Van Cliburn

Blockbusters from the BSO

It is possible to quibble with the idea of cramming three blockbuster works into a single program, but the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra carries it off.

Ravel's "Bolero," that brilliant study in rhythmic and melodic reiteration, not to mention crescendo, is more likely to serve as a concert finale than a curtain-raiser for Tchaikovsky's barnstorming Piano Concerto No. 1. But here they are, back to back.

And after two of classical music's greatest hits, why not one more? Well, at least one of classical music's greatest minutes — the introductory passage of Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra," now more commonly identified as the theme from the sci-fi classic...