Boston Symphony – 1976 – Part 1:
Boston Symphony – 1976 – Part 2:
Another historic concert. This week it’s the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 1976 during the Berkshire Festival, guest conducted by Klaus Tennstedt and featuring pianist Malcolm Frager in an all-Beethoven program. Starting off with the Overture to Egmont – and then Frager joins the orchestra in a performance of the 3rd piano concert. The second half is a single work – the Symphony number 5 in c minor.
Sadly, neither Klaus Tennstedt or Malcolm Frager are still with us. Tennstedt died in 1998 and Frager left in 1991 after a year-long illness. Both musicians were highly regarded and many of Frager’s recordings for RCA Victor were nominated for Grammys. Tennstedt’s career really took off when he defected from East Germany in 1971 and this concert comes roughly two years after his debut with the BSO as well as his debut in North America. From that point on, until his early retirement from conducting in 1994, due to illness, Tennstedt was a much in-demand guest conductor as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra as well as the position as Chief Conductor of the North German Radio Symphony from 1979-1982. Because his performances with the BSO were so well received, he was a frequent guest in Boston and was frequently at the Tanglewood and Blossom Music Festivals.
It’s also worth noting that Klaus Tennstedt had the unique honor of being the first German conductor of his generation to conduct the Israel Philharmonic, which until then had a standing policy to refuse German conductors because of their connections with the Nazi regime. Tennstedt was active at the Leipzig Conservatory during the war years, and avoided military service by joining a Baroque Orchestra.
So, a historic concert and one which, if you love Beethoven, should fill the bill nicely for an Anti-Road Rage Wednesday – or anything to counter the insanity of the real world at the moment.
Enjoy, and play often.