(LENOX, Mass.) – An all-star cast of soloists, including Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Pierre-Laurent Aimard join the Boston Symphony Orchestra to perform works by Brahms, Beethoven, and Ravel, respectively, this weekend at Tanglewood.
Conductor Charles Dutoit leads the BSO on Friday, July 28, at 8 p.m., in the first of two weekend programs. Soloist Yefim Bronfman joins Dutoit and the orchestra for Brahms’s sweeping Piano Concerto No. 2, a prototypically Brahmsian work in its combination of formal mastery and expressive ingenuity, as well as typically monumental in scale and scope, stretching to almost an hour and requiring four movements instead of the usual three. The BSO opens the program with the Overture to Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus, and Dutoit also leads the orchestra in Dvorak’s New World Symphony, a landmark work in the composer’s catalogue and one which is imbued with the spirit of the music Dvorak encountered during his time in the United States.
For the second of his BSO programs, Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m., Dutoit welcomes French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard for Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the left hand, a piece written in 1929 and 1930 for Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during World War I. Dutoit also leads the BSO in Stravinsky’s Chant funèbre — an early work that was lost after its premiere in 1909 and only resurfaced in 2015 — and Berlioz’s monumental Te Deum, one of the composer’s several great compositions for massive orchestra and chorus, featuring tenor Paul Groves and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
Beloved violinist Pinchas Zukerman returns to Tanglewood on Sunday, July 30, at 2:30 p.m., for a performance of Beethoven’s lyrical Violin Concerto, a staple of the repertoire, with the BSO and English conductor Bramwell Tovey. Tovey and the BSO are then joined by bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green — who recently received widespread acclaim for performances at the Metropolitan Opera — and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for the brilliant English composer William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast. An incredibly ambitious oratorio for a large-scale orchestra including two brass bands along with the baritone soloist and chorus, Walton’s 1931 work is one of the composer’s most celebrated compositions.