August 28, 2017 Tanglewood concert review by Dave Read
The honeymoon between Music Director Andris Nelsons, born 1978, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, born 1881, is over; their marriage was on full display for the 2017 season finale at Tanglewood, where they produced as beautiful performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as you could imagine. With four soloists, and the estimable Tanglewood Festival Chorus, with new conductor James Burton, the Koussevitsky Music Shed, and the enormous audience, combined to become the locus of the music world, for one splendid late summer afternoon in the Berkshires, where autumn alone is sufficient to follow a summer of such splendid sounds.
During the moment between movements, Maestro Nelsons stood still, his hands on the podium, as if connected to a charging station. After all, he is the only one of the 200+ musicians on stage with a role on every note in the hour-long composition. In that vein, the TFC deserve extra plaudits for their impossible stillness the forty plus minutes they are in place, but not singing. This marvelous musical tableau is completed by them.
Under Nelsons’ direction, today’s performance, perhaps the fifteenth time we’ve heard the BSO play Beethoven’s Ninth at Tanglewood, filled out the character we’d perceived when contemplating the great composer. It lifted some feeling that Beethoven hadn’t attained the full measure of satisfaction owed a hard working man. Now, I can imagine the joy he felt upon first hearing its performance.
Housatonic at Stockbridge, Charles Ives
The Housatonic at Stockbridge from Three Places in New England by Charles Ives was a sublime five minute meditative sketch made especially poignant because it depicts a locale on the sinuous river a few miles away as the composer felt on his honeymoon there. The conductor looked like an angler patiently working a fly under an overhang, while a light drizzle resolved in a thunderstorm.
Aug. 27, 2017 Sunday, 2:30pm
Koussevitzky Music Shed – Tanglewood, Lenox, MA
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Katie Van Kooten, soprano
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano
Russell Thomas, tenor
John Relyea, bass-baritone
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, conductor
IVES “The Housatonic at Stockbridge” from Three Places in New England
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 (65 min)
Tanglewood tickets, : box office info.
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Getting around the Tanglewood campus
The Tanglewood campus, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center comprises several hundred acres in the towns of Lenox and Stockbridge. It is the location of the Koussevitsky Music Shed and Ozawa Hall, where hundreds of thousands attend concerts and a variety of events, including picnics. We always advise new visitors to arrive early and take their daily walking exercise wandering the beautiful Tanglewood grounds. This dynamic map of the Tanglewood grounds includes photos and information for such points of interest as Aaron Copland Library, Highwood Manor House, The Glass House, and The Lion’s Gate.