The annual Bachtrack tally of concert performances is out today and it looks as though Lenny far exceeded expectations.
He is third in the overall rankings and has four of of five of the most performed concert works.
…and it was painful sitting through the ones I heard. Bernstein is admirable as a musician, conductor, lodestar, and in other ways….but as a composer, well, personally I do not want to hear another note.
Gounod turned 200 in 2018. There should have been more Gounod!
Great news! Too bad it was all the Candide Overture.
And deservedly so celebrating his 100th birthday year….Bravo, Lenny!!!
I am looking forward to the Ustvolskaya and Weinberg celebrations this year! And I dearly hope that people are planning for the Arnold centenary is 2021 (Vanska? Oramo?)
Lenny’s 100th anniversary year.
Bernstein had four of the five most performed pieces in 2018? Even for an anniversary year, that seems hard to believe. Has the Serenade really been performed so much?
I find some of the other stats interesting, and perhaps low: Gergiev conducted only 93 concerts? It seems like he’s usually in two places at once. Or maybe that doesn’t include opera or, say, performances in Russia. The figures for soloists seem a little low, too; Joshua Bell played only 66 concerts and was #1 among violinists?
Also interesting: Australian Opera was #4? Even if that’s for both Sydney and Melbourne (I think they do seasons in both), that seems surprising. It does appear that Russia isn’t included in the rankings; surely the Bolshoi and Maryinsky would be high on the list, each having two theatres (though they also do ballet).
Bear in mind that these stats are based solely on the information on Bachtrack’s listing database – which, though useful, is far from consistent or complete. They only carry data that is inputted by the promoters themselves – it’s extremely patchy even within the UK and in other countries it’s almost entirely hit-and-miss. Note (as they mention on their website) that they specifically asked the Bernstein anniversary organisers to input their data – so inevitably it’s massively and unrepresentatively skewed towards Bernstein. To be fair, they do make this clear (though of course most people read no further than the headlines).
The function of these annual stats is purely and simply as PR for Bachtrack, and to generate a few quick, inaccurate headlines from the press – please don’t imagine that they represent any sort of comprehensive or rigorous analysis.
FS60103 is absolutely correct. Although Bachtrack rightly issued a disclaimer, one example is enough to invalidate the whole exercise. Jan Lisiecki is listed as having performed 51 concerts. His website shows the real number was 106. With such an enormous margin of error, how can one possibly take any of the other data seriously? Again, slick PR before professionalism.
I am sure the stats are not representative and far from complete as you suggest and you quote good examples.
FS60103 has put it into context and your question re: the Serenade is a good point – I can’t believe that a number of Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn or Beethoven works would not have been performed more.
It seems believable that just about every orchestra in the world performed “West Side Story: Symphonic Dances” — it’s an audience favorite.
The “Candide” overture is pretty easy to squeeze into a program if you want to do a little extra to honor Bernstein. Ditto for the Serenade.
Chichester Psalms is surprising, but it’s another short piece.
Also consider this: It’s a lot easier for regional orchestras to perform these pieces than a Mahler symphony.
I’m more skeptical that “Age of Anxiety” was played more than Tchaikovsky 4, 5, or 6.
Franz Josef Haydn is much more deserving of the attention. I do not care what year it is, and also deserving of being performed well, which sometimes it is not.
Please, please, PLEASE, may we have an embargo on L. Bernstein for a few years or so?
Matthew Aucoin, in his New York Review of Books article on the new Debussy biography, noted that 2018 included one centennial that was considerably overdone, and another that was grotesquely ignored in comparison (Debussy’s, of course). I found it hard to disagree…
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