11 don't-miss classical picks: 'Breaking the Waves,' John Adams' 70th, Philip Glass' 'Akhnaten'
By Mark Swed and Music Critic
Sep 09, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Eleven classical music concerts and recordings worth tracking this fall:
SEPT. 22-OCT. 1
Missy Mazzoli’s ‘Breaking the Waves’
On the heels of Thomas Adès’ operatic adaptation of Luis Buñuel’s classic film “The Exterminating Angel” at the Salzburg Festival this summer in Austria, one of the most intriguing young composers in Brooklyn has turned to Lars von Trier’s gripping, disturbing “Breaking the Waves” as the subject for her first opera. Opera Philadelphia, Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. $29-$159. (215) 732-8400. www.operaphila.org
Philharmonia Orchestra of London
Led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonia begins a West Coast tour with the fifth symphonies of Beethoven and Sibelius in Costa Mesa, repeated the next night in Northridge and winding up in Berkeley. There at Zellerbach Hall, the orchestra will offer the same two Stravinsky pieces that opened the hall in 1968 and that, coincidentally, Salonen chose for his final concert as the Los Angeles Philharmonic music director in 2009. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa; $35-$250; (949) 553-2422; www.philharmonicsociety.org. Also, Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; $43-$85; (818) 677-3000; www.valleyperformingartscenter.org. Also, Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, 101 Zellerbach Hall No. 4800, Berkeley; $17.50-$150; (510) 642-9988; calperformances.org.
The quartet plays a poignantly evocative score by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. It was written to accompany a film by Bill Morrison made up of intense nitrate World War I footage. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. $29-$59. (310) 825-2101. www.cap.ucla.edu.
YOLA at VPAC
Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, having already played at the Super Bowl and in Japan and England, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a concert that kicks off a California tour. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Call for ticket fee details. (818) 677-3000. www.valleyperformingartscenter.org.
‘Mozart 225’ CD box set
Noting the 225th anniversary of Mozart’s death on Dec. 5, the classical record labels Deutsche Grammophon and Decca, in conjunction with the Mozarteum Salzburg foundation, will release “Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition.” The gargantuan box of 200 CDs (with performances by more than 600 soloists and 60 orchestras), along with two books and access to much scholarly online material, covers pretty much every note Mozart wrote. www.mozart225.com.
Los Angeles Master Chorale and ‘Lagrime di San Pietro’
The 16th century Franco-Flemish madrigal master Orlando di Lasso’s final work, “Lagrime di San Pietro” (The Tears of St. Peter), will be staged by Peter Sellars to open the Master Chorale’s season. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. $29-$119. (213) 972-7282. www.lamc.org.
L.A. Opera and Philip Glass’ ‘Akhnaten’
As Glass’ friendliest major American opera company, Los Angeles Opera mounts this acclaimed new work, a co-production with the English National Opera. It’s the composer’s popular third opera about the Egyptian Pharaoh, the first to propose the concept of a single deity. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. $29-$339. (213) 972-8001. www.laopera.org.
After a long absence from Walt Disney Concert Hall, the world’s most in-demand orchestra returns to L.A. with music director Simon Rattle conducting Mahler’s Seventh Symphony. The Berlin Philharmonic then drives down to Costa Mesa to play Brahms’ Second Symphony and works by Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave, L.A.; $52-$110; (323) 850-2000; www.laphil.com. Also Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa; $50-$250; (949) 553-2422; www.philharmonicsociety.org.
Gerald Barry’s ‘Alice’s Adventures Under Ground’
British composer Adès conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere of his Irish friend Barry’s latest opera, “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” (based on the writings of Lewis Carroll). Adès did the same for the earlier L.A. Phil commission of Barry’s hit opera “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. $50-$85. (323) 850-2000. www.laphil.com.
Pianist Daniil Trifonov with the L.A. Phil
The sensational young Russian pianist and conductor Gustavo Dudamel perform together for the first time in an all-Russian L.A. Phil program that includes Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. $65-$201. (323) 850-2000. www.laphil.com.
John Adams’ ‘El Niño’
In the run-up to Adams’ 70th birthday in February, the L.A. Phil ends the year with one of the composer’s most beloved works, his Christmas oratorio, “El Niño.” The performance will be conducted by Grant Gershon and will feature the two stars of this last summer’s Ojai Music Festival, soprano Julia Bullock and bass Davóne Tines. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. $53-$183. (323) 850-2000. www.laphil.com.