There are a few contemporary music treats to enjoy before the classical music world dissolves into a frenzy of yuletide bonhomie.
On Friday 6th December there is the London première of Georg Frederick Haas’s In Vain, described by Simon Rattle, no less, as ‘An astonishing work of art that has become a cult wherever it is played. One of the first great masterpieces of the C21st.’ Falling on at the end of the Southbank’s year-long The Rest is Noise celebration, the London Sinfonietta will hold a ‘Festival in a Day’ on 8th. There will be twelve premières, including works by Edmund Finnis, Francisco Coll, Rebecca Saunders and Simon Steen-Anderson. On 12th December in City Halls, Glasgow, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will perform John Adams’s City Noir, a symphony of Los Angeles inspired by classic movies and scored for large orchestra.
Perhaps inspired by the time of year, there are several concerts of more accessible contemporary music. There is iconic film music on 1st December in a 60th birthday tribute concert to Patrick Doyle, whose scores include Hamlet, Henry V, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Eragon. There will also be the world première of his score for Jack Ryan. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales’s concert Americana on 2nd December includes works by Copland and Bernstein. The latter’s West Side Story – Symphonic Dances also concludes a programme of Barber and Gershwin given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at BBC Maida Vale on 6th December.
At the Musikverein, Vienna on 2nd December Ensemble Kontrapunkte present a programme that consists of music by Norbert Sterk, Judith Unterpertinger, Manuela Kere, Shih, Gernot Wolfgang and, the composer whose disc I reviewed in my previous post, Gerhard Schedl. On 8th December, Merkin Concert Hall in New York City will host pianist Aleck Karis presenting a concert dedicated to late works of the iconoclastic composer Morton Feldman. These are coupled with two pieces by Stefan Wolpe and Anton Webern’s Piano Variations. On 9th December, finally, at IRCAM, Paris, Tedi Papavrami (violin), François-Frédéric Guy (piano) and Xavier Phillips (cello) will play two works by Marc Monnet – Trio No. 3 and Imaginary Travel – framed by performances of Liszt’s Pensées des Morts and Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin.
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