Kem closes out the first weekend of Buffalo Place Rocks Canalside with a concert at 6 p.m. June 29 at the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf.
Tickets are $15 advance and $20 day of show and go on sale at 10 a.m. May 10 through www.tickets.com or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000. Tickets are also available through Buffalo Place office at 671 Main St. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Besides the BPO, the 2013 installment includes the Detroit Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Going over the programs as Oestreich describes them I am proud of the BPO. Our orchestra's program is cheery compared with the others' ... it's unusual, and tremendously challenging, but not onerous. Much as I admire the Detroit Symphony for tackling four Charles Ives symphonies, that seems to me like kind of a lot to swallow. I prefer our overblown Russian romantic symphony by Gliere. I can't wait to hear it at Carnegie Hall.
It is fascinating to go over the lineup and chew on it. Programming fascinates me. I admire Spring For Music for encouraging the unusual even if I do not always agree with the choices. And it's fun to see how the different orchestras step up to the plate.
Oh, by the way, the New York Times also writes: "The award for civic spiritedness this year should probably go to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which raised $700,000 from sponsors to cover expenses and has attracted more than 1,500 traveling companions."
The video -- while the performers are not the BPO -- immerses you in the symphony by taking you through the legend of Ilya Muromets, the fantastical Russian warrior hero that inspired Gliere's music. The music is very programmatic ... you can hear what the pictures say is going on. And there are not so many pictures that it distracts you too much from the listening.
The Russian imagination can be overwhelming. Among the figures Ilya Muromets encounters are:
-- A knight on horseback who towers over the treetops
-- A creature called the Nightingale Monster who kills and threatens people with his whistle
-- The Russian emperor Vladimir who tells Ilya: "You are now a Bogatyr."
A Bogatyr is a special kind of Russian knight.
The stakes are high. Gliere is a lush and hugely expansive symphony. It requires supreme endurance on the part of the musicians. It also requires a lot of musicians -- one of a number of reasons that it is so seldom performed. And the musicians all have to work extremely hard.
But the hard work is worth it. The music brims with color and imagination. You do not have to be a scholar to be able to tell that Gliere was a master orchestrator. A scene set in a forest with birdcalls is tremendously, hauntingly realistic.
Saturday's BPO performance is preceded by two things not to miss:
At 7 p.m., Roman Mekinulov, principal cellist, has been prevailed upon to give a pre-concert talk. Mekinulov is from St. Petersburg, Russia and his parents, who now live in New York, will be at the Carnegie Hall performance.
At 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Seaton Room, there will be a champagne toast to the BPO's return Wednesday to Carnegie Hall.
Aikin's comments, printed on Slipped Disc, the influential blog of British music critic Norman Lebrecht, are provoking argument from all corners of the world. Lebrecht writes: "The revelation that a wealthy festival like Salzburg is refusing to pay accommodation or rehearsal fees for non-star singers has provoked huge resentment among the singing community."
Mozart saw Salzburg as trifling and stingy back in the day, and maybe he had reason to!
Tickets are $29, $49, $59 and $85 reserved with $87 reserved four-packs and $20 lawn with $60 lawn four-packs and go on sale at noon April 25 through www.LiveNation.com, www.Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.