Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September calendar


Classical performances in and around Richmond, with selected events elsewhere in Virginia and the Washington area. Program information, provided by presenters, is updated as details become available. Adult single-ticket prices are listed; senior, student/youth, group and other discounts may be offered.

* In and around Richmond: An abbreviated September concert schedule, as the city’s central districts and some other neighborhoods are given over to the 2015 UCI Road World Championships bicycle races, Sept. 19-27. The Catalyst Quartet plays Beethoven, Bartók and Brahms, Sept. 9 at the Modlin Arts Center of the University of Richmond. . . . The Richmond Symphony opens its 2015-16 season with Steven Smith conducting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, plus short works by Berlioz and John Adams, Sept. 12-13 at Richmond CenterStage. The symphony also will perform at the bike races’ opening ceremony, Sept. 18 on Brown’s Island. . . . Andrew McEvoy opens Virginia Commonwealth University’s Guitar Series, Sept. 13 at VCU’s Singleton Arts Center. . . . Cellist Schuyler Slack and pianist Daniel Stipe play sonatas by Gabriel Fauré and Frank Bridge, both composed during World War I, in “War and Peace,” Sept. 18 at Trinity Lutheran Church. . . . Pianist Alexander Paley presents his 18th Richmond music festival, joined by his wife and piano four-hands partner, Peiwen Chen, as well as the Richmond Symphony Chamber Chorus, violinist Daisuke Yamamoto, clarinetist Charles West and other guest artists, playing works by Schubert, Enescu, Vivaldi, Ravel, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns and others, Sept. 25-27 at St. Luke Lutheran Church.

* Noteworthy elsewhere: The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, opening with the new-music quartet Brooklyn Rider on Sept. 8, continues with six more programs, through Sept. 20 at the Paramount Theater, Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia and The Southern Café and Music Hall. . . . Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and composer-pianist Jake Heggie introduce a new song cycle by Heggie and perform works by Schumann, Berlioz and Ned Rorem, Sept. 12 at Washington’s Kennedy Center. . . . Violinist Sarah Chang joins JoAnn Falletta and the Virginia Symphony in a season-opening program of Bernstein, Ravel, Barber and Brahms, Sept. 18-20 at venues in Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. . . . Bizet’s “Carmen” opens Washington National Opera’s new season, with eight performances from Sept. 19-29 (and two more in early October) at the Kennedy Center. . . . Virginia Opera opens its season with an English-language production of Jacques Offenbach’s comedy “Orpheus in the Underworld,” with three performances from Sept. 25-29 at Norfolk’s Harrison Opera House (and four more in October at venues in Fairfax and Richmond).
. . . Violinist Itzhak Perlman, on his 70th birthday tour with pianist Emanuel Ax, plays Mozart, Fauré, Richard Strauss and more, Sept. 28 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Behzod Abduraimov, the acclaimed young Uzbek pianist, plays Schubert, Liszt and Mussorgsky in the season-opener of the Tuesday Evening Concerts in Charlottesville, Sept. 29 at UVa’s Old Cabell Hall.


Sept. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
31st Street Stage, Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
conductor TBA
program TBA
free
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Sept. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, 121 Ukrop Way, Williamsburg
Sept. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Yorktown Riverwalk Landing, 425 Water St.
Sept. 6 (7 p.m.)
Chesapeake City Park, 900 Greenbriar Road
Virginia Symphony
Benjamin Rous conducting
Saint-Saëns: “Samson et Delila” – Bacchanale
Beethoven: “Egmont” Overture
Bartók: “Rumanian Folk Dances”
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C minor (“Little Russian”) – finale
Walton: “Crown Imperial”
Elgar: “Pomp and Circumstance” March No. 1
Custer: “Salute to the Big Apple”
Jerry Brubaker: “What’s Up at the Symphony?”
Leroy Anderson: “Blue Tango”
Rado & Long: “Hair” (excerpts)
free
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Sept. 5 (8 p.m.)
Bruton Parish Church, 201 Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg
Cheryl van Ornam, organ
program TBA
free
(757) 229-2891
www.brutonparish.org

Sept. 5 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
“Vivaldi Project” Concert:
Elizabeth Field & David Sariti, violins
Stephanie Vial, cello
Charlotte Mattox Moersch, harpsichord
works TBA by Vivaldi, Corelli, Purcell, others
$10
(free masterclass, 3 p.m. Sept. 4, 113 Old Cabell Hall)
(434) 924-3376
www.music.virginia.edu

