Vandalism at Bach’s church in Leipzig

A New Year’s Eve act of vandalism at the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) in Leipzig, Germany, where Johann Sebastian Bach served as cantor in the early 18th century, has destroyed two stained-glass windows and more than 20 art-nouveau panels. It was the second attack on the church during the holiday season, Leipzig police tell the Deutsche Welle news service:

http://www.dw.com/en/windows-smashed-at-renowned-bach-church-in-leipzig/a-51853584

(via http://www.artsjournal.com)

January 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, military, group and other discounts may be offered.

In and around Richmond: Pianist Alexander Paley performs in two recitals in the winter edition of his Richmond music festival, joining his wife and duo partner, Pei-wen Chen, in Carl Czerny’s piano four-hands arrangement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Jan. 9, and playing sonatas of Beethoven, Liszt and Scriabin on Jan. 10, both at St. Luke Lutheran Church. . . . Two of the candidates auditioning to become the next music director of the Richmond Symphony visit in the coming month: Ankush Kumar Bahl, leading a Masterworks program of Bruckner, Mozart and John Adams, with Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, as guest soloist, Jan. 11 at the Carpenter Theatre of Dominion Energy Center and Jan. 12 at Mount Vernon Baptist church in Glen Allen, as well as a Symphony Pops program, “Journey to the Cosmos,” Jan. 18 at the Carpenter Theatre; and Laura Jackson, currently music director of the Reno (NV) Philharmonic, leading a Masterworks program of Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Michael Gandalfi, with guest cellist Julian Schwarz, Jan. 31 at Midlothian High School and Feb. 1 at the Carpenter Theatre. . . . The Jefferson Baroque ensemble performs in a free program on Jan. 25 in the Gellman Room of the Richmond Public Library’s downtown main branch.

Noteworthy elsewhere: The National Symphony Orchestra is joined by pianist Yefim Bronfman and guest conductor Gemma New in music of Beethoven, Holst and Salina Fisher, Jan. 16, 18 and 19 at Washington’s Kennedy Center. . . . Two of classical music’s most stellar siblings visit the Music Center at Strathmore in the Maryland suburbs of DC: Pianist Orli Shaham joining the National Philharmonic in all-Mozart program on Jan. 18 and 19, and violinist Gil Shaham joining the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, on a Jan. 26 program also featuring works by Shostakovich and Haydn. . . . Scotland’s Dunedin Consort, with mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle, present an all-Bach program of orchestral works and solo cantatas, Jan. 20 at the Library of Congress’ Coolidge Auditorium in DC. . . . Two leading young British cellists perform in the Washington area: Kian Soltani in a recital of Stravinsky, Beethoven, Franck and Arvo Pärt, Jan. 20 at the Kennedy Center, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, joining Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a program of Saint-Saëns, Dvořák and Florence Beatrice Price, Jan. 30 at Strathmore. . . . Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the violinist famed for her innovative programming, is joined by cellist Jay Campbell in a recital mixing early and modern music, Jan. 21 at the Kennedy Center. . . . Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd leads the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, with guest violinist Elena Urioste, in a program of Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams, Ravel and Berlioz, Jan. 24 at Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Arts Center in Newport News, Jan. 25 at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk and Jan. 26 at Sandler Arts Center in Virginia Beach. . . . Two more violin stars play programs of Beethoven sonatas: Midori, performing with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Jan. 25 at Strathmore, and Anne-Sophie Mutter, with pianist Lambert Orkis, Feb. 1 at the Kennedy Center. . . . British early-music master Richard Egarr and guests inaugurate a reproduction of the harpsichord that George Washington brought to Mount Vernon in 1793 for his granddaughter, Nelly Custis, in a Jan. 26 recital at the Kennedy Center. . . . Virginia Opera opens its new production of Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” (“Cinderella”), Jan. 31, Feb. 2 and 4 at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, with further performances in February at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax and the Carpenter Theatre in Richmond. . . . The Cleveland-based early music troupe Apollo’s Fire brings its “Return to Sugarloaf Mountain: an Appalachian Gathering” to Roanoke’s Jefferson Center on Jan. 31.

Jan. 1 (noon)
Herter Hall, Garth Newel Music Center, 403 Garth Newel Lane, Hot Springs
Garth Newel Piano Quartet
“Primary Colors”
Debussy: Piano Trio in G major
Anton Arensky: Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 32
$25 (concert), $62 (concert & brunch)
(540) 839-5018
garthnewel.org

Jan. 4 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas Hersh conducting
“Amadeus,” film with live orchestral accompaniment
$35-$90
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
strathmore.org

Jan. 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Hofheimer Loft, 2818 W. Broad St., Richmond
Classical Revolution RVA:
artists TBA
“Classical Incarnations at the Hof”
program TBA
donation requested
(804) 342-0012
classicalrevolutionrva.com

Jan. 8 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
The Washington Chorus
Andy Brick conducting
“Game ON!”
works TBA from video games
$29-$89
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
St. Luke Lutheran Church, 7757 Chippenham Parkway, Richmond
Alexander Paley Music Festival:
Alexander Paley & Pei-wen Chen, piano four-hands
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”) (piano four-hands arrangement by Carl Czerny)
donation requested
(804) 665-9516
paleymusicfestival.org

Jan. 9 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 10 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra Pops
conductor TBA
Diana Ross, guest star
$39-$219
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
St. Luke Lutheran Church, 7757 Chippenham Parkway, Richmond
Alexander Paley Music Festival:
Alexander Paley, piano
Beethoven: “Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio” in G major, Op. 129 (“Rage over a Lost Penny”)
Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 (“Appassionata”)
Liszt: “Après une lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata”
Scriabin: Sonata No. 5, Op. 53
donation requested
(804) 665-9516
paleymusicfestival.org

Jan. 11 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Jan. 12 (3 p.m.)
Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 11220 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen
Richmond Symphony
Ankush Kumar Bahl conducting
John Adams: “The Chairman Dances”
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622
Anthony McGill, clarinet
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 in E major
$10-$82 (Richmond); $20 (Glen Allen)
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
richmondsymphony.com

Jan. 12 (3 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Benjamin Rous conducting
“Happy Birthday, Beethoven”
works TBA by Beethoven
$12-$22
(757) 892-6366
virginiasymphony.org

Jan. 12 (3 p.m.)
The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna
Will Liverman, baritone
Ken Noda, piano
Schubert: “Die Winterreise,” D. 911
$42
(877) 965-3872 (Tickets.com)
wolftrap.org

Jan. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway
Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra
James Blanchly conducting
Ethel Smyth: “The Prison” Chorale Prelude
Barber: “Knoxville, Summer of 1915”
Kathryn Mueller, soprano
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major
$38-$58
(757) 229-9857
williamsburgsymphony.org

Jan. 16 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 18 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 19 (3 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Gemma New conducting
Salina Fisher: “Rainphase”
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major
Yefim Bronfman, piano
Holst: “The Planets”
women’s voices of University of Maryland Concert Choir
$15-$109
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Young Concert Artists:
Do-Hyun Kim, piano
J.S. Bach: Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826
Mozart: Sonata in G major, K. 283
Bartók: Sonata, Sz. 80
Chopin: 12 études, Op. 25
$29-$45
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Vocal Arts DC:
Rosa Feola, soprano
Iain Burnside, piano
works TBA by Donizetti, Verdi, Liszt, Respighi, Paolo Tosti
$55
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 18 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony Pops
Ankush Kumar Bahl conducting
“Journey to the Cosmos”
works TBA by Holst, John Williams, others
$10-$82
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
richmondsymphony.com

Jan. 18 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 19 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
National Philharmonic
Piotr Gajewski conducting
Mozart: “Il re pastore” Sinfonia
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Orli Shaham, piano
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 (“Jupiter”)
$39-$79
(301) 582-5100
strathmore.org

Jan. 20 (8 p.m.)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, East Capitol Street at First Street NE, Washington
Dunedin Consort
John Butt directing
Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano
J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
J.S. Bach: Cantata, “Widerstehe doch der Sünde,” BWV 54
J.S. Bach: “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049
J.S. Bach: Cantata, “Wergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust,” BWV 170
J.S. Bach: “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
free; tickets required (via eventbrite.com)
(202) 707-5502
loc.gov/concerts

