Professional offerings dominate the music scene this week. On Friday and Saturday, N.C. Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn continues his exploration of Mahler with the "Resurrection" Symphony, with two soloists and one of our superior local choirs. The conductor has a reputation for nuance, delicacy and exceptional orchestral balance, so it will be interesting to hear what he makes of this massive, sprawling work, with its uplifting texts from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Friedrich Klopstock's Ode, and Mahler's own pen. The fact that he's not of the German school may be helpful, since a lot of Mahler is very much like chamber music. And of course many of the great Mahler conductors hailed from other nations--including Holland (Mengelberg), Greece (Mitropoulos), Great Britain (Stokowski and Barbirolli) and America (Bernstein). These two concerts mark the end of the NCS' Raleigh classical offerings for the current season.
Friday & Saturday, May 12 & 13
Jane Jennings, soprano, Mary Phillips, mezzo-soprano, North Carolina Master Chorale (Alfred E. Sturgis, director) and the N.C. Symphony, Grant Llewellyn, conductor. Mahler: Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection"). Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh. 8 p.m. $49-$28. 733-2750 or ncsymphony.org.
Also on the docket is a special concert by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle that features native son Nicholas Kitchen, one of the finest violinists yet produced in North Carolina, in a program offering three triple concerti--by Beethoven himself, by COT Music Director Lorenzo Muti's early mentor Gian-Carlo Menotti, and by Durham resident and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward. Beethoven and Menotti won't be in attendance, but chances are good that Dr. Ward will be on hand. Joining Kitchen will be his spouse and artistic colleague Yeesun Kim, cello, and Meng-Chieh Liu, piano. Thus we get half of the Borromeo String Quartet at this concert, plus a bonus guest. And of course it's a homecoming, too, for Kitchen--whose mother Dorothy recently received the N.C. Symphony's Maxine Swalin Award as the outstanding music educator of 2006.
Sunday, May 14
Nicholas Kitchen, violin, Yeesun Kim, cello, Meng-Chieh Liu, piano, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Lorenzo Muti, conductor. Ward: Triple Concerto; Beethoven: Triple Concerto; and Menotti: Concerto a tre. Carolina Theatre, Durham. 3 p.m. Post-concert reception. $20, students with ID free. 560-3030 or ibiblio.org/chamberorchestra.
Triumphant Rachmaninov in Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall, by Ken Hoover
"Once again I was impressed with the performance of the UNC Symphony Orchestra. Their program focused on familiar and popular romantic favorites and one new piece performed in the beautiful and acoustically sensitive Memorial Hall on the UNC campus. The triumph of the evening was Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto with Mayron Tsong."
"And What's More, Baby, I Can Play Pianissimo": Llewellyn Takes on Triangle Youth Philharmonic, by Elizabeth Kahn
"The Triangle Youth Philharmonic's April 30 concert opened with Sundays at Shakleford Banks, by Terry Mizesko, the N.C. Symphony's Principal Bass Trombone. The program featured two soloists--cellist Genevieve Norton and percussionist Matthew Morrow. And Elgar's Enigma Variations, a conductor's dream piece, internalized and conveyed guest conductor Grant Llewellyn's interpretation."
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Links to classical music and dance organizations Feature articles
Reviews of CDs, DVDs and books on classical music
Comprehensive theater coverage--reviews, openings and links