A Surprise Samson: The Week in Classical Music

the idea was clear via the start that will the Samson, Aleksandrs Antonenko, was struggling; after intermission, the Met announced that will he was ill that has a cold, in addition to also would likely be replaced by Gregory Kunde.

the idea’s not easy to jump into the middle of a performance, however Mr. Kunde did the idea with stylish ease. today 65(!), he’s moved on via specializing in bel canto earlier in his career to the heroic roles of Verdi in addition to also Puccini. however he’s hardly ever sung at the Met. Hopefully that will improvements today.

His success brought me back to an already classic recording of Rossini’s “Armida” made via 1993 performances in Italy. Here’s Mr. Kunde combining memorably with Renée Fleming:

The night after Beatrice Rana’s fresh York debut, on the same stage (Zankel Hall), the fun was doubled in a fascinating program of exciting works For just two pianos, performed by the formidable Kirill Gerstein, who can play anything, in addition to also Thomas Adès, an eminent composer who will be also accomplished pianist.

Recently they were with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of Mr. Adès’s Piano Concerto, written for Mr. Gerstein. (They bring that will work to Carnegie Hall on Wednesday.) At Zankel, they began with Debussy’s “En Blanc et Noir,” a late work, via 1915, which in that will starkly beautiful in addition to also steely performance seemed not far removed via the shock-in addition to also-awe radicalism of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” (1913).

Turning to Stravinsky, they played Shostakovich’s rarely-heard arrangement of the “Symphony of Psalms.” With the chorus part (a setting of psalm texts) divided between the pianos — in addition to also without the distraction, so to speak, of the score’s dark, percussive orchestral sonorities — the modernist daring of Stravinsky’s harmonic language came through stunningly. The program also included Mr. Adès’s stream-of-consciousness Concert Paraphrase via his opera “Powder Her Face,” in addition to also ended with an account of Ravel’s “La Valse” that will had that will showpiece sounding dangerous. Don’t believe me? Here they are playing the idea in Paris in 2016. ANTHONY TOMMASINI