The real Beethoven stands up at Kennedy Center

Critic's Choice: Classical Music

September 02, 2001|By Tim Smith

Before opening its regular subscription season with some what-if Beethoven (a recent attempt at constructing a full overture out of a few tiny sketches he left behind), the National Symphony Orchestra will revel in absolutely authentic Beethoven for a week.

The ensemble's annual Beethoven Festival, conducted this year by the Prague Philharmonia's founding music director Jiri Belohlavek, opens Friday and runs through Sept. 15 at the Kennedy Center in Washington. The lineup offers performances of the First, Third, Fourth and Seventh symphonies, as well as four overtures: Fidelio, Leonore No. 3, Egmont and Coriolan. Three young, up-and-coming soloists -- violinist Elisabeth Batiashvili (slated to appear with the BSO in May), cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Adam Neiman -- will be featured in the Triple Concerto. Neiman also will be heard in the Fourth and Fifth piano concertos, Batiashvili in the Violin Concerto.

Beethoven's chamber music side will be explored by the top-drawer Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, performing all of his piano trios in the space of three days (Sept. 10-12) at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater.

Beethoven Festival 2001, Kennedy Center, off Virginia and New Hampshire avenues Northwest. Tickets are $19 to $69 for the orchestral programs, $25 for the chamber concerts. Call 202-467-4600.

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