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Henry Purcell

BSO review: A mix of high spirits, high drama

BSO review: A mix of high spirits, high drama

The penultimate program of the Baltimore Symphony's season balances feel-good orchestral pieces by Osvaldo Golijov and Benjamin Britten against a piano concerto by Johannes Brahms packed with darkly emotional drama. It makes for an engrossing combination.

The orchestra-only portion includes the local premiere of "Sidereus" by Golijov, the Argentine composer with Russian-Jewish roots and a knack for writing music of uncommonly broad appeal.

The BSO was among nearly three dozen orchestras involved in commissioning the work, first performed in Memphis, Tenn., last fall. (Given the score's brevity, the commission presumably didn't strain the budgets of any of those...