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30.9.12

Classical Music Agenda: October 2012

In October the volume of concerts on the schedule expands considerably, making the selection of the ten concerts we think will be most worth hearing that much more difficult. Still, that is the point of this exercise: follow the complete concert calendar in the sidebar all month long for many more options.

VOICES:

The National Symphony Orchestra is celebrating Richard Wagner this month, with two singers on its guest roster the next two weeks. Mezzo-soprano Kelly O'Connor (October 4 to 6) will sing Peter Lieberson's ravishing Neruda Songs -- written for his wife, Lorraine (both pictured -- Lux perpetua luceat eis) -- while the NSO plays some Wagner and a lot of Tchaikovsky. The following week, contralto Natalie Stutzmann (October 11 to 13) will sing an arrangement of Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder, made by Hans Werner Henze, paired with Bruckner's seventh symphony. Christoph Eschenbach, embarking on his third season as music director, will conduct. Tickets: $10 to $85.

We would never miss any chance to hear the voice of soprano Christine Brewer, and the next opportunity is her recital for Vocal Arts D.C. at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (October 31, 7:30 pm). She will sing songs by Spanish and American composers, and it will be worth listening. Tickets: $45.

The Sretensky Monastery, in the center of Moscow, was restored to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1994. Its choir, which sings Russian Orthodox chant and other music, first toured the United States in 2007, stopping at the Library of Congress where I was unable to hear them. The group returns to Washington for two concerts this month, at the Library of Congress (October 6, 8 pm) and at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (October 8, 7:30 pm). Tickets: FREE (Library of Congress); $30 to $60 (Kennedy Center).


If you can get away during the day, get your Bach fix at one of the area's two series devoted to the Leipzig master's cantatas. The Washington Bach Consort performs a free lunchtime Bach cantata on the first Tuesday of the month -- O heilges Geist - und Wasserbad, BWV 165 (October 2, 12:10 pm) -- at the Church of the Epiphany downtown. Later in the month, the University of Maryland School of Music performs Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, BWV 211 (October 18, 1:30 pm) at the Clarice Smith Center in College Park. Tickets: FREE.

For your opera fix, we recommend the first opera of the season from the Virginia Opera, Bizet's The Pearl Fishers. The company has truly impressed me since surviving a leadership crisis in 2011, and although this opera is not one of my favorites, soprano Heather Buck (pictured) at the top of the cast promises to be well worth the trip out to the GMU Center for the Arts (October 12 and 14). Tickets: $44 to $86.

INSTRUMENTS:
After an absence of a couple years, the Jupiter String Quartet returns to Washington this month for a concert at the National Academy of Sciences (October 7, 3 pm), a venue that reopens this month after being under renovation for a couple years. Tickets: FREE.

Put us down, too, for the recital by violinist Daniel Hope and pianist Jeffrey Kahane at the Library of Congress, where they will play music by Ravel, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and a new piece by Nico Muhly (October 12, 8 pm). Tickets: FREE.


available at Amazon
J. S. Bach, WTC, A. Schiff

(released on September 26, 2012)
It is a good month for pianophiles, too, with two recitals by major pianists in the space of a week. Alexandre Tharaud, who has been coming to Washington every couple years, returns to La Maison Française (October 26, 7:30 pm), playing music by Scarlatti, Chopin, Liszt, and his own arrangement of the Adagietto from Mahler's fifth symphony. Tickets: $25.

András Schiff's new recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier has been spinning in my player a lot these days (review forthcoming). Schiff will play the second book of that work at a WPAS-sponsored recital at Strathmore (October 30, 8 pm). Tickets: $23 to $95.

DANCE:
It was listed in our Top 25 Picks for the season as the top dance pick for the year: the visit of the Mariinsky Ballet to the Kennedy Center Opera House for Prokofiev's Cinderella, in the modernized and somewhat controversial choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, last seen in Washington in 2005 (October 16 to 21). Tickets: $29 to $150.

In Brief: Nationals Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to online audio, online video, and other good things in Blogville and Beyond. (After clicking to an audio or video stream, press the "Play" button to start the broadcast.)

  • Watch the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France perform Shostakovich's sixth symphony and Dvořák's cello concerto, with Ion Marin conducting and Jian Wang as soloist. [Cité de la Musique Live]

  • Watch the finalists at the Concours international Sir Georg Solti, a selection of young conductors who get a chance to conduct the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. [ARTE Live Web]

  • Les Arts Florissants and William Christie perform Charpentier's David et Jonathan, recorded at the Aix-en-Provence Festival this summer. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Watch the concert of the winners of the ARD Competition from Munich, with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (skip to the 11-minute mark to bypass the opening speeches). [ARTE Live Web]

  • You can hear and watch more of the ARD Competition, too. [BR Klassik]

  • From the Salle Pleyel, the Orchestre de Paris performs Bruckner's eighth symphony with Herbert Blomstedt at the podium. [France Musique]

  • Listen to pianist Lars Vogt and friends perform chamber music by Brahms, Beethoven, Schumann, and others at the Salzburg Festival. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Organist Francesco Filidei and Les Cris de Paris perform music by György Ligeti (Lux Æterna, Harmonies), Giacinto Scelsi (In nomine Lucis), Silvia Borzelli, and Luca Francesconi at the Abbaye de Royaumont. [France Musique]

  • A performance of Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco with the ORF Radio Symphonieorchester Wien conducted by Carlo Montanaro in Graz. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and friends perform chamber music by Boccherini, Brahms, Martin Münch, and Bach at the Rencontres musicales de Haute Provence. [France Musique]

  • Hear Daniel Harding conduct the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in music by Widmann, Strauss (the symphonic fantasy from Die Frau ohne Schatten and the suite from Der Rosenkavalier), and Szymanowski's first violin concerto, with Christian Tetzlaff as soloist, recorded earlier this month. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • A favorite young string quartet, the Cuarteto Casals, plays an all-Schubert concert at the Schwarzenberg Festival earlier this month. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Emmanuel Pahud, Frank Braley, Eric Le Sage, and friends perform chamber music by Russian composers at the Musique à l'Empéri chamber music festival. [France Musique]

  • The same musicians perform another concert of music by Mozart, Mahler, Schubert, and another with Mozart, Zemlinsky, Schoenberg, and Schulhoff. [France Musique]

  • The Acies Quartet plays music by Haydn, Janáček, and Brahms at the Musikwochen Millstatt 2012. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • From the Festival de Sablé, a performance of the opera Amor aumenta el valor by José de Nebra (1702-1768). [France Musique]

