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30.11.10

Tallis Scholars Doing What They Do Best

available at Amazon
Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1, Tallis Scholars

(released on October 12, 2010)
Gimell GIMBOX 301 | 5h14

available at Amazon
Vol. 2


available at Amazon
Vol. 3
In a couple years the Tallis Scholars will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their founding (we marked the 30th anniversary in 2003). Few performing groups have contributed so much to the study of and enthusiasm for Renaissance music. My graduate school adviser used to speak about how students of Renaissance music had to study these scores, mostly by singing them themselves. While that is still an excellent way to understand the complexity of Renaissance polyphony, the recordings of the Tallis Scholars revealed the beauty created by these composers in a way that was self-evident, and not just to the musically obsessed. We have reviewed the group more than a few times, in concert (2008 and 2007) and on disc (Josquin, Victoria, and Flemish composers). Your next opportunity to hear the group yourself comes a week from Friday, when the Tallis Scholars join the Folger Consort for a concert called A Renaissance Christmas (December 10 to 12), presented at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall. That program will be devoted to English music of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Gimell Records, the label established to distribute the group's recordings, has now released a three-volume set called Sacred Music of the Renaissance, bringing together the most celebrated recordings by the Tallis Scholars. If you never acquired the group's recordings over the years or are not obsessed with Renaissance music, this is a fairly affordable way to get caught up -- three sets of four CDs each, with each box devoted to recordings from one of the three decades of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s (the group's first recording on the Gimell label was in 1980 -- this set of twelve discs is distilled from a total of 50 CDs released over those years). All of the recordings included in the three boxes are indeed beautiful, most of them representing the best available recording of the work in question (and in some cases the only one), showing why the Tallis Scholars still represent in many ways the gold standard of recorded Renaissance music.

These anthologies are not for completists, however, as you will have Josquin's Missa La sol fa re mi but not his Missa Pange lingua (which were both on the disc that won the group the Gramophone Record of the Year in 1987); Palestrina's Missa Assumpta est Maria but not his Missa Sicut lilium (both also on another award-winning disc in 1991); Cipriano de Rore's Missa Praeter rerum seriem but not the Josquin motet on which it was based; and neither of Josquin's two Masses on L'homme armé (the overlap with the group's complete edition of the Mass settings of Josquin is three Masses, with Missa Malheur me bat and Missa Fortuna desperata, on the set's final disc, just having been recorded in 2009). The packaging is simple but elegant and durable: the economy happily does not extend to the booklet materials, which include a full set of texts and translations (English, French, and German) and newly edited essays introducing all of the pieces. The pieces selected include settings of the Requiem Mass by Victoria and Cardoso, Byrd's outstanding Mass for Five Voices and some of Tallis's powerful settings of the Lamentations (along with those of Ferrabosco the Elder, Brumel, White, and Palestrina), and lots from lesser-known English composers (White, Sheppard, Cornysh, Browne).

Highlights include the five/six-voice Missa Pastores quidnam vidistis by Clemens non Papa (for Christmas, unfortunately without the composer's own motet, which was the basis of the Mass); Antoine Brumel's notorious 12-part setting of the Mass known as the Earthquake Mass because it is based on canons derived from the Easter antiphon Et ecce terrae motus (along with Isaac's Missa de Apostolis, also included here, recently re-released in a two-disc set devoted to Flemish composers); Obrecht's monumental Missa Maria zart, a sprawling and densely complicated polyphonic Mass lasting itself over an hour; all eight of Gombert's settings of the Magnificat canticle (one for each mode, more or less), possibly the "swansongs" composed during his imprisonment for having molested a choirboy, music that supposedly led to a pardon from the Holy Roman Emperor; and Palestrina's six-voice Missa Papae Marcelli, long associated with a legend of having preserved the place of complex polyphony in the Catholic liturgy. The selections are book-ended by two recordings of Allegri's fabled setting of the penitential psalm Miserere: an analogue one made in 1980 and another made just in 2007, with additional embellishments by Deborah Roberts (not the legendary one recorded in the Sistine Chapel in 1994).

29.11.10

Cinematic, Beautifully Conducted 'Carmen'

available at Amazon
Bizet, Carmen, A. C. Antonacci, A. Richards, L'Opéra-Comique, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, J. E. Gardiner

(re-released on November 9, 2010)
FRA Musica 004 | 2h50
You may recall reading about this production of Bizet's Carmen, mounted last summer in the renovated Salle Favart of the Opéra-Comique, where this opera was premiered. That institution, which had turned more and more toward music theater -- indeed, this was the first production of Carmen there since the 1990s -- went in an exciting direction with the appointment of Jérôme Deschamps as music director a few years ago, including more productions of Baroque operas with HIP ensembles and their conductors. The idea played out beautifully in this re-thinking of one of the theater's most famous operas, one that has been done and re-done in so many bland versions. Conductor John Eliot Gardiner leads the svelte and expertly honed Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, on period instruments, in a suave but edgy performance, using the new critical edition by Richard Langham Smith. It includes some sections routinely cut from the score, like the conclusion of the soldiers' opening scene, and prefers the original dialogue over the recitatives added later.

Anyone who thought they would never hear a fresh musical take on Carmen should think again. Gardiner takes a daring approach to the music, pushing tempi in both directions and ignoring most of the commonly heard rhythmic manipulations while adding new ones. All sorts of unexpected colors rise out of the pit, especially from the quirky wind instruments, and the singers of Gardiner's exquisite and responsive Monteverdi Choir are nothing short of stunning, both musically and dramatically, in the choral parts. Gardiner has a fine partner in the direction of Adrian Noble, who comes to opera from the Shakespearean theater tradition, conceiving the action with a cinematic eye, including some convincing slow-motion scenes.

The only reservation holding back a full recommendation of this still rather expensive DVD is the casting. There is certainly no trouble with Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, who sings with such dramatic force, her character propelled by equal parts sexual desire and misanthropic disgust. Few have made this role quite so -- and so properly -- ugly. Things go down quickly from the top of the bill, however, with the Micaela of Anne-Catherine Gillet wavering in tone, often short of the pitch on the flat side, the Don José of American tenor Andrew Richards plagued by often terrible French pronunciation and a less than heroic (and in tune) top range, and the leathery Escamillo of Nicolas Cavallier. This means that this version is not likely to please anyone looking for a single DVD of Carmen -- the 2008 Covent Garden release (Decca), also with Antonacci but with the added benefit of Jonas Kaufmann, is more likely to please more traditional operatic tastes. Still, for the location, the conducting, and the production this makes for a must-hear comparison to challenge one's assumptions about the Carmen you thought you knew.

