Following an underwhelming concert last Thursday, I was beginning to think I was getting too cynical for concertgoing.
Saturday night listening: Hans Werner Henze’s too-rarely-performed opera “Elegy for Young Lovers”. I know, it’s light listening as usual. An old college friend reminded me earlier today that I would often assert that “music should be rigorous”; that sentiment has changed little in 30-plus years.
The Henze recording features Lisa Saffer (she can sing anything, and I mean anything), Roderick Kennedy, a stunningly good supporting cast, and the Schoenberg Ensemble conducted by the much-underrated Reinbert de Leeuw. It’s part of a 27-disc set documenting Schoenberg Ensemble recordings of 20th century music issued about five years ago by Dutch indie Et’Cetera. The performances are consistently excellent.