Sept. 6 (8 p.m.)
West Lawn, U.S. Capitol, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Steven Reineke conducting
Kate Davis, vocalist
Soldiers’ Chorus of U.S. Army Field Band
program TBA
free
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Sept. 8 (8 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival:
Brooklyn Rider
“The Brooklyn Rider Almanac” (selections)
Schubert: Quartet in A minor, D. 804 (“Rosamunde”)
$18-$25
(434) 295-5395
www.cvillechambermusic.org

Sept. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
Camp Concert Hall, Modlin Arts Center, University of Richmond
Catalyst Quartet
Beethoven: Quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3
Bartók: Quartet No. 3
Brahms: Quartet No. 3 in B flat major, Op. 67
$32
(804) 289-8980
www.modlin.richmond.edu

Sept. 10 (8 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival:
Sharon Roffman, violin
Timothy Summers, violin/viola
Raphael Bell, cello
Benjamin Hochman, piano
Beethoven: Piano Trio in D major, Op. 70, No. 1 (“Ghost”)
Chopin: Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 45
Chopin: Barcarolle in F sharp minor, Op. 60
Chopin: Scherzo in C sharp minor, Op. 39
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25
$18-$25
(434) 295-5395
www.cvillechambermusic.org

Sept. 10 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Seaman conducting
Season Preview Concert:
Debussy: “Images” – “Ibéria”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major (“Pastoral”) – 1st movement
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor (“Scottish”) – 3rd movement
Prokofiev: “Romeo and Juliet” – “The Montagues and the Capulets,” “Masks,” “Death of Tybald”
Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons” – “Spring”
Jonathan Carney, violin
Christopher Seaman, harpsichord
Elgar: “Enigma Variations”
$15
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Sept. 11 (12:30 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival:
Timothy Summers & Sharon Roffman, violins
Raphael Bell, cello
Mimi Solomon, piano
works by Rachmaninoff, Kreisler, Gershwin, others
free
(434) 295-5395
www.cvillechambermusic.org

Sept. 12 (8 p.m.)
Sept. 13 (3 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage, Sixth and Grace streets
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting
Adams: “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”
Berlioz: “King Lear” Overture
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”)
Kishna Davis-Fowler, soprano
Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano
Marco Panuccio, tenor
Kevin Deas, bass
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin Freeman directing
$10-$78
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Sept. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Town Point Park, Norfolk
Virginia Opera singers
Virginia Symphony
Adam Turner conducting
arias and ensembles TBA by Mozart, Offenbach, Puccini, Gounod, Wagner, Bernstein, others
free
(866) 673-7282
www.vaopera.org

Sept. 12 (7 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Vocal Arts DC:
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano
Jake Heggie, piano
Heggie: “Iconic Legacies”
Schumann: “Frauenliebe und -leben”
songs TBA by Berlioz, Ned Rorem
$50
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Sept. 13 (4 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
VCU Guitar Series:
Andrew McEvoy, classical guitar
program TBA
$15
(804) 828-6776
www.arts.vcu.edu/music

Sept. 13 (3 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival:
Jennifer Frautschi, Sharon Roffman & Timothy Summers, violins
David Quiggle & Dov Scheindlin, violas
Raphael Bell & James Wilson, cellos
Emma Schied, oboe
Mozart: Oboe Quartet in F major, K. 370
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Cantilena for oboe and string quartet
Bruckner: String Quintet in F major
$18-$25
(434) 295-5395
www.cvillechambermusic.org

Sept. 16 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
“The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest”
performers TBA
$45-$150
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Sept. 17 (8 p.m.)
Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Charlottesville
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival:
Timothy Summers, violin
Yura Lee, violin/viola
David Quiggle, viola
Raphael Bell, cello
Nicholas Walker, double-bass
I-Jen Fang, percussion
Emma Schied, oboe
Matthew Hunt, clarinet
Bartók: duos for 2 violas
Osvaldo Golijov: “Mariel” for marimba and cello
Hindemith: “Little Musical Flower Garden and Leipzigish Assortment”
Alejandro Viñao: “Tumblers” for violin, marimba and computer
Prokofiev: Quintet in G minor, Op. 39, for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and double-bass
$18-$25
(434) 295-5395
www.cvillechambermusic.org

