Browsing: Romantic

NEW YORK – It is possible to lose a sense of perspective after good night of Bruckner. The critic in me urges caution. Best live Fourth Symphony I have heard in months! My heart suggests something a little less guarded. Best in…well, quite a while. Certainly the performance ranks among the signal achievements in the history the Orchestre Métropolitain, which on Friday made its third stop on a four-city U.S. tour and, not incidentally, its debut at Carnegie Hall. You can imagine a new punch line to the old gag about how you get there: by having Yannick Nézet-Séguin as…

Share:

Thanks to amplification – yes, the Ballet has no qualms about using microphones to enhance choristers and soloists – the musical experience was satisfying, no, rewarding in normally dungeonous Wilfrid-Pelletier.Twenty years ago, ballet seemed to be third place behind the OSM and the Opéra de Montréal. No longer. This season’s opening production of Carmina Burana is fast selling out for its 9 performance run at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier’s 2552 seat configuration (the Balcon is closed off). That’s 22,968 seats versus 11,984 in Opéra de Montréal’s four performance productions (recently Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin) in SWP’s 2996-seat capacity, and 6,300 in the OSM’s…

Share:

The near-symbiotic relationship between Mendelssohn and his older sister, examined in my forthcoming book Genius and Anxiety, was so central to both musicians’ lives that Felix was felled by a stroke on hearing of Fanny’s death and died before the year was out. Fanny, the first to evince musical talent, was silenced by their father as she neared puberty in order not to deflect attention from her genius kid brother. In her 30s she found a publisher and began – to Felix’s chagrin – to produce chamber music. His anger abated on finding that the music was of high quality.…

Share:

The Canadian Opera Company has opened its season in Toronto with the North American premiere of Robert Wilson’s production of Turandot – and the world premiere appearances in this Puccini opera of Jim, Bob and Bill. Opera fans who do not recognize these roles might be more familiar with Ping, Pang and Pong, the court bureaucrats who add comic relief to the tale of love and death in ancient Beijing. Their names were judged potentially hurtful by the COC’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee, and particularly committee member Richard Lee, who is named in the credits as a production consultant. “This act…

Share:

This was one of the best-cast and least-tampered-with Opéra de Montréal presentations in recent memory.Opera’s newest power couple – so Etienne Dupuis and Nicole Car have been called, and so they sounded Saturday night in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. But as impressive as they were in the principal roles, the Montreal-born baritone and his Australian soprano better half did not constitute the sum of show. This was one of the best-cast and least-tampered-with Opéra de Montréal presentations in recent memory. What you missed Fans of mezzo-sopranos had an array of firm sonorities to choose from in Christianne Bélanger as Larina, Stefania Toczyska…

Share:

Musica Camerata Montreal is an exceptional ensemble. Founded in 1971, it has been performing lesser-known chamber works and pioneering the music of Canadian composers. In anticipation of Camerata’s 50th season, we spoke to violinist and artistic director Luis Grinhauz and his wife, pianist Berta Rosenohl. How did you meet? LG: I was 19 years old, new to Buenos Aires, and a friend of mine wanted to introduce a lovely pianist to me named Berta. But I seemed to be too busy with violin practice (laughs). A little bit later, after one particular concert, we finally met, and I asked her…

Share:

The anniversary year of Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949) is marked by the re-emergence of a piano concerto that he wrote at the height of his fame. Pfitzner, acclaimed for his 1917 opera Palestrina, delivered the concerto in 1923, with Walter Gieseking as soloist. If Palestrina echoes Wagner’s Meistersinger, the concerto nods repeatedly in the direction of Brahms’s B-flat – and the nodding is done mostly by the listener. Pfitzner’s fallen reputation is sometimes ascribed to his gruesome flirtation with the Nazis but this concerto suggests something more organically at fault. Each of four movements is introduced by a promising idea, which…

Share:

REVIEW: of Ellen West (the world premiere of a new work by Ricky Ian Gordon and Frank Bidart); and La fille du régiment (a new production of Donizetti’s 1840 comic opera). Opera Saratoga inaugurated its summer 2019 mainstage series on June 29 and 30 – the same weekend as the highly-touted “WorldPride 50” celebration. The latter event, of course, originated as homage to the purported founding moment of the modern gay rights movement; but it has by now pullulated far beyond its initial meaning, becoming a portmanteau affirmation of self-identities of all stripes. It is interesting, then, that – whether…

Share:

The OSM has seen its share of notable guest conductors over the decades. Now the list includes Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony since 1995. His appearance on May 22 in the Maison symphonique marked his Montreal debut. He made it count for something. Not that Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is the likeliest vehicle for the expression of podium personality. As its title implies, this score is made of multiple parts that need to be coordinated. A lean and athletic figure at 75, Tilson Thomas accomplished the technical element of task with an economical baton style…

Share:

Hard to fault the Mahler Third Symphony heard Saturday night (April 13, 2019) in Salle Claude-Champagne. Very hard, if the criteria are performing standards and the grasp of the score shown by Jean-François Rivest, founding artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal. It should be noted, however, that the 100-plus players on stage included a high proportion of professors and alumni, including veterans we see often enough in professional situations. Only three of the eight double bassists, to judge by the printed program, were students. The first timpani part was undertaken by none other than…

Share:
1 2 3 21