  • Watch pianist Boris Berezovsky's tribute concert to his friend and chamber music partner Brigitte Engerer, from the Auditorium du Louvre, with music by Medtner, Chopin, and Ravel. [Medici.tv]

  • At the Festival Les Solistes des Serres d’Auteuil, pianist Frank Braley plays music by Michaël Jarrell, Hindemith, Brahms, Bernstein, and Copland. [France Musique]

  • A classic performance of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini with Nicolai Gedda in the title role and Colin Davis conducted, recorded at Covent Garden in 1972. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Listen to the young Quatuor Hermés, recorded last month at the Festival de l’Orangerie de Sceaux and playing Haydn, Schumann, and Debussy. [France Musique]

  • From last May, Colin Davis celebrates his 85th birthday conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden in an all-Mozart program, including the Symphony in G minor, the Serenata notturna, and the K. 466 piano concerto, with Jonathan Biss as soloist. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

29.9.12

Head Butt

The Centre Pompidou opens an exhibit of works by Adel Abdessemed this coming Wednesday: Adel Abdessemed Je suis innocent (through January 7). As part of the show, he has installed a bronze sculpture (Coup de tête) in front of the museum depicting Zinedine Zidane's infamous head butt to the chest of Marco Materazzi during the final match of the World Cup in 2006, after which Italy went on to defeat France. Monumental in scope, at over five meters high, the sculpture may seem to immortalize what most people see as the final catastrophic failure of one of the world's great soccer players -- called by some commentators, without any sense of hyperbole, a Greek tragedy. The sense of anguish in the voice of the play caller for TF1, recorded here -- "Oh no, Zinedine, not now, not here, Zinedine, not after everything you have done" -- is heartbreaking, as they watch Zidane receive a red card and walk off the field of the final match of his career, in disgrace. I am not sure that I like the sculpture all that much, without seeing it in person, but it has provoked a lot of remembering and with its outdoor placement will be seen by a vast number of people.


(courtesy of Le Monde)

28.9.12

An Inspired New Home for Islamic Treasures

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It's the largest expansion project since I. M. Pei designed the pyramid in front of the Louvre some twenty years ago. The Cour Visconti, a lavish interior courtyard at the Louvre, has been transformed into the new Department of Islamic Art, complete with an undulating, golden mesh roof -- referred to as a “dragonfly wing” by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti.

The new wing is home to more than 3,000 works from throughout the Islamic world. The collection ranges from the seventh to the nineteenth centuries, from the founding of Baghdad in 762, through the rein of Gangis Kahn, and to the Sufi mystics.

Islam's history and tradition is complex and incredibly diverse, more than I ever realized. With some 8.8 million visitors a year, apparently many of them there during my visit, the Louvre, the most popular tourist attraction in Paris, is about to become a leading institution for Islamic study in Europe. It's a timely gift in a turbulent period and quite impressive. More images on my Flickr.


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27.9.12

More of Tallis Scholars' Josquin Cycle

Complete Josquin Edition:
available at Amazon
M. Pange Lingua / M. La Sol Fa Re Mi / L'homme armé Masses
(2006)

available at Amazon
M. Sine nomine / M. Ad fugam
(2008)
[Review]

available at Amazon
Missa De beata virgine / Missa Ave maris stella
(2011)
[Review]
available at Amazon
Josquin Des Prez, M. Malheur me bat / M. Fortuna desesperata,
Tallis Scholars

(released on March 10, 2009)
Gimell CDGIM 042 | 75'27"
I somehow missed one volume in the Tallis Scholars' excellent complete set of the Masses of Josquin Des Prez. In these works, Josquin exhausts all of the techniques for reusing preexisting material in a setting of the Latin Ordinary. To go with the Masses recorded so far -- organized using paraphrases of one or more Gregorian chants or of a secular tune, soggetto cavato (a technique that Josquin innovated), strict canon, or quotation of earlier chants or polyphonic melodies in cantus firmus -- the 2009 installment presents two Masses in which Josquin helped innovate the so-called "parody" or imitation Mass technique. In both of these settings, Josquin uses a 3-voice secular work of polyphony -- the expressive French chanson Malheur me bat, once attributed to Josquin's teacher Ockeghem but now thought to be the work of an obscure Flemish composer named Malcort, and the Latin-texted Fortuna desperata attributed (but not decisively) to Antoine Busnoys -- as the basis for each movement of the Mass. Far from being merely derivative, the imitation technique is just another way to take pre-composed material and wring out its contrapuntal possibilities, especially in Josquin's hands.

The booklet essay by the ensemble's director, Peter Phillips, lays out most of the striking parts of these Masses. The Missa Malheur me bat, believed by scholars to be the later of the two, is an absolutely gorgeous piece, beauty that is only heightened by an understanding of what Josquin was up to formally. As is often the case, Josquin was writing for three male voices plus probably trebles (or falsettists) on the top part. He uses the parts of the chanson in close polyphony, while sometimes also setting the superius in his top voice in longer note values. There are some glorious bicinia in the Sanctus and especially the Agnus Dei (the second invocation of the text, set for two tenors in close imitation), and in the Hosanna sections some exciting mensural shifts into triple time. In the final Agnus Dei, Josquin adds an extra altus and bass part, which follow their counterparts in strict canon by one beat. It is both contrapuntally ingenious and stunningly beautiful listening. The Missa Fortuna desperata is also set for four voices, but in it Josquin has not quite been able to square contrapuntal complexity -- in the Credo, for example, he quotes the source work in mensuration signs that gradually speed up the piece throughout the long text -- with the same ease of musical beauty, ending up with writing that is more austere.

26.9.12

À mon chevet: The Satanic Verses

À mon chevet is a series of posts featuring a quote from whatever book is on my nightstand at the moment.

book cover
On the shelf of Changez Chamchawala's teak-lined study, beside a ten-volume set of the Richard Burton translation of the Arabian Nights, which was being slowly devoured by mildew and book-worm owing to the deep-seated prejudice against books which led Changez to own thousands of the pernicious things in order to humiliate them by leaving them to rot unread, there stood a magic lamp, a brightly polished copper-and-brass avatar of Aladdin's very own genie-container: a lamp begging to be rubbed. But Changez neither rubbed it nor permitted it to be rubbed by, for example, his son. "One day," he assured the boy, "you'll have it for yourself. Then rub and rub as much as you like and see what doesn't come to you. Just now, but, it is mine." The promise of the magic lamp infected Master Salahuddin with the notion that one day his troubles would end and his innermost desires would be gratified, and all he had to do was wait it out; but then there was the incident of the wallet, when the magic of a rainbow had worked for him, not for his father but for him, and Changez Chamchawala had stolen the crock of gold. After that the son became convinced that his father would smother all his hopes unless he got away, and from that moment he became desperate to leave, to escape, to place oceans between the great man and himself.

-- Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, pp. 36-37
The coverage of Salman Rushdie's new book, Joseph Anton: A Memoir (next on my chevet), has been feverish. The new book, a memoir of the author's years of hiding from the Iranian fatwa over his excellent novel The Satanic Verses, is written as a novel, about Rushdie as a third-person character. Rushdie has said in more than one instance that, in the present climate of fear about the direction the Muslim world is taking, he does not think The Satanic Verses would see the light of day if he had written it now.

25.9.12

Nathan Gunn Celebrity Recital

An opera star recital can be a wonderful thing, which is why Plácido Domingo established the Washington National Opera's Celebrity Series. One can present a first-tier singer, whom the company could probably never engage for a full production, and it brings in revenue with a minimum expenditure. It really only works when the singer is of the caliber to drive ticket sales -- in the last two seasons, Angela Gheorghiu, Bryn Terfel, and especially Juan Diego Flórez have fit that bill -- and when the music on the program is associated with the singer's best achievements. On neither account, really, did Sunday's Celebrity Recital by baritone Nathan Gunn succeed. We did not expect it to, which is why it did not appear among either our picks for the year or for the month of September, and the sparse audience -- padded with some listeners who did not behave like opera regulars -- showed that plenty of people agreed with our assessment. Having half of the selections consist of Broadway music by Sondheim and Loewe, I note with some sense of Schadenfreude, did not bring in the huge crowds of people wanting to hear opera singers sing music theater.

Gunn has been resting on his laurels for some time: his last solo performance to reach these ears, at Shriver Hall in 2008, fell just as flat as this uneven recital did. The voice, once mellifluous, sounded faded and gritty at times, and other than in the comic pieces, which obviously engaged him much more, he sang without much charm. The operatic roles he chose to feature seemed beyond his voice: Figaro's high notes in selections from The Barber of Seville at the edge of control and strained, the French in music from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers mostly incomprehensible (his Italian was better), and the toast aria from Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet a little skittish rhythmically and not uproarious in tone. More and more, Broadway musicals are taking over Gunn's schedule, including Francesca Zambello's Camelot at Glimmerglass next summer. He would not be the first singer to make that transition -- Ezio Pinza and Todd Duncan are a couple examples -- but it makes him far less interesting a performer for my money.


Other Reviews:

Robert Battey, Verve and versatility at Washington National Opera’s concert series (Washington Post, September 25)
Gunn was outshone by his recital partner, tenor William Burden, who floated above Gunn in the famous duet "Au fond du temple saint" from The Pearl Fishers and showed up his French and his emotional connection to the audience in "Ah, lève-toi, soleil" from Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (the only piece to elicit much cheering from the audience up to that point). Soprano Emily Albrink, who had an admirable WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist outing as Sophie in last spring's Werther, did not sound quite as comfortable in this recital. A lack of breath support at the end of long lines dragged her intonation flat, but the top of her voice sounded just as effervescent and she was a charming Zerlina in "Là ci darem la mano" and Susanna in "Crudel, perchè fin'ora." Conductor Ted Sperling was obviously more comfortable in the music theater selections, but he kept himself largely out of the way in the overtures from Barber of Seville and Marriage of Figaro, pieces the WNO Orchestra could probably play in their sleep.

The lack of supertitles limited the audience's reactions to the funnier moments in the foreign-language pieces. It was good, however, to remember that this was how opera was before supertitles: either you understood the language or you relied on the singer's expressions and gestures to understand. This drew attention to Gunn's often emotion-less demeanor -- here there was no supertitle machine to deliver the punchline. The biggest laughs of the evening came from unplanned accidents, as when Gunn nimbly incorporated a loud audience sneeze into his performance of "Largo al factotum." The lighting system in the Kennedy Center Opera House went haywire before and during Gunn's performance of Goundod's Queen Mab aria, cycling through all of its color specials and spotlights, caused by a computer malfunction we were told by departing director of artistic operations Christina Scheppelmann (perhaps it was Queen Mab up to her usual tricks). After stopping mid-aria at the first incident, Gunn and the orchestra bravely soldiered on when it happened a second time, with some players using their mobile phones to light their standmates' music.

24.9.12

Shaham Plays Barber with the BSO

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Charles T. Downey, At Strathmore, BSO’s Americana optimism
Washington Post, September 24, 2012

available at Amazon
Barber / Korngold / Walton, Violin Concertos, J. Ehnes, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, B. Tovey
At the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s first subscription concert of the new season, heard at Strathmore on Saturday night, the orchestra played a program of classic Americana with grace and power. The music, from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, all sounded much the same, a reminder of the era before serialism and experimental composition had taken over classical music.

The symphonic suite from the film score for Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront” was the first offering. It includes some of Leonard Bernstein’s most polished and searing music — from the suite’s plaintive opening horn solo and lonely wail of the saxophone, through the savage intensity of its percussion-driven fast sections to its fragile love theme massed into a raging surge. Conductor Marin Alsop led a convincing performance throughout. [Continue reading]
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Gil Shaham, violin (Violin Concertos of the 1930s)
Music Center at Strathmore

23.9.12

In Brief: Start of Fall Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to online audio, online video, and other good things in Blogville and Beyond. (After clicking to an audio or video stream, press the "Play" button to start the broadcast.)

