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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Festival Preview: White Light Festival 2018

Lincoln Center bridges music, art, theater and spirit in its annual offering.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Image of white light hitting a compact disc.
Running from October 16 to Nov. 18, the White Light Festival is Lincoln Center's annual celebration of the human spirit as expressed through the magic of music and art. Each year has a different focus on aspects of the human condition, seeking to answer the questions of existence:

  • Why are we here?
  • What are we doing here?
  • And where around Lincoln Center can we afford to get something to eat after the show?
Superconductor does not have the answer to any of these questions, but we do have a look at five crucial music offerings that are highlights of the month-long event:

Takács Quartet with guest cellist David Requiro
Oct. 18, 7:30 pm, Alice Tully Hall
Schubert's C Major String Quintet is one of the composer's last works and one of the most eloquent creations in his catalogue. His addition of a second cello replacing the usual second violin creates a thick interweaving narrative beneath the higher strings, and his expansion and extension of the traditional chamber music forms creates a compelling story in sound.

Hilary Hahn, Violin
Oct. 23, 7:30 pm, Alice Tully Hall
This concert at Alice Tully Hall is currently listed as being sold out. That said, Ms. Hahn will take her audience on a narrative through Bach's inner conscience, with the six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. Playing all six of these in one go is a high-wire feat and Ms. Hahn is an exceptional aerialist.

Framing Time
Nov. 1-2 Dimenna Center
Morton Feldman was known at the end of his career for bizarre event operas like ...further... and incredibly long compositions like the five-hour String Quartet No. 2. Here, pianist Pedja Muzijevic plays the much shorter Triadic Memories, which will be interpreted by dancer Cesc Gelabert.

The Creation
Nov. 15 Alice Tully Hall
This concert performance of Haydn's oratorio stars soprano Sandrine Piau, tenor Hugo Hymas and bass Alex Rosen in this re-telling of the beginning of all things. The music is by Franz Josef Haydn and the conductor is the legendary period performance expert William Christie and his crack ensemble Les Arts Florissants. Currently listed as sold out.

Only the Sound Remains
Nov. 17-18 Lincoln Center Rose Theater
A new opea by Kaija Saariaho (L'amour de loin) comes to the stage of the Rose Theater in the Time Warner Center. This work is inspired by Ezra Pound's translations of two Japanese Noh plays. Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and bass-baritone Dávone Tines star in this new production by the acclaimed director Peter Sellars.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats