And if you’re in Los Angeles (lucky you), check out the L.A. Phil, which is performing Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 12 — settings of lyrics from David Bowie’s album “Lodger” — under the baton of John Adams on Friday and Sunday. I spoke with Mr. Adams and Mr. Glass about the work:
In other news:
— The Metropolitan Opera’s “Aida” revival is a mess; “Carmen” is rather better.
— The New York Philharmonic plays too damn loud.
— The baritone Benjamin Appl is a Schubert whiz.
Let’s play you out with Maria Callas’s “Aida” Triumphal Scene high E flat. Greet the weekend like she greets the closing of that Act II curtain! ZACHARY WOOLFE
The welcome revival of interest in the composer Florence Price continues this week, with the release of a buoyant recording of her First and Fourth symphonies, with the Fort Smith Symphony of Arkansas conducted by John Jeter.
Both works bear trace influences of folk forms — including, as the musicologist Douglas W. Shadle writes in the liner notes, a reference to “Wade in the Water” during the Fourth’s opening movement. But there are as many sections that seem like a composer channeling her own individual muse. Among the most compelling moments is the close of the Fourth — a scherzo full of slaloming melody (and, in the final minutes, some pleasingly potent tutti chords). SETH COLTER WALLS
It says something that a song cycle of despair, heartbreak, alienation and yearning for death has become an anthem of our unsettled times. Schubert’s mournful “Winterreise,” which he worked on up to his death at 31, has been a regular feature of recent New York seasons, sung by some of the world’s greatest singers.
I have seen stagings of the cycle, but I have never seen a performance more theatrical than the one the German baritone Benjamin Appl gave, without any props at all, on Thursday in the Park Avenue Armory’s intimate Board of Officers Room.
It was the kind of vocal acting — fearlessly physical, with a broad palette of tones and styles, and a willingness to go for the occasional unbeautiful moment when called for by the text — that could devolve into histrionics. But Mr. Appl was utterly convincing.
He made a vivid miniature of each song. For “Frühlingstraum,” Mr. Appl brought out the Jekyll-and-Hyde contrast terrifyingly. After singing the sweet opening passage, a vision of merry birds in a May meadow, he seemed to turn on a dime, changing his voice and bearing to deliver the shock of the next section: a bitter waking nightmare of crowing roosters, shrieking ravens and loneliness.
It was only in those ferocious moments that you realized his foreshadowing: How, even in the loveliest passages of the song’s opening, there had been something unhinged in his voice, and his eyes. MICHAEL COOPER