28.11.10

In Brief: Advent 1 Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • The Ionarts family spent way too much time making silly holiday videos of ourselves and other people, over the vacation weekend with friends in the Great White North. Here is one of our more topically relevant efforts. [Elf Yourself]

  • Jessica Duchen reports on her tête-à-tête with lupophile pianist Hélène Grimaud. [Standpoint]

  • As mentioned a few weeks ago, Alain Vircondelet, the author of a biography of visionary artist Séraphine de Senlis, charged that the screenplay of a recent film on the painter's life lifted sections of his book. He has won a judgment of plagiarism against the filmmakers in the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris. Nine of 35 alleged "borrowings" were found to have been copied more or less directly from the book. The court did not, as requested, ban any further distribution of the film, since it found the complaints were related most directly to the screenplay. [Libération]

  • Greg Allen ferrets out a mystery about the theft of a part of a Robert Rauschenberg combine piece. [greg.org]

  • After French pianist France Clidat won the 1956 Liszt Competition in Budapest, she undertook the first complete recording of the works of Liszt (not including the transcriptions and paraphrases): critic Bernard Gavoty labeled her "Madame Liszt." The box set, made for the French label Vega and long introuvable, will finally be re-released by Universal/Decca France, just in advance of the Liszt year (2011, the 200th anniversary of his birth). Marie-Aude Roux spoke to Clidat about the rediscovery of the lost master recordings in the archive of a Japanese recording company in Tokyo -- "an investigation worthy of an Agatha Christie novel," as the 78-year-old pianist put it. [Le Monde]

  • A discussion on the future of something called "the Internet" on NPR's Science Friday -- in 1993. [Boing Boing]

  • Jennifer Homans has written the definitive history of ballet, the art form that, in the words of Théophile Gau­tier, is "the dreams of poets taken seriously." Toni Bentley has a review. [New York Times]

  • By the way, that ballet stuff is really difficult, as actress Natalie Portman learned preparing for her role in the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film Black Swan. [New York Times]

  • The Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal has opened La Bastille ou « l’enfer des vivants », an exhibit that attempts to recreate the horrors of the Bastille before the French Revolution. Items on display include documents from the prison, instruments of detention and torture, and even bloody articles of clothing worn by prisoners. [Le Figaro]

  • Looking for some tasteful Christmas CDs of historical music to purchase on "Cyber Monday"? Try these Ionarts-approved discs from Stile Antico and Anonymous 4. More choices will be recommended in the weeks to come. [Ionarts]

27.11.10

Dip Your Ears, No. 106 (Schumann's Organ)


available at AmazonR.Schumann, Complete Organ Works,
Mario Hospach-Martini
Berlin Classics
Schumann's works for organ (or rather the pedal piano) were recently re-released on Audite in a recording written about over at WETA (Schumann From Many Angles (Pedal Piano / Organ)). Now Berlin Classics has released a beautifully produced new disc with Mario Hospach-Martini who also plays, like Andreas Rothkopf on the Audite recording, a historic Walcker organ, but the 1888 instrument in the Stadtkirche in Winterthur, not the slightly earlier instrument in Hoffenheim. No one suggests that two recordings of these works are necessary (though the beauty of them, also touched upon in "Dip Your Ears, No. 101") makes listening to them a very deserving affair.

This new recording gets mention because I am surprised just how much more enjoyment I derive from it. Registration, organ sound, recorded sound (a little less reverb), and even the playing capture my imagination much more vividly. The Sketches have a tighter, less 'grand organish' character. The Canonic Studies are calmer and linger lovingly, the Fugues are clear, precise, and work toward cumulative effect. The Rothkopf recording is recommendable for the works themselves, but Hospach-Martini also for the interpretations. A fairly clear choice between the two if you haven't yet rushed out to get your Schumann-Pedal-Piano fix in this anniversary year.

26.11.10

Dip Your Ears, No. 105 (Chailly's Bach)

available at AmazonJ.S.Bach, Christmas Oratorio BWV 248,
R.Chailly / Leipzig Gewandhaus / Dresdner Kammerchor
Decca
(released on December 7th)
An imaginary* conversation with Riccardo Chailly about the Christmas Oratorio should include this bit:

Maestro Chailly—recording Bach with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, isn’t that a little daring, even anachronistic, at a time when seemingly all orchestral baroque recordings are made by HIP ensembles.

“What exactly do you mean, with the ‘hip’?”

Oh, ‘Historically Informed Performance’… when an orchestra or chamb—

“Ah, but you must be kidding me. The Gewandhaus Orchestra, they play Bach every Sunday for the last two hundred years in the Thomaskirche. They accompany the Thomanerchoir who have been singing with Bach himself. My players have an unparalleled ease and artlessness of playing baroque music.”

But they’re playing on modern instruments…

“Yes. Of course, why do you ask? The Gewandhaus is not a period instrument baroque ensemble, of course. But you ask about ‘historically informed’, no?. And I suggest that you would be hard pressed to find any ensemble that plays so naturally this music. Perhaps what you get is a ‘Third Way’ Bach performance style. I think they sound marvelous and the music, you can tell it is in their blood. I hope you can hear the recordings when they come out.”




Well, the recordings have come out, one by one, and the Christmas Oratorio, the last of the three, (preceding it were the Brandenburg Concertos, St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion will join maybe next year and the Mass in B minor is slated for 2014) hits the market just in time for the Advent and Christmas season. The Brandenburg Concertos is a tight, quicksilverish performance that veers, unsteadily, between big-band and PI-band that skates through Bach with great immediacy and ease—but ultimately not quite my cup of tea. The Matthew Passion and the Christmas Oratorio are more naturally suited to the orchestral treatment… I’ve skimmed the Matthew Passion recording with interest (and every intention to dig deeper into, perhaps around Easter). The six-partite Christmas Oratorio from 1734 (composed for the services starting at Christmas Day and ending with Epiphany) has a certain glorious ring to it, an earthy festiveness. That’s in part due to the instrumentation and well possibly because of the sources from which Bach parodied most of it; his secular cantatas.


