Boston Symphony Orchestra keeps it nostalgic with Avner Dorman premiere at Tanglewood by Xi Wang

Guest conductor Asher Fisch, who led the BSO on Saturday evening, has long been a champion of Dorman’s work. This busy and ultimately conservative Double Concerto was a star vehicle for its soloists: the married duo of violinist Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth, longtime partners in both performance and life. With her robust timbre and earthy accents set against his silvery sound, which was ethereal without being silky, they played with obvious relish, and sounded more at ease with the piece than the orchestra did. After intermission, Zukerman again joined the BSO for Beethoven’s stately Romance No. 1 in G, dispatching tart and tight phrases with a few sour notes.

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Israeli composer’s new double concerto is a gift to Zukerman — and the world by Xi Wang

BOSTON — For renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman’s 70th birthday, the world has been gifted a new piece of music.

“The Double Concerto for Violin and Cello and Orchestra,” composed by fellow Israeli Avner Dorman, will have its US debut on Saturday, August 3, at Tanglewood. It will be performed  by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) under the baton of Israeli conductor Asher Fisch.

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PREVIEW: Zukerman, Forsyth to play Dorman Aug. 3 at Tanglewood by Xi Wang

Lenox — Violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman‘s relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra began in 1969 at Tanglewood with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin in D Major. On Saturday, Aug. 3, he will make his 23rd Tanglewood appearance, joined by his wife, cellist Amanda Forsyth, performing, for starters, Beethoven’s Romance No. 1 in G for violin and orchestra. But the weightiest event of Saturday’s concert is the American premiere of Avner Dorman‘s Double Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra.

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Review: ASO's Winter Fire by Xi Wang

Very different fare arrived with the world premiere of Avner Dorman’s “Double Concerto”, in which the temperaments of solo violin and cello were deliberately pitted against and then harmonised with the rest of the orchestra. Benjamin Northey steered brilliant performances by Zukerman on violin and Amanda Forsyth on cello. For the record, Zukerman was all in black and Forsyth in a fiery Chinese red dress, a contrast that added a bit more theatre to moments when their instruments spoke quite differently with each other and the orchestra.

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Master Series 4: Winter Fire by Xi Wang

Pinchas Zukerman on violin and Amanda Forsyth on cello know each other very well on a range of levels, and their understanding of what makes each other ‘tick’ was especially evident in tonight’s incisive performance. It was a delight to see their superlative musicianship in action, both separately and as a partnership. They fed off each other and the whole was greater than the sum of their individual parts. Dorman was sitting in the audience and his appreciation of Zukerman and Forsyth’s musicality was abundantly clear. Although Dorman knows his own score inside out, he surely would have gained deeper insights into his own creation because of the adeptness and acuity of Zukerman and Forsyth’s performance.

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Ailing Mehta Returns to Give Strong Brahms Performances by Xi Wang

Cellist Amanda Forsyth joined Zukerman in a very fine reading of the Double Concerto. Even more than her partner, Ms. Forsyth displayed a marvelous air of spontaneity, seeming to inhabit the music as she played it. Together, they put their considerable chamber-music experience to great use in Brahms’ final orchestral work. The playing showed a wide range of color, not only from the two soloists, but also from the orchestra.

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Zubin Mehta, now L.A. Phil conductor emeritus, lets the soul flow out of Brahms by Xi Wang

As far as the concertos were concerned, Mehta proved a mensch, putting his soloists first. Violinist Pinchas Zukerman was slow to warm up Thursday in the Violin Concerto, with nuance coming more easily than tone quality. He was joined by the impressive cellist Amanda Forsyth on Saturday for a dramatic reading of the Double Concerto, which proceeded the Fourth Symphony.

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Zubin Mehta & Israel Philharmonic – The Mumbai Concerts – with Forsyth, Matsuev, Zukerman [Accentus; DVD] by Xi Wang

The three Concertos, conducted from memory, are a bag of mixed chemistries. Zuckerman's autumnal Beethoven does everything right, yet in its meditation and carefulness loses energy, sounding more held back than others sharing its (relatively quick) forty-five-minute span. The fire burns low. In the Brahms Double (playing from music) he's joined by his South African-born Canadian wife Amanda Forsyth, a latter-day protégé of William Pleeth. Musically (and visually) it's an oddly old-fashioned encounter, neither protagonist entirely comfortable with each other or the nature of Brahms's duo writing, Mehta driving a forceful, even belligerent, account in between.

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