Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Nathalie Stutzmann, Quentin Hindley: the best classical music this week

The Czech orchestra is playing three times at the NCH; Stutzmann’s RTÉ NSO concerts are not to be missed


Saturday, February 17

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
NCH, Dublin; 8pm; €40-€80; also Sunday 3.15pm, €15/€10; and Sunday 8pm, €19.50-€45;
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra is in town for three concerts at the National Concert Hall. The opening programme is an all-Dvoraak affair under Tomas Netopil: two Slavonic Dances, the Cello Concerto with Alisa Weilerstein (above) as soloist, and the New World Symphony. Sunday afternoon brings a family concert, with Jonathan James illustrating the story behind Smetana’s Sarka. (The Smetana is replacing the originally advertised work, Dvorak’s Golden Spinning Wheel.) And on Sunday evening Netopil conducts Sarka in its rightful setting, at the heart of Smetana’s cycle of six symphonic poems, Má Vlast (My Fatherland).

Thursday, February 22

RTÉ Concert Orchestra/Quentin Hindley
NCH, Dublin; 8pm; €10-€35;
The RTÉ Concert Orchestra and guest conductor Quentin Hindley focus on music from the 1920s. Two of the works come from Hindley’s native France. Milhaud’s Le Boeuf sur le Toit (The Ox on the Roof), which the composer described as an arrangement of “a few popular melodies, tangos, maxixes, sambas, even a Portuguese fado”, was first heard in 1920. Jacques Ibert’s jaunty Divertissement is a suite from his 1929 incidental music to Labiche’s play Un Chapeau de Paille d’Italie (An Italian Straw Hat). And Kurt Weill’s Kleine Dreigroschenmusik is a 1929 suite from the composer’s Threepenny Opera. The odd man out, though still in popular vein, is the 1995 Clarinet Concerto by John Dankworth, which is being played by Emma Johnson (above), for whom it was written.

Friday, February 23

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra/Nathalie Stutzmann
NCH, Dublin; 7.30pm; €15-€35/€13-€31;
Nathalie Stutzmann’s concerts with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, of which she is principal guest conductor, have become events that are not to be missed. Stutzmann (above) this time brings Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Elgar’s Cello Concerto (with the excellent Alban Gerhardt as soloist) and Lalo’s underrated overture to his opera Le Roi d’Ys.