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Singers

Gerald Finley

 

Some upcoming engagements of Gerald Finley

 

December 1, 2011, Thursday, 8:00 p.m.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall
Boston, Massachusetts

Jiří Bělohlávek, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Gerald Finley, baritone

HARBISON
Symphony No. 5
BEETHOVEN
Piano Concerto No. 4
BEETHOVEN
Leonore Overture no. 3

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December 2, 2011, Friday, 1:30 p.m.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall
Boston, Massachusetts

Jiří Bělohlávek, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Gerald Finley, baritone

HARBISON
Symphony No. 5
BEETHOVEN
Piano Concerto No. 4
BEETHOVEN
Leonore Overture no. 3

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December 3, 2011, Saturday, 8:00 p.m.

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Hall
Boston, Massacusetts

Jiří Bělohlávek, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Gerald Finley, baritone

HARBISON
Symphony No. 5
BEETHOVEN
Piano Concerto No. 4
BEETHOVEN
Leonore Overture no. 3

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Links to reviews

Review, Boston Classical Review

Review, Boston Globe

Review, Vance R. Koven, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

One of the top ten performances of classical music in Boston and vicinity during 2011, according to Keith Powers of the Patriot Ledger

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I attended the Boston Symphony Orchestraís concert on the afternoon of December 2, 2011, at Symphony Hall in Boston. Jiri Belohlavek conducted.

The first work on the program was Harbisonís symphony no. 5 for baritone, mezzo-soprano, and orchestra (2008), on texts of Czeslaw Milosz, Louise Glück, and Rainer Maria Rilke. I had attended the workís premiere in 2008 (see notes below) and was interested to hear it again. Both soloists were very good, but I felt that I had enjoyed the symphony more the first time I heard it. In 2008, and Iím just guessing here, maybe the conductor James Levine and the baritone Nathan Gunn had a higher opinion of the work and were doing their best to give it a good performance. Maybe Belohlavek and Finley did not quite share Levine and Gunn's appreciation of the work. And of course maybe not at all. As I said, Iím just guessing. Finley did enunciate the words very clearly, as did Nathan Gunn in 2008, but Nathan Gunn has a more pleasant voice that it is easier to listen to for twenty minutes or so when the music itself is not very interesting. I thought that Finley did not like the notes he was asked to sing in a couple of places, one of them being the line about descending many floors. Sasha Cooke has a lush voice that it was a pleasure to hear.

After the intermission, Beethoven's piano concerto number 4 was given a beautiful performance, with Jonathan Biss the piano soloist. Then came Beethoven's Leonore Overture no. 3, which Belohlavek conducted from memory. The orchestra sounded especially wonderful in that work.

This was an afternoon performance. All the men on stage wore business suits, except Gerald Finley, who wore a frock coat with a purple tie and a white shirt with buttoned cuffs. He looked better in a frock coat than Dmitri Hvorostovsky did in his recital last February. Sasha Cooke wore a black evening gown.

My notes on the April 17, 2008, concert:

I attended a performance of the new Harbison symphony tonight (i.e. Thursday night). It is in four movements, with singing in every movement. The baritone sings in the first two movements, the mezzo-soprano sings in the third movement, and they both sing in the last movement. It lasts roughly 40 minutes, give or take a few minutes. Nathan did very well, I thought, even though it may not be the ideal piece to show off his voice. The symphony held my interest throughout and was never unpleasant. He wore white tie and tails and looked more rested, but the hair looked about the same. No dancing, but he did sway his hips a few times while he was standing and singing. Kate Lindsey was quite impressive.

Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde was performed after the intermission. Johan Botha was not there because he was ill. He was replaced by Ben Heppner. Anne-Sofie von Otter was very moving, especially in the last movement. She looked spectacular in a red silk dress that appeared to be of Chinese design.

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