  • From the Festival de Sablé, listen to Caligula, an opera by Giovani-Maria Pagliardi from 1672, performed by Le Poème Harmonique and a troupe of marionnettes. [France Musique]

  • From the Grand Théatre de Genève last May, Diana Damrau and Sophie Koch star in Ambroise Thomas's Mignon. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Watch conductor Paavo Järvi and pianist Rudolf Buchbinder join the Orchestre de Paris for Dvořák's Symphonic Variations and eighth symphony, plus Beethoven's third piano concerto. [Cité de la Musique Live]

  • From the Festival Sinfonia en Périgord, a program of madrigals sacred and secular by Schein and Monteverdi, performed by Ensemble Sagittarius. [France Musique]

  • Watch the piano duo of Márta and György Kurtág perform a program of music by Johann Sebastian Bach and György Kurtag. [Cité de la Musique Live]

  • The Accademia Bizantina performs music by C.P.E. Bach, W.F. Bach, and Mozart at the Mozart Festes Würzburg. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • From the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels last June, the gala concert featuring performances by violinists Andrey Baranov (1er Prix), Tatsuki Narita (2ème Prix), and Hyun Su Shin (3ème Prix). [France Musique]

  • The Piatti Quartet and pianist Clare Hammond play music by Haydn, Ravel, Satie, and others. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • The Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus perform Brahms's German Requiem, with soloists Susan Gritton and Simon Keenlyside, and Beethoven's fourth symphony. [France Musique]

  • Two older performances of the Vienna Philharmonic: Beethoven's seventh symphony with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in 2003 and Schubert's fourth symphony with Harnoncourt, also in 2003. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Listen to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France perform Schnittke's Faust cantata and Tchaikovsky's sixth symphony. [France Musique]

  • From the Schwarzenberg Festival, chamber music by Brahms and Schubert performed by Baiba Skride, Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou, and others. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Two concerts of early music from the Festival Les Méridiennes. [France Musique]

  • Sarah Chang plays the Brahms violin concerto with the Orchestre National de France at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, under Kurt Masur, with Brahms's first symphony. [France Musique]

  • A recording of Verdi's La Forza del Destino made in Rome in 1955. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Hear violinist Nicolas Dautricourt, cellist Alexander Dmitriev, and pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger in pieces for women's chorus by Schnittke, Pärt, and others, from the Festival de Radio France Montpellier-Languedoc Roussillon. [France Musique]

  • From the Musiktage Mondsee, the Benyounes Quartett and clarinetist Gerald Pachinger perform music by Schubert and others. [Österreichischer Rundfunk]

  • Karine Deshayes joins the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France for Berlioz's Les nuits d’été, plus music by Wagner and Elgar. [France Musique]

22.9.12

From the 2012 ARD Competition, Day 7

Day 7, String Quartets, Semi Finals

Six string quartets (performers) and 18 string quartets (compositions) in just under nine hours is something you will not likely experience anywhere outside the ARD Music Competition. It’s a marathon, exhausting and gratifying, and particularly insightful when it comes to the ARD commissioned competition that participants of the semi final are required to play.

For the String Quartets in 2012, that was a composition by Erkki-Sven Tüür, Lost Prayers—his second string quartet, which is quite easy on the ears, comprehensible, not all too novel, and full of musical references that the ear consecutively grasps after one, two, three hearings. Notably there is a general kinship with Gregorian, or Schütz-like sentiments (not surprising if you know his Wanderer's Evening Song), there are long dramatic arches that emerge, and also hints—but just half a second long—of extreme romanticism. It’s a work that pays homage to the string quartet tradition, and continues it… written expressively for the instruments, not against them. If it’s a little tedious in its constant stymied run-ups that are lost in flageolet notes before the whole shebang starts over again until it finally reaches fruition after the eleventh or so time… well, it’s also a lot better than this commissioned piece could have been. The voices—this year and those from 2009—should know what I mean.



The Acies Quartet (Benjamin Ziervogel & Raphael Kasprian, violins, Manfred Plessl, viola, Thomas Wiesflecker, cello), experienced favorites, were the first to go—which meant the world premiere performance for Lost Prayers. Every hearing of a new work is a learning experience, even with the very readable score on one’s lap, but the Acies’ transparent, nuanced, gently lit account was just about ideal for a first listening. Rather than single-mindedly reciting the text in front of them, they made their own (though perhaps not Tüür’s) musical sense of it, even if that meant not slavishly following every dynamic marking, or lack thereof.

The Novus Quartet (Jae-young Kim & Young-Uk Kim, Violins, Seung-won Lee, Viola, Woong-whee Moon, Cello – from the Korea National University of Arts) went about it differently, informed perhaps by a desperate instinct to get as much sentiment out of the work as it lends itself to—which is a

Art in Belleville

Have a look at some of the art being shown at the Belleville Biennale, with some images (La Biennale de Belleville, un parcours initiatique à l'art contemporain, September 19) published in Le Monde. The show is taking place at various galleries and artist studios in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris, with a theme focusing on revolution. Florence Evin has a review (Prendre l'art à Belleville, September 20) that goes with it (my translation):
Apartment No. 1806, on the 18th floor of a building next to the Place des Fêtes. No name. We knock. The door opens on a two-bedroom flat bathed in light. The apartment-gallery Café au lit is showing, in its living room, a "portable slice," wood and canvas marked with yellow, a work signed Tamas St. Auby, evoking an emergency evacuation. In a mid-sized room is a projection of a diaporama by Uruguayan artist Angel Kalenberg, 240 images put together in 1977, an introduction to the art, culture, and folklore of Latin America. From this 18th floor, the view shows skyscrapers crowding the northern edge of Paris. Members of 180 nationalities live here, most from China, Pakistan, Africa, and Arab countries, of all faiths.
The image embedded here shows the work of sculptor Vincent Lamouroux, who is transforming the landscape of the 19th-century Parc des Buttes-Chaumont by spraying a white substance on the plants in one of the groves. The white stuff is organic, a mixture of lime, flour, and sugar, and not harmful to the plants but makes the place look ghostly until it is dispersed by rain or wind.

21.9.12

'Don Giovanni' Gets the Wilis


Ildar Abdrazakov (Don Giovanni) and Soloman Howard (the Commendatore) in Don Giovanni, Washington National Opera, 2012 (photo by Scott Suchman)
Opera companies perform Don Giovanni a lot: Wolf Trap this past summer and in 2005, the San Francisco Opera in 2011, the Salzburg Festival in 2010, to list only the most recent reviews in our archive. The Washington National Opera has again revived John Pascoe's quasi-updated staging of Mozart's masterpiece, generally at the top of my list for most ingenious opera ever written, last heard in 2007 and 2003. As heard last night, it features an ensemble-oriented cast with a couple individual performances that stood out. More importantly it is a group of singers whose acting in response to Pascoe's rethinking of the staging brought the director's ideas more clearly into light.

