Tuesday, 31 December 2013

January at the Barbican

Max Richter
January at the Barbican includes the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Colin Matthews, Shostakovich, Martinu and Max Richter. Visitors include Magdalena Kozena (with Les Violons du Roi) and Andreas Scholl (with the Academy of Ancient Music). The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the Sixteen give you a chance to hear oratorios by both Handel and Haydn. And Sir John Eliot Gardiner joins the LSO for Mendelssohn and Schumann.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra continue their season with their new chief conductor Sakari Oramo performing Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 (Eroica), a new Colin Matthews work and Schumann's wonderful Konzertsuck for four horns and orchestra (8 January). Semyon Bychkov conducts them in Shostakovich's Symphony no. 7 (Leningrad) and Martinu's Concerto for two pianos with Katia and Marielle Labeque (16 January).

Perhaps the most intriguing event of January is the concert on 24 January when the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with Max Richter, conducted by Andre de Ridder perform Max Richter's Memoryhouse, which was originally an experimental album of "documentary music" combining ambient sounds, voices, and poetry readings. Richter never originally envisaged the work being performed live.


Mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena joins Les Violons du Roi, directed by Bernard Labadie, in a programme of Mozart and Haydn including Haydn's cantata Arianna a Naxos and arias from Mozart's La clemenza di Tito and Don Giovanni (11 January). Counter-tenor Andreas Scholl joins the Academy of Ancient Music and soprano Klara Ek in a programme which includes motets by Vivaldi and Pergolesi with concertos by Wassenaer (the 18th century Dutch diplomat whose Concerti Armonici were once thought to be by Pergolesi). (31 January)


In a wonderful pairing of oratorios, Richard Egarr conducts the London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra with Marls Petersen, Jeremy Ovenden and Gerald Finley in Haydn's The Creation, sung in English (12 January), and Harry Christophers conducts the Sixteen with James Gilchrist, Sophie Bevan, Robin Blaze and Matthew Brook in Handel's Jephtha (14 January).

Another intriguing pairing at the LSO brings Sir John Eliot Gardiner to conduct Mendelssohn's Hebrides and Symphony No.3 (Scottish) and Schumann's Piano Concerto with Maria Joao Pires (21 January).

The Crouch End Festival Chorus are premiering a new work by Murray Gold alongside music by David Bedford and Robert Fripp (18 January)

In the Art Gallery, the Pop Art Design exhibition continues until 9 February, exploring Pop Art more than 50 years after it first exploded onto the art scene. In the cinema showings include Ethan and Joel Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis which follows a struggling singer songwriter as he attempts to make an impression on the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960's (from 24 January). As well as the Bolshoi's Balanchine triple bill Jewels (19 January), and Philip Beizat's documentary Becoming Traviata (Traviate et Nous) exploring the creating of La Traviata at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with Natalie Dessay.

In the theatre, the Royal Shakespeare's Richard II directed by Gregory Doran with David Tennant in the title role continues until 25 January, but you probably need to kill someone to get tickets.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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