Alrighty, killer bees, this week’s BSO concert is simply but accurately entitled “Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.” Let me stop you right there – I played that concerto for my private lessons once, back in the dark ages when I was still laboring over the violin, and I remain a little scarred.
So let’s skip to the other bits. We have Dvorak’s “From the New World” Symphony No. 9 (listen to the opening of the fourth movement and tell me John Williams didn’t straight up gank that for Jaws). And then we have a piece by John Adams called Dr. Atomic Symphony. I mean, of course we do.
There don’t appear to be any program notes available, but I felt that a title like Dr. Atomic warrants further research, so I went ahead and hit Wikipedia like a good child of the 21st century. The symphony is evidently a condensed version of Adams’ Dr. Atomic opera, which covers the time a month out from the testing of the atomic bomb in 1945 up to the moment just before the bomb is dropped (I assume in the test, not on Hiroshima). Makes sense to me!
The symphony was initially written in four movements spanning 45 minutes, but Adams’ later rewrote it into three movements clocking in at 25 minutes. My guess is that the BSO is playing the 25 minute version, but I could be wrong. If you want to find out for sure, there’s a Thursday, September 30 concert at 8 pm at Strathmore, a Saturday, October 2 concert at 8 pm at the Meyerhoff, and then another Meyerhoff concert at 3 pm on Sunday, October 3. If I said “It’ll be explosive!”, would you hate me?
Updated to add: I forgot to mention that the soloist will be Stefan Jackiw. I guess he’ll never be granting me an interview.