The curse of Sunday concerts
The music season has barely slipped into gear, and I'm starting to get cranky already. Not because I'm not looking forward to all the music-making, but because I know that, like every other year, I'm going to miss an awful lot of stuff, especially on Sundays.
I understand that there are only so many days in the week, and I certainly wouldn't want to seem like I'm not appreciative of all the effort being made by so many people to provide musical attractions to the community. But do we really have to end up with two, three, four or more enticing performances on a single Sunday, most of them right around the 3 o'clock hour, week after week? Isn't there some way to spread everything out a little more?
Of course, I'm speaking selfishly, since I'm a one-person operation here and I hate having to make tough choices on what to attend. But I can't be the only one who gets all conflicted when the music gets too plentiful. (I don't even want to think about, say, Oct. 19 or Nov. 2, when there will be at least six worthy concerts.)
The first Sunday pile-up of the new season is heading our way Sept. 21. One option is remarkable pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who will play Bach's Goldberg Variations at 3:30 p.m. for Community Concerts at Second Presbyterian Church.
Her career-jolting recording of this great work was a major news-maker last year, revealing a combination of technical fluency and highly individualistic styling. Dinnerstein played the Goldbergs last September at An die Musik, reconfirming everything that was notable about her CD (including her unconventionally slow tempo for the quodlibet variation), and I'm sure Sunday's performance will prove just as satisfying.
Also of note on Sunday: Music in the Great Hall opens its season at 3 p.m. at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church with pianist Virginia Reinecke, violinist Nicholas Currie and cellist Pei Lu performing works by Hummel (his music doesn't turn up in concert very often), Schubert and Stanley Silverman.
And clarinetist Marguerite Levin gives the world premiere of a work by Christopher Ariza for bass clarinet and real-time signal processing during a recital at 3 p.m. at Towson University. Levin's program also offers pieces by Charles-Marie Widor and David Baker.
Good luck deciding which performance to attend. As for me, I'm not even going to try: I'll be at the Kennedy Center Sunday afternoon to catch up with a Washington National Opera production I had to miss last weekend because of different schedule conflict entirely (it's always something).
PHOTOS: Top left, Simone Dinnerstein (Lisa-Marie Mazzucco, Telarc,); left, Marguerite Levin (courtesy Towson University); above right, Virginia Reinecke (Elizabeth Malby, Baltimore Sun )