A super-size classical menu Season's second half will be delicious.

Posted: January 11, 2004

Big statements. Big sounds. Big everything. That's the second half of the Philadelphia classical music season.

Among masterpieces of the past, the Opera Company of Philadelphia is starting the calendar year with Verdi's longest and most psychologically complicated opera, Don Carlo, Jan. 30 to Feb. 15. Among purely orchestral events, Michael Tilson Thomas immerses the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in the Freudian murk of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 on March 24.

Christoph Eschenbach, however, may trump them all with Mahler's World, a minifestival that will explore Mahler's music along with that of his antecedents (Schubert) and descendants (Zemlinsky and Schoenberg). It begins with Mahler's Symphony No. 3 Feb. 19-21, the longest of them. With Eschenbach's reputation for taking slow tempos in this piece, it's rumored that a performance he began a few years ago in Houston is still going on. So if you're the type who never wants the symphony to end, it could be just the thing.

Lesser-known monuments to be heard: the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia performs what many consider to be Shostakovich's late-period masterpiece about life and death, his Symphony No. 14, Feb. 22-23, with two of Russia's premier singers, Elena Prokina and Sergei Leiferkus. Pianist Marc-Andr Hamelin, who is known for exhuming the dinosaurlike bones of virtuosos from centuries past, will take on Albeniz's finger-busting but marvelously atmospheric cycle of pianistic tone poems, Iberia, on March 6. If done well, the concert should have the same effect as a two-week stay in Barcelona.

Philadelphia composer Andrea Clearfield unveils a cantata, The Long Bright, with Orchestra 2001 on April 26; it takes on the weighty subject of breast cancer. The Choral Arts Society scales the daunting heights of Alfred Schnittke's complicated but penetrating Choir Concerto on May 23.

Then there are the concerts performed by living monuments: violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, pianist-composer Andre Previn, and cellist Lynn Harrell, for example. Three personalities this strong (the first two being married) don't often attempt to play chamber music as a piano trio. Who will win? Probably the audience, on April 21. Two equally weighty but younger personalities - violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt - will join forces for a Bartok/Janacek performance on April 21.

The young cellist Mark Kosower made such an individualistic impression when he played a Haydn cello concerto last fall, one can only imagine what he'll do with the Dvorak Cello Concerto on April 24 with the Haddonfield Symphony.

And these are only some of the spring highlights.

Contact music critic David Patrick Stearns at 215-854-4907 or dstearns@phillynews.com.

Spring Classical Music Schedule

Orchestral

Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia 215-545-5451. www.chamberorchestra.org. Jeri Lynne Johnson conducts Scrap Arts Music, Harold Boatrite, Bach, 1/18-19. Ignat Solzhenitsyn conducts Bartok, Shostakovich; Elena Prokina, soprano, Sergei Leiferkus, bass, 2/22-23. Solzhenitsyn conducts Beethoven, Schubert; Kyung-Wha Chung, violin, 3/28-29. David Stern conducts Concerto Kln, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Wagner; Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello, 3/14-15. Johnson conducts Mozart, Borodin, Prokofiev; Julian Bliss, clarinet, 5/23-24.

Delaware Symphony 1-800-374-7263. www.desymphony.org. Words & Music Chamber, today, 3/14, 4/18, 5/16. Champagne Chamber, Tue, 2/17 & 4/27. Landis & Company Enchantment Theatre in Cinderella, 1/24-25. David Amado conducts selections, 1/30-31. Russian National Orchestra, 2/2. Moscow State Radio Symphony & Chorus, 2/9. St Valentine's Concert, selections by David Amado, 2/13-14. OperaDelaware in The Hobbit, 3/6. Itzhak Perlman, violin, 3/7. Cho-Liang Lin, violin, 3/11-13. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, 3/17. Randy Newman (film scores), 3/19-20. OperaDelaware in The Telephone & The Medium, 3/25-28. Vladimir Feltsman, piano, 4/15-17. OperaDelaware in The Magic Flute, 5/1, 5/6, 5/8 & 5/9. Stewart Goodyear, piano, 5/13-15. Carmina Burana, 5/22.

