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18.12.13

Classical Music Agenda: February 2014

February, it turns out, will be the month for the Library of Congress. While more of this storied concert series's budget appears to be going to music beyond the scope of these pages, we will be looking for a seat in the Coolidge Auditorium -- the best acoustic in the city, now that the exquisite venue at the Corcoran Gallery of Art is no longer really hosting concerts -- on many nights that month. Here are my top ten picks for the concerts most important to hear in the shortest month of the year.

available at Amazon
Bach, Brandenburg Concertos, Freiburger Barockorchester, G. von der Goltz
(DVD)
EuroArts Invitation 2050316
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:
The month starts with a visit by the Freiburger Barockorchester, whose recording of Bach's orchestra suites was one of my top picks among recordings and DVDs reviewed this year. The group will reportedly be performing all six of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos at the Library of Congress (February 4). Their recording of these works is one of my must-have alternative versions, a film made in the room for which Bach possibly intended these concertos, the Spiegelsaal (Hall of Mirrors) of Schloß Köthen, recently restored. (This DVD falls into the trouble that all DVDs of musical performances have, too many uncomfortable closeups, but it has good sound and contains beautiful renditions of all six concertos. No. 1 has some of the best horn playing of any recording I know.)

We would also not miss the programs being offered by two excellent string quartets: the JACK Quartet joined by pianist Ursula Oppens (February 14) goes all contemporary, with music by Feldman, Ferneyhough, Carter, Anderson, and Adès, and the Quatuor Ébène (February 20) playing quartets by Haydn, Schumann, and Mendelssohn. The month concludes with one of my favorite musicians, harpsichordist Mitzi Meyerson (February 22), who will play music by Rameau, Bach, Purcell, and others, at least partly on the nutty Pleyel harpsichord-plus owned by Wanda Landowska.

VOICES:
A winter journey to Charm City is required for the performance of Schubert's Winterreise by baritone Gerald Finley and pianist Julius Drake (February 9) at Baltimore's Shriver Hall.


Jake Heggie's operatic adaptation of Moby-Dick lands at the Kennedy Center Opera House this month, presented by Washington National Opera in the production already seen in Dallas and San Francisco (February 22 to March 8). I have seen it only on PBS, but I concur with our esteemed reviewer, Robert R. Reilly, that the work's creators "have not completely succeeded for the simple fact that no one could," but there is much to admire in the work.

INSTRUMENTS:
The series of recitals on the new organ in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall opened with Cameron Carpenter this fall. It continues with a performer we find much more rewarding, Paul Jacobs, who will play music by Vierne, Duruflé, Guilmant, plus Nadia Boulanger's F minor prelude and Messiaen's Livre du Saint Sacrement -- Le Dieu caché (February 5).

The National Symphony Orchestra presents two of our favorite violinists playing new concertos, and we cannot choose between them. Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Sebastian Currier's Time Machines, plus Martinů's first symphony and Janáček's suite from The Cunning Little Vixen, conducted by Cristian Macelaru (February 13 -- note that she replaces Currier with the Dvořák violin concerto on February 14 and 15). Christian Tetzlaff plays Jörg Widmann's violin concerto under Christoph Eschenbach, with the first and second symphonies of Beethoven rounding out the NSO's complete Beethoven symphony cycle (February 27 to March 1).


UNUSUAL:
We are delighted by the annual visits by the Mark Morris Dance Group to the Center for the Arts at George Mason University. Last year's astounding Socrate is followed this year by a mixed bill of Italian Concerto, the local premiere of A Wooden Tree, Jenn and Spencer (music by Cowell), and Crosswalk (music by Weber) on February 22.

Of course we recommend any performance by Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin, last in the area just last spring. Pro Musica Hebraica presents Kissin for An Evening of Jewish Music and Poetry (February 24) in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Kissin, who just became an Israeli citizen this month, will perform music including Alexander Veprik's second sonata and Ernest Bloch's op. 40 piano sonata, interspersed with a selection of his favority Yiddish poetry.

The rest of the schedule will run through the sidebar.



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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!

February 1, 2014 (Sat)
1:30 and 7:30 pm
Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 1, 2014 (Sat)
2 pm
Benjamin Hochman, piano
WPAS
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 1, 2014 (Sat)
6 pm
Paul Watkins (cello) and Huw Watkins (piano)
National Museum of Natural History

February 1, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Joshua Bell (violin), Matthias Goerne (baritone), Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 1, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Screening of Chaplin, The Idle Class, The Kid
Music Center at Strathmore

February 1, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Haifa Symphony Orchestra of Israel
GMU Center for the Arts

February 2, 2014 (Sun)
12 noon
U.S. Air Force Band [FREE]
In honor of the Year of Military Women
National Museum of Women in the Arts

February 2, 2014 (Sun)
1:30 pm
Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake
Mariinsky Ballet
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 2, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
Andreas Brantelid (cello) and Gloria Chien (piano)
Music by Schubert, Debussy, Grieg
Phillips Collection

February 2, 2014 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone [FREE]
Schubert, Schwanengesang
National Gallery of Art

February 4, 2014 (Tue)
7 pm
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 4, 2014 (Tue)
8 pm
Freiburger Barockorchester [FREE]
Library of Congress

February 5, 2014 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 5, 2014 (Wed)
8 pm
Paul Jacobs, organ
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 6, 2014 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Steven Isserlis, cello
Music by Haydn, Schumann, Brahms
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 6, 2014 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 7, 2014 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 7, 2014 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 7, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Steven Isserlis, cello
Music by Haydn, Schumann, Brahms
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 8, 2014 (Sat)
1 pm
Jessica Crash, composer
On the Cusp of Romanticism
Mansion at Strathmore

February 8, 2014 (Sat)
1:30 and 7:30 pm
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 8, 2014 (Sat)
7 pm
Monteverdi, Vespers of the Blessed Virgin
Seraphic Fire
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

February 8, 2014 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 8, 2014 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Brian Ganz, piano
JCCGW (Rockville, Md.)

February 8, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Steven Isserlis, cello
Music by Haydn, Schumann, Brahms
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 8, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Sybarite5
WPAS
Sixth and I Synagogue

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
1:30 pm
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
2 pm
Kennedy Center Chamber Players
Music by Paganini, Grieg, Leisner, Beethoven
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
3 pm
Inscape
Music by Boyer, Bates, Barber
Mansion at Strathmore

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
3 pm
Left Bank Concert Society [FREE]
Smithsonian American Art Museum

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
3 pm
Eclipse Chamber Orchestra
Music by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms
George Washington Masonic Memorial (Alexandria, Va.)

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
Simone Dinnerstein, piano
WPAS
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
Mivos Quartet
Phillips Collection

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
The King's Singers
Great American Songbook
GMU Center for the Arts

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
5 pm
Tina Chancey and Amy Domingues, violas da gamba
Music of Hume, Ste. Colombe, Kühnel, Telemann
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Arlington, Va.)

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
5:30 pm
Gerald Finley (baritone) and Julius Drake (piano)
Shriver Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Fine Arts Quartet [FREE]
Music by Kreisler and Zymbalist
National Gallery of Art

February 9, 2014 (Sun)
7 pm
Ashu (saxophone)
Dumbarton Oaks

February 10, 2014 (Mon)
8 pm
Ashu (saxophone)
Dumbarton Oaks

February 12, 2014 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Bowen McCauley Dance
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 12, 2014 (Wed)
8 pm
St. Petersburg Philharmonic
With Vilde Frang, violin
WPAS
Music Center at Strathmore

February 13, 2014 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin) and Cristian Macelaru (conductor)
Music by Currier, Martinů, Janáček
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 13, 2014 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Bowen McCauley Dance
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 14, 2014 (Fri)
7 pm
JACK Quartet with Ursula Oppens, piano [FREE]
Library of Congress

February 14, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin) and Cristian Macelaru (conductor)
Music by Dvořák, Martinů, Janáček
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 14, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Gilbert Varga, conductor
Music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 14, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

February 15, 2014 (Sat)
5 pm
21st Century Consort
Smithsonian American Art Museum

February 15, 2014 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Metropolitan Opera National Council: Middle Atlantic Region Auditions
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 15, 2014 (Sat)
7:30 pm
Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 15, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin) and Cristian Macelaru (conductor)
Music by Dvořák, Martinů, Janáček
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 15, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Gilbert Varga, conductor
Music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky
Music Center at Strathmore

February 15, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Clarice Smith Center

February 16, 2014 (Sun)
2 pm
Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos
Virginia Opera
GMU Center for the Arts

February 16, 2014 (Sun)
3 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
With Gilbert Varga, conductor
Music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 16, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
William Barton, didgeridoo
Phillips Collection

February 16, 2014 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Aron Zelkowicz, cello [FREE]
National Gallery of Art

February 16, 2014 (Sun)
7:30 pm
Robert Mealy (violin) and Kenneth Slowik (harpsichord)
Music of J.S. Bach
Smithsonian Castle

February 18, 2014 (Tue)
8 pm
Venice Baroque Orchestra
Tuesday Evening Concert Series (Charlottesville, Va.)

