Critic’s Choice

Wed Feb 19, 2020 at 3:38 pm
Iván Fischer

Call the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s latest touring program a Bohemian rhapsody of sorts. Iván Fischer, familiar from his years conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, leads the music of two composers born in Bohemia. Mahler’s symphonic fragment Blumine opens the concert, with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 concluding it.

In between are vocal selections, beginning with “Místo klekání” (Evening blessing) from Dvořák’s Four Choruses, giving this adventurous orchestra a chance to show its chops as a choir. Contralto Gerhild Romberger joins them, now back on their instruments, for Mahler’s somber song cycle Kindertotenlieder. Washington Performing Arts presents this intriguing concert 8 p.m. Friday in the Music Center at Strathmore.


For something more modern, the 21st Century Consort will perform a program centered on the theme of time. Christopher Kendall leads a rare performance of Ligeti’s playful Poème symphonique, a work “played” by 100 metronomes all set ticking at the same time. Appropriately Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time concludes the program.

This free concert also includes Currier’s Variations on Time and Time Again, a set of variations on a faux-jazz standard, played only at the end of the work, and Carter’s set of songs Tempo e Tempi for soprano, oboe, clarinet, violin, and cello. Concert time is 5 p.m. Saturday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill.

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