Upcoming and Noteworthy

Photo courtesy of Brigette Lacombe

Glenda Jackson is performing the role of "King Lear" on Broadway, a few years after her triumph in another production of the play on London’s West End. Hear Theatre Critic Howard Shapiro's review of this production on In a Broadway Minute Friday (4/12 at 8 am) and Saturday (4/13 at 10 am).

IRIS Wired, The Classical Network's bi-monthly series of concerts by the IRIS Orchestra, this Friday (4/12 at 8 pm) features a program based on the theme of Springtime and Beauty. Founder, conductor and Artistic Director Michael Stern conducts the Hebrides Overture of Mendelssohn, Korngold's Violin Concerto with soloist Elena Urioste, Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Schumann's Symphony No. 1 ("Spring").

Based in Germantown, Tenn., the IRIS Orchestra is made up of preeminent musicians from around the country and led by Maestro Stern, son of the legendary violinist.

With Passover and Easter right around the corner, we’re entering the peak season for Bible movies.  This week on “Picture Perfect,” it’s an hour of music from epics inspired by the Old Testament – including “Samson and Delilah” (Victor Young), “Solomon and Sheba” (Mario Nascimbene), “Sodom and Gomorrah” (Miklós Rózsa), and “The Ten Commandments” (Elmer Bernstein).  Chariots!  Tunics!  Histrionic acting!  It’s going to be epic, this Friday at 6 pm.

Friday's (4-12) Noon Concert from Baruch Performing Arts Center includes Brian Mulligan singing Walden by Gregory Spears & Dominick Argento's From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.

Music in the Age of Tinoretto-Artist of Renaissance Venice is the title of the program we hear from Parthenia on Thursday's (4-11) Noon Concert. We'll hear music by Maschera, Tromboncino, Ruffo, Cara, Willaert, a half dozen or so other 16th to 17th century composers and Tomb Sonnets for countertenor & viol consort by contemporary composer Martin Kennedy.

Hear both sacred and secular music by William Byrd on Friday's Distant Mirror. The Choir of Winchester Catheral under David Hill perform Byrd's Mass for 3 Voices. Then two consorts: The Leaves Be Gren, a praeludium and ground with Capriccio Stravagante directed by Skip Sempe. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

A Tempo this week looks at how two upcoming performances reflect efforts to explore the impact of social, historic and economic trends on cities. Host Rachel Katz will speak with composer Derek Bermel and librettist Wendy S.

James Jordan, professor and senior conductor at Westminster Choir College, hosts Sounds Choral this Sunday (4/14 at 2 pm), presenting Howard Goodall's Invictus: A Passion.

A Basque opera?  We’ll have one on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/14 3:00 p.m.) as we turn to Jesus Guridi’s “Amaya.”  Guridi (1886 – 1961) played an important role as a Spanish / Basque composer who wrote operas and zarzuelas as well as orchestral, piano, choral, and organ works.  “Amaya” deals with several conflicts on which hangs the future of the Basque people in the 8th century.  Christianity is threatening the old religion, the Moors are invading Spain, and Amaya has to choose between the love of a Christian invader and that of a long-time Basque admirer.  She does, with tragic consequences.  

The Dress Circle this week (4/14 7:00 p.m.) will be heading off to Carnegie Hall for some concert performances, and there won’t be a single note of classical music.  In 1938, Benny Goodman took a chance and presented the first jazz concert at the hall, and it was successful.  The hall was filled, people danced and enjoyed the concert, and they didn’t tear the seats apart as was feared.  Since that time, there have been a variety of concerts, and we’ll be looking at a few of them.  

Schubert and Rossini this week on The Lyric Stage

Apr 11, 2019

Schubert wanted success with opera. But the success eluded him, and often the operas did not make it on stage until far past his lifetime. This week's one act "The Four Year Post", waited until 1896, 68 years after his death, for its first staging.

The plot concerns Duval, who has deserted the army to remain with his wife Käthchen; when troops arrive to arrest him, he persuades the General – with the help of the villagers – that he has spent four years at his sentry post waiting for relief that never came, and he is released.

Sunday evening (4-14) at 11 we'll hear the Clarinet Concerto by Einojuhani Rautavaara and the Sinfonietta by his student, Kimmo Hakola.  Also on the program is Fisher Tull's Symphonic Treatise. Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

Wednesday 4-10 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear violinist Christine Lim and pianist Xiaohui Yang in Clara Schumann's Three Romances, op. 22, Robert Schumann's Sonata No. 1 and Beethoven's Sonata No. 7, op. 30, no. 2.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Sunday evening, 4-7 at 11 on Half Past we present An Elizabethan Songbook by Eric Ewazen, the Viola Quintet (Unquiet Parables) by Carson Cooman and György Ligeti's Violin Concerto.  Music composed in the past half-century on Half Past.