February 20, 2014 (Thu)
5 pm
Making of Moby-Dick
With Jake Heggie, composer
Kennedy Center Atrium

February 20, 2014 (Thu)
8 pm
Quatuor Ébène [FREE]
Library of Congress

February 21, 2014 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Paul Huang (violin) and Jessica Osborne (piano)
Mansion at Strathmore

February 21, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
ATOS Trio
The Light that Shines in the Darkness (inspired by Tolstoy)
Barns at Wolf Trap

February 21, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
Excelsa Quartet [FREE]
Clarice Smith Center

February 22, 2014 (Sat)
2 pm
Mitzi Meyerson, harpsichord [FREE]
Library of Congress

February 22, 2014 (Sat)
5 pm
Cathedral Choral Society
Screening of The Passion of Joan of Arc (dir. Carl Dreyer)
With music by Richard Einhorn, Hildegard of Bingen
Washington National Cathedral

February 22, 2014 (Sat)
7 pm
Heggie, Moby-Dick
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 22, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Brian Ganz, piano
Music by Chopin
Music Center at Strathmore

February 22, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Mark Morris Dance Group
Italian Concerto and others
GMU Center for the Arts

February 22, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
Kronos Quartet and Trio Da Kali
Clarice Smith Center

February 22, 2014 (Sat)
8 pm
PostClassical Ensemble
Scenes from Childhood
Dumbarton Concerts

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
1 and 3 pm
Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf
With Michael Boudewyns, actor
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
3 pm
Kate Liu, piano
Music by Haydn, Kirchner, Chopin
Church of the Annunciation

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
3 pm
Washington Piano Society, Winter Concert [FREE]
Calvary Lutheran Church (Silver Spring, Md.)

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
Gould Piano Trio
Music by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Stanford
Phillips Collection

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
Mark Morris Dance Group
Italian Concerto and others
GMU Center for the Arts

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
City Choir of Washington
Music by French composers
St. Luke Catholic Church (McLean, Va.)

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
Ibis Chamber Music
Lyon Village Community House

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
4 pm
Amadeus Winds
Music by Mozart, Strauss, Stravinsky
St. Francis Episcopal Church (Great Falls, Va.)

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
5:30 pm
Gil Shaham (violin)
Music by Bach
Shriver Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 23, 2014 (Sun)
6:30 pm
Louise Toppin (soprano) and Leon Bates (piano) [FREE]
Spirituals and other music by African American composers
National Gallery of Art

February 24, 2014 (Mon)
7:30 pm
An Evening of Jewish Music and Poetry: Evgeny Kissin
Pro Musica Hebraica
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 24, 2014 (Mon)
7:30 pm
Aaron Goldman (flute), Sue Heineman (bassoon), Audrey Andrist (piano) [FREE]
Clarice Smith Center

February 25, 2014 (Tue)
7:30 pm
Heggie, Moby-Dick
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 26, 2014 (Wed)
7:30 pm
Hei-Kyung Hong, soprano
Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

February 26, 2014 (Wed)
8 pm
Pilobolus
Music Center at Strathmore

February 27, 2014 (Thu)
7 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Music by Beethoven, Widmann
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 27, 2014 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Concert
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 27, 2014 (Thu)
7:30 pm
Shanghai Quartet [FREE]
Freer Gallery of Art

February 27, 2014 (Thu)
8 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Music by Mozart
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.)

February 28, 2014 (Fri)
7:30 pm
Heggie, Moby-Dick
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

February 28, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
National Symphony Orchestra
With Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Music by Beethoven, Widmann
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

February 28, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
Music by Messiaen, Mackey, Mozart
Clarice Smith Center

February 28, 2014 (Fri)
8 pm
Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
Music by Mozart, Bruckner
Maryland Hall (Annapolis, Md.)

February 28, 2014 (Fri)
8:15 pm
Off the Cuff: Mozart
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Music Center at Strathmore

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