Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 24, 2008

Schumann & Mendelssohn

Tanglewood, Lenox
Sunday, July 20, 2008
by Debra Tinkham

The Lost and Foundation, Inc. – Cynthia and Oliver Curme Concert featuring Shi-Yeon Sung, conductor, began with Robert Schumann’s ‘Overture from the incidental music to Byron’s Manfred, Opus 115.’ This was Korean born Sung’s Tanglewood debut, and what a debut it was. Sung’s curriculum vitae is longer than a large man’s arm, but she is a welcome breath of fresh air. (Note that Sung will make her BSO subscription series debut at Symphony Hall (Boston) in April, 2009.

Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Opus 4 was first performed in December, 1945. Schumann’s wife, Clara Wieck Schumann, was the pianist for this performance. Today’s performance featured the very talented Garrick Ohlsson on piano. The interpretive and technical artist is best known “…as one of the world’s leading exponents of Frederic Chopin’s music.” So, if Schumann isn’t his forte, imagine his Chopin!

Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A, Opus 90, written while spending two years in Italy, thus known as the “Italian” Symphony, has long been considered his most perfect work. In laymen terms, this would be considered beautiful, easy-listening music; but to a scholar, it is complicated, precise, emotional and euphoric. Written at an early age, (he died at 39) it is one of his….”most brilliantly orchestrated scores of this incredibly precocious artist.”

A “Farewell, Thanks, and All the Best” is in order for three of the BSO members retiring at the end of the 2008 Tanglewood season, who with a combined effort, bring in excess of 90 years of musical talent to the table. Peter Chapman, trumpet; Daniel Katzen, horn; and Ronald Barron, trombone, will be sorely missed in the final Tanglewood concert in August.

Debra Tinkham