NSO offers Wagner bash
Wagner seems to be making a come-back on area concert stages, something I'm all for -- the man was a beast, but his music is sublime, and there hasn't been nearly enough of it performed by local orchestras (the situation is better operatically, thanks to WNO, but Baltimore Opera is over-due for a Wagner production). Marin Alsop and the BSO offered a slice of music from the Ring on its opening program of the season in September and will serve up even more of that epic on the closing program in June. Tonight through Saturday, Ivan Fischer and the NSO will deliver an all-Wagner feast, including the preludes to Meistersinger and Tristan (as well as the Liebestod from the latter), Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Gotterdammerung, and the final scene of Die Walkure. While the BSO is taking a voice-less path for its Wagner excursions, the NSO will be joined by soprano Elizabeth Connell and bass-baritone Juha Uusitalo (recently featured as John the Baptist in the Metropolitan Opera's sizzling Salome production that was simulcast to theaters around the country).
The only bad thing about the NSO's enticing program is the timing. I can't make any of the performances due to conflicting events. But if you are not similarly constrained, I'd bet the trip to the Kennedy Center would be well worth the effort. Fischer, who conducted a richly satisfying interpretation of Mahler's Third with the NSO a couple weeks ago, is likely to be just as persuasive and involving with Wagner. And I imagine the orchestra will be as fired up and virtuosic as it sounded in that Mahler symphony.
BALTIMORE SUN FILE PHOTO