Sept. 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall, Virginia Tech Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg
United States Marine Band (“The President’s Own”)
Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig directing
program TBA
free; tickets required
(540) 231-5300
www.artscenter.vt.edu

Sept. 18 (6:30 p.m.)
Brown’s Island, Seventh and Tredegar streets, Richmond
2015 UCI Road World Championships Opening Ceremony:
Richmond Symphony
Steven Smith conducting
Richmond Symphony Chorus
Erin Freeman directing
Rayvon Owen, vocalist
program TBA
free; tickets required
(804) 788-5820
www.eventbrite.com/e/uci-road-world-championships-opening-ceremony-tickets-18135981208

Sept. 18 (7 p.m.)
Trinity Lutheran Church, 2315 N. Parham Road, Richmond
Schuyler Slack, cello
Daniel Stipe, piano
Fauré: Cello Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 109
Frank Bridge: Cello Sonata in D minor
free
(804) 270-4626
www.trinityrichmond.net

Sept. 18 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Sept. 19 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Sept. 20 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Barber: “The School for Scandal” Overture
Bernstein: “West Side Story” Suite for violin and orchestra
Ravel: “Tzigane”
Sarah Chang, violin
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major
$25-$110
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Sept. 18 (8:30 p.m.)
The Southern Café and Music Hall, 103 First St. south, Charlottesville
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival:
Yura Lee & Timothy Summers, violins
David Quiggle, viola
Raphael Bell, cello
Kalle Kalima, guitar
Nicholas Walker, double-bass
Matthew Hunt, clarinet
Conor Hanick, piano
“Music Fresh Squeezed”
John D’earth: “Natural Bridge” for piano trio, double-bass and electric guitar
other works TBA
$20
(434) 295-5395
www.cvillechambermusic.org

Sept. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Fife Theatre, Street and Davis Performance Hall, Virginia Tech Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg
Anthony de Mare, piano
“Liasons: Reimagining Sondheim from the Piano”
$55
(540) 231-5300
www.artscenter.vt.edu

Sept. 19 (8 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Zimmerman conducting
Beethoven: “Coriolan” Overture
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major (“Emperor”)
Alon Goldstein, piano
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor
$34-$58
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.fairfaxsymphony.org

Sept. 19 (7 p.m.)
Sept. 20 (2 p.m.)
Sept. 21 (7 p.m.)
Sept. 24 (7 p.m.)
Sept. 25 (7 p.m.)
Sept. 26 (7 p.m.)
Sept. 27 (2 p.m.)
Sept. 29 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington
Washington National Opera
Evan Rogister conducting
Bizet: “Carmen”
Clémentine Margaine/Géraldine Chauvet (Carmen)
Bryan Hymel/Rafael Davila (Don José)
Michael Todd Simpson/Aleksey Bogdanov (Escamillo)
Janai Brugger/Jacqueline Echols (Micaëla)
E. Loren Meeker, stage director
in French, English captions
$25-$315
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Sept. 19 (8 p.m.)
Sept. 20 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Bernstein: “Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side
Story’ ”
Gershwin: “An American in Paris”
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F major
Thomas Pandolfi, piano
$29-$89
(301) 581-5100
www.strathmore.org

Sept. 20 (3 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Gilbert & Sullivan: “The Pirates of Penzance”
cast TBA
in English
$34-$56
(855) 337-4849
www.fergusoncenter.org

Sept. 20 (3 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival:
Yura Lee & Timothy Summers, violins
Raphael Bell & James Wilson, cellos
Nicholas Walker, double-bass
Kalle Kalima, guitar
Matthew Hunt, clarinet
Conor Hanick, piano
Ravel: Sonata for violin and cello
Kalima: “Kata Heian Nidan (Peaceful Kata)”
John D’earth: “Natural Bridge” (selections)
Messiaen: “Quartet for the End of Time”
$18-$25
(434) 295-5395
www.cvillechambermusic.org

Sept. 20 (7 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax
Jeffrey Siegel, piano
“Keyboard Conversations: Music of Joyous Celebration!”
works TBA by J.S. Bach, Schumann, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Falla, others
$24-$40
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
www.cfa.gmu.edu/calendar

