For those who read online only, here are some of the highlights of concerts that happened in Washington while I was away.
On Thursday, the National Symphony Orchestra played Messiaen’s towering “Turangalila” Symphony.
“Turangalila’s” majestic sweep soars above the flaws, by Robert Battey. Other views: Charles T. Downey on Ionarts.com; Andrew Lindemann Malone on DMV Classical. I encourage everyone who said this work wasn’t their cup of tea to read these three reviews and see how much genuine excitement and passion it inspired, even in what sounds like a flawed performance.
(As to people leaving the hall: I remember hearing the piece at Carnegie on one of two concerts given by the Radio-France orchestra. People streamed out then, too, all through the performance, but what I most remember was the woman sitting in front of me, who was looking at the wrong page of her program and thus appeared to be under the impression that she was hearing Saint-Saens rather than Messiaen. I wondered if that made a difference to the way she heard it, beyond the fact that there were clearly too many movements.)
On Sunday, the bass-baritone Bryn Terfel gave a concert at the Kennedy Center.
On Thursday, Tyondai Braxton and Wordless Music performed at the Library of Congress (Aaron Leitko reviewed); on Friday, the library hosted the quartet Antares (Stephen Brookes reviewed). Meanwhile, the over-the-top fashionista-violinist Hahn-Bin performed at the Mansion at Strathmore, as Cecelia Porter reported, and Misha Dichter joined the Harlem String Quartet for chamber music at the Clarice Smith Center (Joan Reinthaler reviewed).
On Saturday, the Alexandria Symphony took on Verdi’s Requiem, wrote Cecelia Porter.
On Sunday, Alfred Thigpen reported, the Cathedral Choral Society sang “Missa Solemnis,” with a few mishaps along the way.
And a CD review: Mark J. Estren on Roger Norrington’s set of the Brahms symphonies.
Other views? Other concerts? What did you see in the last week that was worth noting? And what are your thoughts on “Turangalila,” in particular? Was it a brilliant programming move, or a rather obvious thing for an orchestra to program when faced with the challenge of coming up with three programs relating to India?