I have my personal favorites for the Christmas Oratorio—Karl Richter (Archiv, 1961) and Helmut Rilling (Hänssler, 1999)—but Chailly’s is the kind of recording you pop into the player and without the need or wish to compare immediately jumps at you, delights, convinces. In an ideal sense, this is truly a hybrid not just of a smallish ensemble (I’m guesstimating something shy of three dozen players and the same in singers) with a big sound but also one that combines the comfortable feel of old with the transparency of new. Mostly, it packs an irresistible punch and a tremendously lively choir that does jubilating in jubilantly-nourished style. (Not like some one-to-the-part choruses where I admire the voices but can’t help assuming that they’re probably hungry.) All the singers, four out of five of which I don’t know, are very good, natural, unaffected, the supreme Carolyn Sampson (Angel, indeed!) among them as primus inter pares. Anyway, a smashing success not for individual instances or moments but the overall impression. It has probably just become the recording I’ll now reach for, before any other.


* not entirely imaginary, actually—much, if not most of this, is grafted from my interview with Riccardo Chailly for WETA.

25.11.10

Who Wrote Vinteuil's Sonata?

Music plays an important role in Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, and nowhere more importantly than in the sonata by Vinteuil and its famous "petite phrase." Readers and scholars have long wondered if Proust had in mind an actual piece as he wrote about the Vinteuil sonata, and various writers have proposed works by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Franck, and Reynaldo Hahn. The members of a Proust club in Cabourg-Balbec hosted a performance on Saturday that offered to settle the problem in another way, as reported by Pierre Gervasoni (Claude Pascal et la musique de Proust, November 23) for Le Monde (my translation):
The only name that matters for them is that of Claude Pascal, 89 years old, the creator of a sonata "attributed" to Vinteuil that violinist Yuri Kuroda and pianist Simon Zouoi just brilliantly premiered (for the microphones of the Polymnie label) in the sumptuous dining room of Grand Hôtel de Cabourg, the very place where Proust sat to eat his sole. In comments both learned and spirited, the composer explained how he came to write a Sonate de Vinteuil -- in 1946. Living at the Villa Médicis as a winner of the Prix de Rome, he was able to fulfill the commission of this work only by thinking of its heavy heritage abstractly. Still, this score, recently discovered by the art historian Annie Verger presents itself in a Proustian key. Seduction, barbs of pain, timelessness, latent activity, it is all there, especially in a Finale, evocative of a river of words, that garnered the approval of the expert audience. Elusive, the thematic writing of Claude Pascal really does echo the celebrated "petite phrase" of Marcel Proust.

24.11.10

Alessandro Scarlatti's Trinity Oratorio

available at Amazon
A. Scarlatti, Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità, R. Invernizzi, V. Gens, V. Genaux, Europa Galante, F. Biondi

(re-released on October 25, 2010)
Virgin 628647 2 | 67'27"
Although Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) was one of the most lauded composers of the Italian Baroque, his music is largely unknown today. If we have reviewed the occasional recording or referred once in a while to others' reviews of his music, we hear anything by this composer all too rarely in a live performance. The little oratorio, in the Roman style, recorded lovingly in this re-release from Fabio Biondi and his ensemble Europa Galante is indeed an oddity (receiving its U.S. premiere, under Biondi, only in 2003). The libretto sets five allegorical characters off against one another, in a sort of coffee-house argument about the nature of the Trinity -- all in operatic Italian verses preset for recitatives, arias, and duets. The work is episodic in a way intended to divert the listener, with most of the nearly fifty movements requiring less than a minute or two to perform. This 1715 oratorio for the feast of the Holy Trinity comes from the composer's second tenure in Naples, at a time when his musical style was well on its way to being out of vogue. Even the great biographer of the elder Scarlatti, Edward Dent, dismisses the Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità as having a subject "not at all appropriate for musical treatment" (especially in operatic stanzas), adding curtly that "Scarlatti has, if possible, surpassed his poet in dryness."

Biondi's ensemble, just refined strings and varied continuo, provides lean and elegant lines in support of the singers. The three treble voices are all excellent: Véronique Gens as a maternal Amor Divino (Divine Love) and Vivica Genaux as a particularly earthy Teologia (Theology), but especially the heavenly Fede (Faith) of Roberta Invernizzi. Unfortunately, the two men are a disappointment, although not a disaster. Tenor Paul Agnew sounds just slightly rusty and nasal as Infedeltà (Faithlessness, or Atheism), while bass Roberto Abbondanza makes a resonant but kooky Tempo (Time), with some melismas on 'o' and 'a' vowels sounding as if he articulated the notes by slightly closing his lips to make semi-vowels, as in the aria Pretende invano. So, this is more a curiosity for Baroque music lovers than a must-have, although the only competition is a recording by the Alessandro Stradella Consort, now expensive. For the collector, it may be better to seek out a copy of the original release of this disc, from 2004, even if it costs a little more, to get the text and translation of the libretto, which was omitted from the booklet for the re-release.

23.11.10

Stile Antico: What Sweeter Music Can We Bring?

available at Amazon
Puer Natus Est: Tudor Music for Advent and Christmas, Stile Antico

(released on October 12, 2010)
HMU 807517 | 78'09"


Other Christmas Recommendations:

available at Amazon
The Cherry Tree, Anonymous 4
Around this time of the year we make some recommendations of the best CDs we have heard and reviewed in the previous year, which might make good gifts to the musically discriminating people in your life. For discs of Christmas music, we are unlikely to recommend anything too obvious or full of chestnuts, but compilations of unusual Christmas music, performed beautifully, do sometimes make the cut. Having already enjoyed the recordings of this relatively new English choir, Stile Antico -- offerings of John Sheppard, Song of Songs settings, Tallis and Bird, and other Tudor polyphony -- we were dismayed that the group was in Washington last month, to perform for a radio program at NPR, without having a public concert arranged anywhere.

The group's latest offering certainly satisfies our requirements for a Christmas CD easy to recommend: gorgeous motets (mostly) for Advent and Christmas by Tallis, Byrd, Taverner, Sheppard, and White, all grouped around the three surviving movements of Thomas Tallis's seven-voice Mass on the Christmas introit Puer natus est (in a reconstruction by Sally Dunkley). The Agnus Dei of this rather striking Mass setting is the centerpiece of this recording, especially the circling invocations for peace in the Dona nobis pacem, as the music seems caught up in an ecstatic cycle (Harry Christophers also recorded this movement with The Sixteen a few years ago). Perhaps my ear is becoming more critical of the group's sound with each new recording, but some of the tracks on this disc are the least polished heard from them yet -- still very good but with more infelicities of intonation and individual tone (quivering or unstable support, nasality or other unpleasantness) that stick out here and there, most notably in Taverner's Audivi vocem de caelo -- a text actually intended for All Saints Day (November 1). A few quibbles aside, the sound in general is still very beautiful (hear some excerpts at the group's Web site).

The sopranos, so refined and so consistent, are pushed to the limits in Robert White's otherwise glorious alternatim setting of the Magnificat (not especially meant for Christmas, of course). Some of the problems crop up most in the relatively simple pieces from William Byrd's Gradualia I (1605): Rorate caeli desuper, Tollite portas, and Ave Maria, as if having only four parts causes the group to lose some of its balance, although Ecce virgo concipiet is spotless. With the extensive setting of Verbum caro, Stile Antico shows again its mastery over the dense polyphony of John Sheppard. Even the chant pieces, including a complete performance of the introit that is the cantus firmus of the Tallis Mass, have a more fluid and convincing style of performance than heard on their previous releases. The first piece on the disc just barely makes it into the Christmas season -- Tallis's extraordinary Videte miraculum, for Purification (February 2) -- but it is well worth the detour.

22.11.10

NSO, Mälkki, and Ohlsson

Saturday evening, Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki (pictured) led the National Symphony Orchestra and pianist Garrick Ohlsson in a program of Lindberg, Mahler, and Beethoven. Magnus Lindberg describes his Parada (2002) as a “continuous expression.” As a result, the work is paced at a rate for maximum auditory absorption due to its slow-scherzo-slow form, where much meaning is conveyed in just twelve minutes. The strings made lush sounds spiked with color from the brass and winds, while the percussion section reinforced the texture instead of becoming it, particularly with their tinkling bell tree. In fluid strokes, the batonless Mälkki kept a work continuously offering new material from becoming just short, temporal thoughts.

Mälkki held the reins of Mahler’s Adagio from the unfinished tenth symphony extremely tightly by attempting to give a gesture to as many notes as possible. While this approach might generally be effective and necessary with contemporary music -- Mälkki is Music Director of the renowned Ensemble Intercontemporain -- such tight, inflexible control stifled the natural musical inclination of the NSO musicians while narrowing dynamic and expressive ranges. Repetitions sounded like repetitions, instead of memories heard again after a significant experience over time. Mälkki failed to enhance what the NSO musicians were already capable of achieving, and it would have been interesting to hear the musicians play the extended movement sans conductor, which likely would have resulted in a better experience for the listener and musician alike.


Other Reviews:

Anne Midgette, Susanna Malkki makes gentle, assured music with National Symphony (Washington Post, November 19)

Terry Ponick, Ohlsson, Malkki give Beethoven a new look (Washington Times, November 19)

Mike Paarlberg, Susanna Mälkki, Garrick Ohlsson, and the NSO at the Kennedy Center (Washington City Paper, November 19)
Once Garrick Ohlsson lowered his bench adequately, the formidable American pianist offered a pleasing performance of Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto (“Emperor”). Ohlsson struck a perfect balance with the reduced orchestra and elicited a full spectrum of tones. Cadenzas were fluid and scales sparkling, yet Mälkki did not allow a bit of extra time needed for some of his arpeggios. The slow movement veered toward boredom, even with plenty of pianistic sweetness, found in the Mahler with Mälkki trying to cue everything that was on the page, which the musicians can easily play, instead of bringing the notes off of the page. The final movement was thrilling with fugal clarity and many opportunities for the NSO’s outstanding new timpanist to shine. Ohlsson was generous in offering the audience a Chopin C# minor waltz as an encore.

Ionarts-at-Large: Paul Lewis' Beethoven Overshadowed by Bartók's Bluebeard

available at AmazonLvB, Piano Concertos,
Paul Lewis / Bělohlávek / BBC SO
Harmonia Mundi
available at AmazonB.Bartók, A Kékszakállú Herceg Vára,
Zhidkova, White / Gergiev / LSO
LSO Live
available at AmazonB.Bartók, A Kékszakállú Herceg Vára,
Kallisch, Fried / Eötvös / SWR RSO Stuttgart
Hänssler
Liverpudlian pianist Paul Lewis and Oxfordian conductor Daniel Harding teamed up with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Fifth Concerto—part of the whole cycle of Beethoven’s five concertos the BRSO plays this season. (Francesco Piemonetsi, stepping in for Murray Perahia has already played the Fourth; András Schiff, Maria João Pires, and Mitsuko Uchida have yet to appear.) From one of the most talented and tasteful British musicians—judging, until now, only from his many fine recordings for Harmonia Mundi—it is difficult not to expect more than was delivered, though. However tenuous the idea is, one expects a sense of occasion, something ‘special’… something more than a performance that admittedly impressed with unfussy, very fluent playing (occasionally banged notes of exaggerated contrast aside), but also threw in two parts out of three autopilot.

Part of the frustratingly ambivalent experience was Paul Lewis’ extraordinarily dense sound for anything forte and above. Like a recording with a compressed dynamic range, there was no air around the notes, no room for true peaks to kick in. A strange mix of very good and perplexingly unpleasant proceeded from this, not much helped by Lewis constant grunting and Harding’s squealed breathing and singing. The outright beautiful second movement was a relief of cool nuance, with Lewis’ strengths that evening coming out best and the oddities least. The sound image of the orchestra meanwhile was nicely detailed, with a few moments of faux surprise thrown in here and there.