Ildar Abdrazakov, who was Leporello to Erwin Schrott's sebaceous Don Giovanni in 2007, was here upgraded to the title role. He did not bring as much sex appeal to the infamous libertine, but he used his voice in a varied way -- power where he needed it, a seductive suavity in the serenade "Deh vieni alla finestra," and rapid-fire patter in perhaps the most breathless "Fin ch'han dal vino" to reach these ears. Baritone Andrew Foster-Williams was a hapless, cowardly Leporello, with excellent comic timing, pleasing resonance, but a tendency to be ahead of the beat. Barbara Frittoli was not quite spiteful enough in her tone for Donna Elvira (oh, for Anja Kampe who sang the role in 2007!), but she took Pascoe's ideas about the character -- as a sort of female version of Don Giovanni -- and ran with it. Soprano Meagan Miller, in a powerful company debut, gave plenty of punch to the role of Donna Anna, with pure, floating high notes that added an angelic aura, with only a slightly overactive vibrato and lack of dynamic variation to cause complaint. She absolutely towered -- physically and vocally -- over her Don Ottavio, sung capably but not quite elegantly by Juan Francisco Gatell, with a lovely, meditative "Dalla sua pace" and a slow, somewhat labored "Il mio tesoro." Veronica Cangemi, known for her performances in early music, was a fetching Zerlina, often light and transparent of tone but with sparkle, while Aleksey Bogdanov's Masetto was memorable more for his comic acting. Soloman Howard, an otherwise fine singer, was imposing physically as the Commendatore but struggled a bit at the top of the role.


Other Reviews:

Anne Midgette, Well-cast roles and creative ideas boost WNO’s ‘Don Giovanni’ (Washington Post, September 22)
Some interpretative choices on the part of conductor Philippe Auguin seemed a nod to the René Jacobs HIP recording of the opera. Some of Auguin's tempos were surprising, in the way that Jacobs sometimes is, with a rather fast damnation scene, for example, but luxuriantly slow choices in other places. Pascoe's staging updated the setting to Franco's Spain, which gives Don Giovanni the authority of a fascist police force behind him. A dumb show performed during the overture gave a glimpse of Don Giovanni's punishment in hell, surrounded by a group of former conquests in wedding veils, like the Wilis straight out of the ballet blanc in Giselle, and with ghostly bed frames suspended above him. The decision to have Donna Elvira show up with a babe in arms is a clever way to explain her absence and now her return, as well as why she is so absurdly devoted to Don Giovanni -- so much so that, in what Frittoli made an affecting moment, she tries to follow him into hell. Most scenes of this production compared favorably to the 2007 performance, which likely had something to do with how the singers embraced the direction.

20.9.12

Briefly Noted: More Josquin

Complete Josquin Edition:
available at Amazon
M. Pange Lingua / M. La Sol Fa Re Mi / L'homme armé Masses
(2006)

available at Amazon
M. Sine nomine / M. Ad fugam
(2008)

available at Amazon
M. Malheur me bat / M. Fortuna desesperata
(2009)
available at Amazon
Josquin Des Prez, Missa De beata virgine / Missa Ave maris stella, Tallis Scholars

(released on November 8, 2011)
Gimell CDGIM 044 | 75'58"
As someone who listens to a lot of music, I hate to answer that irksome question about my favorite composer. If pressed, however, I would probably say that I most admire the work of Josquin Des Prez (c. 1440-1521), who was the equal of Leonardo or Michelangelo in composition. He composed secular and sacred music, but for any composer worth his salt, the cyclic Mass was the symphony, the magnum opus of the day, and Josquin's polyphonic settings of the Latin Mass are the summa of the art. Every possible manner of unifying the movements of the Ordinary is explored -- canon, parody of chanson and motet, cantus firmus, chant paraphrase -- but this music is enjoyable first and foremost just as music because of the beauty of his melodic writing and the variation of textures. The Tallis Scholars have undertaken a complete recorded survey of Josquin's Masses, begun in 2006 with the re-release of a 2-CD set of their older discs devoted to this composer. The new recordings in the series, last mentioned in 2008, continue to be just as valuable as those older ones, which introduced many eager young graduate students like myself to the complexity of this music in the best way possible. Before the golden age of early music recording, graduate students spent part of their seminars singing through this kind of music -- an exercise I also enjoy and that imparts a completely different pleasure and greater knowledge.

The most recent disc, released last year, includes what in the Renaissane was likely the most known and performed of Josquin's Masses, the Missa De beata vergine (known in almost 70 different manuscript copies), which brings together paraphrases of several chants for feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As he often did, Josquin adds a fifth voice in most of the later movements, augmenting the canonic complexity but in other places stripping down the texture to more austere bicinia. In a couple of often commented on places, he creates the sensation of duple versus triple rhythm, and director Peter Phillips has restored some of the Marian tropes added to the Ordinary in Josquin's original setting, struck from the score in later editions after the Council of Trent, which eliminated all tropes from the liturgy. It is paired with an almost unknown setting of the Credo, preserved in only one source from Cambrai, a piece that may not even be by Josquin except that it is firmly identified as such in the manuscript. The disc concludes with the concise Missa Ave maris stella -- director Peter Phillips goes so far as to label it a Missa brevis -- which by its quotation of another Marian hymn rounds out the program quite nicely.

19.9.12

The Doors Revealed

Here I am in Florence, one of my favorite cities, to be wowed by Lorenzo Ghiberti's newly restored Baptistry Doors of Paradise. Installed in 1452 and weighing eight tons, the gilded wonders must have dazzled when new. Time and pollution left a darkened patina, which was then layered with varnish in the late 1700s.


During World War II, the doors were removed and stored in a train tunnel for safe keeping. They were cleaned before being reinstalled, once again revealing the former brilliance hiding beneath the soot and varnish. After they survived the devastating flood of 1966 and increased pollutants, it was decided to remove the doors permanently in the 1990s to be properly restored at the renowned Opificio delle Pietre Dure and replaced by cast replicas.

On the day of my visit, the crowd of tourists was twenty deep to get a glimpse of the replica doors on the Baptistry, while the actual, refurbished doors in all their stunning beauty are now on view in a small building behind the Duomo, opposite the Baptistry. In fact, the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore was practically empty -- allowing me some quiet contemplation with these stunning beauties. More images on my Flickr.

18.9.12

Washington Concert Opera: 'La Sonnambula'


René Barbera and Eglise Gutiérrez, La Sonnambula, Washington Concert Opera, 2012 (photo courtesy of Washington Concert Opera)
The Teatro Carcano had quite an 1830-1831 season in Milan. Founded in 1801, the management had dreams of rivaling La Scala as an opera theater. As noted in my preview of the past weekend's highlights here in Washington, the theater premiered both Donizetti's Anna Bolena and Bellini's La Sonnambula in the space of a few months, in December 1830 and March 1831. (A theater in Milan still bears that name, but it now hosts other kinds of performances.) As chance would have it, both operas were performed in Washington this past weekend: the Donizetti by Washington National Opera and the Bellini on Sunday afternoon by Washington Concert Opera at Lisner Auditorium.

