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?