Not an ideal start into the night, but better things were in store. It started with Paul Lewis’ encore: an angry Schubert’s Allegretto in C minor, played as if it were Beethoven, with playfulness, brutality, coyness, and daring moments of dissonance all in direct proximity. And then there was Bela Bartók’s “Bluebeard’s Castle”, of course. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad performance of this, but that largely speaks to the efficacy of Bartók’s writing, which is—if you can get accustomed to the thorns—evocative, bordering lush, and cinematic like no other work of Bartók’s. And it works equally well staged or as a concert performance (not that much difference, really).

The last performance I heard—with the Munich Philharmonic under Hartmut Haenchen (Lioba Braun, Rudolf Rosen) in June of 2008—was probably the best so far, but this came very close. Where the orchestra and singers then offered warmer hues and more color, the BRSO under Harding (the first performance of his I found unequivocally excellent) and soloists (mezzo Elena Zhidkova and baritone Gábor Bretz; Pál Mácsai was the speaker) were made of sterner stuff. Especially Mme. Zhidkova—willowy, lithe and tawny— reminded me of the time I first heard Ekaterina Sementchuk. Her voice is not just huge and immediately present at any dynamic level, but is so without any sense of pushing. There was a determined ease about how she filled the Herkulessaal with that sonorous voice that works within many shades of one color. Not unlike her healthy dark baritone colleague Bretz, but bigger. It was the kind of performance that will have made a couple new converts to Bluebeard, and perhaps Bartók generally.

21.11.10

In Brief: Damn Musical Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • Polish composer Henryk Górecki, who died on November 12, was sent off in musical style: at his funeral, musical selections included Karol Szymanowski’s setting of the Stabat Mater and Gorecki’s own Amen, performed by two choirs conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki. A solemn procession accompanied the body to its final resting place. Archbishop Damian Zimon said that Górecki's music was "the materialization of the great mystery of existence." [News from Poland]

  • The Florentines have temporarily placed a full-scale fiberglass reproduction of Michelangelo's legendary sculpture of David in the place where it was first intended to be seen, on one of the buttresses of Brunelleschi's duomo of Florence Cathedral. In a plan conceived by art historian Sergio Risaliti, who conceived the installation, part of "Florens 2010: The International Week of Cultural and Environmental Heritage," the David reproduction will appear sequentially in all the places discussed as possible locations for Michelangelo's controversial statue. [Discovery News]

  • Jessa Crispin drew my attention to a startling detail of the conflict between the German and American armies in Florence during World War II. The two sides agreed to spare the city's legendary Ponte Vecchio because it was the location of one of the few encounters between Dante and his beloved Beatrice. According to a book by Robert Johnson, "The bridge was spared, in a modern, ruthless war, because Beatrice had stood upon it." [Bookslut]

  • As rumored a few weeks ago, Virginia Opera has fired Peter Mark after 36 years as the company's founding artistic director. [Washington Post]

  • American grand master Larry Melvyn Evans died on Monday: Lubomir Kavalek has a remembrance, including a notation of Evans's 1954 match against the Russian Mark Taimanov, annotated with Evans's remarks on the match. [Huffington Post]

  • Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, was created a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church yesterday. By tradition, each cardinal is assigned a titular church in Rome, with the expectation that the cardinal will help raise money for the building's upkeep. Cardinal Wuerl's titulus is one of my favorite churches in Rome, San Pietro in Vincoli. As titular of this church, where Michelangelo sculpted the tomb of Julius II (including the famous statue of Moses), Wuerl succeeds the late Cardinal Pio Laghi, the much-beloved apostolic nuncio to the United States. [L'Osservatore Romano]

  • Video of the consistory, where the new cardinals received the hat. [KTO]

  • Matthew Guerrieri offers a great way for organ nerds to procrastinate: a collection of free online recordings of all of J. S. Bach's organ music. [Soho the Dog]

20.11.10

Classical Music in Washington (February)

Last month | Next month

Classical Month in Washington is a monthly feature. If there are concerts you would like to see included on our schedule, send your suggestions by e-mail (ionarts at gmail dot com). Happy listening!

February 1, 2011 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 2, 2011 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Alicia Ward, cello
Mansion at Strathmore

February 3, 2011 (Thu)
8 pm
Kurtág, Kafka-Fragments
Baltimore Theater Project

February 4, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Mark Morris Dance Group
GMU Center for the Arts

February 4, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Salzburg Hyperion Ensemble [FREE]
Library of Congress

February 4, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Dido / Gonzales Cantata
American Opera Theater
Baltimore Theater Project

February 4, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Inscape Chamber Orchestra
Music by Boyer, Copland, Barber
Montgomery College Performing Arts Center

February 5, 2011 (Sat)
10:30 am
Hansel and Gretel (excerpts)
Annapolis Opera
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts (Annapolis, Md.)

February 5, 2011 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Grétry, Le Magnifique
Opera Lafayette
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 5, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Dido / Gonzales Cantata
American Opera Theater
Baltimore Theater Project

February 5, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Mark Morris Dance Group
GMU Center for the Arts

February 6, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Salzburg Hyperion Ensemble [FREE]
St. John's College (Annapolis, Md.)

February 6, 2011 (Sun)
5 pm
Kurtág, Kafka-Fragments
Baltimore Theater Project

February 6, 2011 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Singalong of Mozart, Requiem
Sponsored by Cathedral Choral Society
Washington National Cathedral

February 6, 2011 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Castle Trio and Friends
Masterworks of Three Centuries
National Museum of American History

February 8, 2011 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Adam, Giselle
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 9, 2011 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Adam, Giselle
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 10, 2011 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Gianandrea Noseda (conductor) and Radu Lupu (piano)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 10, 2011 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Adam, Giselle
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 10, 2011 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Yiddish Winterreise: Elegy for A Vanished World
Mark Glanville (bass-baritone) and Alexander Knapp (piano)
Pro Musica Hebraica
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 10, 2011 (Thu)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Yuja Wang (piano) and Juanjo Mena (conductor)
Music Center at Strathmore

February 11, 2011 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Lydia Rathkolb (soprano) and Kenneth Slowik (piano)
Austrian Cultural Forum
Embassy of Austria

February 11, 2011 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Adam, Giselle
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 11, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Gianandrea Noseda (conductor) and Radu Lupu (piano)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 11, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Utrecht String Quartet [FREE]
Library of Congress

February 11, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Rebel Baroque
Music by Telemann, Corelli, Handel
Barns at Wolf Trap

February 11, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Dido / Gonzales Cantata
American Opera Theater
Baltimore Theater Project

February 11, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Yuja Wang (piano) and Juanjo Mena (conductor)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
1:30 and 7:30 pm
Adam, Giselle
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
4 pm
Maryland Choral Society
Music by Vaughan Williams, Whitacre, others
Bethany Christian Church (Ft. Washington, Md.)

