(Joyce) #1




“Der Fliegende Holländer”

Metropolitan Opera House
François Girard’s new staging of Wagner’s
“Der Fliegende Holländer” (“The Flying
Dutchman”) follows the playbook he estab-
lished with his captivating 2013 production
of the composer’s “Parsifal” rather closely.
The problem is that “Holländer” is a different
game. Its tale of the doomed romance between
the accursed sea captain of the title (a forceful
but colorless Evgeny Nikitin) and Senta, the
woman who would follow him into death (a
ragged-voiced Anja Kampe), hinges on her
wild-eyed obsession with him. This has very
little to do with the protracted rituals and exis-
tential agony found in “Parsifal”’s retelling of
the Grail legend, but Girard presses those el-
ements in a misapprehension of “Holländer”’s
more volatile energy and dramatic pace; the
orchestra sounds careful yet unpolished under
Valery Gergiev.—Oussama Zahr (March 10 at
8 and March 14 at 1.)

New York Philharmonic

David Geffen Hall
The powerful conductor Valery Gergiev is a
compelling advocate for Russian music, and
his latest New York Philharmonic program
is smack-dab at the heart of his favored rep-
ertoire. Opening with Rodion Shchedrin’s
Concerto for Orchestra No. 1 (“Naughty
Limericks”), Gergiev carries on with Rach-
maninoff ’s towering Piano Concerto No. 3
(with Denis Matsuev at the keyboard) and
concludes with Stravinsky’s brilliant ballet
“Petrushka.”—Steve Smith (March 12 at 7:
and March 13-14 at 8.)

Chamber Music Society
Various locations
Modern works take center stage in two mark-
edly divergent offerings from the Chamber
Music Society this week. The first, an intimate
affair in the Rose Studio, explores unorth-
odox tonalities, mingling a world première
by Alexandra du Bois with staple pieces by
Schoenberg, Ben Johnston, and Tristan Mu-
rail. In the other program, a tantalizing combo
of Alessio Bax, Lucille Chung, Ayano Kataoka,
and Ian David Rosenbaum plays Bartók’s ri-
otously inventive Sonata for Two Pianos and
Percussion, flanked by comfortable fare from
Tchaikovsky and Dohnányi.—S.S. (March 12
at 7:30 and March 15 at 5.)

Ya r n/Wire
Issue Project Room
Yarn/Wire, two pianists and two percussion-
ists with an insatiable appetite for fresh rep-
ertoire, extends its fruitful relationship with
Issue Project Room, a Brooklyn venue that
has fostered many of the group’s most ambi-
tious undertakings. For this engagement, the
quartet collaborates with the composer and
electronic musician Ben Vida for the New
York première of “Always Already,” which
also features the fine vocalist Nina Dante.
Aaron David Ross, a composer, producer, and
media artist, opens with a project titled “Filter
Failure.”—S.S. (March 12 at 8.)

Philadelphia Orchestra
Carnegie Hall
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his Philadelphia
players helm Carnegie Hall’s second full
cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies this sea-
son. Instead of playing through the works in ILLUSTRATION BY LORENZO GRITTI

It would be impossible to summarize
in just two evenings the impact that the
conductor Michael Tilson Thomas has
had on the San Francisco Symphony
during his celebrated tenure as its music
director, which began in 1995 and con-
cludes in June. Assuming the helm of an
esteemed, technically secure ensemble,
Tilson Thomas endowed the institution
with a penchant for bold gestures, a taste
for adventure, and a zeal for American
music. In his final Carnegie Hall appear-
ances as the orchestra’s leader, March 17-
18, the conductor leads two representa-
tive programs. The first features the local
première of a new John Adams piece, a
passionate Saint-Saëns cello concerto
(with Gautier Capuçon as the soloist),
and a Stravinsky ballet (“The Firebird”);
the second is devoted to Mahler’s ex-
plosive Symphony No. 6.—Steve Smith




“Riverdance 25th Anniversary”
Radio City Music Hall
Remember “Riverdance”? The Irish-dance show
originated in a single seven-minute act at the
1994 Eurovision Song Contest and went on
to become a massive juggernaut, seen by over

dutiful chronology, they kick things off with
the four most famous notes the composer
ever wrote—the opening motif of Symphony
No. 5, the very sound of fate rapping at the
door. Nézet-Séguin pairs it with the softer
hues of Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.” Also
playing: Leon Botstein and the American
Symphony Orchestra partner with the Marcus
Roberts Trio and the singer Catherine Russell
for a tribute to Duke Ellington’s classical-jazz
style (March 12 at 8).—O.Z. (March 13 at 8.)

JACK Quartet
National Sawdust
John Zorn, a chameleonic avant-gardist,
breaks down the string-quartet form and
puts it back together with his own kind of
rigor. Pieces such as “Cat O’Nine Tails”
and “Memento Mori” deal in experimental
tropes—the strings wail, skitter, and lean
into dissonances—but they never lose their
form nor their emotional quality. The JACK
Quartet, which mines contemporary music for
expressivity, plays all of Zorn’s string quartets
across two nights.—O.Z. (March 13-14 at 8.)

Chamber Music for Strings
In a pair of separate shows, the cozy Brooklyn
venue Spectrum offers complementary visions
of contemporary music for strings. In a mat-
inée performance, the esteemed cellist Daniel
Gaisford plays almost untenably intense rumi-
nations for unaccompanied cello by Michael
Hersch. Grab a bite nearby, then return in the
evening for a set by the up-and-coming Berga-
mot Quartet, which hails from Baltimore and
will take up residence at Mannes College this
fall; the group’s program includes works by
Caroline Shaw, Felipe Lara, Suzanne Farrin,
Paul Wiancko, and Ledah Finck, a member
of the quartet.—S.S. (March 15 at 3 and 7.)

New York Festival of Song
Kaufman Music Center
For its last main-stage offering of the season,
New York Festival of Song considers “The
Art of Pleasure”—the program’s title—in its
many iterations. Debussy’s “En Bateau” (“On
the Boat”), a piano four-hander that sways on
lazy waves, opens the evening, which then
finds its way to the boudoir (with immodest
numbers including Bernstein’s “It’s Gotta
Be Bad to Be Good” and the Kinks’ “Lola”),
Viennese operetta, and postmodern comedy.
The pianists Steven Blier, Michael Barrett,
and Shawn Chang accompany four singers
from Caramoor’s young-artist program.—O.Z.
(March 17 at 8.)