Performance Wednesday, April 15, 2015 | 8 PM

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
“Nelsons … very rarely give[s] a standard performance … His music making … project[s] freshness and a viscerally in-the-moment quality …” wrote The Boston Globe of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its exciting new music director. Andris Nelsons and the orchestra present a fascinating program that includes the New York premiere of a work by Gunther Schuller, a beloved Mozart concerto, and Strauss’s sumptuously scored tone poem Ein Heldenleben.

The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Andris Nelsons, Music Director and Conductor
  • Richard Goode, Piano


  • GUNTHER SCHULLER Dreamscape (NY Premiere)
  • MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595
  • R. STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben


Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595 (Allegro)
Richard Goode, Piano | Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Nonesuch Records

At a Glance


Dreamscape was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the 75th anniversary of Tanglewood, where Schuller led the premiere in 2012 with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. According to the composer, this brief, scintillatingly colorful, symphony-like work came to him wholly in a dream in remarkable detail—hence its title. Its personal aspects and use of quotation also make it a neat companion for Richard Strauss’s novelistic tone poem Ein Heldenleben, which closes this program.

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595

Mozart made the genre of the piano concerto uniquely his own, one in which he could simultaneously exhibit his talent as both composer and performer. He premiered his autumnal last concerto—No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595, from 1791, the year of his death—not in a concert of his own, however, but in one given by the distinguished clarinetist Joseph Bähr; it was the final concert appearance of Mozart’s life. K. 595 is a work of symphonic scope and scale, with touches of pathos tingeing its warm and engaging personality.

RICHARD STRAUSS  Ein Heldenleben (A Heroic Life), Op. 40

Strauss completed EinHeldenleben in 1898 as the culmination of his series of immensely accomplished, innovative tone poems (symphonic works based on an explicit narrative idea) composed during the previous decade, including Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung, Till Eulenspiegel lustige Streiche, Also sprach Zarathustra, and Don Quixote, all of which remain solidly in the orchestral repertoire. Ein Heldenleben is apparently a musical self-portrait—somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but serious and substantial in the breadth of its content and the sheer virtuosity of its treatment of the orchestra. Cast in several episodes, the piece finds its protagonist battling his critics, sharing blissful time with his wife, reminiscing about his “works for peace”—in an extended passage quoting from Strauss’s earlier music—and finally removing himself from worldly care.

This performance is part of Great Piano Concertos, and Concertos Plus.

Part of