BSO, Fleming uncork new season at Tanglewood

07.07.14
Asher Fisch
The Boston Globe

By Jeremy Eichler

On Sunday afternoon, Israeli conductor Asher Fisch was on the podium with a program of works by Brahms, Liszt, and Wagner. Pianist Garrick Ohlsson, with his gentle touch and massive wingspan, did not stint on power but nonetheless emphasized the lyrical impetus running through Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Special applause went to principal cellist Jules Eskin, whose honeyed solo in the Andante movement capped his first return to playing with the BSO after an extended medical leave that began in January.

After intermission Fisch welded Liszt’s somewhat sprawling symphonic poem “Les Préludes” into a taut and persuasive statement before concluding with excerpts from Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.” Fisch has made Wagner one of his specialties, and this was palpable in the way he shaped orchestral textures and maintained the tension of musical lines across long distances. For its part, the BSO played with evident commitment, brasses aglow and strings digging in deeply. The orchestra’s summer season continues next weekend with a visit from Nelsons, his first since being named as the next music director.

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