Weber / Overture to der Freschütz
Bartók / Violin Concerto No. 2
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin
Brahms / Symphony No. 2
Carl Maria von Weber’s magical evocation of the sound and feel of night in the forest opens the second concert of the season. Weber’s magical opera of desperate love and conniving demons is rarely performed here, but in Germany is nearly as popular as La bohème. The overture is a haunting distillation of those qualities that have made it a favorite with audiences and an important influence on other composers.
At the center of this program is an event that no one will want to miss, the Boston debut of the phenomenal Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. In the past few years she has made a sensation in Europe with her performances and recordings. In the center of her repertory is the music of central European composers of the twentieth century – first and foremost Bartók. Critics have been united in their praise of her amazing technique, her probing intellectuality, and her deep understanding not only of this music but also of its roots in central European folk music. Her playing can be fiercely passionate, but also nuanced with a delicacy of shading that is incomparable today. As you will hear, she has actually expanded the range of color and expression of which the violin is capable.
After the nervous energy of Bartók’s great concerto, the warm expansiveness of Brahms’s Second Symphony will come as a wonderful respite. This beloved symphony is the closest Brahms ever came to writing a “pastoral” symphony. With its wonderful evocation of the out of doors in bright sunshine – not a frequent occurrence in the music of Brahms – it is a perfect complement to the nocturnal conjurations of the Weber overture with which the concert begins.
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