CONCERT PREVIEW: Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Lisa Batiashvili, BSO at Symphony Hall

Georgian-born German violinist Lisa Batiashvili will perform Sibelius’s violin concerto with the BSO at Symphony Hall from October 14-16. Photo courtesy of BSO

BOSTON – A pandemic deceived Dutch piano duo Lucas and Arthur Jussen from their Tanglewood debut on the same day in July we were all deceived during a performance of Mozart’s Concerto in E flat for two pianos. (However, we didn’t really shout out a protest, as violinist Gil Shaham ended up replacing the Jussens.) Weeks earlier, Georgian-born German violinist Lisa Batiashvili had also been forced to step down from her appearance. at Tanglewood on August 1st. But now, thanks to the vaccines, these musicians are on their way to Symphony Hall for performances October 7-16, the Jussens performing their planned repertoire of Tanglewood, Mozart’s Concerto in E-flat, on a program with music by Richard Strauss, and Batiashvili playing the Sibelius violin concerto on the program with Still and Strauss.

Dutch piano duo Lucas and Arthur Jussen will perform with the BSO on October 7-9 and 12. Photo courtesy of the artists

Lucas and Arthur Jussen draw appropriate crowds to places such as Tanglewood and Symphony Hall. But Mozart’s compositions performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra rarely have their own appeal. (The Concerto in E for two pianos was last heard in Tanglewood over 30 years ago.) And here is what makes the piece so fascinating: Mozart probably performed it with his sister, which means that it was a virtuoso centerpiece for both. This raises the question of whether it takes virtuoso siblings to perform this piece at the level that Mozart and his sister performed. We’ll never know for sure, but here’s a relevant clue about Lucas and Arthur from the late Sir Neville Marriner: “It’s not just two good pianists playing together. They feel the smallest individual interpretation of the other. By that, Marriner perhaps meant that their game has a strange unity that is difficult to explain in conventional terms.

Is it some kind of gimmick to have two well-dressed young siblings playing virtuoso piano concertos together? May be. But do you know who you should really ask? Wolfgang and Nannerl. Mozart and his sister used to dress new and roam Europe together, performing pieces for two pianos which, to dazzled spectators, seemed to transcend the limits of deadly musicality.

Lisa Batiashvili had planned to play Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No.3 in Tanglewood in August but had to withdraw due to complications to obtain a visa to travel abroad. Even more ambitious is what she will perform at Symphony Hall from October 14 to 16: the Sibelius concerto. Batiashvili played Sibelius with BSO exactly once, and that was 16 years ago. It has become a flagship piece for her since she performed it with the orchestra in 2005.

Lucas and Arthur Jussen perform with Andris Nelsons and the BSO at Symphony Hall October 7, 9 and 12 at 8 p.m. and October 8 at 1:30 p.m. Details and tickets here.

Lisa Batiashvili appears with Andris Nelsons and the BSO at Symphony Hall October 14-16 at 8 p.m. and October 15 at 1:30 p.m. Details and tickets here.


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Corina C. Butler

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