This post requires a dual preamble.
First preamble relates to me smiling when some people trying to push a point that there are not great performances nowadays and whatever was great have gone with the era of Furtwänglers, Klemperers, Toscaninis, Celibidaces, Scherchens, Koussevitzky, Karajans, Barbirollis, Stokowskis, Ormandys or Weingartners. Usually the freaks like those who believe that music is over since they lost puberty are sitting in their very restricted musical closets and little familiar with what is going on “out there”
The second preamble related to the fact that I live in Boston and Boston Symphony is my backward orchestra. After the quoter century of Ozawa’s abuse they are in deep music incapacitation. They have a minor optimistic moment when James Levine come to the picture 3 years ago but they then went back to the sonic nothingness. The period of 30s-60s when we in Boston had world leading orchestra went away not be in Boston are trying to catch performances from Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York, Minnesota or Detroit.
Giving my love with BSO I rarely expect form them anything good, although they do it sometime (accidentally!!!), and those events are very surprising. It is fun (!???) to get it from the best paid orchestra in nation!
Well, today was a very special and completely unexpected event. Any Sunday Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcasts LIVE from Tanglewood summer performances. They are usually not bad not “great”. I usually record them that allows me to listen those performances without bitching that I wasted my money and my time sitting at THAT Masspike exit. So, today Sir Andrew Davis conducted BSO with Kodály’s Dances of Galánta and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 6. However between them Jean-Yves Thibaudet performed Franz Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. The Liszt’s concerto was like nothing else – it was one of the greatest play I ever heard from BSO!!!
The Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto is kind of a concerto about nothing. It more sound like one movement prelude or rhapsody, romantic, beautiful but with no well define program of subject. It is not frequently perfumed, at list as not frequently as celebrated First Concerto but we have some good performances. The wonderful Claudio Arrau with Mitropoulos/NY and conservatory like Richter with Kondrashin/London, the crazily-blissful Gregory Cziffra with Vandernoot/Philharmonia in 60s and of course the Martha Argerich with Abbado and London… However, today Thibaudet with Davis along with Boston Symphony really did something amassing.
Thibaudet did very very well but it was kind of expected form him. The real star of this performance was BSO. I never hear BSO play so lash, slow, large, Large, LARGRE, LARGE!!! …and absolutely correct… and perfectly sensibly affinity with leading instrument. I never hear a piano was so much organically mixed with HUGE sound of BSO… The broadcast sound like a different orchestra was played all together…
Anyhow, if this recording become available commercially then hunt for it as the recoding of this broadcast is being placed on my shelf of the greatest performing events ever… right next to the selected performances of Furtwänglers, Klemperers, Toscaninis, Celibidaces, Scherchens, Koussevitzky, Karajans, Barbirollis, Stokowskis, Ormandys or Weingartners… Bravo Boston!!!
Romy the caT
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche