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The Boston Symphony Orchestra to End its BSO NOW Season with an All-Strauss Program

The plot of the libretto of Serenade for Winds, Op. 7 revolves around a misunderstanding that drives the wife of a conductor to jealous extremes.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra to End its BSO NOW Season with an All-Strauss Program

In the final episode in the BSO's 2020-21 BSO NOW streaming season, releasing tomorrow at noon, BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons will return to a focus of his recent conducting activity: music of Richard Strauss. Strauss was only 18 when his Serenade for Winds, Op. 7, was premiered in Dresden. Its classical clarity is in stark contrast to the lush, almost cinematic orchestral Interludes from the composer's 1923 opera Intermezzo, composed 40 years later. Based on an episode in Strauss' life, the plot of the libretto (written by the composer himself) revolves around a misunderstanding that drives the wife of a conductor to jealous extremes. Strauss called his opera a "bourgeois comedy with symphonic interludes," indicating the importance of the purely orchestral music of the four interludes, which respectively tell of the bustle and joy of travel, an introspective scene by the fireside, a card-playing scene, and a brief happy ending touching on many of the opera's main themes. The American composer Jennifer Higdon's colorful, energetic 1995 wind quintet Autumn Music, which was in part inspired by Samuel Barber's Summer Music, is this program's chamber music work.

As with the season's other BSO NOW offerings, this month's three online video streams, which are part of the "Pathways of Romanticism" series, are accompanied by magazine segments. These features put Romanticism in historical and cultural context. This program's magazine, "Strauss: The Last Romantic," pictures the once-progressive composer who ultimately kept the fires of musical Romanticism burning nearly 50 years into the modernist 20th century.

The BSO NOW concert streaming platform launched in November and was created in response to the live performance hiatus in place since March 2020, due to the restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic. Most BSO NOW concert streams are available for on-demand viewing for 30 days past their original launch dates through www.bso.org/now. Formal BSO titles for conductors referenced in this release: Andris Nelsons is the Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director and Thomas Wilkins is the BSO's Artistic Advisor, Education and Community Engagement, and Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor.

CRB Classical 99.5 FM and www.classicalwcrb.org continue to feature encore Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts on Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. In the program for Saturday, May 1, virtuoso musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra take center stage in works by Vivaldi, Krommer, Jolivet, Rota, and Schumann. Led by Ken-David Masur, the concert has as featured soloists piccolo player Cynthia Meyers, clarinetists William R. Hudgins and Michael Wayne, trumpeter Thomas Rolfs, trombonist Toby Oft, and horn players James Sommerville, Michael Winter, Rachel Childers, and Jason Snider. The performance originally took place in January 2017.


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