“[The Rite of Spring] is an astonishing ballet, no less so today than in 1913.” – Newsweek

The following are our current recommendations for truly exceptional performances in February 2013. As always, we will be adding to this list as our contributors continue to examine the offerings at world-class venues and companies.

‘Freud’s Last Session,’ Jan 11-Feb 10 2013 The Broad Stage  WORTH THE RISK

Wonderful reviews and fairly serious ideas from playwright Mark St. Germain. Gently humorous argument between Freud and C.S. Lewis, mostly about religion vs. science: God, love, sex, and the meaning of life. It’s all up for discussion on the Santa Monica shore in the L.A. premiere of Freud’s Last Session. How can you not join 499 theatergoers for group therapy with Sigmund Freud? Really? And how does that make you feel?

‘The Fall of House Usher,’ By Philip Glass, Long Beach Opera, Jan 27, Feb 2, 3, 2013 WORTH THE RISK

Ghostly. Mysterious. Chilling. There is a time to confront our fears and nightmares; a time to explore the fine line between truth and imagination. Welcome to one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most unsettling stories. Enter the eerie realm of the House of Usher where the border separating the real and the supernatural is blurred. Glass’ haunting and suspenseful music provides the soundscape for this journey to the edge of madness.

‘Rite of Spring,’ Recreation by the Joffrey Ballet, Feb 1-3, 2013 The Music Center NOT TO BE MISSED

An historic production of meticulous power. This is the Joffrey Ballet’s groundbreaking recreation of the original Ballets Russes production. Igor Stravinsky’s score and Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography for the 1913 Paris premiere sparked a riot that is said to have given birth to modern music and dance. Read our preview…

‘Szymanowski Quartet,’ Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Feb 6 2013 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The Szymanowski Quartet, which made its Center debut to great acclaim in 2010, has developed into one of the most exceptional international string quartets of its generation. The very interesting program includes:

Waclaw of Szamotuly: Three Polish Chorales (1520-1560)
Szymanowski: String Quartet, Op. 56 #2
Bacewicz: Piano Quintet #1
Brahms: Piano Quintet F Minor, Op. 34

‘The Little Mermaid,’ Hamburg Ballet, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Feb 8- Feb 10 2013 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Hamburg Ballet’s current retelling of The Little Mermaid, written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837, is a fantastical and dark tale that contrasts a fanciful underwater world with the complexities of life on terra firma. The story is revealed through the tribulations of a young woman who risks everything for love. The Hamburg Ballet has a stellar reputation.

‘February Program; Camerata Pacifica,’ February 7-12 2013, Various venues HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Nice combination of works and guaranteed drama. If you’re going to make just one Camerata Pacifica performance this year (and you should!), we recommend this one. Read our preview…

Thursday, Feb 7 8pm Zipper Hall, Los Angeles
Friday, Feb 8 1pm & 7:30pm Hahn Hall, Santa Barbara
Sunday, Feb 10 3pm Temple Beth Torah, Ventura
Tuesday, Feb 12 8pm Pasadena Civic Auditorium

Wolfgang: Rolling Hills and Jagged Ridges, for Violin and Piano
Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 75*
Liszt: Mephisto Waltz No. 1
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49*

Salon des Musiques, Sunday, February 10th 2013, 4.00 pm HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Always a charming afternoon of chamber music, including conversation and a light dinner overlooking the Music Center plaza. This concert: TEREZA STANISLAV Violin, SARAH THORBLADE Violin, ROB BROPHY Viola, CECILIA TSAN Cello, STEVEN VANHAUWAERT Piano

FRANK BRIDGE: Fantasy Piano Quartet

ZAREBSKY: Piano Quintet in G minor op 34

‘Itzhak Perlman in Recital,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tuesday 8PM, Feb 12 2013 NOT TO BE MISSED

Itzhak Perlman is undeniably the violinist of a generation, beloved for his charm and remarkable artistry. A master recitalist and raconteur, he won Grammys for his recordings of Beethoven and Brahms sonatas. The program: unannounced, and who cares?

‘Dutoit Conducts Mozart and Strauss,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Feb 14-Feb 16, 2013 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Dutoit is a modern master. The program is nice, but not that interesting until we get to Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote. It operates as a theme and ten variations – “Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character,” in Strauss’ words – and a thrilling double concerto, with solo cello portraying Quixote and solo viola as Sancho Panza.

MENDELSSOHNHebrides Overture
MOZARTSymphony No. 29, K. 201
STRAUSSDon Quixote

‘The Grapes of Wrath,’ by John Steinbeck, A Noise Within, Directed by Michael Michetti, Feb 16 – May 11, 2013 WORTH THE RISK

A fundamental American tragedy.

‘Dudamel and Shaham,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Feb 21-Feb 24, 2013 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Gil Shaham is without a doubt one of the best violinists of our time–like Dudamel, he brings a special passion to his music. This evening offers unrepentant German Romanticism from the 19th Century. What could be better?

WAGNERFuneral Music from Götterdämmerung
BRAHMSViolin Concerto
SCHUMANNSymphony No. 3, “Rhenish”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: