Critic’s Choice

January 15, 2015 at 12:41 am

By David Wright

Some people are deeply moved by the expansive symphonies of Anton Bruckner; others less so.  The latter group apparently includes the BSO’s previous music director, James Levine, who said openly that he would leave the conducting of Bruckner to others.

But those in the former category, and they are many, have probably had this week circled on their calendars for some time.  Music director Andris Nelsons, who took up the BSO baton last September at age 35, has demonstrated his precocious mastery of the late Romantics with compelling performances of Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Respighi, and more.  But until this week, he has not ventured Bruckner in Boston.

The Latvian maestro’s performances have been notable for their attention to detail and nuance. How will he render the vast spaces and soaring aspirations of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7?  Will he drown in the details, or show Boston he’s got “the vision thing”?  Will listeners witness the dawn of a new Bruckner golden age at the BSO, or have to wait a little longer?

There’s less suspense around the other item on the program.  Nelsons’s skill and sensitivity as a concerto partner are familiar by now, and in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491, he has a worthy collaborator: German pianist Lars Vogt, the former young star whose interpretations have only grown in liveliness and insight as he moves through his 40s.

The performances will be 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Friday at Symphony Hall.  bso.org617-266-1200.

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