Carnegie Hall to examine music of Weimar era in ambitious 2024 festival

Tue Feb 28, 2023 at 11:35 am
By George Grella
Franz Welser-Möst will lead concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Carnegie Hall’s 2023-24 season.

Carnegie Hall’s 2023-2024 season will be built around some familiar artists who have been important and long-running presences in the hall, several of whom will come together in what promises to be an ambitious synthesis of music and cultural history, a months-long, citywide festival, “Fall of the Weimar Republic: Dancing on the Precipice.”

Announced by Carnegie Tuesday morning, the season opens October 4 with the first of two nights of concerts from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its departing conductor Riccardo Muti. Opening night, Leonidas Kavakos plays Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, followed by Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and October 5 the CSO program features the New York premiere of Philip Glass’ The Triumph of the Octagon, Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony No. 4, and Strauss’ Aus Italien.

“Fall of the Weimar Republic” begins January 20, 2024, with a concert from the Cleveland Orchestra and conductor Franz Welser-Möst, playing Krenek, the Adagio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10, and two Bartók works: a string orchestra arrangement of his String Quartet No. 3 and the Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin.

The festival will also bring in the Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin; the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andris Nelsons; both the Met Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble, again with Nézet-Séguin; the National Symphony Orchestra, led by Gianandrea Noseda; and the Vienna Philharmonic, with Welser-Möst. With additional ensembles, the festival will have near 30 concerts, including appearances from Ute Lemper, Max Raabe & Palast Orchester, and jazz pianist Jason Moran leading a concert of music by the important pre-jazz bandleader James Reese Europe.

The music will not only range beyond classical, but outside of the Weimar Republic as well, both in geography and time.

There will be Kurt Weill, Hindemith, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Korngold, and other German composers of the era, along with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in the work’s centennial (January 23; Philadelphia Orchestra with pianist Marcus Roberts); The Rite of Spring with Ravel and a new work from Tania León, the season’s Composer in Residence (January 29, Boston Symphony Orchestra); Weill and arrangements of Bob Dylan, played by The Knights, February 29; and American music from the era, along with new pieces, from the American Composers Orchestra, March 12.

Young star conductor Klaus Mäkelä will make his Carnegie debut and lead the Orchestre Paris in The Rite and The Firebird, March 16, and March 7 pianist Igor Levit will play arrangements of symphonic music by Beethoven and Mahler. The festival runs through May 2, when Simon Rattle will conduct the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a program of Hindemith, Zemlinsky’s Symphonie Gesänge (with baritone Lester Lynch), and Mahler’s tragic Symphony No. 6.

Welser-Möst will also have one of the two Perspectives Series for the season. Those are concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic and the one with the Cleveland Orchestra that are also part of the Weimar Festival; Hindemith, Strauss, Schoenberg, and Ravel’s La Valse; Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (March 1-3).

Pianist Mitsuko Uchida has the other Perspectives Series, the second of her sequence of three consecutive seasons with one that began with the current season. On March 15, she will accompany tenor Mark Padmore in songs by Schubert, then play Schubert for two pianos, with Jonathan Biss, April 9. March 28, she will continue her traversal of selected Mozart Piano Concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and May 31 she will join the Philadelphia Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major (on a program with the New York premiere of Valerie Coleman’s Concerto for Orchestra, which will be highly anticipated, and Debussy’s La Mer).

The January 29 concert will be the first in León’s residency, and her compositions will be part of a total of five programs. Ensemble Connect will play De Memorias February 20, Alarm Will Sound appears March 26 with her Tocque, Ensemble Modern will play two of her pieces along with music by Conlon Nancarrow on April 13, and May 31 and ensemble led by innovative jazz pianist David Virelles and featuring percussionist and MacArthur Fellow Dafnis Prieto will play her A la par, along with a piece by Virelles and one by the major jazz composer and musician Henry Threadgill.

Notable artists and events will include the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and pianist Lang Lang playing Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and Carnival of the Animals—the second pianist is Gina Alice Redlinger (October 12); conductor Nathalie Stutzman makes her Carnegie debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra with Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 and Mozart’s Reguiem (April 30); Daniel Barenboim returns with the Staatskapelle Berlin in a two-night Brahms symphony cycle (November 30 and December 1); there will be two all-Brahms symphony and concerto concerts, February 3-4, with Zubin Mehta conducting the Munich Philharmonic and Yefim Bronfman playing the two Piano Concertos; Nézet-Séguin also appears with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, March 6, with new music by Cris Derksen, Tony Siqi Yun soloing in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Sibelius Symphony No. 2; and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Carnegie after four decades, accompanying Daniil Trifonov in Mozart’s “Jeunhomme” concerto, and playing Pärt’s Swansong and selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, with Lahav Shani conducting (March 9).

Harry Bicket and the English Concert continue their ongoing Handel project December 10 with Rodelinda, featuring mezzo-soprano Lucy Crowe and countertenor Iestyn Davies. John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists, and Monteverdi Choir will perform Bach’s Mass in B minor, October 25, and the next night play Handel’s  L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato. November 2, mezzo Lea Desandre will sing Handel, Monteverdi, Merula, and others, with lutist Thomas Dunford. Mahan Esfahani plays Handel, Bach, Scarlatti, and Gibbons on the harpsichord, April 12, while April 3, Jordi Savall leads Hesperion XXI in works by Frescobaldi, Kapsberger, de’ Cavalieri, Falconiero, and more.

The Cremona Quartet will make its Carnegie debut October 26, playing Wolf, Ravel, and Beethoven, and March 21 the Quatuor Van Kuijk will also debut, playing Beethoven, Fauré, and Mendelssohn. Pianist Leif Ove Ansdnes joins the Dover Quartet April 30 for Dohnányi’s Piano Quintet No. 2 and the Brahms Piano Quintet. The dynamic Junction Trio (violinist Stefan Jackiw, cellist Jay Campbell, and pianist Conrad Tao) will play Ives’ Piano Trio, Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio, and the New York premiere of John Zorn’s Philosophical Investigations (May 3), and May 14, Decoda celebrates the 80th anniversary of Copland’s Appalachian Spring with a new work from Adam Schoenberg, Eisler’s Septet No. 1, and Billy Bragg’s arrangement of Woody Guthrie’s song “Eisler on the Go,” along with other works.

Along with Padmore, there will be vocal recitals from baritone Bryn Terfel, with pianist Annabel Thwaite and harpist Hannah White (November 14); soprano Diana Damrau, accompanied by pianist Helmut Deutsch, will sing Robert and Clara Schumann, Strauss, and others (February 6); mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo sings songs by Hildur Guðnadóttir, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Dowland, and others, with pianist Sophia Muñoz (April 20); and April 25, baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Evgeny Kissin bring a program of Schumann and Brahms. Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason makes her solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall, October 17; cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays a solo recital, November 8; Trifonov plays Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Rameau, December 12, Yunchan Lin, youngest ever Van Cliburn winner, makes his Carnegie debut with Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes, and more, February 21; and both Maurizio Pollini and András Schiff are schedule to deliver solo recitals, October 22 and November 16, respectively.

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