Maestro James Levine will undergo immediate surgery for a herniated spinal disc. The procedure necessitates withdrawing from his scheduled performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on September 29, October 1, and October 3. He has also canceled his October 6 and 10 performances of Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera.
Boston Symphony Orchestra
* Notes *
Boston Symphony Orchestra's season ends this week with a program of Mozart and Berlioz conducted by Sir Colin Davis. The Friday matinee performance was packed, and rightfully so. The crisp, stately sound of the orchestra was a contrast with pianist Imogen Cooper's lusher tones. Ms. Cooper used a fair amount of pedal, especially during the first movement, but kept an elegant line nonetheless. The brass was not always perfectly clean, however, the strings were particularly fine.
Berlioz's Te Deum struck me as being bombastic and ridiculous, though it was performed with a great deal of joy. The playing was strong, as was the soloist, tenor Matthew Polenzani. Mr. Polenzani's voice has a wonderful lightness but also has a certain richness.
* Tattling *
Many watch alarms were heard, as well as a cellular phone during the "Tibi omnes angeli." Worst of all was the loud, iterative sound of a breathing device. Audience members would turn their heads in an effort to locate just where the noise was coming from, and even the performers seemed to notice.
Just before the Berlioz a woman commented that she had been afraid we were to hear Bruckner, and expressed her relief we were not.