10 Classical Concerts to Stream in January
With the live performing arts still affected by the coronavirus pandemic, here are 10 highlights from the flood of online music content in January. (Times shown are east.)
Available now through January 22nd; operavision.eu and on YouTube.
This winter, Katharine Merhling was supposed to repeat her Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” at the Komische Oper in Berlin. The pandemic was bothering, but the company’s dedicated audience doesn’t have to go through the season without this singer’s gifts. This performance (first streamed live at the end of December) offers a fresh look at Kurt Weill and focuses on the composer’s years in Paris and New York. Followers know many of these songs. But Frau Mehrling’s energy – supported by Barrie Kosky, the artistic director of the Komische Oper, at the piano – gives a medley from the rarely staged “Lady in the Dark” a cheeky charge. SETH COLTER WALLS
“A masked ball”
January 2nd at 7:30 p.m.; metopera.org; available until January 3rd at 6:30 p.m.
In case you missed it in August, this 1991 Metropolitan Opera performance of Verdi’s dark tale of love, betrayal, friendship and regicide returns to the company’s number of nightly streams from its archives. “Ballo” is part of a week that revolves around Luciano Pavarotti, Met Star Supreme, but also a showcase for the passionate art of soprano Aprile Millo, whose career burned brightly in the 1980s and 1990s, a throwback to earlier divas. James Levine conducts a line-up that includes Leo Nucci, Florence Quivar and Harolyn Blackwell. Zachary wool
January 14th at 10pm; calperformances.org; available until April 14th.
Kurt Weill doesn’t just come from the Komische Oper. One of our most brilliant singers has four of her own Weill numbers to offer in a concert for Cal Performances, which swings in the characteristic Bullock style from classical canon to contemporary work on the musical theater of the Golden Age. Pieces by William Grant Still and Margaret Bonds form the core of a program that also includes songs by Wolf and Schumann (selection from “Dichterliebe”), a set from “The Sound of Music” and material from John Adams’ latest opera “Girls des Goldenes Westens “, composed with a view to Ms. Bullock. Laura Poe is the pianist. Zachary wool
January 16 at 5 p.m.; rcmusic.com; available until January 23rd.
This Canadian pianist who specializes in contemporary music will premier her Seven Studies for Augmented Piano. This is a series of works she created for a Yamaha Disklavier – an acoustic piano with a computer interface paired with software that enables her to “extend and expand the sound range of the piano,” as stated in a program note writes. The program, which is part of the 21C Music Festival presented by the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, includes a short video examining Ms. Egoyan’s creative process. ANTHONY TOMMASINI
January 17 at 9:58 am; patreon.com/wildup; available indefinitely.
Artists from the Wild Up collective, including its conductor and art director Christopher Rountree, are familiar to the Los Angeles audience. But for the group’s upcoming month-long project, Darkness Sounding, listeners from all over the world are invited. Some concerts will be available as live streams and then archived via Wild Ups Patreon page. For five dollars a month, you can access shows like this January 17th, “Simple Lines / Soft Music / Silent Songs” with pianist Richard Valitutto. An all-day “house concert” made up of largely soft, contemplative works by Ann Southam and Alvin Curran. SETH COLTER WALLS
January 22nd at 8pm; operaphila.org; available until May 31st.
David T. Little’s “Soldier Songs” for baritone and small ensemble was born from the American invasion of Iraq. However, based on interviews with veterans from five wars, it speaks in a more general and abstract way in favor of conflict. And like the most satisfying politically thinking art, it is full of complications – not only in the uninhibited mix of genres in the score, but also in the treatment of its subject, despite stereotypes and hagiographies. Soldier Songs will annoy you if you are drawn to it and it will haunt audiences again in a virtual production presented by the Philadelphia Opera and directed by baritone Johnathan McCullough. JOSHUA BARONE
Christian Gerhaher and Gerold Huber
January 27 at 2:30 p.m.; wigmore-hall.org.uk; available until February 26th.
Since the concerts went online during the pandemic, many have also gotten shorter. So “Schwanengesang”, the harrowing collection of Schubert’s last songs, can more easily stand alone on a program – as is the case in this Wigmore Hall stream from baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber, one of the great musical partnerships of our time is. The duo will also appear earlier in Wigmore’s Rich January, presenting works by Schumann and Debussy (January 25). Other highlights in the hall are the soprano Lise Davidsen, who sings Grieg, Sibelius and others (January 17), and the pianist Igor Levit, who plays Hindemith, Schönberg and Busoni (January 29). JOSHUA BARONE
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
January 27 at 8 p.m.; offstage.bsomusic.org; available until June 30th.
This ensemble offers a series of documentary, hour-long discussion and performance programs called BSO Sessions. “Twelve” is about composers who have combined contemporary classical music and pop. There will be a suite from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood from his score for the film “There Will Be Blood”. Bryce Dessner’s “Lachrimae”; and Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte”. Steve Hackman, a composer and arranger who is familiar with this crossover, discusses the music and the stylistic overlaps with musicians in the orchestra. Nicholas Hersh conducts. ANTHONY TOMMASINI
January 28 at 6 a.m.; halle.co.uk; available until April 28th.
This orchestra, which has streamed performances filmed at its Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, England, has an intriguing program featuring pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, the oldest of the seven talented young members of a British musical family who has gained international attention. She plays Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 on the Mark Elder-conducted program that begins with Richard Strauss ‘Serenade for Winds (written when the composer was 17) and ends with Sibelius’ Third Symphony. ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Peter Evans Ensemble
January 28 at 8 p.m.; roulette.org; available indefinitely.
The trumpeter Peter Evans is a trusted source of exciting virtuosity. That’s true when he works with the Wet Ink Ensemble or the International Contemporary Ensemble and leads his own groups. This quartet with electronics and percussion specialist Levy Lorenzo, violinist and singer Mazz Swift and pianist Ron Stabinsky recently celebrated the release of their brand new album “Horizons”. But this livestream won’t be a winning round. it promises a fresh collection of compositions by Mr. Evans. SETH COLTER WALLS