Could one imagine a mistier, more mellow example of autumnal music-making than the ‘The Last Romantics’ in the city of dreaming spires (pictured)? This year’s Oxford Lieder Festival has Mahler and his contemporaries at the heart of a programme that features singers such as soprano Sylvia Schwartz, tenors Ian Bostridge and Mark Padmore, and mezzo Dame Sarah Connolly.
7 GLYNDEBOURNE ON TOUR Glyndebourne, Lewes and various locations, 7-28 Oct Tel: +44 (0)1273 815000 Web: www.glyndebourne.com Unveiled at Glyndebourne this summer, Brett Dean’s Hamlet (above) takes pride of place in the company’s six-venue autumn tour that also revisits Nicholas Hytner’s production of Mozart’s bittersweet comedy Così fan tutte, and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (directed by Annabel Arden for the 2016 Glyndebourne festival). Duncan Ward conducts Hamlet with tenor David Butt Philip as the tormented Prince and soprano Jennifer France as Ophelia
8 ENSEMBLE 360 Crucible Studio Theatre, Shef eld, 9 Oct Tel: +44 (0)114 249 6000 Web: www.musicintheround.co.uk
Oxford Lieder Festival isn’t alone in pondering Vienna (see Choice 12). Music in the Round’s flagship chamber group, Ensemble 360, launches the new Sheffield season with Korngold’s opulent Piano Quintet in E, Mahler’s Piano Quartet fragment and the early String Quartet, D353 by Schubert. The mainly Viennese programme also features Berio’s experimental Sequenza IV.
9 AURORA ORCHESTRA St George’s Bristol, 11 Oct Tel: 0845 402 4001 (UK only) Web: www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
When it’s not living dangerously playing symphonies from memory, conductor Nicholas Collon’s Aurora Orchestra revels in tackling ear-opening orchestral reductions such as Iain Farrington’s ingenious distillation for 16 players of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Sung by mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and tenor Andrew Staples, it follows Mahler’s youthful Piano Quartet movement and Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K413.
10 LONDON SINFONIETTA St John’s Smith Square, 11 Oct Tel: +44 (0)20 7222 1061 Web: www.sjss.org.uk
The London Sinfonietta notches up its half-century with a series defiantly entitled ‘Unfinished Business’. First up is one of the ensemble’s earliest commissions: Hans Werner Henze’s Voices. Fifteen musicians range over some 70 instruments in an exuberant folk-song tapestry spiked with electronics, sports commentary and Ho Chi Minh’s ‘Prison Song!’. Sinfonietta co-founder David Atherton conducts.
11 ULSTER ORCHESTRA Ulster Hall, Belfast, 13 Oct Tel: +44 (0)28 9033 4455 Web: www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk
Conducted by Gergely Madaras, the Ulster Orchestra flaunts some of its most exotic plumage in a programme bookended by Kodály’s Peacock Variations and the suite from Stravinsky’s The Firebird. Between them Britten’s Piano Concerto takes flight under the fingers of ardent champion Steven Osborne.
12 OXFORD LIEDER FESTIVAL Oxford, 13-28 Oct Tel: +44 (0)1865 591276 Web: www.oxfordlieder.co.uk
From a silent movie screening of Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier accompanied by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire in New College Chapel, ‘Mahler and fin-de-siècle Vienna’ is engrossing this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival. Helping to contextualise the composer’s complete songs with piano is a tempting roster of singers, including mezzo-sopranos Katarina Karnéus and Angelika Kirchschlager, plus tenors Ian Bostridge and Mark Padmore. 13 BARRY DOUGLAS All Saints’ Church, Dulverton, 14 & 15 Oct Tel: +44 (0)1392 665885 Web: www.thetwomoorsfestival.co.uk A Schubert song cycle day, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and violinist Tasmin Little are among the temptations proposed by 2017’s Two Moors Festival. Pianist Barry Douglas joins the Endellion Quartet for Brahms’s protean Piano Quintet following a solo recital the night before in which Tchaikovsky’s Grand Sonata, Op. 37 crowns Schubert’s Sonata, D958 and Britten’s Nocturne. 14 ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 19 & 22 Oct Tel: +44 (0)151 709 3789 Web: www.liverpoolphil.com The UK premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Legacy for solo horn, harp, percussion and strings, and Leonard Bernstein’s On the Waterfront Suite ensure a transatlantic slant when James Feddeck conducts Holst’s The Planets. The matinee repeat stays Stateside, but swaps the Kernis and Bernstein for John Adams and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto. Julian Joseph is the soloist.
15 TOTAL IMMERSION Barbican, London, 21 Oct Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 8891 Web: www.barbican.org.uk
Julian Anderson, this year’s winner of the BBC Music Magazine Premiere Award, is the latest
composer to be fêted in the BBC’S day-long Total Immersion series. A cappella sacred music from the BBC Singers, chamber works and a ‘Meet the Composer’ session pave the way for an orchestral portrait including Anderson’s Fantasias and his Symphony (2003). Edward Gardner conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
16 CITY OF BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS
Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 25 Oct
Tel: +44 (0)121 780 3333 Web: www.thsh.co.uk
Scarcely a month after launching the CBSO’S season with Haydn’s The Creation, the orchestra’s chorus is pressed into service once more for Verdi’s unapologetically operatic setting of the Requiem texts. Conductor Edward Gardner oversees a distinguished solo quartet of soprano Natalya Romaniw, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones and bass Brindley Sherratt.
17 BRECON BAROQUE FESTIVAL Brecon, Powys, 26-30 Oct Tel: +44 (0)1874 611622 Web: www.breconbaroquefestival.com
It’s ‘Viva Vivaldi’ as violinist Rachel Podger’s 12th Brecon-based early music festival homes in on the ‘Red Priest’ and his Venetian milieu. Ensemble Diderot (below) delves into the 17thcentury hinterland with Marini and Castello, while Podger herself plays Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in a programme marrying Legrenzi and JS Bach. To set the ball rolling, I Fagiolini salutes Monteverdi at 450 with choral works by the composer and his contemporaries.
18 BRITTEN WEEKEND Snape Maltings, 27 & 28 Oct Tel: +44 (0)1728 687110 Web: www.snapemaltings.co.uk
As Snape Maltings embarks on its ‘Britten Weekend’, the composer’s radio output is explored. An excursion to Orford Church recreates Louis Macneice’s 1946 radio play The Dark Tower complete with Britten’s score performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra under Robert Ziegler. And the same forces (but with Andrew Gourlay conducting) dust down Britten’s music for King Arthur.
19 WEST-EASTERN DIVAN ORCHESTERA Southbank Centre, London, 28 & 29 Oct Tel: +44 (0)20 3879 9555 Web: www.southbankcentre. o.uk
Daniel Barenboim and his West-eastern Divan Orchestra might have been absent from this year’s BBC Proms but they return to London to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of cellist Jacqueline du Pré with two fundraising concerts in aid of multiple sclerosis research. The programme includes Strauss’s solo cello enriched tone poem Don Quixote.
20 RAMEAU’S PIGMALION Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton, 28 & 29 Oct Tel: +44 (0)1273 709709 Web: www.bremf.org.uk
Two new opera productions enliven a Brighton Early Music Festival circling the theme of ‘Roots’. Monteverdi’s L’orfeo samples the genre’s first masterpiece, while Rameau’s Pigmalion (see box) embodies the high French Baroque. Staged by Karolina Sofulak, period instrument Ensemble Molière gives the latter a 21st-century twist with digital animation.
baroque strides: Ensemble Diderot explores the music of 17th-century Venice (Choice 17)