Landfill Bach, Daniel Barenboim, and January 2013 for UI
We all know about El Sistema in Venezuela (and, er, Scotland), but what about Paraguay? The above is a clip from a wittily-titled forthcoming documentary, Landfill Harmonic. Sonidos de la Tierra is a music project that helps to create instruments at Cateura, the main rubbish dump for Paraguay’s capital city. We need to be reminded that these kinds of projects (can) do an immense amount of good, however often someone like me sharpens a critical pen for Gustavo Dudamel. Paraguay’s version of Jose Antonio Abreu is Luis Szaran: for every Daniel Barenboim,we need dozens of people like these. For more, see David Haglund at Salon, and the BBC.
Juan Manuel Chavez’s eagerness to play a Bach suite in this video reminds me of documentaries about Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. This month – and the first few days of February – is another Beethoven month for UI. WEDO and Barenboim return to Carnegie Hall between 30 January and 3 February for four concerts, working their way through the Beethoven symphonies, in the order 1/8/5, 4/3, 6/7, 2/9. I’ll be covering all four concerts for Bachtrack: in preparation, I’m already refamiliarising myself with Furtwängler and Klemperer. If anywhere needs a dose of realism about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it is the United States: busing in Republican Congressmen (or Democrats, for that matter) is presumably impossible.
Coincidentally, the NYPO sallies forth mid-Barenboim with its own all-Beethoven programme: Christoph von Dohnányi, who is always interesting, essays the Fifth and the Prometheus Overture, and Radu Lupu joins in for the First Piano Concerto. (My only previous experience with Lupu’s Beethoven was not good.) Talking of Lupu, he’s at Carnegie on 24 January for a dreamy recital of Schubert Impromptus, Franck, and Debussy Préludes. Before then, I might have caught the NYPO in the Bruch Concerto with Pinchas Zukerman and Bruckner 6 with Christoph Eschenbach, and will definitely have heard a reinvigorated Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie in Ravel, Shostakovich 5, and Szymanowski with Leonidas Kavakos.
Last but definitely not least, there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll Bolt up to Boston for Daniele Gatti and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Verdi Requiem. Regular readers know I wouldn’t ordinarily touch Verdi with a barge pole – hence the Met gets little reviewing on these pages – but I make an exception, as many people seem to, for the Requiem. I’ll go a long way to hear Gatti conduct pretty much anything, inconsistencies aside. He’s at Carnegie in April with the BSO for an all-Wagner evening and Mahler 3 with Anne Sofie von Otter. Before then I’ll hear him – finally – conduct Parsifal, at the Met with Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape. The plan is also to see his next collaboration with Stefan Herheim, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at this summer’s Salzburg Festival. By then, he might, if Jeremy Eichler is to be believed, have come from behind and nicked the BSO job from Vladimir Jurowski.