One of the most impressive improvisational feats I've ever witnessed took place at Marlboro Music in 2008, when the pianist and composer Matan Porat provided live accompaniment to a screening of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. The really amazing thing, it was revealed afterward, was that the version of the film shown was different from —and quite a bit longer than — the one that Porat had looked at in advance. You would never known from his ebullient, seamless playing. Porat has two concerts coming up at the 92nd Street Y: on January 25th, he will give a program entitled Variations on a Theme by Scarlatti, covering music from Bach to Boulez; and on the 26th he will accompany a screening of Buster Keaton's The General.... Trinity Wall Street's annual Twelfth Night Festival, in the period after Christmas, brought the inauguration of the multi-year Mass Reimaginings series. On Trinity's invaluable streaming portal, you can see Daniel Felsenfeld's potent, questing Astrophysical Mass, on a text by Rick Moody. The video also includes Lassus's Prophetiae Sibyllarum.... Eric Huebner has a pop-up concert on Jan. 26 at Miller Theatre, playing Roger Reynolds's Piano Etudes, Book I and Eric Wubbles's Psychomechanochronometer, both written for him.... The Spektral Quartet, young radicals of Chicago, have a delirious new record called Serious Business, on the theme of comedy in music. The central piece, Chris Fisher-Lochhead’s Hack, is a knockout: instrumental reproductions/revampings of comedy routines by the likes of George Carlin, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Sarah Silverman, and Dave Chappelle. Spektral will present live concerts in Chicago on January 29th and 31st.... David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony have unveiled their enhanced production of Messiaen's Des Canyons aux étoiles, with imagery of the Utah canyons provided by the photographer Deborah O'Grady. I listened to the radio broadcast and was enthralled by the playing. The orchestra will now bring the Canyons west, to Berkeley's Cal Performances series (Jan. 31) and LA's Disney Hall (Feb. 2). The latter concert is part of the LA Phil's Francophone series called City of Light, which will culminate in a semi-staged production of Pelléas et Mélisande, with Esa-Pekka Salonen presiding.... This year's Juilliard Focus! Festival (Jan. 22-29) is celebrating the centenary of the great, lamented Milton Babbitt. Will Robin has a good overview in the New York Times. Once again I urgently recommend Robert Hilferty's brilliant Babbitt documentary.