The best classical music gigs happening this week
Mendelssohn’s longest symphony and a project to remember the late John Lynch
Soprano Anna Devin will be one of the soloists to feature at the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Jörg Widmann’s performance of Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise Symphony
Wednesday, April 10th
The John Lynch Chamber Music Project, is a series commemorating viola-player and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra member John Lynch, who lost his life in 2014 trying to rescue his partner from the sea in Crete.
The unusual programme planned by peers and colleagues for the series’ April instalment includes Martinu’s 1947 Quartet for oboe, violin, cello and piano, Théodor Dubois’s 1905 Quintet for oboe and piano quartet, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s 1921 Piano Quintet.
Irish Chamber Orchestra/Jörg Widmann
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 8pm, €25/€22/€10/€5
irishchamberorchestra.com; also Thursday, April 11th in Limerick
The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Mendelssohn exploration under Jörg Widmann goes big this week.
Mendelssohn’s longest symphony is his second, subtitled Lobgesang, Song of Praise, usually translated in English as Hymn of Praise.
The work, which the composer came to call a “symphony-cantata” was written for the Leipzig celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention of printing using a metal movable-type printing press.
The work is nearly twice as long as any of Mendelssohn’s other symphonies and not nearly as popular as the ones numbered 3, 4, and 5 – in spite of its number the Lobgesang is actually the fourth in order of composition.
Jörg Widmann’s performances will have the benefit of the professional singers of Chamber Choir Ireland, making it in all likelihood the first Irish performance with a professional choir.
Friday, April 12th
Korngold: The Dead City
National Concert Hall, Dublin, 7.30pm, €40/€34.50/€28.50
Soprano Celine Byrne scored a huge personal success in the title role of Irish National Opera’s recent production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
She’s back at the National Concert Hall now for a concert performance of Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City).
Erich Wolfgang Korngold, son of a Viennese music critic, and one of the most remarkable prodigies of the 20th century, is the same Korngold who went on to have a productive and Oscar-winning career in Hollywood, though the film connection did not do his reputation any favours in the world of classical music.
Such was his cachet, as a 23-year-old in 1920, that opera houses vied to give the first performance of Die tote Stadt, and the work, much of which takes place in a dream world, ended up being premiered simultaneously in Hamburg and Cologne.
The cast for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s concert performance under Patrik Ringborg is headed by Byrne as Marie/Marietta, with tenor Charles Workman as Paul and baritone Ben McAteer as Fritz.