Arts Fuse critics select the best in dance, theater, and music that’s coming up this week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Presented by Juventas New Music Ensemble
November 15-16, 8:00 p.m.
Boston University Dance Theater, Boston, MA
One of Boston’s most exciting new music groups joins with the New York City-based dance company, The People Movers, to premiere Peter van Zandt Lane’s new ballet, HackPolitik. Described as “a surrealist exploration…of how the internet has affected discourse in the 21st century,” HackPolitik promises an intriguing blend of music, choreography, politics, and technology.
Four Saints in Three Acts
Presented by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project
November 16, 8:00 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
Gil Rose is becoming Boston’s go-to conductor for opera: in September he launched Odyssey Opera with a triumphant concert performance of Wagner’s Rienzi and last year kicked off BMOP’s season with Michael Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage. This season, he leads the first of BMOP’s four concerts, and opening night again features an opera, now Virgil Thomson’s infrequently performed 1928 collaboration with Gertrude Stein, Four Saints in Three Acts. Mr. Rose and BMOP are one of the city’s best musical pairings: don’t miss them in one of the twentieth century’s groundbreaking American scores.
Jane Eaglen sings Wagner
Presented by the Boston Classical Orchestra
November 16, 8:00 p.m. and November 17, 3:00 p.m.
Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA
Stephen Lipsitt’s fifteenth season as music director of the BCO showcases a number of fine soloists, but perhaps none as prestigious as Ms. Eaglen, who joins the orchestra in Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder. Music by Verdi ensures a balanced celebration of both composer’s bicentenaries; Beethoven’s Symphony no. 2 rounds out the program.
Presented by New England Conservatory
November 20, 8:00 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
There’s lots of Britten happening at NEC this year. This concert features two of the composer’s most familiar scores for chamber orchestra (the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge and Les Illuminations) alongside a pre-Peter Grimes gem: the Prelude and Fugue for 18 String Instruments. Soprano Nataly Wickham is the soloist in Les Illuminations; the conductor-less NEC Chamber Orchestra is featured throughout.
Weber, Bartók, and Brahms
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic
November 21-24, 7:30 p.m. (November 21), 8:00 p.m. (November 22-23), and 3:00 p.m. (November 24)
Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA (November 21 and 24); Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA (November 22); and Jordan Hall, Boston, MA (November 23)
There’s no such thing as too much Bartók, especially when it comes to the violin concertos. Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja makes her Boston debut with that composer’s Violin Concerto no. 2, perhaps the twentieth century’s greatest concerto. Benjamin Zander also conducts Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz and Brahms’s Symphony no. 4.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Masterworks Choral/Mozart vs. Salieri
November 15, 8:00 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA
In one corner, Salieri’s Grand Mass in D. On the other, Mozart’s Requiem. The performers include Barbara Kilduff, soprano, Marion Dry, alto, Jason McStoots, tenor, and Zack Rabin, bass. Pre-concert talk by Laura Prichard at 7:30 p.m.
November 17, 11:00 a.m.
Goethe Institut, 170 Beacon St. Boston, MA
The great pianist, newly retired from Harvard University, performs J.S. Bach: French Suites, preludes and Fugues and CPE Bach: sonatas. $20 ($10 students with valid ID).
Charlie Albright, piano
November 17, 1:30 p.m.
Gardner Museum, The Fenway, Boston, MA
Pianist Charlie Albright concludes his three-part series of all-Schubert programs: Schubert Impromptus, Op. 142 and Sonata in C Minor, D. 958.
Joshua Bell, violin
Presented by Celebrity Series
November 17, 3:00 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
The “poet of the violin” plays Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill Sonata,” Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 10, Opus 96, and Stravinsky’s Divertimento for violin and piano (after “fairy’s Kiss”).
An Afternoon with Mignarda
November 17, 3:00 p.m.
Loring-Greenough House, Jamaica Plain, MA
The American lute songs duo “Mignarda” (Ron Andrico, lute, and Donna Stewart, soprano) perform music for voice and lute composed from the seventeeth to twenty-first centuries. Afternoon tea follows the program. Donation $15 ($10 students and seniors). Reservations are suggested.
November 17, 7:00 p.m.
The Rivers School Conservatory 333 Winter St. Weston, MA
The excellent Chopin pianist Roberto Poli plays an all-Chopin recital: Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat Major, Op. 61, Three Mazurkas (1845), Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op. 57, Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, Op. 60, and Sonata in B Minor, Op. 58.
Early Music Thursdays
November 21, 12:15 p.m.
First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St., Boston, MA
Early Music Thursdays presents James C.S. Liu, baritone, Joyce Alper, baroque oboe, and Paul Cienniwa, harpsichord, performing Bach’s Amore traditore (BWV 203) and Ich habe genug (BWV 82). Donations accepted.
— Susan Miron
TD Garden, Boston, MA
To some, he’s a sacrilegious, foulmouthed, hotheaded, too-cocky-for-his-own-good, fool. To others, he’s a stylish, sophisticated, uber-talented, genuine-one-of-a-kind, genius. Personally, I think he’s the most important musical artist of the twenty-first century. No matter what your take on Kanye West is, the sheer spectacle of his Yeezus tour, which comes to TD Garden Sunday, will probably confirm whatever you already thought of him.
Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls (11/30/2013, House of Blues); MGMT (12/5/2013, Orpheum Theatre); Queens of the Stone Age (12/13/2013, Agganis Arena); Indie Rock Ranger’s Holiday Spectacular (12/14/2013, Middle East-Downstairs); Dinosaur Jr. (12/14/2013, The Sinclair); Dinosaur Jr. (12/15/2013, The Sinclair); The Breeders (12/18/2013, Paradise Rock Club); Jake Bugg (1/11/2014, House of Blues); Neutral Milk Hotel (1/16/2014, Orpheum Theatre); Neutral Milk Hotel (1/17/2014, Orpheum Theatre); Jay Z (1/18/2014, TD Garden); Pixies (1/18/2014, Orpheum Theatre); Arctic Monkeys (2/6/2014, Agganis Arena)
— Adam Ellsworth
The most celebrated young vocalist of the year, twenty-four-year-old Cécile McLorin Salvant, wowed critics with her WomanChild (Mack Avenue), which matched unusual repertoire (“You Bring Out the Savage in Me,” anyone?), startling interpretations, and a seemingly limitless vocal instrument. She can sing! She’s at the Regattabar with the just as crucial pianist from her album, Aaron Diehl, as well as bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Peter Van Nostrand.
The sublime Boston-based pianist Yoko Miwa plays Scullers with her superb trio (bassist Will Slater and drummer Scott Goulding) and the doyenne of Boston jazz singers, Rebecca Parris. Expect to hear Parris absolutely nail a few standards, spelled by the trio playing some of Miwa’s exploratory originals.
Fred Hersch and Julian Lage
November 21, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Scullers, Cambridge, MA
Pianist Hersch, fifty-eight, and guitarist Lage, twenty-five, came together as a duo to record one of the best jazz albums of the year, Free Flying (Palmetto). It’s a live set, recorded at Kitano in New York. You can hear them finish each other’s musical sentences as well as take off into spontaneous counterpoint at Scullers.
Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica
November 21, 7:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA
Originally a celebration of Martin Deny, Cal Tjader, Les Baxter, Esquivel, and all things exotica, Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica has become very much its own thing. Master percussionist Brian O’Neill (a.k.a Mr. Ho) likes to do things like mash up Bach’s Toccata and Fugue with a Balkan beat (“Would You Like Bongos with that Fugue?”). He uses the exotica idea — light and fun and sort of pop — to create real music. He brings the vibes-quartet version of the twenty-plus-piece Orchestrotica to celebrate the release of Where Here Meets There (Tiki) at the Lily Pad.