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
5 pm
21st Century Consort
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring (inter alia)
Smithsonian American Art Museum

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
7 pm
Paris Piano Trio
Beethoven Cycle, Part 1
Châteauville Foundation

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Gianandrea Noseda (conductor) and Radu Lupu (piano)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Kurtág, Kafka-Fragments
Baltimore Theater Project

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
National Philharmonic: Mozart
With Christopher Taylor, piano
Music Center at Strathmore

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
New York Festival of Song
Clarice Smith Center

February 12, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Opole, Philharmonic of Poland
With Evgeni Mikhailov, piano
Music by Mozart, Beethoven, Paderewski
GMU Center for the Arts

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
1:30 pm
Adam, Giselle
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Yuja Wang (piano) and Juanjo Mena (conductor)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
National Philharmonic: Mozart
With Christopher Taylor, piano
Music Center at Strathmore

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
Left Bank Concert Society [FREE]
Music by Harvey, Jalbert, Connesson, Franck
Smithsonian American Art Museum

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Christopher Rex (cello) and Elizabeth Pridgen (piano)
Phillips Collection

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Paris Piano Trio
Beethoven Cycle, Part 2
Châteauville Foundation

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
5 pm
Dido / Gonzales Cantata
American Opera Theater
Baltimore Theater Project

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
5:30 pm
Measha Brueggergosman, soprano
Shriver Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
7 pm
Trio Settecento
Music by Lully, Couperin, Leclair, others
Dumbarton Oaks

February 13, 2011 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Singalong of Mozart, Requiem
Sponsored by Cathedral Choral Society
Washington National Cathedral

February 14, 2011 (Mon)
7:30 pm
Charlie Albright, piano
Young Concert Artists
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 14, 2011 (Mon)
8 pm
Trio Settecento
Music by Lully, Couperin, Leclair, others
Dumbarton Oaks

February 15, 2011 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Fessenden Ensemble
Music by Mozart
St. Columba's Episcopal Church

February 15, 2011 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Emerson Quartet and Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 15, 2011 (Tue)
8 pm
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano (with David Zobel, piano)
WPAS / Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 15, 2011 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Alisa Weilerstein (cello) and Gabriel Kahane (voice/piano)
Mansion at Strathmore

February 16, 2011 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Orion Quartet and Windscape
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 16, 2011 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Keiko Aoyama (mezzo-soprano) and Yoshio Tsukuda (piano) [FREE]
Music from Japan
Freer Gallery of Art

February 16, 2011 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Fessenden Ensemble
Music by Mozart
National City Christian Church

February 17, 2011 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Juilliard and Afiara Quartets
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 18, 2011 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Le Poème Harmonique
Music by Rossi, Monteverdi, Merula, others
La Maison Française

February 18, 2011 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Elisabeth Mehl Greene, Reading Lolita in Tehran [FREE]
Reading of new opera based on book by Azar Nafisi
Maryland Opera Studio
Clarice Smith Center

February 18, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Ingrid Fliter, piano
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 18, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Wagner, The Valkyrie
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

February 18, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
Clarice Smith Center

February 19, 2011 (Sat)
2 pm
Simon Trpčeski, piano
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 19, 2011 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Del Sol Quartet with Chinese musicians [FREE]
Freer Gallery of Art

February 19, 2011 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Cuarteto Casals with Andreas Klein, piano
Music by Boccherini, Schumann, Ligeti
Kreeger Museum

February 19, 2011 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Kenneth Slowik, cello
Bach, solo suites
Smithsonian Castle

February 19, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Bella Hristova, violin
Candlelight Concert Society
Smith Theater, Howard Community College (Columbia, Md.)

February 19, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Ingrid Fliter, piano
Music Center at Strathmore

February 19, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
University of Maryland Symphony
With Young-Ji Kim, piano
Clarice Smith Center

February 20, 2011 (Sun)
2 pm
Wagner, The Valkyrie
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

February 20, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Haskell Small, piano
Phillips Collection

February 20, 2011 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Inscape Chamber Music Project
Messiaen, Quatuor pour la fin du temps
National Gallery of Art

February 21, 2011 (Mon)
8 pm
Mason Symphony Orchestra: All-American Concert
GMU Center for the Arts

February 22, 2011 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Members of U.S. Army Concert Band [FREE]
Woodwind quintet music by Fine, Maslanka, Françaix
Brucker Hall (Ft. Myer, Va.)

February 22, 2011 (Tue)
8 pm
Debussy String Quartet and Katherine Chi, piano [FREE]
Library of Congress

February 23, 2011 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Alicia Ward, cello
Mansion at Strathmore

February 23, 2011 (Wed)
8 pm
Notations 21
Mobtown Modern
The Windup Space (Baltimore, Md.)

February 24, 2011 (Thu)
6 pm
Erkki-Sven Tüür, composer
Phillips Collection

February 24, 2011 (Thu)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Mozart, Magic Flute (in concert)
Music Center at Strathmore

February 25, 2011 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Shanghai Quartet with Wu Man, pipa [FREE]
Freer Gallery of Art

February 25, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Mason Opera: An Evening of One Act Operas
GMU Center for the Arts

February 25, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Cypress String Quartet
Music by American composers
Barns at Wolf Trap

February 25, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Wu Han (piano), David Finckel (cello), and Philip Setzer (violin)
Schubert, piano trios
Clarice Smith Center

February 26, 2011 (Sat)
7 pm
Puccini, Madama Butterfly
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 26, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba) and Thomas Boysen (theorbo) [FREE]
Music by Sainte-Colombe, Marais
Library of Congress

February 26, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Mason Opera: An Evening of One Act Operas
GMU Center for the Arts

February 26, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Mozart, Magic Flute (in concert)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 26, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Adam Neiman and Andrius Zlabys, piano
J. S. Bach and Frederic Chopin, preludes
Dumbarton Concerts

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
2 pm
Juan Diego Flórez, tenor
Presented by Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Mozart, Magic Flute (in concert)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
Anna Balakerskaia & Friends (faculty artist recital) [FREE]
GMU Center for the Arts

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Domenico Codispoti, piano
Phillips Collection

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Hilary Hahn (violin) and Valentina Lisitsa (piano)
WPAS
Music Center at Strathmore

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
5 pm
Inscape Chamber Orchestra
Music by Copland, Lincoln-DeCusatis
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer (Bethesda, Md.)

