Railroad Rhythms is one of the year’s delights: unexpected, well played, and thoroughly charming. Theodore Kuchar is a conductor who seems to know precious few limitations; Eduard Strauss, despite his champions, turns out to have been a competent writer of music for the day.
Arguably, the strongest entry in the BSO’s complete Shostakovich symphony cycle thus far; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s 2016 Cello Concerto is emotionally direct and, at times, simply gorgeous; the resurgence of interest in the music of Boston-educated composer Florence Price is a good thing.
Charles Villiers Stanford’s bold Mass Via victrix is finally heard; Pablo Heras-Casado wraps up his survey of the Mendelssohn symphonies in high style; Anna Shelest completes her performance of Anton Rubinstein piano concertos.
Markus Maskuniitty’s solo debut recording is stunning, Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra play Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto with zest, and this is one of the strongestNew Year’s Concerts of the decade from the Vienna Philharmonic.
The perversity of The Handmaid’s Tale oppressive allegory lends itself well to opera, and Boston Lyric Opera makes the most of the material’s emotional heights and depths.
The final two concerts of the BSO’s season were in the orchestra’s sweet spot.
Once much-performed, then banished from the stage by the Nazis, The Miracle of Heliane, now available in a fine new recording, is perhaps the best opera by the man who would become one of Hollywood’s leading composers.
This performance of Ives’ Third was the most welcome entry in the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra’s celebratory season – a beautifully considered, powerfully rendered account of this too-neglected score.
Desires will surely solidify ORA Singers’ reputation as a first-class choral ensemble.
A bit surprising — that two megastars choose such meat and potatoes repertoire.