— Jon Garelick
Stephen Petronio Company
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Death and resurrection and the vitality and decay of the human body are at the center of self-described “fallen Catholic” Stephen Petronio’s newest work, Like Lazarus Did, which brings together his fearless dancers, an original score by Son Lux that includes the sounds of a children’s chorus, and the hovering presence of performance artist Janine Antoni. My free preshow talks are half an hour before curtain time.
Body Music in Boston
Jewett Art Center Auditorium, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA and Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
The slogan is “music you can see, dance you can hear.” Ten artists from Brazil, Bali (Indonesia), Las Canarias (Spain), and the US, under the direction of the wonderful Keith Terry, arrive for a special week of percussion made with the human body. The ensemble’s residency includes two full performances, one at Wellesley and one at Berklee, plus a family matinee. Many of the performances, public workshops, and free-wheeling conversations with the artists are free or pay what you can, but reservations are strongly recommended.
Sobre Las Olas
Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 20, Leon Street, Boston, MA
Flamenco has fine American exponents whose work is often unappreciated or misunderstood in the broader culture. Carolina Loyola-Garcia’s new full-length documentary encourages flamenco dancers, singers, guitarists, dancers, and scholars to perform and share their stories. While you’re on the Boston Latino International Film Festival website, check out the impressive range of films from throughout the Spanish-speaking world running through November 24.
Boston Bhangra Competition
Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA
Bhangra, the energetic Punjabi/Pakistani dance form that Boston Bhangra describes as “a fusion of hip hop and cheer-leading with a cultural twist” and has moved from South Asian weddings to the big screen gets the star treatment. Twelve North American teams compete on a stage shared by Bhangra star G. Sharmilla from India and Canadian comic Jus Reign.
In the Mood
Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA
Toss on your zoot suit when this troupe of swing dancers and the String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra present a revue covering standards from the likes of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman arranged by the late Vic Schoen, who worked his arrangement magic for the Andrews Sisters. WWII was hell but the soundtrack sure was swell.
Urban Shaman Helicopters
The Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
Helicopters is a project by Swiss/Italian choreographer Angelo Dello Iacono (ADN Dialect and its Urban Shaman initiative) working with Boston composer Ben Schwendener (Ben Schwendener’s Mobile Trio), in this incarnation with the Swiss performers augmented by young dancers from Boston Arts Academy and the Boston Conservatory in a collaboration exploring trance and human spirituality.
And further afield…
Pavement by Abraham.in.Motion
Center for the Arts at Wesleyan, Middletown, CT
Based in part on John Singleton’s 1991 film Boyz N The Hood, Kyle Abraham, the choreographer who won every prize in the dance world in the past two years, tells the story of today’s urban neighborhoods with striking artistry.
— Debra Cash
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology
Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA
Marxist and postmodern philosopher Slavoj Žižek, who was so entertaining in The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema that he was brought back to opine in The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. His passionate philosophic opinions, pithy pop culture observations, and love of cinema, make for wonderfully entertaining documentaries.
The Films of Pablo Larraín
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA
The young Chilean director’s trilogy of films will be screened this weekend with the director in attendance on Saturday night for his Academy Award nominated film, No, which is about advertising and the end of the Pinochet era. Scheduled for Friday, Tony Manero is his splashy debut about a serial killer obsessed with John Travolta’s character in Saturday Night Fever. Sunday features Post-Mortem, which is about a pathologist’s assistant in Santiago during Pinochet’s 1973 coup and rise to power.
— Tim Jackson
Wedding Band: A Love-Hate Story in Black and White, by Alice Childress. A staged reading presented by The American Repertory Theater and The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, at 7:30 p.m. on November 19. Free. A rare opportunity to see the work of the fine African-American playwright Childress. This 1962 script deals with “inter-racial love in the American South during the first World War.” The reading will be co-directed by New Yorker Theater Critic Hilton Als and A.R.T. Artistic Associate Shira Milikowsky.
— Bill Marx