Wolfgang Rihm and this week’s best UK classical concerts

Plus: Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts in Philharmonia premieres and David McVicar directs Pelléas Et Mélisande

1 Wolfgang Rihm

There’s never a shortage of works by Wolfgang Rihm that are still to be heard in Britain. Few composers working today can match his rate of productivity, and his list of pieces now stands around the 400 mark. The latest to get its first UK airing is Rihm’s Second Piano Concerto, which was first performed in 2014. Nicolas Hodges is the soloist.
Barbican Hall, EC2, 22 February

2 Philharmonia premieres

Each of the Philharmonia’s latest programmes includes a premiere, though the works being introduced were written more than 100 years apart. In Sunday’s concert, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the first British performance of Stravinsky’s Funeral Song, which the composer wrote in 1908 after the death of his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov; the score was lost during the Russian revolution and only rediscovered in 2015. Then, later in the week, there is something brand new: Tansy Davies’s Forest (A Concerto For Four Horns), commissioned to celebrate the Philharmonia’s 70th birthday.
Royal Festival Hall, SE1, 18-19 February; The Anvil, Basingstoke, 21 February

3 Pelléas Et Mélisande

Opera director David McVicar is a Glasgow native, and Scottish Opera – which is based there – has always been close to his heart. McVicar enjoyed his first major success with a production of Idomeneo that he created for the company in 1996, and he’s back there now to direct his first staging of Debussy’s masterpiece. Pelléas Et Mélisande is designed by Rae Smith, and her sets have been influenced by the paintings of the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi. Andrei Bondarenko and Carolyn Sampson take the title roles, and Stuart Stratford conducts.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 23 February to 4 March

Contributor

Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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