Music Reviews

Music Reviews

Feb 19th 2015
As a long-time West Sider, I've happily traipsed through the bowels of Brooklyn for my last few posts in pursuit of the most happening events in classical music, theater and opera. But sometimes, as L. Frank Baum and Judy remind us, there is truly no place like home.
Feb 19th 2015
When American song writer Jerome Kern announced he was going to write a show based on Marco Polo, an enthusiastic reporter asked, “Mr. Kern, your new musical is based on an Italian who crossed the Alps and then the Leviathan desert, got to Mongolia, then China and finally returned home to Italy.
Feb 12th 2015
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The world premiere of Snowstorm, a 20-minute feast of orchestral colors and cl

Feb 12th 2015

On Friday night (February 6) at Keller Auditorium, Sandra Piques Eddy gave one of the best performances of Carmen that anyone can possibly imagine. She captivated Portland Opera’s audience with a tantalizing combination of emotions that made Carmen absolutely bewitching.

Feb 2nd 2015
Leonard Bernstein said, “The nineteenth century dies hard.” By that he meant his American concert-going audience would rather hear the lush, romantic music of over a hundred years ago —Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Verdi — than the angular, anguished music of the twentieth —Stravinsky, Schoenberg, S
Jan 25th 2015

I left jazz behind many years ago when I got hooked on Handel. The harmonies, the bounce and the melodies of the old German seemed to hold much more promise. I remember boasting to a friend, “I even have The Messiah in English.” I had a lot to learn. 

Jan 20th 2015

As composer Morton Feldman enjoys a comeback in contemporary music circles today, a Swiss arts and design academy has published a new tribute to him along with a CD featuring an ethereal interpretation of Palais de Mari, Feldman’s last solo piano work.

Jan 17th 2015

French pianist Hélène Grimaud returned to Bordeaux Friday night (Jan.

Jan 17th 2015

One would think that a reliable warhorse like “Tosca” might be a dull affair because it is performed so often, but the most recent Seattle Opera production shows that Puccini’s masterpiece still can grip audiences in the gut.

Jan 15th 2015
Even casual fans of classical music know of Ludwig van Beethoven’s deafness.  But could his hearing loss actually have been his greatest advantage as a musician?

Maybe so, says Leif Ove Andsnes, the highly acclaimed Norwegian pianist touring th

Jan 2nd 2015

The one thing the blogosphere does not need is another article about trendy, hip, ironic, facially-haired Brooklyn. In fact some recent articles now toll the death knell of the borough, saying that Brooklyn is passé; it seems that Queens is the new Brooklyn.

Dec 28th 2014

A powerful new recording of Rachmaninov’s familiar Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor Op. 19 (Light and Shadow, Becsta Records) manages to take this rich Russian music to new heights. It ranks comfortably alongside several impressive readings by other major cellists.

Dec 12th 2014

Marc-André Hamelin, Canadian-born and now residing in the Boston suburbs, has just completed a highly successful two-concert series in Bordeaux, playing the Beethoven piano concerto No. 4 including his own cadenza.

Dec 11th 2014

Canadian-born pianist Marc-André Hamelin kept a Bordeaux audience riveted Wednesday evening (Dec. 10) by his super-sensitive rendering of a familiar warhorse, the Beethoven piano concerto No. 4. Familiar, yes, but Bordeaux had never heard it performed quite so perfectly.

Dec 10th 2014

Canadian-born virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin, looking relaxed and happy about his debut in Bordeaux this week, took time out between rehearsals at the city’s new concert hall, l’Auditorium, to talk about his past and what is coming next.

Nov 29th 2014

As any honest critic will tell you (if you can find one), writing about contemporary piano  is a long and thorny process requiring multiple hearings or multiple arguments with the composer.

Nov 27th 2014

You don’t have to be Irish to fall in love with music from the Emerald Isle.

Nov 20th 2014

The fifth annual Bordeaux piano festival, l’Esprit du Piano, concludes nine days of keyboard music on Friday Nov. 21 with Henri Barda playing works by Mozart, Brahms and Chopin.

Nov 18th 2014

Conducting is essentially a phenomenon associated with Western classical music. As a rule, rock and jazz bands do not employ a conductor unless they are teaming up with a symphony orchestra.

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