(LENOX, Mass.) – Pianist Yefim Bronfman and violinist Gil Shaham are back-to-back guest soloists this weekend, performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Christoph von Dohnányi at Tanglewood. Shaham tackles Sibelius’s Violin Concerto on Friday, August 9, 2013, at 8:30 p.m., and Bronfman performs Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto on Saturday, August 10, at 8:30 p.m.
Also showcased this weekend is Christian Zacharias, who returns to the BSO on Sunday, August 11, at 2:30 p.m., for an all-Beethoven program, building on a relationship as conductor/pianist with the orchestra that began with his BSO conducting debut during the orchestra’s 2010-11 season. To open and close the concert, Zacharias will conduct the composer’s Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus and his Symphony No. 6, Pastoral. At the heart of the program, Zacharias leads the Piano Concerto No. 2 from the keyboard.
Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, to be played by Shaham on Friday night, is a virtuosic work that eschews strict traditional forms for a freer, more organic style; similar to Sibelius’s most popular symphonies, the concerto provides plenty of energy and excitement, as well as splendid, sweeping climaxes. The program concludes with Brahms’s rich and multifaceted Symphony No. 2, which combines pastoral beauty with melancholic reverie then gains momentum and sprints to a thrilling finale.
Beethoven’s stormy Third Piano Concerto, which Bronfman plays on Saturday night, is a dramatic, tumultuous work in which Beethoven takes an audible step away from the style of Mozart, his towering forebear in the piano concerto genre. Also on the program are Brahms’s formidable Symphony No. 4 — Brahms’s ultimate fusion of past and present, combining a mastery of Classical, Baroque, and even Renaissance techniques with his own lush Romantic idiom — and Elliott Carter’s meditative Sound Fields, the composer’s only work for string orchestra, performed in commemoration of Carter’s recent passing.