Review: Boston Symphony world premiere, plus Hilary Hahn in Mozart and Bach

Posted on: January 10, 2022

“Launching the year with a new work should become an annual Boston Symphony Orchestra tradition,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Friday’s (1/7) Boston Globe. “Music director Andris Nelsons … led four movements from a new symphonic suite by the Viennese composer and master provocateur HK Gruber … entitled ‘Short Stories from the Vienna Woods.’ … Gruber’s suite offers a tasting menu of music from his 2014 opera ‘Tales from the Vienna Woods,’ whose libretto was adapted from the play of the same name by … Ödön von Horváth (1901-38)…. The suite in fact comes across as a wonderfully rich layering of Viennese musical traditions from Beethoven to Berg…. Nelsons … drew out a dramatically alert and well-characterized performance…. The night concluded with a boldly profiled … performance of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony…. Soloist Hilary Hahn was on hand to perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. She was at her most compelling in her earthy take on the ‘Turkish’ sections of the final movement, and in her encore of solo Bach (the Gigue from the Third Partita)…. Solo Bach is also not a bad way to celebrate another trip around the sun—and to remind ourselves of music’s proprietary miracle: that a wordless art can speak so truthfully.”