Sadly, it was not a good afternoon for Eglise Gutiérrez in the title role, with many of the same issues noted of her performance this past July at Caramoor. There were intonation problems and a swallowed, perilous hold on the high pianissimo notes, although the outdoor acoustic at Caramoor made that sound worse than at Lisner. More disturbingly, the top of Gutiérrez's voice was giving out by the end of the first cabaletta and she struggled with it throughout the performance. The audible torment of the role was doubly sad because, as noted in my preview, it was not created for a voice that went quite that high. The rest of the lead cast was more successful, starting with the lovely sound, heroic high notes, and musical suavity of tenor René Barbera as Elvino -- a nasal, frontally placed voice but one that was beautiful and solid all around.


Other Reviews:

Anne Midgette, WCO’s ‘La Sonnambula’ is live and wide awake (Washington Post, September 18)
Equally good were the smooth baritone of Ben Wager's Rodolfo, with a present and round sound at both ends of the compass, and the pouty, spiteful Lisa of Maureen McKay, a silver-toned voice that darted and sparkled. Supporting parts were capably filled by Madeleine Gray as a maternal Teresa, Matthew Osifchin as long-suffering Alessio, and Rolando Sanz as the Notary. As usual, much of the credit goes to Antony Walker at the podium, who infused the score -- and it has plenty of corny duds in there -- with delight for its beauties and tolerance of its shortcomings. The orchestra was a little messy in the strings here and there, and there were a few wrong notes and false entrances, but Walker, with a relatively small amount of rehearsal, kept singers, orchestra, and the effective chorus all on the same page. Milan was clearly the place to be for bel canto opera that year. Back at La Scala in December 1831, Bellini and Romani teamed up again for Norma, with Giuditta Pasta once more in the title role: it will be mounted by Washington National Opera next March. Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, which will be the second opera from Washington Concert Opera, in April, was premiered at La Scala just four years later, in 1835.

17.9.12

Ionarts-at-Large: Gatti & GMYO in Dresden


Daniele Gatti and the Mahler Youth Orchestra stopped by in Dresden’s Semperoper with their Wagner-Berg-Strauss-Ravel program, the morning after Christian Thielemann had conducted his inauguration concert with the Staatskapelle. It was a fitting concert to cap a trip through Saxony—‘on the paths of Wagner’—I had been on. In fact it was the first Wagner I heard after traipsing through the south-east German countryside, from plaque to plaque: “Here lies Wagner’s great-great-great Grandfather” – “Here Wagner’s first wife was baptized” – “Here Wagner spent a night at his sister’s fleeing from the officials” – “Here Wagner failed middle-school for the second time” – “Here Wagner stayed in a bed that might have looked like this and wrote Lohengrin”. And then, at last, the Third Act Prelude & Good Friday Music from Parsifal: Echt Wagner and in sumptuous, broad sound, quite unbelievable for 11AM (perhaps the awakening-theme of the music helped), and a sound that a glorified pick-up youth orchestra like the GMYO—for all their many considerable qualities—usually doesn’t produce.


available at Amazon
A.Berg, Violin Concerto et al.,
F.P.Zimmermann, Stuttgart RSO, G.Gelmetti et al.
EMI

Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto with soloist Frank Peter Zimmermann turned out alert, detailed, clearly delineated, but with feeling and oodles of romance and furthered by the superb acoustic in the Semperoper—in this case the 2nd rank, preferable to the sound from orchestra seating to these ears. Zimmermann played the first movement with matter-of-courseness, without pathos, with an airy grace, a good-humoredness, a respectful but never reverent take on the memory of an angel, ending in a waltz through tears. Grit and determination and Bach (the chorale “Es ist genug” from O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, most prominently heard in the clarinets, but laced throughout the music) dominated the second movement… which after this summer in Salzburg reminded me invariably of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s works.

Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier Suite is not a great work itself, but it’s a medley and jumble of great music; a potpourri of romantic musical scents. Gatti and the GMYO drove through the music like a fire truck with sirens on, with excited violin figures and brass swirls, and finally happily frolicking like a drunken Mariachi band. It would have been a great end to the matinee, but Ravel’s La Valse was still outstanding, and happily it actually was outstanding. Rather than taking from the previous impression, it added with its oodles of character and liberal wit and hearty portamenti. During the introduction the orchestral voices popped up through hatches and holes of the double-bass’ “Jaws” floor that darkly lapped against the woodwinds above. Gatti, at his best, has the ability to make pieces that might have become boring from overexposure in routine run-throughs, exciting again. That is exactly what he did here.


Picture of Daniele Gatti © Silvia Lelli


Sondra Radvanovsky Transcends Drab 'Anna Bolena'


Sondra Radvanovsky (Anna Bolena) and Sonia Ganassi (Giovanna Seymour) in Anna Bolena, Washington National Opera, 2012 (photo by Scott Suchman)
When the Metropolitan Opera presented the disappointing Anna Netrebko in the title role of Donizetti's Anna Bolena last year, they missed the chance to cast Sondra Radvanovsky as the hated arriviste Queen of England. New York's loss is Washington's gain, as the American soprano gave a smash debut in the role on Saturday night in Washington National Opera's first production of the opera since 1993. (For some background on the opera, see my preview article.) Radvanovsky was graceful and dignified as the second wife of King Henry VIII, with searing high notes and an ethereal pianissimo, not swallowed or pinched in sound, just sweet, and active and articulated runs. As noted of her appearances at the Met and here in Washington, the voice makes a large, broad sound, shading to the dark side and occasionally just a hair flat, but the fireworks from Radvanovsky, never really strained throughout a long evening, were the best part of this uneven production.

There were other high points, too, beginning with the company debut of Georgian tenor Shalva Mukeria, who sang the role for his U.S. debut at Santa Fe Opera in 2004. As Riccardo, Anne's former love, he had clarion high notes with plenty of room-filling squillo, a plaintive legato and sobbing tone, but was stiff as a board in his acting, less than believable as the ardent Percy. Mezzo-soprano Sonia Ganassi, last heard in Werther last spring, was good in the role of Giovanna Seymour, Anne's rival, especially in the Act II duet ("Sul suo capo aggravi un Dio") with Radvanovsky, one of the opera's best pieces, but with a somewhat mousy presence that prevented her from becoming a more brilliant foil to Anne. With some of the best little set pieces in the opera, mezzo-soprano Claudia Huckle, a former Domingo-Cafritz artist, had an excellent turn as Smeton, Anne's court musician. Bass Oren Gradus had a mixed company debut as Henry VIII, swaggering with a rough-hewn tone until he hit a bad patch in the second act, cracking badly on a high note ("Giustizia!).


