The Scene Sounds of America
A Jazz Symphony and John Adams’s Fearful Symmetries) with Ravel’s equally bluesy and swinging Piano Concerto in G major. A longtime proponent of Bach (the main if not sole squeeze on three of her recordings) and his “strange beauty” pianist Simone Dinnerstein lets her hair down at the keyboard with this work, which is coupled with Milhaud’s La Création du monde. Vänskä rounds out the evening with Strauss’s epic Ein Heldenleben, which serves as a tidy companion piece to the conductor’s textbook renditions of Sibelius’s symphonies for all of the redolent instrumentations and sweeping imagery. www.minnesotaorchestra.org
New York Carnegie Hall Mariinsky Orchestra (October 5-11) Though it’s only October, Valery Gergiev gears up for winter when he ships the Mariinsky Orchestra back to Carnegie Hall for a cycle of Tchaikovsky’s six symphonies — plus other Russian classics. The composer’s first and last symphonies (No 1, Winter Daydreams and No 6, Pathétique) will be featured on October 6, before the orchestra moves into pairings of the Second and Fifth (October 9) and Third and Fourth (October 10).
The orchestra promises a flourish of colours and movement, as Gergiev notes: “If you ignore the fact that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a great man of theatre, you may not understand why his symphonies can be such an exciting journey for the public.” The Mariinsky musicians give an encore performance on October 11 with a closing concert that further emphasises theatrics with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Shostakovich’s Symphony No 1. www.carnegiehall.org
QuebeC CitY Les Violons du roy Divine Karina (October 7) Soprano Karina Gauvin (who also appears with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra this month; see below for more information) isn’t one to hold back. Her razor-sharp soprano cuts deep and delivers a profound impact, chiefly on her Britten recital disc, recorded with Les Violons du Roy and released on ATMA last year. Once again appearing with conductor Bernard Labadie and his musicians, Gauvin turns towards the works of Porpora and early
Mozart, offering up such gems as “Aer tranquillo” from the latter’s Il Re Pastore and “Non son io che parlo” and “Nobil onda” from the latter’s Adelaïde. Les Violons du Roy also play Rigel’s Symphony in C minor and Haydn’s The Clock Symphony No 101 in D major. www.violonsduroy.com toroNto toronto Symphony orchestra Beethoven Eroica (October 12-13) Sir Andrew Davis and the TSO face some stiff competition at the beginning of this month when it comes to performing Beethoven’s titanic Eroica. However, the composer’s detailed and dynamic (and practically foolproof) Third symphony cannot be heard too often, especially when its performed by such illustrious orchestras as LACO and the TSO. Sir Andrew builds up to the potent and punctuating opening notes with works by Bach (arranged by the conductor) and Mozart in the former’s organ piece Passacaglia and Fugue, BMV 582 and the latter’s Piano Concerto No 25, performed by Louis Lortie, a pianist with a flair for Ravel, Chopin and Beethoven.
He brings some of their sensibilities to Mozart, mining his music for what he believes to be the composer’s hidden sensuality: “It’s really like somebody who’s going to a nice dinner and behaves very well at the table, but maybe he’s putting his hands on the girl’s knees under the table and nobody notices,” he once told a Vancouver news source. Here’s hoping he won’t keep his hands to himself tonight. www.tso.ca
CLeVeLaNd the Cleveland orchestra Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto (October 13-15) Denmark’s musical profile has been raised since violinist Nicolaj Znaider came along. Drawing comparisons early on to the seasoned virtuoso Gidon Kremer for his incisive intelligence and fervent zeal, Znaider puts his gifts to good use with Tchaikovsky’s passionate Violin Concerto under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. Audiophiles may remember Znaider’s 2009 disc of Brahms and Korngold’s violin concertos, which serves as a preview to the lush riches the violinist may mine from Tchaikovsky. The programme on October 13 and 15 builds up to this landmark of the violin canon with Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe and Mendelssohn’s
Valery Gergiev: conducts at carnegie Hall
Scottish Symphony No 3, while the October 14 concert frames it differently, sandwiching the work between Stravinsky’s Agon and Ravel’s Boléro, perhaps highlighting the piece’s duality in both the Romantic and Modern worlds. www.clevelandorchestra.com
LoS aNgeLeS Los angeles Philharmonic Dudamel and Bronfman (October 13-15) Pianist Yefim Bronfman returns to LA to reprise his Grammy-winning performance of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No 3 – a concerto the Hungarian composer wrote for his wife but died before finishing – with the LA Philharmonic. Los Angeles may not be a hot spot for watching the autumn leaves turn, but you can hear the sonic equivalent in the first few bars of this work, with the piano entering like a crisp autumnal breeze and the orchestra underscoring its melody like dappled fall sunlight. Dudamel kicks off the programme with Claude Vivier’s Orion, an excellent introduction to the increasingly popular composer’s canon and complementary to the luminescence of Bartók. Rounding out the evening is Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Symphony No 5. www.laphil.com www.gramophone.co.uk
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