Review by Larry Murray
Photograph by Hilary Scott
All across the Berkshires, the stages have lit up as music, theater and dance return to the area in profusion. No migration is bigger – or more welcomed – than the annual arrival of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 100+ players and staff, all of whom make their homes in the Berkshires every summer. The legendary orchestra has a world famous sound that is still unequaled, one that is loud enough to fill Tanglewood’s 5,000-seat shed which serves as its summer concert hall with music, and up to some 15,000 on the lush and legendary lawn that surrounds the concert hall with the aid of loudspeakers. Both the classics and popular music are welcomed at the famous Lenox venue with its lush grounds.
Friday night (July 3) was perfect in every respect for the symphonic opening. The weather was clear and brisk, the grounds serene and green, the festive crowd expectant and in a very good mood.
For its first concert of the 2015 Tanglewood season, the BSO explored the riches of our country’s own musical heritage with a ravishing all-American program of music by John Harbison, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Duke Ellington. The dynamic Jacques Lacombe conducted, with the exciting pianist Kirill Gerstein, equally renowned in jazz and classical repertoire, featured in Gershwin’s Concerto in F. John Douglas Thompson electrified the audience as the speaker in Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.