Jan. 21 (6 p.m.)
Vlahcevic Concert Hall, Singleton Arts Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Park Avenue at Harrison Street, Richmond
Chris Chaffee, flute
program TBA
free
(804) 828-1169
arts.vcu.edu/music/events

Jan. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Fortas Chamber Music Series:
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin
Jay Campbell, cello
anon. (Winchester Troper, 11th century): Alleluia
Jörg Widmann: 24 duos for violin and cello – XXI. “Valse bavaroise;” XXIV. Toccatina all’inglese (presto possibile)
Orlando Gibbons: Fantasia
Ravel: Sonata for violin and cello
Iannis Xenakis: “Dhipli Zyia”
Guillaume de Machaut: Balade 4 (“Biauté qui”)
György Ligeti: “Hommage à Hilding Rosenberg”
Kodály: Duo for violin and cello
$45-$50
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Washington Performing Arts:
Kian Soltani, cello
Julio Elizade, piano
Stravinsky: “Suite Italienne”
Beethoven: Cello Sonata in A major, Op. 69
Arvo Pärt: “Fratres”
Franck-Delsart: Sonata in A major
$40
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts)
washingtonperformingarts.org

Jan. 22 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Shanghai Chinese Orchestra
Tang Muhai conducting
works TBA by Tan Dun, Luo Xiaoci, Huang Lei, Fang Dongqing, Jiang Ying, others
$15-$59
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 22 (8 p.m.)
The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
women’s voices of University of Maryland Concert Choir
Gemma New conducting
Holst: “The Planets”
$15-$30
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 23 (7:30 p.m.)
The Mansion at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Paul Galbraith, guitar
Antonio Meneses, cello
Brazilian classical works TBA
$30
(301) 582-5100
strathmore.org

Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Laurel Street at Floyd Avenue, Richmond
Virginia Commonwealth University Health Orchestra
Will Pattie conducting
Alán Saucedo Estrada, cello
Pablo Talamante, tenor
program TBA
donation requested; proceeds benefit cathedral’s New Pipe Organ Campaign
(804) 359-5651
richmondcathedral.org

Jan. 24 (8 p.m.)
Ferguson Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Jan. 25 (8 p.m.)
Chrysler Hall, 215 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Norfolk
Jan. 26 (2:30 p.m.)
Sandler Arts Center, 201 S. Market St., Virginia Beach
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Douglas Boyd conducting
Stravinsky: “Fireworks”
Vaughan Williams: “The Lark Ascending”
Ravel: “Tzigane”
Elena Urioste, violin
Berlioz: “Symphonie fantastique”
$25-$110
(757) 892-6366
virginiasymphony.org

Jan. 24 (8 p.m.)
Jan. 25 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach conducting
Dvořák: “Carnival” Overture
Dvořák: Violin Concerto in A minor
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C major
$15-$99
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 25 (11 a.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony LolliPops
Chia-Hsuan Lin conducting
Kayleigh Kim, violin
“It’s a Symphony Sing-Along!”
vintage pop and light classical songs TBA
$10 (child), $20 (adult)
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
richmondsymphony.com

Jan. 25 (2 p.m.)
Gellman Room, Richmond Public Library, First and Franklin streets
Jefferson Baroque
program TBA
free
(804) 646-7223
rvalibrary.org

Jan. 25 (8 p.m.)
Williamsburg Lodge, 310 S. England St.
Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra
conductor TBA
Ann Hampton Callaway, guest star
“Cabaret and Cocktails”
program TBA
$45-$85
(757) 229-9857
williamsburgsymphony.org

Jan. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
Academy Center of the Arts, Lynchburg
Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra
David Glover conducting
“Broadway by Request”
program TBA
$25-$82
(434) 846-8499
lynchburgsymphony.org

Jan. 25 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Washington Performing Arts:
Midori, violin
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 12, No. 2
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op. 12, No. 3
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 47 (“Kreutzer”)
$40-$80
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts)
washingtonperformingarts.org

Jan. 26 (3:30 p.m.)
Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
UVa Chamber Music Series:
John Mayhood, piano
Haydn: Sonata in C minor, Hob. XVI:20
Schumann: “Carnaval,” Op. 9
Schubert: Sonata in B flat major, D. 960
$15
(434) 924-3376
music.virginia.edu/events

Jan. 26 (7 p.m.)
Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax
Jeffrey Siegel, piano & speaker
“Keyboard Conversations: Commemorating Rachmaninoff and Debussy”
$26-$44
(888) 945-2468 (Tickets.com)
cfa.gmu.edu

Jan. 26 (2 p.m.)
Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center, Washington
Richard Egarr, harpsichord
Rowan Pierce, soprano
William Carter, theorbo
works TBA by Purcell, Handel, John Blow, Johann Caspar Kerll, others, from Nelly Custis’ Song Book at Mount Vernon
$45
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 26 (3 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
John Storgårds conducting
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E flat major
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Gil Shaham, violin
Haydn: Symphony No. 103 in E flat major (“Drumroll”)
$35-$90
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
strathmore.org

Jan. 30 (7 p.m.)
Jan. 31 (11:30 a.m.)
Feb. 1 (8 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
National Symphony Orchestra
Manfred Honeck conducting
Mason Bates: “Resurrexit”
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Nikolai Lugansky, piano
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major
$15-$99
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Studio K, Kennedy Center, Washington
Mason Bates’ KC Jukebox:
Juan Atkins, electronica
program TBA
$20-$35
(800) 444-1324
kennedy-center.org

Jan. 30 (8 p.m.)
Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting
Florence Beatrice Price: “The Oak”
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor
$35-$90
(877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office)
strathmore.org

Jan. 31 (7 p.m.)
Midlothian High School, 401 Charter Colony Parkway
Feb. 1 (8 p.m.)
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Sixth and Grace streets, Richmond
Richmond Symphony
Laura Jackson conducting
Michael Gandolfi: “The Garden of Cosmic Speculation” (excerpts)
Tchaikovsky: “Variations on a Rococo Theme”
Julian Schwarz, cello
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major (“Titan”)
$10-$20 (Midlothian); $10-$82 (Richmond)
(800) 514-3849 (ETIX)
richmondsymphony.com

Jan. 31 (8 p.m.)
Feb. 2 (2:30 p.m.)
Feb. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
Harrison Opera House, 160 E. Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk
Virginia Opera
Adam Turner conducting
Rossini: “La Cenerentola” (“Cinderella”)
Alyssa Martin (Angelina [Cinderella])
David Walton (Don Ramiro)
Joseph Lattanzi (Dandini)
Dale Travis (Don Magnifico)
Kyle Lang, stage director
in Italian, English captions
$25-$130
(866) 673-7282
vaopera.org

Jan. 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Shaftman Performance Hall, Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave. SW, Roanoke
Apollo’s Fire
Jeannette Sorrell directing
“Return to Sugarloaf Mountain: an Appalachian Gathering”
$20-$75
(540) 345-2550
operaroanoke.org

Feb. 1 (3 p.m.)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington
Washington Performing Arts:
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Lambert Orkis, piano
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 23
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in F major, Op. 24 (“Spring”)
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 47 (“Kreutzer”)
$35-$110
(202) 785-9727 (Washington Performing Arts)
washingtonperformingarts.org

Letter V Classical Radio Jan. 1

The annual Habsburg Sock Hop, our more expansive take on the traditional Viennese New Year’s program – Strauss waltzes, of course, but also works reflecting dance traditions of the lands lying east of Vienna along the Danube.

noon-3 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
http://wdce.net

Johann Strauss II: “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”
Anima Eterna Orchestra/Jos van Immerseel
(Zig Zag Territories)

Schubert:
Minuet in D minor, D. 89, No. 3
Minuet in C major, D. 89, No. 5
(arrangements by Oscar Strasnoy)
Isabelle Faust & Anne Katharina Schreiber, violins
Danusha Waskiewicz, viola
Kristin von der Goltz, cello
Lorenzo Coppola, clarinet
Javier Zafram bassoon
Teunis van der Zwart, horn
James Munro, double-bass
(Harmonia Mundi)

Joseph Lanner:
“Die Schönbrunner Walzer”
“Jagd-Galopp”
Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
(Sony Classical)

Richard Strauss: “Der Rosenkavalier” Suite
(arrangement by Artur Rodzinski)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck
(Reference Recordings)

Alexander Moyzes: “Gemer Dances”
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ondrej Lenárd
(Naxos)

Liszt: “Hungarian Rhapsody” No. 19 in D minor
(“Csárdas nobles de Kornél Ábrányi”)
Leslie Howard, piano
(Hyperion)

Past Masters:
trad.: “The Peacock”
Kodály: “Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song” (“The Peacock”)
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra/István Kertész
(Decca)
(recorded 1969)

Bartók: “Romanian Dances”
(arrangement by Christos Farmakis)
Kottos
(Orchid Classics)

Enescu: Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 25
(“Dans le caractère populaire roumain”)
Diana Tishchenko, violin
Zoltán Fejérvári, piano
(Warner Classics)

Pancho Vladigerov: “Bulgarian Dances,” Op. 23, Nos. 3-5
Rousse Philharmonic/Nayden Todorov
(Naxos)

Johann Strauss II: “Roses from the South”
London Philharmonic/Franz Welser-Möst
(Seraphim Classics)

Letter V Classical Radio Dec. 25

In our final program of 2019, surveying some of the year’s most noteworthy classical recordings, from virtuoso piano concertos by Rachmaninoff and Saint-Saëns to solo and chamber works by Bach, Schubert, Debussy, Shostakovich and Caroline Shaw.

noon-3 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
http://wdce.net

Ethel Smyth: “The Wreckers” Overture
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo
(Chandos)

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major (“Egyptian”)
Bertrand Chamayou, piano
Orchestre National de France/Emmanuel Krivine
(Erato)

Debussy: Cello Sonata in D minor
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello
Javier Perianes, piano
(Harmonia Mundi)

Schubert: Impromptu in C minor, D. 899, No. 1
András Schiff, fortepiano
(ECM)

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor
Daniil Trifonov, piano
Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Shostakovich: Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108
Pavel Haas Quartet
(Supraphon)

Handel: Concerto grosso in D major, Op. 6, No. 5
Akademie für alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck
(Pentatone)

Beethoven: Sonata in F major, Op. 10, No. 2
Igor Levit, piano
(Sony Classical)

J.S. Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 – V. Ciaccona
Thomas Zehetmair, violin
(ECM)

Caroline Shaw: “Ritornello 2.sq.2.j.a.”
Attacca Quartet
(Nonesuch)

Beethoven in Paley’s winter mini-festival

Alexander Paley and his wife and four-hands piano partner, Pei-wen Chen, will feature music of Beethoven in the winter edition of Paley’s Richmond music festival, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9 and 10 at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 7757 Chippenham Parkway.

In the Jan. 9 program, the duo will play a four-hands arrangement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by Carl Czerny. Most widely known to posterity as the author of instructional studies for the piano, Czerny was a pupil of Beethoven’s who premiered several of his works and whose reminiscences were among the first biographical treatments of the composer.

On Jan. 10, Paley will play Beethoven’s Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 (“Appassionata”) and the “Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio” in G major, Op. 129, better-known as “Rage over a Lost Penny,” along with Liszt’s “Après une lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata” and Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5, Op. 53.

Admission is by donation.

For more information, call (804) 665-9516 or visit http://paleymusicfestival.org

Review: Chamber Music Society

Dec. 16, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church

The six concertos that Johann Sebastian Bach submitted to Christian-Ludwig, the margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721, are among the most familiar works of baroque music – too familiar, too often treated as background sound in upper-middlebrow settings and circumstances.

A cast of musicians mustered by the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia thrust three of the “Brandenburg” concertos into the foreground, casting them as eventful chamber works rather than as comfy-cozy chamber-orchestra music. With supportive ripeno strings reduced to one-to-a-part, musical textures were markedly more transparent, and solo and concertante voices projected far more prominently.

The “Brandenburgs” framed the premiere of “Palaces of Memory” by Zachary Wadsworth, a Richmond-born composer now based at Williams College in Massachusetts. Wadsworth, who describes the piece as an homage to Bach, sprinkles quotations of several of the master’s works into his composition.

Had copyright laws extended back to the 18th century, “I’d worry about Bach filing an infringement suit,” Wadsworth said in introductory remarks. A class-action suit, maybe, considering the jig à la Handel, a sighing, Zelenka-like wind passage and other bits recalling assorted Bach contemporaries in several not-at-all-neo baroque sections of the piece.

