The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: The Metropolitan Opera’s “live in hi-def” “Die Walkure” with Deborah Voigt plus chamber music and architecture-related vocal music are all on tap this week

May 11, 2011
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By Jacob Stockinger

This weekend is graduation weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. So of course nothing is going on at the UW School of Music. But other groups and individuals in the community will close out their seasons on the weekend, leaving little for the weekdays.


The free Friday Noon Musicale at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, will run from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and feature oboist Laura Medisky (below top) and pianist Vincent Fuh (below bottom) in the music of Jenni Brandon, Ed Martin and Paul Patterson.


The series “The Met: Live in HD” finishes up the current season with the much-awaited second installment of its new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle, “Die Walkure” (The Valkyries) with Deborah Voigt as Brunnhilde. The 5-1/2 hour presentation, with behind-the-scenes looks and commentary, will start at 11 a.m. at the Point and Eastgate cinemas with encore presentations on June 1.

Tickets are $24 with discounts for seniors and children.

For more information, visit:

And here is Anthony Tommasini’s review from the New York Times to whet your appetite:

At 7 p.m. in the Capitol Lakes Retirement Center, 333 West Main Street, cellist Allison Rowe (below, playing with the UW Contemporary Music Ensemble) will perform a free concert with pianist Steve Lewis and violinist Ka Ming Tan. The program includes works by Benjamin Britten, Maurice Ravel and Beethoven.

At 7:30 p.m. in the Oakwood Village West Auditorium, 6201 Mineral Point Road, on Madison’s far west side, the Oakwood Chamber Players (below) perform.

The concert will be repeated on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the UW Arboretum Visitors Center.

The unusual program includes Mayer’s Bagatelles for flute, clarinet and bassoon; Poulenc’s Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano; and Juon’s Divertimento, Op. 51, for piano and wind quintet.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors; $5 for students.

For more information and reservations, call


This weekend also sees the Madison Youth Choirs (below) starting their two-part series “Pillars, Spires, and Arches,” a spring concert series celebrating the intersection of architectural and musical form.

Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m., featuring MYC’s Purcell, Britten, and Holst choirs 7 p.m., featuring MYC’s Cantabile and Ragazzi choirs

Next Sunday, on May 22, at 3 p.m., featuring MYC’s Choraliers and Capriccio choirs; and 5:30 p.m., featuring MYC’s Con Gioia and Cantilena choirs.

Concerts are at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, in Madison. Tickets are $8 in advance, $12 at the door, free for children under 7.

Advanced tickets can be purchased at

The four-concert performance series will feature all nine of MYC’s performing choirs, more than 300 young singers, ages 8–18, from throughout Dane County and surrounding areas.

Taking place at the architecturally significant First Unitarian Society, the concerts will feature music for its musical form and the connection that form has to architectural structure, such as ABA form, use of motifs, and canon or fugue form. These fundamental building blocks of music composition are also used in building design.

Selections include: Randall Thompson: “Alleluia,” excerpt from “Testament of Freedom”; “Velvet Shoes” Henry Purcell: When V and I, One, Two, Three, “We the Spirits of the Air” from “The Fairy-Queen”; Benjamin Britten’s “Old Abram Brown” from “Friday Afternoons”; Vincent Persichetti’s “dominic has a doll, maggie and mollie and milly and may”; Johannes Brahms’ Ich weiss nicht, Töne, lindernder Klang”; George Frederich Handel’s “No, di voi non vo’ fidarmi”; Giovannia Pierluigi da Palestrina’s “Regina Coeli”; Gabriel Fauré’s “Ave Maria”; Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Ich jauze mit Schall” (from BWV 15).

Works by Billings, Scarlatti, Salieri, Chatman, Vivaldi, folk song arrangements, and more will also be featured.

Posted in Classical music

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