Browsing: Classical

Did you catch Herbert Blomstedt and Maria João Pires with the Berlin Philharmonic on Saturday? All it took was a smartphone, a subscription to the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall and, optionally, a better-than-average pair of earbuds. I did it the old-fashioned way and do not regret the decision. Hearing one of the world’s most famous orchestras led by one of the world’s most venerable conductors in one of the world’s most illustrious concert halls added up to one of the best concert experiences imaginable. To risk another one-of qualification, the symphony on the program was one of my favorites,…

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Beyond the Score: Prokofiev Symphony No. 5  – Pure Propaganda? (A multimedia exploration) Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major Op. 100 (complete performance) Austin Symphony Orchestra/Peter Bay Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin, TX, December 2, 2017   British composer, arranger, broadcaster, teacher and writer Gerard McBurney has developed quite a reputation for his music appreciation series “Beyond the Score,” which takes a single major work by a composer and provides a context for it drawing on letters, contemporaneous political events, excerpts from the work itself as well as from other works by the same composer. This “Beyond…

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Global leader in the music services market for cable companies, the Stingray Digital Group has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Just in 2017, the company acquired six music channels, including Classica, which was purchased at the beginning of the year by the German production company Unitel. It is by focusing on a business model that favors acquisitions that the company has carved the lion’s share in a music market that is still suffering the effects of the digital revolution. The beginnings Founded in Montreal in 2007, the company first launched into the karaoke market with the acquisition of Soundchoice.…

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Originally published on June 1st, 1998 in La Scena Musicale, June 1998 Everyone’s first question about Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky: “Is he as handsome in person?” Yes, the Siberian tiger lives up to his billing as the world’s sexiest baritone. When he walked into the café of New York’s elegant Stanhope Hotel wearing dark glasses and a black leather jacket, he radiated movie star glamour. Call it charisma or animal magnetism, Hvorostovsky is one of nature’s physical aristocrats. Those sardonically sensual lips, that trademark mane of silver hair and those hooded Slavic eyes suggesting cruel Tartar ancestry – the…

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On November 21, in conjunction with the Montreal Bach Festival, Saint Joseph’s Oratory will present a concert of Arvo Pärt’s Passion for Saint John to mark the 100th anniversary of its crypt and Casavant organ opus 708, with the participation of the choir and instrumental ensemble of St. Andrew and St. Paul’s Church, conducted by Jean-Sébastien Vallée, Vincent Boucher on organ and Gilles Cantagrel as a host. They will also perform Handel’s Organ Concerto in B flat major op. 4 no 2 and J S Bach’s Toccata and fugue in D minor. “This Montreal premiere of Pärt’s Passion will, in…

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The 2012 film A Late Quartet is largely built around the preparation and performance of Beethoven’s Quartet in C-sharp minor, op. 131. The film has been praised on every level — the acting in particular. The actors, however, are not musicians! The actual sound of the movie’s fictional Fugue String Quartet was provided, most effectively, by the Brentano String Quartet. In the movie’s final scene the ensemble’s cellist (actor Christopher Walken) stops the performance and explains to the audience that he is no longer able to meet the music’s challenges. (He has Parkinson’s disease.) Anticipating that he might not be…

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Zhan Hong Xiao On Radio-Canada’s Virtuose By Olivier Gentil  “For me, music is the highest form of communication, the highest form of language.” This 17-year-old piano prodigy came to Quebec’s attention when he appeared on Radio-Canada’s Virtuose, broadcast last spring and hosted by Gregory Charles. At the end of the show he played the fourth movement of the Piano Concerto in E flat by Liszt. “I only entered by chance, because my prof told me about it,” he recalls. “I was surprised to be selected!” And he doesn’t regret it in the least. “There was nothing to worry about, it…

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“FEAST OF VOICES” Beethoven-Bruckner: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op. 13 “Pathétique” (lst movement) Vaughan Williams: Flos Campi Mahler-Britten: Symphony No. 3 (2nd movement) Bruckner: Te Deum Bruce Williams, viola Julia Taylor, soprano Claudia Chapa, mezzo-soprano Brian Yeakley, tenor Charles Evans, baritone Chorus Austin (Ryan Heller, director) Austin Symphony/Peter Bay Long Center for the Performing Arts Austin, TX October 7, 2017 In his opening remarks, conductor Peter Bay informed the audience that they were about to hear only the second performance ever of Anton Bruckner’s orchestration of the first movement of Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata, making this a U.S.…

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Noa Wildschut, Mozart Yoram Ish-Hurwitz, Gordan Nikolić, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra Warner I’m about to break an iron rule and review a kid playing the violin. And, no, I haven’t given in to peer pressure, though there has been plenty of it from the London agency that signed her at 15, and the record label that followed up. The kid’s 16 now, old enough to take a bit of criticism and interesting enough to warrant adult consideration. Noa Wildschut first appeared on Dutch television at six years old and at the Concertgebouw a year later. The child of two string players…

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A Handel mash-up and an international co-production comprise AtG’s most expansive season to date TORONTO – Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) returns in its eighth season with BOUND, a pastiche workshop of new interpretations of Handel’s music, and a groundbreaking new production of Berlioz’s arrangement of Glück’s Orphée. AtG’s acclaimed #OperaPub nights return as a monthly fixture at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club, and the company collaborates with Canadian baroque-pop artist Kyrie Kristmanson at the Alliance Française in Toronto. In addition, AtG enters its second season as company-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company (COC). This December, Artistic Director Joel Ivany and Music Director…

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