Other Articles:

Anne Midgette, Radvanovsky shines in Washington National Opera’s ‘Anna Bolena’ (Washington Post, September 17)

---, Sondra Radvanovsky prepares for Washington National Opera’s ‘Anna Bolena’ (Washington Post, September 14)
WNO revived a dull-as-dust staging from the Dallas Opera, directed by Stephen Lawless, with a truly ugly set of IKEA-style wood panels that moved around unhelpfully (sets by Benoit Dugardyn), providing a backdrop, as in the photo above, that reminded me too much of my childhood friend's wood-paneled den in the 1970s. Moving pieces did little to distract from the plainness: the odd choice of rolling display cases (for the royal ermines and, curiously, the executioner's sword and block) and a bizarre added choreography in the hunt scene (featuring two bare-chested men wearing deer skull masks fighting each other). Because the opera was part of a trilogy staged by Lawless around the life of Elizabeth I, he added the young princess to this opera as a tween supernumerary (not in Felice Romani's libretto), although Elizabeth was not even three years old at the time of her mother's execution. The curving upper backdrop at the back of the stage, based on Shakespeare's Globe Theater, was routinely filled with members of the chorus, a device that became tiresome, as did the fawning menace of character tenor Aaron Blake as Sir Hervey, Henry's toady, their relationship tinged with an unspoken homoeroticism. Several of the cuts often made to the score were reversed in this performance, including in Percy's jail scene in Act II, making for a long evening in the theater. Conductor Antonello Allemandi, in a generally undistinguished company debut at the podium, used exaggerated gestures that did not really help much in coordinating pit and platform.

This production continues through October 6, at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

16.9.12

Classical Month in Washington (October)

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!

October 1, 2012 (Mon)
7 pm
Mozart, Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 2, 2012 (Tue)
12:10 pm
Noontime Cantata: O heilges Geist - und Wasserbad, BWV 165 [FREE]
Washington Bach Consort
Church of the Epiphany

October 3, 2012 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Donizetti, Anna Bolena
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 3, 2012 (Wed)
8 pm
West Virginia University Symphony
GMU Center for the Arts

October 4, 2012 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Kelley O'Connor (Lieberson, Neruda Songs)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

October 4, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Mozart, Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 4, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Lorenzo Gatto (violin) and Robert Giordano (piano)
Embassy Series
Embassy of Latvia

October 4, 2012 (Thu)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Markus Stenz (conductor) and Kolja Blacher (violin)
Music Center at Strathmore

October 4, 2012 (Thu)
8 pm
Eliza Garth, piano [FREE]
Cage, Sonatas and Interludes
Clarice Smith Center

October 5, 2012 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Rossini, Barber of Seville
Opera Bel Cantanti
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

October 5, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Kelley O'Connor (Lieberson, Neruda Songs)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

October 5, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
University of Maryland Symphony
With Nicholas Montopoli, violin
Music by Ravel, Lutoslawski, others
Clarice Smith Center

October 6, 2012 (Sat)
7 pm
Donizetti, Anna Bolena
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 6, 2012 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Cantate Chamber Singers
Chips Off the Old Bach: Music of the Bach Sons
St. John's Norwood Parish (Chevy Chase, Md.)

October 6, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir [FREE]
Library of Congress

October 6, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Kelley O'Connor (Lieberson, Neruda Songs)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

October 6, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Markus Stenz (conductor) and Kolja Blacher (violin)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
2 pm
Mozart, Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
2:30 pm
Rossini, Barber of Seville
Opera Bel Cantanti
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
Jupiter String Quartet [FREE]
National Academy of Sciences

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
Music by Schwantner
Clarice Smith Center

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Phillips Camerata
Phillips Collection

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
5:15 pm
Benjamin Straley, organ
Washington National Cathedral

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Mak Grgic (guitar) and Stephen Ackert (organ) [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

October 7, 2012 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society
Music by Beethoven, Fauré, Chausson
National Museum of American History

October 8, 2012 (Mon)
7:30 pm
Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 9, 2012 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Mozart, Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 10, 2012 (Wed)
6 pm
Vivaldi Project: Affetti Italiani [FREE]
Embassy of Italy

October 10, 2012 (Wed)
7 pm
Clarice Smith Lecture: Adam Gopnik [FREE]
Smithsonian American Art Museum

October 10, 2012 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Sphinx Virtuosi
With Catalyst Quartet and Elena Urioste, violin
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 10, 2012 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Veronika Dobi-Kiss (soprano) and George Peachey (piano)
Embassy Series
Embassy of Hungary

October 11, 2012 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto
Music of Wagner, Bruckner
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

October 11, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Shanghai Quartet [FREE]
Freer Gallery of Art

October 11, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Richard Goode, piano
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 12, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto
Music of Wagner, Bruckner
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

October 12, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Daniel Hope (violin) and Jeffrey Kahane (piano) [FREE]
Library of Congress

October 12, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Bizet, The Pearl Fishers
With Heather Buck
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

October 12, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Barns at Wolf Trap

October 12, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Prism Saxophone Quartet
Atlas Center

October 13, 2012 (Sat)
2 pm
Inon Barnatan, piano
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 13, 2012 (Sat)
7 pm
Mozart, Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 13, 2012 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Harmonious Blacksmith
Viva Italia
St George's Episcopal Church (Arlington, Va.)

October 13, 2012 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Rossini, Barber of Seville
Opera Bel Cantanti
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

October 13, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto
Music of Wagner, Bruckner
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

October 13, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
National Philharmonic
With Orli Shaham, piano
Music Center at Strathmore

October 13, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Weinberg Center (Frederick, Md.)

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
2 pm
Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Music by Bach, Mendelssohn
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
2 pm
Bizet, The Pearl Fishers
With Heather Buck
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
2:30 pm
Concert Artists of Baltimore
Music by Britten, Mendelssohn
Friedberg Hall, Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, Md.)

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
Rossini, Barber of Seville
Opera Bel Cantanti
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
National Philharmonic
With Orli Shaham, piano
Music Center at Strathmore

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
Left Bank Concert Society [FREE]
Music by Britten, Elgar
Smithsonian American Art Museum

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
The Unlikely Trio
Eclipse Chamber Orchestra
George Washington Masonic Temple (Alexandria, Va.)