Sept. 20 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach & Steven Reineke conducting
Opening Ball Concert:
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”)
Tan Dun: “Tears of Nature” – 1st movement
Keiko Abe: “Prism Rhapsody” (abridged)
Martin Grubinger, percussion
songs TBA by Frank Loesser, Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin
Sutton Foster, vocalist
Smetana: “The Bartered Bride” – Overture and dances
$49-$125
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Sept. 24 (8 p.m.)
Crosswalk Community Church, 7575 Richmond Road, Williamsburg
Sept. 25 (8 p.m.)
Regent University Theater, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach
Sept. 26 (8 p.m.)
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, 340 Granby St., Norfolk
Virginia Symphony
JoAnn Falletta conducting
Mozart: Symphony No. 32 in G major, K. 318
Tchaikovsky: Serenade in C major for strings
Mozart: Sinfonia concertante in E flat major, K. 364
Simon Lapointe, violin
Beverly Baker, viola
$9-$65
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Sept. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
St. Luke Lutheran Church, Chippenham Parkway at Custis Road, Richmond
Alexander Paley Music Festival:
Alexander Paley, piano
Alexander Paley & Peiwen Chen, piano four-hands
Schubert: Rondeau in A major, D. 951, for piano four-hands (“Grand Rondeau”)
Schubert: Allegro in A minor, D. 947, for piano four-hands (“Lebensstürme”)
Medtner: “Sonata-Reminiscenza” in A minor, Op. 38, No. 1
Schubert: “8 Variations on a Theme from Hérold’s Opera ‘Marie’,” D. 908, for piano four-hands
Chopin: “Polonaise-Fantasie”
Pancho Vladigerov: “Sonatina concertante,” Op. 28
Enescu: “Romanian Rhapsody” No. 1 for piano four-hands
donation requested
(804) 665-9516
www.paleymusicfestival.org

Sept. 25 (8 p.m.)
Sept. 27 (2:30 p.m.)
Sept. 29 (7:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, Virginia Beach Boulevard at Llewellyn Avenue, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Anne Manson conducting
Offenbach: “Orpheus in the Underworld”
Meredith Lustig (Eurydice)
Javier Abreu (Orpheus)
Daniel Curran (Aristeus/Pluto)
Troy Cook (Jupiter)
Margaret Gawrysiak (Public Opinion)
Brian Mextorf (John Styx)
Kelly Glyptis (Cupid)
Molly Hill (Venus)
Keith Brown (Mars)
Katherine Polit (Diana)
Leah de Gruyl (Juno)
Kyle Tomlin (Mercury)
Bridgid Eversole (Minerva)
Sam Helfrich, stage director
in English, English captions
$30.91-$105.45
(866) 673-7282
www.vaopera.org

Sept. 25 (8 p.m.)
Sept. 26 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
Steven Reineke conducting
Rajaton, guest stars
“Best of the Beatles”
$20-$88
(800) 444-1324
www.kennedy-center.org

Sept. 26 (6 p.m.)
Heritage Amphitheater, Pocahontas State Park, Chesterfield County
Richmond Symphony
conductor TBA
program TBA
free ($7 parking fee)
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
www.richmondsymphony.com

Sept. 26 (7:30 p.m.)
St. Luke Lutheran Church, Chippenham Parkway at Custis Road, Richmond
Alexander Paley Music Festival:
Rossini: “Petite Messe Solennelle”
Jennifer Piazza-Pick, soprano
Martha Prewitt, mezzo-soprano
Aaron Jones, tenor
Ian Richardson, bass
Alexander Paley, piano
Daniel Stipe, organ
Richmond Symphony Chamber Chorus
Erin Freeman conducting
Vivaldi-Toni: “The Four Seasons”
Alexander Paley & Peiwen Chen, piano four-hands
donation requested
(804) 665-9516
www.paleymusicfestival.org

Sept. 26 (8 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Sept. 27 (3:30 p.m.)
Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, Charlottesville High School, 1400 Melbourne Road
Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia
Kate Tamarkin conducting
Brahms: “Academic Festival” Overture
Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495
Eric Ruske, French horn
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor
$10-$45
(434) 924-3376
www.cvillesymphony.org

Sept. 26 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Juanjo Mena conducting
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”)
Glazunov: Violin Concerto in A minor
Jonathan Carney, violin
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major (“Pastoral”)
$20-$99
(888) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
www.strathmore.org

