Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, photo by Lucio Lecce
The rest of the program consisted of works involving nostalgia: Elgar's cello concerto, which longs for the era prior to WWI, and the Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) of Dvořák. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein (reviewed last season at Ionarts in a recital at the Corcoran and with the NSO) had the lovely ability to stretch a phrase as long as possible; one wished that all of the BSO string sections had had the same inclination. Weilerstein’s handling of the dramatic ascending scale was perfect. Her incredible bow control, comfortable virtuosity, and willingness to subtly lead ahead of the orchestra in terms of tempo easily allowed one to forget the occasional awkward interval.
The Dvořák will be recorded at this weekend’s Meyerhoff performances for a three-CD project for Naxos, which includes Symphonies 5 to 9 and the Symphonic Variations of Dvořák. The themes, many of which are based on African-American spirituals, were nice, though one wished for more of the brisk harmonic motion that is found at the end of movements one and four in more of the work. The concert was followed by a question-and-answer session with the trio of "Wonder Women."
The BSO will repeat this concert tonight (June 8, 8 pm), tomorrow evening (June 9, 8 pm), and Sunday afternoon (June 10, 3 pm), in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.