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Whimsy and Expressivity with Ma and Nelsons / The Boston Musical Intelligencer

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Salubriously situated between the ‘Paris' and the ‘London' symphonies, Haydn's 90th symphony (1788) in 1788, uses lively writing with playful changes of tempo and brilliance of form to create surprises, as well as more straightforward melodic satisfactions. After the weighty Shostakovich on Saturday evening in the Koussevitzky Shed, it was a pleasant contrast on Sunday afternoon that the BSO opened with music of a generally more whimsical nature, with lighter scoring, much simpler winds, and reduced strings. Andris Nelsons was masterful in realizing this contrasting sound world, while losing none of his trademark flair and broad sweep. The gestures from Nelsons were no less dramatic than in his Shostakovich on Saturday evening, but all was placed at genteel service of Haydn's elegance. The BSO seemed to revel in the phrasing, and to be fully lively to the conductor's attention.

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