Science vs. God in ‘Freud’s Last Session’ (Worth the Risk)

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

‘Hahn-Bin: Til Dawn Sunday,’ Thursday 8PM, Jan 10, 2013, Royce Hall WORTH THE RISK

A shining protégé of the venerated Itzhak Perlman as well as famed Los Angeles violin teacher Robert Lipsett, the music prodigy began his study at age 6. Hahn-Bin’s new musical odyssey Till Dawn Sunday is an installment in the violin phenomenon’s  ambitious project he calls “The Renaissance of Classical Music.” Till Dawn Sunday features many of the greatest hits in the classical genre and beyond, weaving together the music of over 20 composers–with Hahn Bin’s own twist. Definitely worth the risk.

‘Sinaisky Conducts The Planets,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Jan 10-Jan12 2013 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

There are reasons why Holst’s The Planets has influenced so many composers of science fiction and fantasy film scores. It explores human consciousness against backdrops of outer space and ancient myth, with harmonic and orchestral effects evoking contemporary primivitism and machine music. If you’ve never heard it live, this is a great opportunity. Read our preview…

‘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?

Le Salon de Musiques, Sunday, January 13th 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: GUILLAUME SUTRE Violin, SEARMI PARK Violin, HELEN S.CALLUS Viola, ANTONIO LYSY Cello, STEVEN VANHAUWAERT Piano:  J.S BACH: Gamba Sonata n.2
SCHUMANN: Fantasy op 73 Cello & Piano
SCHARWENKA: Piano Quintet op 118

‘Eötvös: Angels in America,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tuesday 8PM, Jan 15, 2013 NOT TO BE MISSED

In his Pulitzer-winning two-part play Angels in America, Tony Kushner defined an era. Peter Eötvös’ setting of this powerful, human depiction of the AIDS epidemic is “truly theatrical music,” according toThe New York Times. Should be a potent evening.

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Baroque Conversations 1, Zipper Concert Hall, Thursday 7pm, Jan 17 2013  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The first concert in LACO’s upcoming series “Baroque Conversations”, this evening offers a program of Bach Trio Sonatas featuring oboe, violin, flute and viola. With trademark intimacy, the musicians preface each piece with an insightful, informative introduction and invite your questions at the conclusion of the performance .

‘Takacs Quartet,’ Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Jan 18, 2013 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Widely recognized as one of the world’s great ensembles, the Takács Quartet plays with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor, as four distinct musical personalities combine to bring fresh insights to the string quartet repertoire. The carefully balanced program includes:

Schubert: String Quartet D. 804 “Rosamunde”
Britten: String Quartet #3
Haydn: String Quartet Op.76/4

‘Midori Plays Eötvös,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Jan18-Jan 20, 2013 NOT TO BE MISSED

The word “Concerto” is, shall we say, a term of contention. The word’s origins include the contrasting elements of competition and combination. Peter Eötvös’ new concerto explores the more common form of the genre, a striving solo virtuoso with/against the orchestra.

‘Brahms Requiem,’ Los Angeles Master Ch0rale, Disney Hall, Saturday, January 26, 2 PM; Sunday, January 27, 7PM, 2013 NOT TO BE MISSED

A true masterpiece! The Brahms Requiem swells with lush, romantic sounds that will sweep you away in the acoustics of Disney Hall.

‘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.

‘The Mozart Requiem,’ Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Saturday,  Jan 26,  8PM, Alex Theatre; Sunday, Jan 27, 7PM 2013, Royce Hall  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Everyone should hear the Mozart Requiem live at least once. The soloists were not announced as of press time, but LACO can be relied upon–so we are giving it a high recommendation. Artists: Helmuth Rilling, conductor; USC Thornton Chamber Singers, chorus. Program: Mozart Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major; Mozart Requiem in D minor

‘Yefim Bronfman in Recital,’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Wednesday 8PM, Jan 30, 2013 NOT TO BE MISSED

Among the most celebrated keyboard virtuosos performing today, Bronfman has won consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide. He has long been a local favorite and a member of the LA Phil extended family; he won a Grammy for his recording of the three Bartók Piano Concertos with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonic, with whom he has also recorded Salonen’s own Piano Concerto, as well as the two Shostakovich Concertos. As of this writing, the program had not been announced – but doe it really matter?


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