The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: The coming week features Schubert’s “Winterreise” on the Winter Solstice and the Middleton Community Orchestra

December 15, 2010
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By Jacob Stockinger

Well, things have just about settled into the month-long mid-winter intermission from live performances.

So there aren’t many Best Bets for the datebook this week.

This Friday, the free Noon Musicale from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society will offer a carol sing with harpist Linda Warren and pianist/organist Dan Broner, who is also the music director at the Society.

Admission is free and open to the public. It is in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Landmark Auditorium (below) at the Society’s Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive.

Then on Sunday, TV offers something special.

At 4 p.m. on  Sunday, Dec. 19, PBS will broadcast “Live From Lincoln Center:  Baroque Holiday With the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.” The Chamber Society of Lincoln Center (below) greets the season combining the warmth and style of great Baroque masters with the intimacy and skill of the Society’s artists. Bach’s “Double Concerto” is featured along with Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto” and recorder virtuosa Michala Petri in works by Sammartini, Tartini and Vivaldi.

Two concerts next week in particular catch my eye – or, if you will, my ear.

Next Tuesday, on December 21, the Winter Solstice, UW baritone Paul Rowe and UW pianist Martha Fischer will perform the 75-minute song cycle “Winterreise” (Winter Journey) by Franz Schubert (1797-1828, below) at 7:30 p.m. in the sleek new glass-and-wood Atrium Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive.

To The Ear, it seems the perfect event at the perfect time on the perfect occasion. (Interviews with the performers will be featured here on Thursday and Friday.)

“Winterreise” is one of the icons of European classical music. If you only hear one art song cycle in your lifetime, this may be the one. It is so modern in how it speaks of inner and outer winter, very much like the American modernist Wallace Stevens’ famous poem “The Snow Man” (listen to it below) coming over a century later — with its line “One must have mind of winter.”

Admission is a free will donation to benefit the Second Harvest food bank.

The next day, on Wednesday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m., the newly formed Middle Community Orchestra (below) will offer its first Holiday Concert in Middleton Performing Arts Center. The holidays are about community, and what better way is there for amateur musicians to express their love of music.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or call by calling 608 212-8690.

General admission is $10 with students and retirement home residents admitted for free.

The program includes: Humperdinck’s “Dream Pantomime” from “Hansel and Gretel”; Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Greensleeves”; Beethoven’s “Christ on the Mount of Olives” with Joe Chrisman and the Westminster Chancel Choir; excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite”; and Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival.”

You can visit the website to view the full program:

Posted in Classical music

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