The Lost Chord: April 7 - Myth Conceptions

Apr 7, 2019

Medusa.  The Sirens.  The Fates.  Pandora.  Female characters from classical mythology provide the inspiration for Stacy Garrop’s “Mythology Symphony.”  Likewise, archetypes from Homer inform Sarah Kirkland Snider’s post-genre song cycle “Penelope.”  Enduring myths of the ancient world are viewed from fresh perspectives, this Sunday at 10 pm.

This week we have selctions from Arabella, by Richard Strauss, with the libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Arabella premiered in 1933, and the story has been something of a problem as the two collaborators had not yet completely worked out the the final two thirds of the opera when Hofmannsthal suddenly died. That has led to one of those situations in which unfinished plot elements means parts and pieces are sometimes shifted around, and is perhaps the reason why it is not performed as much as other Strauss operas.

The Martin Best Ensemble visits Distant Mirror this Fiday evening with several of the Cantigas of Santa Maria from the 13th century  court of  Alfonso X, the Wise, King of Castile, songs in honor of the Virgin Mary in the tradition of the Provencal troubadors.  Also on the program, the Mass for 4 Voices of William Byrd performed by the Tallis Scholars.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Picture Perfect: April 5 - Mythological Mash-up

Apr 5, 2019

Release the Kraken!  The focus this week is on classical mythology.  Okay, so the Kraken is Scandinavian…  Tune in for selections from “Helen of Troy” (Max Steiner), “Clash of the Titans” (Laurence Rosenthal), “Hercules” (Pino Donaggio), and “Jason and the Argonauts” (Bernard Herrmann).  You won’t want to myth it, this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

On this Friday's (4-5) Noon Concert we'll hear pianist Zhenni Li in music by Claude Debussy, Beethoven, Mussorgsky and Samuel Szyman.  Violist Matthew Cohen joins her for York Bowen's Phantasy.

A Tempo this Saturday (4/6 at 7 pm) turns a spotlight on the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia's College of Physicians, which will feature a presentation by pianist, composer and music historian Robert Greenberg  on April 15 entitled "We Need No Longer Be Afraid," exploring the way the music of Stravinsky, Debussy and Schoenberg shook up to music world while reflecting the changes taking place in the world at the dawn of the 20th century.

We’ll be celebrating another forgotten opera on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/7 3:00 p.m.) as we look at the Hermann Goetz treatment of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” entitled “Widerspenstigen Zahmung.”  Goetz spent the early part of his short life as a pianist, conductor, and music critic, only concentrating on composing as the effects of the tuberculosis that would kill him at age 35 increased, so it’s doubly sad that this delightful opera has all but disappeared.  

What do “Matilda,” “Hair,” “A Chorus Line,” “Big River,” “Waitress,” and “Rent” have in common?  They’re all on this week’s Dress Circle (4/7 7:00 p.m.) because they all opened this month.  Join Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky as they survey some of the shows of April that also include “The Producers,” “Miss Saigon,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” and “Annie” as well.   Don’t forget to visit our Webcasts for any past shows you might have missed and visit our highly suspect website at www.DCSRO.com.

Thursday's (4/4) Noontime Concert from the ensemble Mélomanie features chamber music by three living composers: Matthias Maute,  Liduino Pitombeira & Roberto Pace, and Schiefendecker (1679-1732), Delalande (1657-1726) and  Guillemante (fl. 1750s) from the Baroque era.

Wednesday, 4-3 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson for soprano and piano by Aaron Copland and Beethoven's Sonata in D major, op. 102, no. 2 for cello & piano.  Performances by students at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Sunday evening, 3-31 at 11 on Half Past we'll hear: Fratres by Arvo Pärt, the Triple Concerto by John Biggs, The Eight Houses of I Ching by Udo Kasemets and Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

For some people, being a master in one field, it seems, just isn’t enough.  We’ll hear works by three successful composer-painters, including the cantankerous American modernist Carl Ruggles, the Lithuanian romantic Mikalojus Čiurlionis, and the German-American expressionist Lyonel Feininger.  Prepare to see double, with an hour of music by ambidextrous artists, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Professional opera companies perform Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata more than any other opera. The title role is a touchstone role for a soprano, and the last one hundred years of recordings features almost all of the sopranos whose voice fit the role giving their version of it. 

A real musical menu is on offer for this week’s Dress Circle (3/31 7:00 p.m.).  No, there won’t be any singing produce, but there will be songs from “The Most Happy Fella,” “The Fantasticks,” “Kismet,” “Flower Drum Song,” “A Night in Venice,” and “She Loves Me.”  The menu includes spaghetti, pie, ice cream, Caesar salad, guacamole, wine, and a trip to the supermarket for more.  Tune in for a fun look at some incredible edibles. 

It's the music of 13th century French composer Adam de la Halle on Friday's Distant Mirror. Adam was a trouveres in the service of Robert of Anjou, brother of Louis IX.  He wrote chansons, motets and rondos, and you can hear several of these as the Dufay Collective perform from their cd On the Banks of the Seine. Also on the program two selections by John Dowland, as well as pieces by Robert Morton, Christopher Tye and Alfonso Ferrabosco the Younger. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.