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Analysis, Criticism & Commentary: November 2008 Archives

Rozhdestvensky Upset with BSO

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Miffed at BSO, famed maestro backs out

By Jeremy Eichler
Boston Globe

There is an eminent Russian conductor encamped at a private home in Brookline, and he is fuming.

In an extremely rare public flare-up in the outwardly genteel world of major symphony orchestras, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, the 77-year-old maestro who is one of the last living links to a golden era of Russian music, has pulled out of the entire run of four concerts he was scheduled to conduct with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which began on Thursday.

He is outraged, he said yesterday, at how disrespectfully, in his view, the BSO administration had marketed his appearances to the public.

In an emotional 40-minute interview at the home of a friend, Rozhdestvensky and his wife, Viktoria Postnikova, explained the maestro's abrupt decision to withdraw from the performances, including concerts scheduled for tonight and Tuesday, and to return today to Moscow. He began with a pointed clarification.

"The BSO told its audiences I was 'unable to conduct this performance as planned,' " he said, referring to an announcement that appeared in a program insert and on the BSO's website. "I must say that I was able to conduct." Full stop. "And how."

Read more about this at the Boston Globe website:

   www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2008/11/22/miffed_at_bso_famed_maestro_backs_out/

Guarneri Quartet Passes Torch

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Johannes Quartet, Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Fiery Finale for Guarneri

By Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle

There may be no classier way to exit the public stage than by handing off the baton to a young successor - and the Guarneri String Quartet has always been the classiest of acts.

For at least part of its current farewell tour, the Guarneri is being accompanied by the Johannes Quartet, a young and – to judge from Thursday's performance – splendidly dynamic ensemble that needs to come back again soon as a headliner. In the potent performance of the Mendelssohn Octet that occupied the second half of the program, a listener could witness the mantle of chamber-music greatness being passed along.

The venerable ensemble made its final visit to San Francisco on Thursday night, playing to an enthusiastic crowd in Herbst Theatre under the auspices of San Francisco Performances. But the players weren't there alone.

Read more about this at the S.F. Gate website:

   sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/22/DDGF149J4R.DTL

Trumpet