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Charlie Albright, piano
Phillips Collection

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Washington Master Chorale
Music by Kodály, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky
National Presbyterian Church

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Washington Symphonic Brass
Amadeus Concerts
Saint Luke Church (McLean, Va.)

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Mason Symphony Orchestra
GMU Center for the Arts

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
5:15 pm
Peter King, organ
Washington National Cathedral

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
5:30 pm
Brentano String Quartet
Shriver Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
6 pm
What Makes It Great: Chopin
With Rob Kapilow (lecturer) and Brian Ganz (piano)
WPAS
National Museum of Natural History

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Thomas Mastroianni (piano), Alessandra Marc (soprano), and Ricardo Cyncynates (violin) [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

October 14, 2012 (Sun)
7 pm
Wind Soloists of New York
Dumbarton Oaks

October 15, 2012 (Mon)
8 pm
Wind Soloists of New York
Dumbarton Oaks

October 16, 2012 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Thomas Dunford, lute and theorbo
La Maison Française

October 16, 2012 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Prokofiev, Cinderella (Ratmansky)
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 16, 2012 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Prokofiev, Cinderella (Ratmansky)
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 16, 2012 (Tue)
8 pm
Mason Wind Symphony and Fairfax Wind Symphony
GMU Center for the Arts

October 17, 2012 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Prokofiev, Cinderella (Ratmansky)
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 18, 2012 (Thu)
1:30 pm
University of Maryland School of Music
Bach Cantata Series [FREE]
Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, BWV 211
Clarice Smith Center

October 18, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Prokofiev, Cinderella (Ratmansky)
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 19, 2012 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Prokofiev, Cinderella (Ratmansky)
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 19, 2012 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Embassy Series
Embassy of Austria

October 19, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Juanjo Mena (conductor) and Benedetto Lupo (piano)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

October 19, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Great Noise Ensemble
Atlas Center

October 20, 2012 (Sat)
1:30 and 7:30 pm
Prokofiev, Cinderella (Ratmansky)
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 20, 2012 (Sat)
7 pm
Choralis: An American Portrait
Schlesinger Concert Hall

October 20, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Juanjo Mena (conductor) and Benedetto Lupo (piano)
Music Center at Strathmore

October 20, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
Borromeo String Quartet
Music by Bach, Fairouz, Schubert
Candlelight Concert Society
Smith Theater, Howard Community College (Columbia, Md.)

October 20, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
Vida Guitar Quartet
Music by Bizet, Turina, Falla
Dumbarton Concerts

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
1:30 pm
Prokofiev, Cinderella (Ratmansky)
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
Bach Sinfonia
Music by Handel, Boyce, Avison, Bond
With Joshua Cohen, Baroque trumpet
Cultural Arts Center, Montgomery College (Silver Spring, Md.)

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
Eclipse Chamber Orchestra
George Washington Masonic Temple (Alexandria, Va.)

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
3 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Juanjo Mena (conductor) and Benedetto Lupo (piano)
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Music for string sextet and octet
GMU Center for the Arts

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Thibault Cauvin, guitar
Phillips Collection

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Cathedral Choral Society
Duruflé, Requiem
Washington National Cathedral

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
5 pm
Capital City Symphony
Atlas Center

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
6:30 pm
I Musici di Roma [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

October 21, 2012 (Sun)
7 pm
Choral Arts Society of Washington
La Música Latina
Lisner Auditorium

October 22, 2012 (Mon)
6 pm
Laurie Rubin, mezzo-soprano [FREE]
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

October 22, 2012 (Mon)
7:30 pm
New York Festival of Song
Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 25, 2012 (Thu)
6 pm
Suzanne Farrell Ballet [FREE]
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

October 25, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Musicians from Marlboro I [FREE]
Music by Haydn, Ligeti, Mendelssohn
Freer Gallery of Art

October 25, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Paul Huang, violin
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 25, 2012 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Israel Chamber Project
Embassy Series

October 26, 2012 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Alexandre Tharaud, piano
La Maison Française

October 26, 2012 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Amernet String Quartet with James Tocco, piano
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 26, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Cornelius Meister, conductor
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

October 26, 2012 (Fri)
8 pm
Pieter Wispelwey (cello) and Lois Shapiro (piano) [FREE]
Library of Congress

October 27, 2012 (Sat)
5 pm
21st Century Consort
Election Special: Music for Uncivil Discourse
Smithsonian American Art Museum

October 27, 2012 (Sat)
6 pm
Members of KC Opera House Orchestra [FREE]
Schubert, Octet
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

October 27, 2012 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra
Vienna Presbyterian Church

October 27, 2012 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Cornelius Meister, conductor
Music Center at Strathmore

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
1 and 3 pm
NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
2 pm
Cineconcert: The Mark of Zorro [FREE]
With live music by Hesperus
Smithsonian American Art Museum

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Cornelius Meister, conductor
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
3 and 7:30 pm
Dali Quartet
Mansion at Strathmore

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
4 pm
Leon McCawley, piano
Phillips Collection

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
5 pm
City Choir of Washington
Music of Handel
National Presbyterian Church

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
5 pm
Music of Heaven and Earth
Thomas Circle Singers
First Congregational United Church of Christ

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Tanya Vegvari Plescia, piano [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
7 pm
ETHEL with Todd Rundgren
Clarice Smith Center

October 28, 2012 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Chee-Yun (violin) and Alessio Bax (piano)

October 29, 2012 (Mon)
7:30 pm
Avanti Orchestra [FREE]
Friday Morning Music Club
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 29, 2012 (Mon)
7:30 pm
L'Invitation au Voyage [FREE]
Opera Lafayette
Atlas Center

October 30, 2012 (Tue)
12:10 pm
Armonia Nova [FREE]
Medieval music for autumn
Church of the Epiphany

October 30, 2012 (Tue)
7:30 pm
L'Invitation au Voyage
Opera Lafayette, with Emmanuelle de Negri, soprano
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 30, 2012 (Tue)
8 pm
András Schiff, piano
Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II
WPAS
Music Center at Strathmore

October 30, 2012 (Tue)
8 pm
Founder's Day Concert [FREE]
Library of Congress

October 31, 2012 (Wed)
10:30 am
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Youth Concert
Enchantment Theater: Wizards and Wands
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

October 31, 2012 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Christine Brewer, soprano
Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

October 31, 2012 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Andre Goricar, silent film pianist
Embassy Series
Embassy of Slovenia