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Andris Nelsons brings energy to Tanglewood / The Boston Globe

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It's true that the basic operations of Tanglewood can function without an actively engaged music director - or even, as summers in recent memory have proven, without a music director at all. But there's also no mistaking the quickening of interest and of tempo on these bucolic grounds when the orchestra's own artistic leader is around campus and on the podium.

This weekend, making his first of two Tanglewood visits for the summer, Andris Nelsons reminded you once again of all of the above. The BSO gave two performances in prime form, and the Koussevitzky Music Shed seemed much fuller than usual. Then there was the added benefit of his presence for the students of the Tanglewood Music Center, who had the chance to work with Nelsons closely over the course of no less than five rehearsals last week. And evidence of the enthusiasm and excellence he is capable of sparking in these impressive younger players was everywhere apparent on Sunday afternoon as the TMC Orchestra performed an all-Brahms program designated as the yearly Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert.