It’s guest artists everywhere you look this week at the BSO. Nicholas McGegan is conducting, and Robert Levin is the pianist (I’m assuming that’s the right link for the latter, on account of because the other one is dead). Incidentally, whenever I look at McGegan’s headshot, I feel an overwhelming urge to hug him. He has such an impish expression, like a little leprechaun.
But I digress (now and in life). The program is entitled “Beethoven and Mozart with a Twist,” and features – wait for it – Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro overture and “Jupiter” symphony, as well as Beethoven’s first piano concerto.
But the one that, to paraphrase the immortal words of the Oracle, really bakes my noodle is Robert Levin, who will be performing an “improvisation in the style of Beethoven.” The program notes ignore its existence. All the brochure copy has to say is “Levin then presents his own classically inspired improvisation on the piano, just as Mozart or Beethoven might have done for their audiences.” So I suppose if you come to all three performances you’ll hear something different each time? Something completely different? Or is he building off of a starting point like that scene in Amadeus?
If you want to find out, the concerts are on February 25 and 26 at the Meyerhoff and February 27 at Strathmore, all at 8 pm. And then write me and let me know how it went. (I’ll be at work. Wah.)
Pity about the program notes’ silence re Levin’s improvisation. Would have been such a lovely opportunity to slip in a little article about the traditions of improvising in classical music and where it might be going next. (e.g. page 18… http://www.sydneysymphony.com/shared/programs/2008/monterorecital_sso_080908/files/474/PROG33_080908_MonteroRecital_SSO.pdf )
Robert Levin is the real deal. My guess is the audiences will be hearing something really different.