San Jose’s Mercury News asked a poignant question about Jamie Barton: “Is there anything this artist can’t sing?” Judging by her meteoric rise to the top tier of mezzo-sopranos, the answer is a resounding “no.” She has dazzled audiences around the world in operas that span the bel canto of Bellini to Wagner and concert music from Brahms to Elgar. Musical Toronto wrote, “The moment she opened her mouth, my jaw (figuratively) dropped.” Be prepared for a similar experience when she comes to Carnegie Hall.
Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano Kathleen Kelly, Piano
L. BOULANGER "Attente"
BEACH "Ah, love but a day" from Three Browning Songs
N. BOULANGER "S'il arrive jamais" from Les heures claires
HAYDN Arianna a Naxos
IAIN BELL of you (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
LIBBY LARSEN Selections from Love after 1950 ·· Boy’s Lips ·· Big Sister Says, 1967 ·· The Empty Song
For more than 40 years, the young musicians of the New York String Orchestra have made Christmas Eve a time of joyous music making. This season, violinist Pamela Frank joins the orchestra with Jaime Laredo on viola for Mozart’s eloquent and virtuosic Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major, K. 364. There’s also an energetic concerto by Vivaldi and Haydn’s dazzling penultimate symphony, the inventive “Drumroll.”
New York String Orchestra Jaime Laredo, Conductor, Violin, and Viola Pamela Frank, Violin
VIVALDI Concerto in A Minor for Two Violins, Strings, and Continuo from L'estro armonico, Op. 3, No. 8
MOZART Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major, K. 364
Rather than singing “Auld Lang Syne,” bid the old year adieu with great orchestral music performed by the New York String Orchestra. The legendary Richard Goode joins the orchestra for Mozart’s highly dramatic Piano Concerto No. 20. There’s also a new work by Gabriela Lena Frank inspired by Peruvian pan pipes and Mendelssohn’s vibrant symphonic tribute to Scotland.
New York String Orchestra Jaime Laredo, Conductor Richard Goode, Piano
London-born Sinkane (also known as Ahmed Gallab) lived in Sudan until he was five years old. In these early years, he absorbed the North African musical culture that inspires his rapturous hybrid sound, laced with percussion-heavy Sudanese pop, electronica, funk, and free jazz. He is a prolific recording artist with critically acclaimed EPs and albums to his credit. Sinkane’s most recent recording, Life & Livin’ It, has won rave reviews, with The Guardian touting its “socially conscious music suffused with joy.”
Yodeling, rhythmic clicks, and throat singing with complex harmonies are just some of the techniques that Roomful of Teeth pull from its expansive vocal toolbox. Winners of the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance, the ensemble is committed to exploring the expressive potential of the human voice by using vocal techniques from around the world. In addition to a work commissioned by Carnegie Hall, they perform Partita, the composition by composer and ensemble member Caroline Shaw for which she received the Pulitzer Prize.
Roomful of Teeth Brad Wells, Artistic Director Tigran Hamasyan, Piano
CAROLINE SHAW Partita for 8 Voices
AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE a promise in the stillness (NY Premiere)
TIGRAN HAMASYAN Ser Aravote (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
Parsifal, Wagner’s final opera, is a majestic work that reaches heavenly heights in its spiritually transcendent third act. Wagner was Bruckner’s idol, and the sweeping breadth and tonal language of the older composer inspired much of his music. At the time of his death, Bruckner had only completed three movements of his Ninth Symphony, but what he left is compelling and deeply touching. His symphony ascends from a musical primordial haze to a finale that explores new harmonies and peace in its quiet closing benediction.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Daniele Gatti, Chief Conductor
WAGNER Prelude to Act III and Good Friday Spell from Parsifal
“It’s one of astonishing power and beauty,” said The New York Times of violinist Janine Jansen’s “full-bodied, polished-wood sound.” She is the soloist in one of the Romantic era’s great works: Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. It is certainly a showpiece for the soloist, but the concerto is also a work of tremendous lyricism and emotional weight. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is one of the great Mahler orchestras, performing the composer’s Symphony No. 1 at Carnegie Hall—a work that delights with its sounds of nature and lilt of folk song, while uplifting the spirit with its sublime climax.
Perspectives: Janine Jansen
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Daniele Gatti, Chief Conductor Janine Jansen, Violin
When a pianist is called a “virtuoso in the tradition of Gilels, Richter, and Horowitz” (Los Angeles Times), there’s going to be electricity coursing through the audience. Such is the case with Denis Matsuev, who returns to Carnegie Hall for a recital in which he displays his “epic technique … superhuman speed, power, and agility” (The Boston Globe).
Denis Matsuev, Piano
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110
BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2, "The Tempest"
Robert Mealy is the preeminent American period instrument violinist. Praised for his “imagination, taste, subtlety, and daring” (The Boston Globe), he is joined by longtime partners for a concert of dazzlingly virtuosic and brilliantly extravagant music by such 17th-century innovators as Castello, Pandolfi, Erlebach, Biber, and Schmelzer.
Part of Salon Encores.
Robert Mealy, Violin Avi Stein, Harpsichord Charles Weaver, Theorbo Beiliang Zhu, Cello
In addition to pieces by three American mavericks written in the 1960s, the ever-adventurous Kronos Quartet performs a program that includes world premieres of two works commissioned by Carnegie Hall. Zachary J. Watkins’s piece is inspired by the moment just before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, while Stacy Garrop’s work is rooted in the words and spirit of oral historian and activist Studs Terkel.
Part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.
Kronos Quartet ·· David Harrington, Violin ·· John Sherba, Violin ·· Hank Dutt, Viola ·· Sunny Yang, Cello
STEVE REICH Pendulum Music
SMITH "The Star-Spangled Banner" (arr. Stephen Prutsman and Kronos Quartet)
TRAD. "The House of the Rising Sun" (arr. Jacob Garchik)
STACY GARROP Glorious Mahalia (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
KEN BENSHOOF Odds and Ends
GERSHWIN "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess (arr. Jacob Garchik)
ZACHARY J. WATKINS Peace Be Till (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)