Last night was the last concert in my Tuesday night series at the BSO.
It was fantastic! Best in quite some time.
BACH : Concerto in D Minor for Violin, Strings and Continuo, BWV 1052
LUTOSLAWSKI : “Musique Funebre” for String Orchestra  
- I. Prologue
- II. Metamorphoses
- III Spogee
- IV. Epilogue
BEETHOVEN : Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat, Opus 60
The guess conductor and soloist was Leonidas Kavakos who did a spectacular job. He looked like a hipster with long, flowing black hair, funky glasses, and a black Nehru-style jacket.
I wanted to see this concert because he was both conducting and playing as soloist at the same time and I’d never seen that, although I read that it used to be common in Mozart’s time. What I didn’t realize was that the piece was for string orchestra which really made it sort of a very large ensemble rather than a full orchestra. This isn’t one of my favorite pieces, it sounds too much like practicing scales at rehearsal for me. Still, excellent.
The second piece started as a dirge, but turned out to be fascinating. I want it played at my funeral! I’m not sure the audience cared all that much for the piece, but what was remarkable was that Kavakos was able to control the BSO audience, one of the most tubercular anywhere, keeping them pin-drop quiet. Amazing.
The final piece was Beethoven’s 4th, which he conducted totally without music with the second movement conducted without baton (he had the first cellist hold it for him as he had no stand). His conducting style was unusual and very expressive. Very fun to watch. I’m unsure what his reception was from the orchestra, it was kind of hard to tell. The audience didn’t really care for the first two pieces but warmed to the third.
This will be simulcast by WCRB on 99.5 FM and on the Internet on Saturday. Listen if you can.
I liked it so much, I’m going back on Friday.
Also … here’s a 12-year-old video of Leonidas Kavakos playing one of my favorite pieces, Sibelius Violin Concerto. And here is as he looks today, conducting Brahms No. 1.