Sept. 27 (3 p.m.)
St. Luke Lutheran Church, Chippenham Parkway at Custis Road, Richmond
Alexander Paley Music Festival:
Ravel: Violin Sonata No. 2
Daisuke Yamamoto, violin
Alexander Paley, piano
Poulenc: Clarinet Sonata
Charles West, clarinet
Alexander Paley, piano
Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor
Daisuke Yamamoto, violin
Alexander Paley, piano
Saint-Saëns: “Carnival of the Animals”
Pamela McClain, narrator
Alexander Paley & Peiwen Chen, piano four-hands
donation requested
(804) 665-9516
www.paleymusicfestival.org

Sept. 27 (3 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony
Benjamin Rous conducting
“A Seussical Symphony,” based on Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Sneetches”
$10-$15
(757) 892-6366
www.virginiasymphony.org

Sept. 28 (7 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Emanuel Ax, piano
Mozart: Violin Sonata in C major, K. 296
Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13
Richard Strauss: Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op. 18
other works TBA
$55-$135
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts Society)
www.wpas.org

Sept. 29 (7:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tuesday Evening Concerts:
Behzod Abduraimov, piano
Schubert: 4 impromptus, D. 935
Liszt: “Mephisto Waltz” No. 1
Mussorgsky: “Pictures at an Exhibition”
$12-$35
(434) 924-3376
www.tecs.org

Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Richmond Chamber Players

with Karen Johnson, violin
Aug. 30, Bon Air Presbyterian Church

Karen Johnson confessed to feeling “a little intimidated” as she prepared to play the Chaconne from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, for solo violin.

That apprehension is shared, or should be, by every violinist. This set of variations on a four-note motif is the summit of technique for those who play the instrument. Moreover, as Brahms remarked, the piece conveys “a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings.”

Performing the Chaconne in an all-Bach program that concluded this summer’s Interlude series by the Richmond Chamber Players, Johnson showed some evidence of taut nerves in the early going, mainly in crunchy, abrupt double-stopping; but she soon settled into an eloquently expressive, thoroughly absorbing reading of the piece, intonationally spot-on, unerringly well-phrased and intense in its concentration.

The concert was dedicated to the late Lewis T. Booker, a leading patron and organizational supporter of classical music in Richmond. This performance of the Bach Chaconne was as fitting an elegy as could be imagined.

Aside from the Chaconne, all the works on this program were arrangements or retouchings of Bach originals. (There’s ample precedent: J.S. himself frequently reworked his own and others’ music.)

Johnson, the former concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony, now based in the Washington area, joined violist Molly Sharp and cellist Neal Cary in another Bach masterwork, playing about half of the “Goldberg Variations,” BWV 988, in the string-trio arrangement introduced in 1985 by the violinist-conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky.

This set of 30 variations on a decorously bittersweet air, originally written for harpsichord, also commonly performed on piano, translates quite well to strings. The set’s canons on ever-wider pitch intervals are enhanced by the different tonal characters of violin, viola and cello, and their contrasting voices help to clarify Bach’s intricate counterpoint.

Johnson, Sharp and Cary made such fine work of the abridgement that many listeners might have wish they had played the whole set. Had they done so, though, the program would have sprawled to more than three hours.

Oboist Gustav Highstein, harpist Lynette Wardle and cellist Ryan Lannan played an arrangement of Bach’s Sonata in B minor for flute and harpsichord, BWV 1030, here transposed to G minor. The more primary tone colors of the oboe make the biggest difference in this arrangement; the combination of harp and cello evoke a somewhat oversized harpsichord, not inappropriate in combination with the more penetrating sound of the oboe.

Highstein, Wardle and Lannan were satisfyingly lyrical in the sonata’s first two movements – their strolling pace in the opening andante was especially effective – and effervescent in the presto finale.

Cellist Cary performed Bach’s Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009, for solo cello, with John Walter playing the piano accompaniment devised by Robert Schumann. “Accompaniment” may be too expansive a term for Schumann’s strategic insertion of chords to clarify harmonies and undergird rhythms; minimal as these were, they proved enough to give a romantic tint to a classic of the high baroque.

