If my body came with a photovoltaic cell, I would be charging it for the upcoming week of concerts. The JACK Quartet makes its Chicago debut Wednesday night, May 2, at Northwestern, playing Helmut Lachenmann and Northwestern composers Aaron Cassidy and Aaron Travers (dubbed "the composin' Aarons" by me). Kent Nagano brings his weird version of Brahms' German Requiem to Orchestra Hall this week beginning Thursday, May 3, which interpolates Wolfgang Rihm's Das Lesen der Schrift between the Requiem's movements. (Rihm mp3 here). JACK will play again down in Hyde Park at the University of Chicago's Renaissance Society Saturday night, May 5, with roughly the same program, but with the addition of a premiere of a new work by Kirsten Broberg with the excellent, preposition-dependent, title of resonance. My take on the increasingly prolific Broberg's most recent premiere, from April 5, is here.
The same night as Nagano's Chicago Symphony performance, CUBE, the proud godparents of Chicago's new-music scene, plays new works inspired by Brecht at the Renaissance Society. Steven Isserlis plays Russian cello music Friday night, May 4, again at the University of Chicago, and Maurizio Pollini plays Chopin, Debussy, and Boulez Sunday afternoon. (Watch this space for a Pollini interview later this week, and check out his new release of Mozart concertos, with cadenzas by Salvatore Sciarrino in the G major concerto, No. 17, K. 453.)
If you need me, you know where to find me.
Mozart, Prokofiev Lise de la Salle, piano. With bonus DVD (Naive)
Bach Motets. The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM)
Bartok, Hindemith Zehetmair Quartet (ECM)
The Reminder Feist (Cherrytree/Interscope) (Yes, we like that popular music. Reminder's strong, but lacks a standout catchy hit such as "Mushaboom," from Let It Die. "Limit to Your Love" takes a slow burn as slow as one can go, though, and "1234" blends gospel piano and banjo into an insanely optimistic burst of aural sunshine. Or something like that.)
Cornell 1964 Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy (Blue Note)
Charles Mingus in Paris The Complete America Session (Sunnyside)
Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich Denis Matsuev, piano; St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra; Yuri Temirkanov, conductor. (Sony)
Shostakovich Symphony No. 13 Serge Aleksashkin, bass. St. Petersburg, Temirkanov. (Sony) (This is recording No. 3 of this work, by my count, of Aleksashkin's. He's recorded it with Mariss Jansons, Rudolf Barshai, and now Temirkanov. Any other versions out there I've missed?)