The BSO’s session was opened today, welcome back James Levine.
The concert was ridicules in a way. It stated early. The fist past was Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmila Overture. The Overture was a nightmare. The dull and boring orchestra was juts rendering notes, half of the notes were juts openly wrong, there was very badly made phasing and accents, all woodwind sections were juts 5 light miles away from anybody else – the BSO just juts was not able to play together. It is a pure cacophony, the nightmare worth for a high school orchestra. Then there was the Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin. It was sung by Russian Maija Kovalevska in her BSO debut – it was another nightmare. The BSO was flooding over Ms. Kovalevska without any regards what she sings. The orchestra screwed up anything imaginable, the Tchaikovsky's brilliant string-woodwind moves were played with sensibly of rap music. Ms. Kovalevska was not much better. I true do not get her diction. The stunning Pushkin poetry sound from Maija like Dostoenvsky’s prose – I truly did not get it. I was literally ready to go as to last the last piece – the orchestrated “Pictures at an Exhibition” would not be possible with this level of play.
I would leave if then have a break but they did not. After a few minutes when more musicians come to the stage the BSO’ trumpetist was already playing the celebrated opening thyme of the Pictures. I closed my eyes as I know BSO very well as I know where BSO dreaded cupper sand woodwinds would screw up. In a few minutes I opened my eyes completely astonished – the BSO played fanatically good. It was like absolutely different orchestra - well balanced, very well played together, with very high capacity to do “complex thighs”- I literary did not believe how good they suddenly turned to sound. I whispered to a friend of my asking him: “What the hell going on. Where the BSO suddenly got THAT sound?” The friend of my replied: “Romy, you would not believe – they just changed the leads of most of BSO’s groups.” I do not know if it is true, I did not pay attention if the musicians were changed but regardless, it was WAY different sound.
With the BSO’s Sound and capacity to play the James Levine’s reading begin to shine. It was all together not the best Pictures at an Exhibition that I heard but it was very-very good Pictures at an Exhibition. Some of the moments were just extraordinary. My favorite “Bydlo” fragment Levine mane so stunning that I almost flew away from the balcony. It was not powerful all the way but it was soft sand genital opening with blossoming of full orchestral power as the Bydlo progresses. It was juts amassing and I would love to have it recorded.
On Sunday the WGBH will broadcast it live-to-tape. I bell my tuners and my recorded will be on… welcome back James Levine, it was good return. I have no idea what kind experiments you did with Glinka and Tchaikovsky but I hope you will not be doing it in two weeks during BSO play of Mahler’s VIThe Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche