Wednesday, 1 September 2010
September in London
September starts the new year in music after the summer break, though the Proms continue. Two Berlin Philharmonic Proms with Simon Rattle - one a repeat of Friday's Berlin concert, the other with Karita Mattila. Then two Last Nights of the Proms, 1910 and 2010 to show that "tradition" isn't as entrenched as traditionalists think it is.
The Royal Opera House opens with two Jonathan Miller productions, a revival of Così fan tutte, then Don Pasquale with a very interesting cast including Gavanelli and Imbrailo. Agostino Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe, however, is the really intriguing wild card because it's such a rarity, passionately advocated by some. I'd definitely be going to this but all three dates have other things on. Hengelbrock, Véronique Gens and a very strong cast, so it's going to be good, if you accept early baroque on its own terms.
The ENO opens with Gounod's Faust, a co-production with the Met, Toby Spence and Melody Moore. I'll get to that though I've mixed feelings about The Makropulos Case as I really don't like Janáček in English. Memories of the ENO recording still chill my blood, even though this is a completely different cast.
Faust was the reason why tickets for Matthias Goerne on the 18th didn't disappear as quickly as those for his second Wigmore Hall concert on the 20th. Karita Mattila has a luscious programme on 10th September - Strauss, Brahms, Berg and wonderful Sibelius songs. Angelika Kirschlager's first recital is Schumann, the second will be the Hugo Wolf Spanisches Liederbuch. with Ian Bostridge, much more demanding and more interesting for that very reason.
Lots of Robert Schumann this year at the Wigmore Hall, and in programmes devised by Julius Drake, it will be good. James Gilchrist and Christopher Maltmann sing the "character songs" - Eichendorff, Kerner and Hans Christian Anderson. and then Kirchschlager returns to sing Respighi with the Belcea Quartet.
The Royal Festival Hall sparks back to life with Salonen and Jurowski, both conducting Mahler which I've writtten about HERE. Get to Salonen's Sibelus on 30/9 though. In Finland, the pressure to do Sibelius is so strong that Salonenen rebelled. It was wise, because when he eventually returned to Sibelius, he heard the music from a completely fresh perspective. No ingrained autopilot regurgitation. Instead, Salonen's Sibelius is intensely original, deeply thought through. Not for those who like Sibelius as Tchaikovsky manqué but great for those who want to get close to Sibelius's uncompromising soul.
The music clip "Het is September" a popular Dutch tune from the 1930's, Marcel Thielemann's Ramblers. A cheery start for the new year in music, after the summer break.