Sunday, May 31, 2015

Andris Nelsons in Boston

I watched the inaugural concert for Andris Nelsons at the Boston Symphony on the internet because I could not find it on my local PBS station.  He explained that he programmed what he loves.

The first half was all Wagner.

The prelude to Tannhäuser?
Gralserzählung from Lohengrin sung by Jonas Kaufmann
Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde sung by Nelsons wife, Kristine Opolais

The second half was all Italian (order?).

Un bel di from Butterfly sung by Kristine
Turidu's aria to his mother from Cavalleria rusticana sung by Jonas
Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana
Love duet from Manon Lescaut by Jonas and Kristine

Encore:  duet from La Boheme

In the Manon Lescaut there is kissing and other carrying on.  Jonas explains in the pauses that the curse of being an opera conductor is that you get to see some other guy making love to your wife.  He seems he's handling it pretty well.  Roberto Alagna and Angela are supposed to have broken up over precisely this issue.

After the singers had left, they played the Pines of Rome.  These are some of the pines of the Giardino Borghese:

His heart is in the late romantic, and he brings an enormous amount of sincere emotion to this repertoire.  He showed a light touch and great attention to detail, things that are not often heard in Wagner or Puccini.  He knows how to follow a singer.  To gauge him as an orchestral conductor I would need to hear maybe Beethoven or someone like that.

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