Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Concert Season

The Boston concert season is pretty much over for the year.

Joshua and I attended eight concerts this season, not a large number, and all were orchestral concerts. For some reason, we made it out to no recitals or chamber music events this year.

We heard the Boston Symphony on four occasions. We heard four other ensembles on one occasion each: The Handel And Haydn Society, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

Over the course of the year, there were other concerts we considered attending, but we were unable to fit them into our schedules. We are in Boston to attend to business, not to attend concerts, and we have dutifully kept our priorities in order.

I most regret missing the Boston Symphony performances of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, a program we had planned to catch until we scheduled a trip to Greece for that period.

I also mildly regret skipping concerts by the New York Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic while we were in New York in January. We had elected to devote that particular long holiday weekend to theater performances and New York City Ballet—but, in hindsight, we might have been better off in the concert hall than on Broadway and in The New York State Theater.

Last weekend was the best weekend of the season for Boston music-lovers. There was an exceptional array of performances in the city, but we missed everything because Josh was in the middle of his exam period.

The Boston Symphony played Beethoven and Bartok under Haitink. The Handel And Haydn Society offered its best program of the season, an all-Bach program of exceptional interest. Boston Lyric Opera was in the midst of a run of performances of Mozart’s “Idomeneo”. Opera Boston was wrapping up its season with Offenbach’s “The Grand Duchess Of Gerolstein”. Baritone Thomas Quasthoff was in town for one of only two American recitals this season.

It was Quasthoff I most wish I had heard last weekend. He sang a wonderful program of Schubert, Martin and Brahms, including Martin’s Six Monologues From “Everyman” and Brahms’s Four Serious Songs, two of my very favorite song cycles.

I heard that the recital was stupendous.

Josh’s exams are now over, thankfully, so our “quiet period” has ended.

Next weekend, I think we will try to catch Boston Ballet’s season-ending all-Balanchine program.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, we shall travel to Cleveland to hear the Cleveland Orchestra play Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 under Welser-Most.

We may go twice—we could not find anything else interesting to do on the evenings we shall be in Cleveland.

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