Browsing: Classical

REVIEW: of The Anchoress, a world premiere of a new musical monodrama/song cycle composed by David Serkin Ludwig with text by Katie Ford, performed by soprano Hyunah Yu, accompanied by saxophone quartet PRISM and ancient-instrument ensemble Piffaro; on Wednesday, October 17, at the Perelman Theatre of Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and on Thursday, October 18, at New York City’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music (the latter performance reviewed here); and INTERVIEWS: with composer David Ludwig and poet Katie Ford. The impulse to retreat from the world in search of spiritual insight or purity has manifested throughout human history. Twenty-one centuries of Christianity…

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Author : (Newswire)

The Montreal Bach Festival announces the live streaming of the closing concert of the Festival featuring Yo-Yo Ma performing Bach’s Six Suites for Cello. The concert at the Maison symphonique is sold out. “We are excited to announce the first ever live streaming event of the Montreal Bach Festival. The beautiful St. James United Church, few blocks away from Place des Arts, is the perfect setting for a live streaming of this special concert. Yo-YoMa’s world tour of Bach’s Cello Suites comprises of 36 concerts and this Montreal concert is the only one taking place in Canada. To celebrate the occasion the…

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REVIEW: of works by composers David Lang and Gregg Kallor – The Mile-Long Opera by Lang, performed on the High Line; and sketches from The Frankenstein Suite, plus the monodrama “The Telltale Heart,” by Kallor, performed in the Catacombs of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Some uncanny musical surprises graced unusual locations both above and below New York City street-level during the early part of Halloween month. Here’s a diary retrospective. Going the Extra Mile Beginning at twilight on six consecutive evenings (October 3 through 8; viewed October 7), Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer David Lang and a host of collaborators presented a unique choral…

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By all appearances Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony are sharply contrasting if not utterly dissimilar works. The former, stemming from the Salzburg prodigy’s youthful years, is gracefully elegant in tone and style. Scored for a smaller orchestra, the piece is a wellspring of melodic ideas that often go undeveloped. The latter work, for its part, is a late opus of the German composer, the result of much thought, and soon recognized as a pinnacle in his artistic oeuvre. Far more ambitious in scope, it requires not only an unusually large instrumentation to fully realize its intention,…

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REVIEW: of Opera Philadelphia’s “Festival O18” (September 20-30, 2018) – a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, composed by Gaetano Donizetti with libretto by Salvadore Cammarano; the world premiere of Sky on Swings, composed by Lembit Beecher with libretto by Hannah Moscovitch; the premiere of Ne quittez pas (a “reimagined” La voix humaine of Francis Poulenc, with a new prologue featuring numerous of the composer’s art songs); the premiere of Glass Handel, an immersive concert experience featuring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo performing music by George Frideric Handel and Philip Glass; and Queens of the Night: Blythely After Hours, an opera/rock…

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The one thing that keeps me from awarding this album the full five stars is that it is upside down. It opens with a perfectly decent performance of Bela Bartok’s first violin concerto by the Norwegian virtuoso Vilde Frang, with the Radio France philharmonic orchestra conducted by Mikko Franck. Frang, who is 32, has been performing since she was ten years old. Everything she does is perfectly lovely and agreeable. The first Bartok concerto, a youthful effusion of innocent love, is not going to change our lives. The octet, on the other hand, might. George Enescu was one of the great…

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REVIEW: of the Berkshire Opera Festival production of Giuseppe’s Verdi’s Rigoletto (August 25 at 1 p.m.; August 28 at 7:30 p.m. and August 31 at 7:30 p.m., at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Massachusetts). Sex, power, seduction, revenge, and a dazzling lightning storm. Verdi’s gutsy 1851 operatic melodrama, Rigoletto, gets a fascinating, stylish, and unflinchingly close study in the Berkshire Opera Festival’s new production, running through August 31 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (viewed here at the August 25 opening). Under director Jonathon Loy (who is also the festival’s co-founder), Verdi’s tale of a deformed court jester who seeks…

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PROFILE/REVIEW: of the 2018 Glimmerglass Festival Season: Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim; Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček; and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini and Cesare Sterbini. “It’s remarkable how many important things happened in 1918,” observes Glimmerglass Festival artistic and managing director Francesca Zambello, speaking at a recent pre-show audience address in Cooperstown. “The end of World War I. The birth of Leonard Bernstein. And the premiere of this piece” – this last a reference to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, which was…

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Two problematic symphonies by a tortured composer are despatched by the Boston Symphony and its Latvian conductor with near-nonchalance.  The 4th, withheld by the composer for quarter of a century after Stalin’s attack on Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, is ultra-Mahlerian in its orchestration and ironies and utterly daring in its refusal to toe the party line of relentless positivism. The key to the composer’s intentions eludes many conductors. Andris Nelsons adopts a kind of Baltic neutrality in downplaying the score’s emotional extremes in the hope he won’t get mauled by the Russian bear. It’s a fine performance, lacking only the…

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PREVIEW: of the 2018 dell’Arte Opera Ensemble Summer Festival Season, “Mozart & Salieri,” at New York City’s LaMaMa (66 East 4th Street), August 11 through 26; and INTERVIEWS: with company founder and artistic director, maestro Chris Fecteau, and dell’Arte 2018 creative team members Brittany Goodwin and Catherine O’Shaughnessy. This company is ready to rumble. Call it the Thrilla from Vienna: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, that most bruited matchup of 18th Century musical titans, is slated for a redux this month – this time in 21st Century New York, courtesy of the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble. Grab a ringside seat.…

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