This isn’t a baroque-revival pastiche, though. Rather like one of those European buildings designed in gothic style but over time turned into architectural hybrids as baroque decorative elements and structural appendages were added, Wadsworth’s score is rooted in an austere theme that seems to echo medieval chant; its evocations of Bach, et al., are celebratory interjections in an otherwise contemplative narrative.

Wadsworth said he wrote “Palaces of Memory” to be played on pre-modern instruments, and their individual sounds and collective texture served to emphasize the music’s contrasts of gothic and baroque.

The Chamber Music Society ensemble, whose roster included performers from leading US early music troupes, ordered this sampling of “Brandenburgs” cannily. The program opened with the Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047, an exuberant work centering on exchanges among trumpet, oboe and recorder. Then the musicians turned to the Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050, probably the best-known and most “orchestral” of the six, with its interplay of violin, flute and harpsichord in outer movements and long, virtuosic harpsichord cadenza in the middle.

Following the Wadsworth premiere, the program closed with the “Brandenburg” that James Wilson, the Chamber Music Society’s artistic director, said is his favorite of the set: The Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049, upbeat but more sparely textured than Nos. 2 and 5, focused on the contrast between a pair of lyrically voiced recorders and an assertive, virtuosic violin.

The concert’s featured virtuosos – trumpeter Mary Bowden in the Concerto No. 2, harpsichordist Carsten Schmidt in No. 5 and violinist Christina Day Martinson in No. 4 – made the most of their moments; but the real stars of these “Brandenburgs” were Bach himself, and a group of musicians audibly intent on bringing out every strand of his musical fabrics and taking every opportunity to play expressively and to complement one another.

Letter V Classical Radio Dec. 18

A Christmas program that’s wide-ranging in chronology, geography and style, centering on the “Christmas portion” of Handel’s “Messiah” – Part 1 and “Hallelujah” – as recorded in 2009 by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and its longtime director, Stephen Cleobury, who died last month.

noon-3 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
http://wdce.net

Lorenzo Zavateri: Concerto in D major, Op. 1, No. 10 (“Pastorale”)
Francesco Colletti & Andrés Gabetta, violins
Cappella Gabetta
(Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)

Saint-Saëns: “Oratorio de Noël”
Antonia Bourve, soprano
Gundula Schneider, mezzo-soprano
Sabine Czinczel, alto
Marcus Ullmann, tenor
Jens Hamann, baritone
Romano Giefer, organ
Rastatt Vocal Ensemble
Les Favorites/Holger Speck
(Carus)

John Tavener: “The Lamb”
Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner
(Philips)

Arvo Pärt: Magnificat
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Kaspars Putniņš
(BIS)

Handel: “Messiah” – Part 1 & “Hallelujah”
Ailish Tynan, soprano
Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano
Allan Clayton, tenor
Matthew Rose, bass
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
Academy of Ancient Music/Stephen Cleobury
(Warner Classics)

Hieronymus Praetorius: “Magnificat quinti toni”
Voces8
(Signum Classics)

Dmitry Stepanovich Bortnyansky: Sacred Concerto No. 4
(Psalm 66: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all”)
Russian State Symphonic Cappella/Valery Polyansky
(Chandos)

Michel Richard Delalande: “Simphonie de Noël”
Marc-Antoine Charpentier: “A la venue de Noël”
Louis-Claude Daquin: “Une jeune pucelle”
Michel Corrette: “Quand Dieu naquit à Noël”
Daquin: Noël en Dialogue: “Or, nous dites, Marie”
Corrette: “Les bourgeois de Châtres”
Maîtrise de Radio France
Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien/François Lazarevitch
(Alpha)

trad.: “Wayfaring Stranger”
trad.: “Fulfillment”
trad.: “A Virgin Most Pure”
William Billings: “Boston”
anon.: “Shepherds Rejoice”
Jeremiah Ingalls: “Lovely Vine”
trad.: “Adeste fidelis”
trad.-Lowell Mason: “Joy to the World”
Jesse Lepkoff, flute
William Hite, tenor
Boston Camerata/Joel Cohen
(Erato)