Kozinn goes regional


Allan Kozinn, formerly one of The New York Times’ most accomplished classical-music critics, contemplates reviewing the Portland [ME] Symphony, a regional orchestra, after years of hearing performances by the New York Philharmonic and other international-grade ensembles:

“The standard of musical education is extraordinarily high in the United States these days, and young players with polished techniques are pouring out of conservatories and finding jobs in orchestras everywhere. So it should not be surprising to find (or, for that matter, to expect) that the performance level of a regional orchestra is quite high,” he writes by way of introduction to his new reviewing gig, at the Portland Press Herald:

http://www.pressherald.com/2015/08/30/music-critic-allan-kozinn-finds-a-home-in-portland/

His move from New York to Portland was a step up, professionally. After being shunted from classical music to “general” cultural coverage, which turned out to include “Justin Bieber’s misbehavior, the lawsuits swirling around Chris Brown [and] the arrest of a minor heavy-metal singer charged with trying to have his ex-wife murdered,” Kozinn last year took a buyout offer from The Times.

via www.artsjournal.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ACE reviewed


My review of the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble performance at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, for the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

http://www.richmond.com/entertainment/music/article_bca9eb25-3ebf-5ca7-a9e0-47644f3295a0.html

Letter V Classical Radio this week


As the fall semester begins at the University of Richmond, the show moves to a new time.

Aug. 27
10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT
1400-1700 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Handel: Solomon” – “From the censer curling rise”
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner (Philips)

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga: Quartet No. 1 in D minor
Guarneri Quartet
(Newton Classics)

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1
(“Afro-American”)
Chicago Sinfonietta/
Paul Freeman (Cedille)

Jennifer Higdon:
“String Poetic”
Jennifer Koh, violin
Reiko Uchida, piano (Cedille)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major
Ronald Brautigam, piano
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/
Andrew Parrott (Bis)

Enescu: “Romanian Rhapsody” No. 1
George Enescu Bucharest Philharmonic/
Christian Mandeal
(Arte Nova)

Bartók: Violin Concerto
No. 2
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Norwegian Radio Orchestra/
Manuel Harth-Bedoya (Avie)

Past Masters:
Gershwin: 3 preludes
George Gershwin, piano (Sony Classical)
(recorded 1928)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lucretia West comes home


Lucretia West, a Virginia-born mezzo-soprano, built a life and a thriving performing career in Germany in the years after World War II. After her retirement, she returned to the United States to be with her family. The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Laura Kebede profiles the now 93-year-old singer:

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/henrico/article_1cb3dce6-8296-5268-b7d2-fd310098dde1.html

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Letter V Classical Radio this week


Variations on and variants of what may be the most ubiquitous tune in European music over the past six centuries: “Folía,” a peasant dance of 15th-century Portuguese and Spanish origin, borrowed by composers from Corelli, Bach and Handel to Liszt, Brahms and Rachmaninoff.

Aug. 20
11 a.m.-2 p.m. EDT
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

“Folía”
(arrangement, c. 1490, by Rodrigo Martinez)
Hesperion XXI (AliaVox)

Corelli: Violin Sonata
in D major, Op. 5, No. 12
(“La Follia”)
Manfred Kraemer, violin
Hesperion XXI (AliaVox)

Handel: Suite in D minor – sarabande
Olivier Baumont, harpsichord (Erato)

J.S. Bach: “Peasant” Cantata, BWV 212 – “Unser trefflicher lieber Kammerherr”
Emma Kirkby, soprano
Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
(L’Oiseau Lyre)

Beethoven: Cello Sonata
in A major, Op. 69
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Christopher O’Riley, fortepiano
(Pentatone/Oxingale)

Salieri: “26 Variations on
‘La Folia de Spagna’ ”
London Mozart Players/
Matthias Bamert (Chandos)

Brahms: Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18
Regis Pasquier & Raphael Oleg, violins
Bruno Pasquier & Jean Dupouy, violas
Roland Pidoux & Etienne Péclard, cellos
(Harmonia Mundi France)

Liszt: “Rhapsodie espagnole”
Stephen Hough, piano (Virgin Classics)

Past Masters:
Ponce: “Theme, Variations and Fugue on Folias de España” (abridged)
Andres Segovia, guitar (EMI Classics)
(recorded 1930)

Rachmaninoff: “Variations on a Theme of Corelli”
Paolo Giacometti, piano (Brilliant Classics)

improvisation on the “Folía” bass
Teatro Lirico/Stephen Stubbs (ECM)