The 2012 edition of Spring for Music is drawing to a close, with two performances remaining: the Milwaukee Symphony tonight, the Nashville Symphony tomorrow. I've been to three of four concerts so far: Edmonton, New Jersey, Alabama. Marc-André Hamelin's rendition of the Busoni Piano Concerto was, as expected, a sensation. And, having heard the Alabama perform the Eroica in 2007, I was not surprised by the quality of their Beethoven Seventh, although perhaps others were. This was Justin Brown's Carnegie Hall debut, and it was long overdue. WQXR is again broadcasting and archiving the performances. Michael Huebner, of the Birmingham News, has covered all of the events so far, including, of course, the Alabama concert. Elizabeth Withey has the Edmonton perspective.
Above is the seating chart for the Nashville's rendition of the Ives Universe Symphony, as realized by Larry Austin. (You can click to make it larger.) The orchestra has been offering extensive coverage of its preparations on its Road to Carnegie website, not to mention Twitter and other media. Whoever has been running this online operation deserves a raise — it's an informative delight. One tweet shows the great three-hundred-pound bell that will sound every eight seconds during the wondrous opening section of the Universe, when twenty rhythmic layers accumulate, the bar variously divided into 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 22, 23, 29, and 31 pulses. Back in 1996 I covered the premiere of the Johnny Reinhard version of the Universe; that occasion also brought forth a remarkable piece by Richard Taruskin.