Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, Haydn among stars of Oregon Symphony's 2013-14 season
Mar 02, 2013 (The Oregonian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Oregon Symphony's new season has everything a music lover could want: star performers, popular works and favorite soloists.
But, that's just a start. The 2013-14 season has musical adventures you've probably never dreamed of.
"Shoreless River" anyone
"From Me Flows What You Call Time"
Never heard of them.
Of 46 works the orchestra will perform between September and May, more than a third -- 17 -- will be new to the orchestra and probably to audiences. That's three more than this season, an ongoing reminder that in his 11th year, music director Carlos Kalmar continues to deliver adventures.
As in previous seasons, Kalmar avoids an overall theme to the classical series.
"I always intend to create a mixture that attracts the most patrons while being interesting for regulars and challenging for the orchestra," he says. "I still refuse to put an entire season underneath only one thematic wing."
But one difference emerges from previous seasons, he says.
"I believe the difference from my early years is that we are now at the stage where this amazing orchestra can play whatever they want at the highest level."
That explains three Haydn symphonies next season, culminating in a recording for PentaTone, Kalmar's third with the orchestra. Haydn is a famously tough gig for musicians, requiring an unusually high degree of clarity, precision and refinement in order to capture the classical era's style. Few American orchestras record Haydn, leaving him to the Europeans.
"We talked to PentaTone about the idea," Kalmar says, "and their artistic team was very interested in such a project. To record Haydn is one of the toughest things you can do, and our orchestra is ready."
For more obvious dazzlements, Chinese pianist Lang Lang will thunder through Sergei Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto on Sept. 12. Joshua Bell will spread Finnish moodiness in Jean Sibelius' Violin Concerto, May 17-19, 2014, and pianist Emanuel Ax plays Bach's D Minor Concerto and Richard Strauss' mercurial "Burleske," Jan. 11-13. Of the four stars next season, only Hilary Hahn plays something rare: Carl Nielsen's spare Nordic Violin Concerto, March 8-10, 2014.
Just as exciting are two vocal works: Gustav Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde" ("The Song of the Earth"), a radiant set of symphonically scaled songs about love, loss, youth, drinking and dying, scheduled for May 10 and 12, 2014. The Oregon Symphony hasn't performed it since before James DePreist arrived in 1980. And Benjamin Britten's massive War Requiem, commissioned after World War II as a symbol of healing, postponed from this season, is on Nov. 2 and 3.
Speaking of new works, the orchestra will play the tone poem "Shoreless River" by German composer Detlev Glanert (born in 1960) Jan. 18 and 20, and the symphony's percussion section will perform Toru Takemitsu's "From Me Flows What You Call Time" on a battery of bells, bowls and drums on opening night, Sept. 21 and 23. The work, which places five percussionists in different parts of the hall, is a tribute to the Portland Japanese Garden's 50th anniversary this year.
As in past years, returning performers will add elegance and insight to their performances, beginning with popular German cellist Alban Gerhardt, back for his second residency, in April, 2014. Brazilian pianist Arnaldo Cohen, recently named artistic director of Portland Piano International, plays Sergei Rachmaninoff's powerful Second Piano Concerto, Feb. 22-24.
Among notable newcomers are superb German violinist Christian Tetzlaff performing Brahms' Double Concerto with his cellist sister, Tanja, Oct. 26-28, and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey in "Das Lied von der Erde."
Special concerts include Zakir Hussain and his Masters of Percussion, March 21, 2014; the Seattle Symphony making a rare foray south, March 30, 2014; a Storm Large Valentine's concert, Feb. 14, 15; and cabaret singer Meow Meow with Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale, Sept. 14.
The Oregon Symphony also presents eight pops concerts and three kids concerts.
Let the adventure begin.
-- David Stabler
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at www.oregonian.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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