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
7 pm
City Choir of Washington
Music by Haydn, Stravinsky
National Presbyterian Church

February 27, 2011 (Sun)
8 pm
Glen Smith (faculty artist recital) [FREE]
GMU Center for the Arts

Mesmerized and Toyed With

I recently heard the pianist Edward Auer perform Chopin's 24 preludes, topped with a Schubert Sonata in A Minor, at Williams College’s Chapin Hall. Auer is a perfectionist: very straightforward, no theatrics. The monstrous Bösendorfer piano, however, provided the visual excitement with its cover shined to a mirror finish, reflecting the sculptural craftsmanship of its inner workings. Later I was told a few keys were not functioning properly -- I was mesmerized.

Tom Nozkowski's latest paintings at Pace Gallery are toying with me. Just when I think he could never surprise me with new shapes and combinations, he steals my heart again. I must say I’ve got a bit of a crush on this guy: he’s got one of the sweetest painting surfaces around. There I said it.

What’s not to admire about the late great, Robert Rauschenberg? I just never really got it, until the current show at Gagosian Gallery, that is. I think I may have been trying a bit too hard. Once the simplicity and humor of his unfolded cardboard boxes on a white wall struck me -- boxes? Our humanity exposed? We’re that easy. What I did come away from this show with was a greater respect for and curiosity about an artist who developed much of the language used by his contemporaries and to this day. He was a visual wizard.

The thing that’s been a constant over all these years is that I believe that art is communication so that the message has to change with time… If I can possibly show to anyone that the world belongs to them, to each person, then the work is successful. And if I succeed in being a great artist, then there won’t be any need for artists any more.
Waste not want not: our poor planet is swathed in a never-ending flow of trash, from landfill to incinerator. At Andrew Edlin Gallery Chris Doyle's hand-drawn digital animation projected on the gallery wall makes the process look fascinatingly good.

Roxy Paine likes to take over spaces; he's like that. Last year the roof garden at the Met, and this past month the complete Cohan Gallery. Something this large, this invasive should incite great fear, but it doesn't. Its awkwardness draws you in, it's beauty -- mesmerized again!

Nordic Lamentations

available at Amazon
Lamentations (Victoria, Gesualdo, Palestrina, White), Nordic Voices

(released on September 29, 2009)
Chandos CHAN 0763 | 68'30"

Hear some excerpts
The outstanding vocal ensemble Nordic Voices was another discovery for me this year, at a concert reviewed for the Washington Post last month. Although that program focused on music by contemporary Norwegian composers, the group's recent CD, a compilation of 16th-century settings of the Lamentations (and other texts for Holy Week), has introduced me to the sextet's fine interpretations of Renaissance polyphony. The devastating text of the Lamentations is a recurring topic in these pages: in the Roman Catholic Divine Office, Jeremiah's anguished mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem was sung during the Triduum as an expression of the Church's loss at the death of Jesus. (In a semi-blasphemous way, Dante used the same imagery to describe his loss at the death of Beatrice.)

Rather than focusing on a complete setting of these many texts by a single composer (we have written about such sets by Tallis, Palestrina, Victoria, and others), this disc brings together polyphony of varying levels of intensity by four rather different composers -- Victoria, Palestrina, Robert White, and Gesualdo. Rather than focusing on the liturgical background, Nordic Voices approaches the texts in terms of modern warfare and its tragic losses: the photo featured on the cover, showing a singed shoe amid blasted rubble, was taken by a member of the U.S. Air Force near a Green Zone checkpoint in Baghdad. In the liner notes, Frank Havrøy draws comparisons between the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and modern horrors like the Holocaust, acts of terrorism, and wars. (The group has announced that a portion of their profits from the recording have been donated to UNICEF, an appropriate reaction to the verses about becoming orphans or fatherless.)

The singing is top-notch, with six voices balanced and harmonious. The settings by Victoria and Palestrina are everything one would expect of those composers, the musical equivalent in many ways of the symmetry and purity of Renaissance neoclassical architecture. It is the other selections that surprise, especially a six-part selection by Robert White (c. 1538-1574) -- not this five-part setting, but a reconstruction of the incomplete six-part setting -- in the, by this point, archaic and dense style of earlier composers like Taverner. Not surprisingly, two pieces by Gesualdo have the most exotic sounds, both examples of the composer's experimentation with distant chromatic relations. In Tristis est anima mea, there are lots of chromatic mediant progressions (E major to C major, for example), with a voice suspended through the chord changes, never quite resolving to a consonance, creating a series of dissonant chords. This expressive style is a perfect match for the texts of Holy Week.

19.11.10

Classical Month in Washington (January)

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Classical Month in Washington is a monthly feature. If there are concerts you would like to see included on our schedule, send your suggestions by e-mail (ionarts at gmail dot com). Happy listening!

