Los Angeles Music Preview: DUDAMEL CONDUCTS BERNSTEIN & BEETHOVEN (LA Phil)

by Tony Frankel on April 18, 2018

in Music,Tours

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D AND B AND B

Our city’s philharmonic will be going on tour next week to the Eastern seaboard (Boston, D.C. and New York), and then overseas to Barbican Hall, London, and the Paris Philharmonie. They are bringing some dazzling programs which include music from last week’s barn burner of a line-up — the Shostakovitch Fifth, Varèse’s Amériques, and Pollux, a world premiere by Esa-Pekka Salonen (see our review). Also on the touring agenda will be two works that are sure to impress: Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, a gorgeous, hope-filled plea for brotherhood, and Beethoven’s Ninth, the monster symphony that never fails to leave its mark. You will have four chances this weekend, April 19-22, 2018, to catch this monumental work before the LA Phil shows the world its superior stuff (except Friday, which will only have the Beethoven, but includes complimentary wine before the show, and free beer from local breweries afterward).

When I saw the Ninth with Dudamel and the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl last summer, he proved himself a treasure, displaying a strong sense of musical continuity, confidently and vigorously moving Beethoven’s drama forward with fierce, pile-driving joy: He held the reins tightly in the first movement, loosening up to convey the buoyant, playful energy of the second movement scherzo; and offered lovingly shaped phrases in the third. And the final movement — with its great “Ode to Joy” — was a whirling celebration of life and a ringing affirmation of the human spirit.

And I can assure that noisy crickets will not be joining us at Disney Hall, where the chorus will be sung by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by Grant Gershon. But I want to bring your attention to the soloists: Soprano Julianna Di Giacomo, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, heroic tenor Michael König, and bass-baritone Davóne Tines will be on hand for the Beethoven, and the remarkable countertenor John Holiday for the Bernstein. So remarkable are these artists that Dudamel sees fit to bring them on tour as well.

Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano

Michael König, tenor

Davóne Tines, bass-baritone

Julianna Di Giacomo, soprano

John Holiday, Countertenor

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
BERNSTEIN Chichester Psalms
John Holiday, countertenor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125
Julianna Di Giacomo, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
Michael König, tenor
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Grant Gershon, artistic director
Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 8
Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8 (Beethoven only)
Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 8
Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 2
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave.
for tickets, call 323.850.2000 or visit LA Phil

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