Haddonfield Symphony 856-429-1880 www.haddonfield-symphony.org. Music du Jour series, today, 3/14, 5/16. "Tunes for Teens," works by Ravel, Rodrigo, DeFalla; Jason Vieaux, guitar, 2/13. Works by Ravel, Rodrigo, DeFalla; Jason Vieaux, guitar, 2/14. Works by Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens, premiere of Mark Farago's Divertimento for Small Orchestra, 3/21. Family concert: Seuss on the Loose!, 3/26. Works by Dan Coleman, Dvork, Stravinsky; Mark Kosower, cello, 4/24.

Music Group of Philadelphia 610-527-9122. www.musicgroupofphila.org. A cappella singing with Elizabeth Manus, piano, works by Dominick Argento, Alberto Ginastera, 3/19 & 3/21. Works by Bruckner, Mihly, 5/14 & 5/16.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra 800-255-3476. www.njsymphony.org. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducts Dvork; Tzimon Barto, piano, 1/23. New York Voices, Valentine's Day program, 2/13. Kristjan Jrvi conducts Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Debussy; Di Wu, piano, 2/28. Songs from the Beatles, 3/26. Works by Bruch, Brahms; Sarah Chang, violin, 4/16. River City Brass Band, 4/30. George Manahan conducts New York City Opera, excerpts from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, 5/15. With Michael Feinstein, vocals, piano 5/21.

Orchestra 2001 215-922-2190. www.orchestra2001.org. James Freeman conducts Schoenberg, Ravel, Yannatos; Lucy Shelton, soprano, 2/21-22. Freeman conducts "Latin Masterpieces," works by de Falla, Sierra, Villa-Lobos; Jody Karin Applebaum soprano, 3/20-21. Peter Schickele conducts PDQ Bach, Andrea Clearfield; Hila Plitamam, soprano, Temple University Children's Choir, 4/26. "Discovery Concert," world premieres by 5 Phila composers, 5/23.

Philadelphia Classical Symphony 610-664-8481. www.classicalsymphony.org. Karl Middleman, conductor. Family program: Latin Fiesta, Sat. Works by Vivaldi, Creston, Dvorak; Mimi Stillman, flute & piccolo, 2/8. Works by Handel, Diamond, premiere of Maurice Wright's trombone concerto; Nitzan Haroz, trombone, 4/4. Family program: Brass Band with Beats Walkin', 5/22.

Philadelphia Orchestra 215-893-1999. www.philorch.org. Dr Martin Luther King Jr Tribute Concert, Mon. Wolfgang Sawallisch conducts Beethoven program, Thu-Sat & 1/20. Simon Rattle conducts Wagner, Henze, Brahms, 1/22-24. Rattle conducts Dvorak, Chopin, Sibelius; Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, 1/29-30 & 2/3. Academy of Music Anniversary Concert: Rattle conducts Bernstein, Barber, Gershwin, Audra McDonald, soprano, 1/31. Rattle conducts Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen; Rinat Shaham, mezzo-soprano, 2/6-7. Charles Dutoit conducts Bartok, Shostakovich, Sibelius; Yefim Bronfman, piano, 2/11-13 & 2/17. Dutoit conducts Valentine's Day Concert, Rimsky-Korsakov, Piazzolla, Ravel, Chabrier, Daniel Binelli, bandoneon, 2/14. Christoph Eschenbach conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 3, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, mezzo-soprano, Women of Phila Singers Chorale, American Boychoir, 2/19-21. Eschenbach conducts Schubert, Zemlinsky; Melanie Diener, soprano, Dietrich Henschel, baritone, 2/26-28. Eschenbach conducts Schoenberg, Mahler, Beethoven; Lang Lang, piano, 3/4-6. Eschenbach conducts Mahler, Shostakovich; Matthias Goerne, baritone, 3/11-13. Sawallisch conducts Weber, Parish Alvars, Brahms; Elizabeth Hainen, harp, 3/19-20 & 3/23. Sawallisch conducts Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Mozart; Elisabeth Batiashvili, violin, 3/25-27 & 3/30. Sawallisch conducts Schumann, Mozart, Strauss; Arnaldo Cohen, piano, 4/1-3. Eschenbach conducts Brahms, Prokofiev; Gil Shaham, violin, 4/15-17. Eschenbach conducts Brahms; Tzimon Barto, piano, Phila Singers Chorale, 4/22-24 & 4/27. Eschenbach conducts Shostakovich, Mahler; Gidon Kremer, violin, 4/29-30 & 5/1. Eschenbach conducts Messiaen, Bruckner, 5/6-8.