January 1, 2011 (Sat)
2 pm
New Year's Concert 2011: Salute to Vienna
Music Center at Strathmore

January 2, 2011 (Sun)
6:30 pm
American String Quartet [FREE]
Beethoven Quartet Cycle, Part 1
National Gallery of Art

January 7, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Yale Glee Club (with John Eaton, piano)
Music Center at Strathmore

January 7, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Folger Consort
Music by Vivaldi, Cage (Four Seasons)
Washington National Cathedral

January 8, 2011 (Sat)
11 am, 1:30 pm, 5 pm
NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Fancy That!
With Marissa Regni, violin
Kennedy Center Family Theater

January 8, 2011 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Coffee Cantata / Amahl and the Night Visitors
Opera Bel Cantanti
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

January 8, 2011 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society
Music by Mozart and Beethoven
National Museum of American History

January 8, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Renée Fleming, soprano
With Harmut Höll, piano
WPAS
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 8, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Folger Consort
Music by Vivaldi, Cage (Four Seasons)
Washington National Cathedral

January 8, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
National Philharmonic
Music by Vivaldi
Music Center at Strathmore

January 9, 2011 (Sun)
1:30 and 4 pm
NSO Ensemble Concert: Science and Music
Kennedy Center Family Theater

January 9, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
Coffee Cantata / Amahl and the Night Visitors
Opera Bel Cantanti
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

January 9, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
Luis Pares, piano
Mansion at Strathmore

January 9, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
National Philharmonic
Music by Vivaldi
Music Center at Strathmore

January 9, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Washington Saxophone Quartet
Phillips Collection

January 9, 2011 (Sun)
6:30 pm
NGA Orchestra [FREE]
Norwegian-American New Year concert
National Gallery of Art

January 12, 2011 (Wed)
8 pm
Mobtown Modern
Glass, Glassworks (1979)
The Windup Space (Baltimore, Md.)

January 13, 2011 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Kirill Karabits (conductor) and Sergey Khachatryan (violin)
Music by Shostakovich, Silvestrov, Sibelius
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 14, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Kirill Karabits (conductor) and Sergey Khachatryan (violin)
Music by Shostakovich, Silvestrov, Sibelius
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 15, 2011 (Sat)
11 am and 1:30 pm
NSO Kinderkonzert: Making Music with Friends
Kennedy Center Family Theater

January 15, 2011 (Sat)
6 pm
Emerson String Quartet
Music by Schubert, Beethoven
National Museum of Natural History

January 15, 2011 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Robin Tritschler (tenor) and Graham Johnson (piano)
Schubert, Die Schöne Müllerin
Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

January 15, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Kirill Karabits (conductor) and Sergey Khachatryan (violin)
Music by Shostakovich, Silvestrov, Sibelius
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 15, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Glass, Icarus at the Edge of Time
Music Center at Strathmore

January 15, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
American String Quartet
Music by Beethoven
Smith Theater, Howard Community College (Columbia, Md.)

January 15, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
GMU Center for the Arts

January 16, 2011 (Sun)
2 pm
Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Music by Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

January 16, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Kelly Hall-Tompkins (violin) and Craig Ketter (piano)
Phillips Collection

January 16, 2011 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Bruno Nasta (violin) and Ensemble [FREE]
Music by Gershwin, Joplin, Milhaud
National Gallery of Art

January 19, 2011 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Quatuor Diotima
La Maison Française

January 20, 2011 (Thu)
7 pm
JFK 50th Anniversary Concert
With American Ballet Theater and National Symphony Orchestra
Peter Lieberson, Remembering JFK: An American Elegy
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 20, 2011 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Friedrich Kleinhapl (cello) and Andreas Woyke (piano)
Mansion at Strathmore

January 21, 2011 (Fri)
8:15 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Off the Cuff: Shostakovich, 5th symphony
Music Center at Strathmore

January 22, 2011 (Sat)
2 pm
Sofya Gulyak, piano
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

January 22, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Christoph Eschenbach (conductor) and Tzimon Barto (piano)
Music by Gershwin, Bernstein, Lieberson
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 22, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Brazilian Guitar Quartet
Albéniz, Iberia Suite
Dumbarton Concerts

January 23, 2011 (Sun)
1:30 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Christoph Eschenbach (conductor) and Tzimon Barto (piano)
Music by Gershwin, Bernstein, Lieberson
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 23, 2011 (Sun)
2 pm
Amit Peled, cello (with Eli Kalman, piano)
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

January 23, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Raphael Trio (Schubert piano trios, Part 1)
Phillips Collection

January 23, 2011 (Sun)
5:30 pm
Jonathan Biss, piano
Shriver Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

January 23, 2011 (Sun)
7 pm
A Far Cry, string ensemble
Dumbarton Oaks

January 24, 2011 (Mon)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Christoph Eschenbach (conductor) and Tzimon Barto (piano)
Music by Gershwin, Bernstein, Lieberson
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 24, 2011 (Mon)
7:30 pm
Aleksandr Haskin, flute
Young Concert Artists
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

January 24, 2011 (Mon)
8 pm
A Far Cry, string ensemble
Dumbarton Oaks

January 25, 2011 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Pablo Casals Tribute Concert
With Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Emanuel Ax (piano), Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 25, 2011 (Tue)
8 pm
Fessenden Ensemble
Music by Bach, Schoenfield
St. Columba's Church (4201 Albemarle St. NW)

January 26, 2011 (Wed)
8 pm
Joshua Bell, violin
With Sam Haywood, piano
WPAS
Music Center at Strathmore

January 27, 2011 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Music by Beethoven, Berg
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 27, 2011 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Adam György, piano
Embassy Series
Embassy of Hungary

January 28, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
Ariel Quartet
With Roger Tapping, viola
Corcoran Gallery of Art

January 28, 2011 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Music by Beethoven, Berg
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 29, 2011 (Sat)
2 pm
Till Fellner, piano
Music by Haydn, Schumann, Liszt
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

January 29, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Philharmonia Quartett Berlin
Music by Mozart, Shostakovich, Schubert
Smith Theater, Howard Community College (Columbia, Md.)

January 29, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie
With Philippe Entremont (conductor) and Sebastian Knauer (piano)
GMU Center for the Arts

January 29, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
Axelrod String Quartet
National Museum of American History

January 29, 2011 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
Music by Beethoven, Berg
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 30, 2011 (Sun)
2 pm
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

January 30, 2011 (Sun)
3 pm
American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
GMU Center for the Arts

January 30, 2011 (Sun)
4 pm
Raphael Trio (Schubert piano trios, Part 2)
Phillips Collection

January 30, 2011 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Victor Goldberg, piano [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

January 30, 2011 (Sun)
7 pm
Jazz at Lincoln Center
With Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
WPAS
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

January 30, 2011 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Axelrod String Quartet
National Museum of American History