Classical Music Sampler: February 2010
By Caldwell Titcomb
Feb. 3, 5, 6: The Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) stages Benjamin Britten’s “Turn of the Screw,” based on Henry James’ tense ghost story. Conducted by Andrew Bisantz. The singers and production staff are all making their BLO debuts. The Castle at Boston Park Plaza & Towers, 130 Columbus Avenue, Boston. 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4-7: The Boston Conservatory presents Puccini’s rarely performed opera “La Rondine” (1917), a bittersweet love story. Conducted by Bruce Hangen, and presented in Italian with English surtitles. Midway Studios, 15 Channel Center Street, South Boston. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.
Feb. 7: The Celebrity Series brings to town two pianists of different generations (Richard Goode and Jonathan Biss) for a concert of music for piano duet or two pianos. The program includes Schubert’s late Allegro in A-Minor, D. 947; Beethoven’s thorny “Grosse Fuge,” Op. 134, arranged by the composer from his late B-Flat Quartet; Debussy’s “En Blanc et Noir” and his Six Canonic Etudes arranged from Schumann’s Studies for Pedal Piano; and the keyboard reduction of Stravinsky’s 1957 ballet “Agon.” New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston. 3 p.m.
Feb. 11: The much-admired pianist and teacher Victor Rosenbaum gives a free recital, including Haydn’s rarely played Variations in F-Minor (Hob. XVII:6); Beethoven’s C-Major Sonata, Op. 2., No. 3; and, in honor of Chopin’s bicentennial, the Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, two Mazurkas, Op. 50, Nos. 2 and 3, Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 1, and the Barcarolle. New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston. 8 p.m.
Feb. 11-13: The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) imports the celebrated soprano Renée Fleming to sing Richard Strauss’ sublime “Four Last Songs” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Also on the program is Alban Berg’s “Three Pieces for Orchestra,” Op. 6. On the podium (health permitting) is James Levine. Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. 8 p.m.
Feb. 16: The Boston University Tanglewood Institute honors Doriot Anthony Dwyer, former longtime principal flutist of the Boston Symphony, who will perform. Also participating will be the recently retired BSO principal harpist Ann Hobson Pilot and current BSO principals John Ferrillo (oboe) and Richard Ranti (bassoon). Boston University College of Fine Arts Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 20: The award-winning Triple Helix Piano Trio, in residence at Wellesley College, offers a free concert with an engrossing program: Debussy’s cello and violin sonatas; Fauré’s D-Minor piano trio; Janácek’s “Fairy Tale” (“Pohadka”) for cello and piano; and Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio. Joining the ensemble will be violinist Gabriela Diaz. Houghton Chapel and Multifaith Center, Wellesley campus. 8 p.m.
Feb. 21: Tufts University piano faculty members present a free concert of music for two pianos, with works by Brahms, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff. Distler Performance Hall, Granoff Music Center, 20 Talbot Avenue, Tufts campus. 3 p.m.
Feb. 21: Roxanne Layton (recorder) and Andrew Paul Holman (harpsichord) play a concert of music by J.S. Bach and the late local composer Daniel Pinkham. Harvard-Epworth Church, 1555 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. 4 p.m.
Feb. 21: The Exsultemus ensemble focuses on Baroque music emanating from Leipzig, by Johann Schelle (1648-1701), Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722), and J.S. Bach (1685-1750). First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley Street. 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 23: The Ludovico Ensemble at the Boston Conservatory offers a concert of new works for cimbalom and ensemble by student composers. Seully Hall, 4th Floor, 8 The Fenway. 8 p.m.
Feb. 26: The visiting 70-member Norwegian Student Orchestra from Trondheim, celebrating its 100th anniversary, plays a free concert with an unusual program: Eivind Groven’s “Hjalarljod,” Harald Saeverud’s “Kjempeviseslåtten,” Tchaikovsky’s “Pezzo Capriccioso,” Johan Halvorsen’s “Entry March of the Boyars,” excerpts from Shostakovich’s “The Gadfly,” and, of course, Sibelius’ “Finlandia.” Kresge Auditorium, MIT, 48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge. 8 p.m.
Feb. 26, 28, March 2: Opera Boston presents the world premiere of Madame White Snake, a cross-cultural drama based on a beloved Chinese legend. The music is by Zhou Long, the libretto by Cerise Lin Jacobs. The director is former American Repertory Theater (ART) honcho Robert Woodruff. Sung in English with titles. Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont Street. 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 and March 2; 3 p.m. on Feb. 28.
Tagged: Benjamin Britten, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Caldwell-Titcomb, Exsultemus ensemble, Madame White Snake, Norwegian Student Orchestra, Opera Boston, Renée Fleming, Robert Wooddruff, The Boston Conservatory, The Boston Lyric Opera, The Boston University Tanglewood Institute, The Celebrity Series, The Ludovico Ensemble, Triple Helix Piano Trio, Victor-Rosenbaum