Reading Symphony Orchestra 610-373-7557. www.readingsymphony.com. Sidney Rothstein, conductor. All-Mozart program, Sat. Valentine's Day program, Ravel, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, 2/14. Works by Dvork, Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky; Ayako Yoshida, violin, 3/6.

Tempesta di Mare 215-755-8776. www.tempestadimare.org. "Bohemian Vivaldi," 1/23-24. Bach concertos, 4/2-3.

Chamber Music/Recitals

Astral Artistic Services 215-735-6999. www.astralartisticservices.org. Chiara String Quartet; Clancy Newman, cello, Randall Scarlata, baritone, Fri. Gidon Kremer, violin, Yulia Korpacheva, soprano, Wendy Warner, cello, Andrius Zlabys, piano, 1/22. Phila recital debut of Meredith Arwady, contralto; works by Mahler, Brahms, Elgar, 2/8. Chiara String Quartet, Newman String Quartet; works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, 3/7. Works by Couperin, Hindemith, Ravel, 4/7.

Chamber Music Now! 267-679-5461. www.chambermusicnow.org. Duo Con Forza, 4/17.

1807 & Friends 215-438-4027. http://astro.temple.edu/~rgreene/1807/. Program includes Schumann's Three Romances for Violin & Piano, Beethoven's Cello Sonata in C Major, Dvork Piano Trio, Dumky, Mon. Allen Krantz, guitar; works by Villa Lobos, Bach, Schumann, 2/9. Wister Quartet, works by Mozart, Paganini, Dvork, 3/22.

Music from Gretna at Elizabethtown College 717-361-1508. www.mtgretna.com/music Andres Cardenes, violin, Luz Manrquez, piano; works by Schubert, Faur, Respighi, 2/15. Paul Galbraith, guitar; works by Bach, Granados, Ravel, 3/21. Jonathan Carney, violin, Kathron Sturrock, piano; works by Mozart, Rawsthorne, Franck, 5/9. Concert Artists of Baltimore; works by Vivaldi, Schubert, 5/15.

Morning Musicales 610-525-2239. Spencer Myer, piano, 1/20. Francesca DePasquale, violin, Natalie Zhu, piano, 4/1.

Network for New Music 215-848-7647. www.networkfornewmusic.org. Benefit Concert with William Bolcom, 1/30. "New-Gifted-Black," works by George Walker, Rolando Morales-Matos, Jeffrey Mumford; Diane Monroe, violin, 3/18 & 3/21. "In the Begining" works by Melinda Wagner, Steven Mackey, Barbara White, 4/28 & 5/2.

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society www.philadelphiachambermusic.org. 215-569-8080. Moscow Quartet with Gary Graffman, piano, today. Soovin Kim, violin, Jeremy Denk, piano, Tue. PCMS Players I (Arnold Steinhardt & Ida Kavafian, violins, Steven Tenenbom & Michael Tree, violas, Peter Wiley, cello), Fri. Mir String Quartet, 1/23. Vermeer Quartet, 1/25. Jonathan Biss, piano, 1/30. Bolcom & Morris, 1/31. Arnaldo Cohen, piano, 2/6. Midori, violin, 2/9. Pacifica Quartet, 2/11. Joel Krosnick, cello, Gilbert Kalish, piano, 2/17. Ewa Podles, contralto, 2/20. Ying Quartet with Samuel Rhodes, viola, David Soyer, cello, 2/22 (afternoon). Marcantonio Barone, piano, 2/22 (evening). Tokyo String Quartet, 2/25. Anner Bylsma, baroque cello, 2/27. Curtis Chamber Orchestra with Joseph Silverstein, conductor & violin, 2/29. Brubeck Brothers Quartet with Phila Orchestra Winds, 3/1. Marc-Andr Hamelin, piano, 3/3. Phila Singers, 3/5. Matthias Goerne, baritone & C. Eschenbach, piano, 3/8. Miami String Quartet with Susan Starr, piano, 3/10. PCMS Players II (Johannes Quartet), 3/19. Ida Levin, violin, Jeremy Denk, piano, 3/21. Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola, Meng-Chieh Liu, piano, 3/22. Beaux Arts Trio, 3/28. Daniel Matsukawa, bassoon with Divertimento, 4/4. Juilliard String Quartet, 4/14. Musicians From Marlboro, 4/20. Christian Tetzlaff, violin, Lars Vogt, piano, 4/21. Muir & Guarneri Quartets, 4/23. Richard Goode, piano, 5/3. Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano, 5/5. PCMS Players III (Cynthia Raim, piano, Ida Levin, violin, Peter Stumpf, cello), 5/10. Chicago Quartet with Hyunah Yu, Randall Scarlata, Charles Abramovic 5/16. Emerson String Quartet, 5/18. Peter Serkin, piano, 5/20.

Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society 215-567-2972. www.phillyguitar.com. Duo Erato (Martha Masters & Risa Carlson, guitars); works by Sor, Franck, Piazolla, today. Lily Afshar, 2/22. James Day, 3/14. Annual festival, with Jason Vieaux, 4/18.

Philadelphia Museum of Art 215-235-7469. www.philamuseum.org. The Phila Orchestra Connection, "Nordic Music for Winds," 2/1. Zephyros Quintet with Piano & Harp, 2/27. Eugenia Zukerman, flute, 3/12. Opera Co of Philadelphia, recital with William Burden, tenor, Nathan Gunn, baritone, 3/26. Curtis Institute of Music: 2/14, 3/13, 4/10, 5/1. Phila Chamber Music Society: Mir String Quartet, 1/23. Jonathan Biss, piano, 1/30.

Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Series 215-893-1999. www.philorch.org. All with Members of the Phila Orchestra: Works by Mendelssohn, Bartok, White, 1/25. Works by Beethoven, Schubert, Zemlinsky, 2/29. Works by Brahms, Beethoven, Rossini, 4/4. Works by Beethoven, Messiaen; C. Eschenbach, piano, 5/2.

The Philadelphia Trio 610-566-1235. Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, 2/8. Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Francaix, Zwilich, Smetana, 3/28.

Piffaro: The Renaissance Band 215-235-8469. www.piffaro.com. "The Cathedrals of Mexico," with Fuma Sacra, 2/6-8. "The King of Instruments & the Instruments of Kings," Matthew Glandorf, organ, 3/19-21. "Follow the Pipers: A Family Concert," 5/1.

Relache 215-574-8246. www.relache.org. "Relche & the Opera," Violet Fire, multimedia opera-theater work, 2/13-14. "Future Sounds III: Sounds Ecstatic & Mysterious," 2/20-22. "Future Sounds IV: Worlds Mythic + Mercurial," 5/21 & 5/26-27. "Relche & the Big Nothing," 7/11-16.

Settlement Music School 215-320-2600. www.smsmusic.org. Settlement Contemporary Players, 2/1. Diane Monroe recital, 4/4. Network for New Music, 5/2.

Opera/Choral

Academy of Vocal Arts 215-735-1685. www.avaopera.org. Puccini's Edgar, 1/21, 1/23-24. Strauss' Elektra, 2/27, 2/29, 3/2, 3/4, 3/6, 3/8. "Jubilate! A Concert of Sacred Music," 3/20-21. Richard Troxell & Friends, 4/2. Gaetano Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love), 4/29, 5/2-3, 5/5, 5/8, 5/10-11. Todd Thomas, 5/14. Farewell recital, 5/16.

Bach Choir of Bethlehem 610-866-4382. www.bach.org. Family concert, 3/7. Bach's Saint John Passion, 3/28. Bethlehem Bach Festival: Cantatas & Motets, 5/7 & 5/14, the Ifor Jones Memorial Chamber Music Concerts, 5/8 & 5/15. Members of the Baltimore Consort, 5/8 & 5/15. The Mass in B Minor, 5/8 & 5/15. Festival highlights, 5/13.

Boheme Opera 609-581-7200. www.bohemeopera.com. The Barber of Seville, 4/23 & 4/25.

Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia 215-545-8634. www.choralarts.com. "An American Choral Festival": works by Thompson, Copland, Jack Gottlieb, Barber, Ed Bilous, 4/17. "Spiritual Splendor": works by Schnittke, Handel, 5/23.

Mendelssohn Club 215-735-9922. mcchorus.org. 130th Anniversary Concert, works by Bartk, Orff, 3/28. With Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, 5/1.

Opera Company of Philadelphia www.operaphilly.com. 215-732-8400. Verdi's Don Carlo, 1/30-2/1, 2/4, 2/7, 2/10, 2/13 & 2/15. Offenbach's The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, 4/16, 4/18, 4/21, 4/24, 4/27, 4/30 & 5/2. Bizet's Les Pcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers), 4/23, 4/25, 4/28, 5/1, 5/4, 5/7 & 5/9.

