul Lewis, piano. The concert is an all BRAHAMS program: Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 1.