Events, The Muse

BSO Dances to Stravinsky’s Famous Russian Ballet

The Boston Symphony Orchestra presented an upbeat program during the past two weeks, primarily focused upon Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Petrushka,’ a Burlesque in four scenes produced in 1947.

The orchestra’s main flautist and clarinetist captured the story of Stravinsky’s ballet by accenting the dance of the two main protagonists. In the stage performance of the ballet, these two instruments follow the ballerina and her cavalier. The audience needed only to close its eyes to imagine the ballet appearing on the BSO stage.

According to the BSO website, the performance included three flutes (third doubling piccolo), two oboes and English horns, three clarinets (third doubling bass clarinet), two bassoons and contrabassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, harp, piano, strings and a wide variety of percussion instruments. The assortment of musical instruments upon the stage brought a musically diverse sound to the ears of the audience.

Director Fabio Luisi, honored with the position of Music Director of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan in 2010, brought large and sweeping movement to the stage. His vivacious persona gave each piece a powerful distinction and his strong command of the stage only grew with each and every movement. Every strike of his baton raised in prepared movement conveyed his enjoyment, evoking passionate responses from the musicians.’ ‘ ‘

At this particular performance on November 14, the audience included a diverse age group. Many young students, as well as children, attended the animated performance.’

In addition to Stravinsky’s ‘Petrushka’, the Orchestra performed Honegger’s ‘Pastorale D”eacute;t’eacute;, Symphonic Poem’ and Saint-Sa’euml;ns’ ‘Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 22.’

The Honegger seemed a subtle opening to the program. Throughout the piece, the powerful undertones of the oboe and clarinet resonated stronger than any other instruments in the piece, giving the composition a strong, relaxing quality.’

The Saint-Sa’euml;ns interpretation showcased the powerful talent of theatrical pianist Lise de la Salle. At 21 years of age, this performance marked her debut with the BSO. Her fingers struck the keys with fierce, powerful movements on each dissonant chord, as her gold ponytail swept across her back and her upper body pulsated to the music. Her flowing blue halter dress fell all the way to the floor, seamlessly connecting her to the piano.

The end of the movement included a teeter-tottering sound between the pianist and percussionist Dan Bauch, allowing the audience momentary laughter at the musical game. At the conclusion of the piece, de la Salle received a standing ovation and before exiting stage left for the final time, she patted her heart with her right hand, exhibiting her love and appreciation for the audience.’ ‘

The Orchestra’s program for November 19-27 includes ‘Nocturnes for Orchestra’ by Debussy, ‘Flute Concerto’ by Ibert, and ‘Symphony No. 1’ by Brahms. Two featured artists include Conductor Bernard Haitink, celebrating his 80th birthday, and flautist Sir James Galway, who will be celebrating his 70th birthday. Both birthdays will be celebrated during the run of performances.

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