Singing City www.singingcity.org. 215-569-9067. "Generations in Harmony: A Celebration of Young Voices", 2/28. "Spirituals: The Path to Freedom"; Renee Chenault-Fattah, narrator, 5/15.

Vox Ama Deus 610-688-2800. voxamadeus.com. Valentin Radu, lecture & recital on Mozart, 1/25. Valentin Radu, piano & organ, Candlemas concert, 2/8. Bach's Mass in B Minor, 3/12. All-Bach program, 3/28. Traditional Rennaissance Eastertide, 4/25.

Multiple Offerings

Curtis Institute of Music 215-893-7902. www.curtis.edu. Joseph Silverstein conducts Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Berlioz, Barber, Stravinsky, Elgar; Ida Kavafian, violin, 2/9. Christoph Eschenbach conducts Schnberg, Webern, Brahms, 4/18. Family concert: Woodwind family of instruments, 2/15. Curtis Opera Theatre: Rossen Milanov conducts Puccini's La Bohme, 2/20-21. David Hayes conducts Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, 4/29-30 & 5/2. Alumni Recital Series: Craig Sheppard, piano, 1/18. Scott St John, violin, Min Kyung Kwon, piano, 2/1. "A Tribute to George Rochberg," 3/21.

Grand Opera House 800-374-7263. www.grandopera.org. Russian National Orchestra, 2/2. Moscow State Radio Symphony & Chorus, 2/9. Itzhak Perlman, 3/7. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, 3/17.

Kimmel Center Presents 215-893-1999. www.kimmelcenter.org. Itzhak Perlman, violin, 1/25. Jennifer Koh, violin, Simone Dinnerstein, piano, 2/5. Herbert Blomstedt conducts Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. 2/13. Hilary Hahn, violin, Natalie Zhu, piano, 2/22. Ben Heppner, tenor, Craig Rutenberg, piano, 3/7. Salzburg Marionettes, Mozart's The Magic Flute, 3/18-20. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts San Francisco Symphony, Debussy, Mahler, 3/24. Alfred Brendel, piano, 3/26. Orion String Quartet with Marc Neikrug, 3/30. Murray Perahia, piano, 4/25. David Zinman conducts Tonhalle Orchestra, Honegger, Mozart, Strauss with Leif Ove Andsnes, piano, 5/2. Christopher O'Riley, piano, works by Radiohead, 5/6. Cook, Dixon & Young (formerly known as the Three Mo' Tenors), 5/9.

Music at Trinity Center for Urban Life 215-732-2515. www.trinitycentercity.org. Evensong: Mezzo Soprano, Fri. Piano Quartets, 1/25. Evensong: Clarinet, Cello, Piano, 2/20. String Quartets, 2/29. Spirituals & Porgy & Bess, 3/17 & 4/16. Evensong, 4/16. Orpheus in the Underworld, 4/23-24. Jazz Standards, 5/5. Evensong, 5/21. Seraphin String Quartet, 5/23.

Peter Nero & the Philly Pops 215-546-6400. www.phillypops.com. "Broadway Showstoppers in Concert," 1/28, 1/30-31, 2/1. "The PETER PrinciPAL," 3/17, 3/19-21. "All That Jazz," 3/31, 4/2-4. "An American Portrait," 5/12, 5/14-16.

Philomel 215-487-2344. www.philomel.org. "Ben Franklin's Musical World," Fri-Sat & 1/18. "Special Blend: Music for a London Coffee House," 3/5-7. "Vivaldi's Four Seasons," 5/7-9.

Temple University 215-204-8307. www.temple.edu/music. Works by Mozart with Lambert Orkis, fortepiano, Lisa-Beth Lambert, violin, 2/1, 2/4, 2/8. Luis Biava conducts Temple University Symphony Orchestra, Schuman, Bernstein, Glinka, 2/15. TU Wind Symphony, 2/29. New Music Trio, 3/16. Conwell Woodwind Quintet, 3/28. TU Choirs, with TU Chorale, University Singers & Women's Chorus, 3/31. Kimmel Center Concert: Alan Harler & Luis Biava conduct TU Symphony Orchestra & Combined Choirs, Copland, Bernstein, Tchaikovsky, 4/16. TU Opera Theater: Britten's Albert Herring, 4/23 & 4/25. Latin American Ensemble, 4/28. TU Percussion Ensemble, 4/30.

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