Boston Symphony–Leipzig Gewandhaus partnership: music, speeches, beer and pretzels

Posted on: November 4, 2019

“Formalized in a Boston Symphony Orchestra–Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra alliance, the two groups now have several ongoing projects,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Friday’s (11/1) Boston Globe. “The beating heart of the partnership finally arrived this week in the form of an actual Gewandhaus Orchestra residency in Symphony Hall … five performances over seven days. Two of those five were planned as free-standing programs featuring the Leipzigers alone…. These same players also perform routinely at the Leipzig Opera and in weekly performances of the Bach Cantatas, and these experiences surely contribute to the deep coherence in their sound. [At] Thursday’s two-orchestra extravaganza … the two ensembles [appeared] in various combinations, their personnel sharing the stage. Bookending the program were works that could put to use these massive orchestral forces—Strauss’s ‘Festliches Praeludium’ and Scriabin’s ‘Poem of Ecstasy.’ … The evening’s musical highlight was Haydn’s high-spirited Concertante in B-flat for four soloists … GHO violinist Frank-Michael Erben, GHO cellist Christian Giger, BSO principal oboe John Ferrillo, and BSO principal bassoon Richard Svoboda…. The German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier … delivered greetings from the stage. A mostly full Symphony Hall seemed to be enjoying itself…. the party continued with free beer and pretzels.”

Posted November 4, 2019

In photo: The combined forces of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Germany’s Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra with conductor Andris Nelsons, October 31, 2019. Photo by Winslow Townson