Music Reviews

Music Reviews

Jul 26th 2016

France is a favorite European venue for summer music festivals, attracting international artists and audiences from throughout the world. Somehow, despite the often-predicted dropoff in classical concert attendance, the festivals all seem to thrive.

May 28th 2016

For the past few years I have focused my critical sense mainly on piano music and my artwork on the performers who struggle to play it. The faces of some pianists mirror the creative process and thereby inspire my approach to their portraits.

May 14th 2016

Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” sounded better than ever in Portland Opera’s opening night performance (May 6th) because of the sets that were designed by Maurice Sendak, the beloved children’s book illustrator and author who created “Where the Wild Things Are.” Sendak’s whimsical scenery elicited nu

May 6th 2016

Many young pianists, increasingly desperate to draw attention to themselves, are resorting to new levels of flamboyance at the keyboard – sometimes in their interpretations, more often in excessive showboating antics. It would seem that everyone wants to be a Lang Lang.

Apr 29th 2016

“Alexander Nevsky”, the cantata version of Sergei Prokofiev’s film score from 1938, captivated a full house at the Bordeaux Auditorium last night (Thursday, April 28) with a degree of fire and heart that other orchestras often lack.

Apr 7th 2016

Tanglewood chief piano technician Barbara Renner once won a $50 bet by proving to a male tuner that she could manipulate the nine-foot Steinway Model D as well as any man. And she has gone on to thrive in this man’s world of piano tuning, never looking back.

Apr 4th 2016

In an adventurous programming gambit Friday night (April 1) the Cantata Singers and Ensemble under David Hoose matched up two opposites – Johann Sebastian Bach and Anton Webern – and concluded with the monumental Brahms Requiem, all impeccably rendered.

Mar 18th 2016

Kent Nagano made a triumphal return to Boston Wednesday evening (March 16) with his Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, conducting there for the first time in many years before a wildly enthusiastic audience.

Mar 7th 2016

Pianist Georges Cziffra couldn’t believe his eyes when a young soldier delivered an upright piano to him on a military base in Hungary in 1942. The soldier called it “that little cupboard you tap on to make music – sorry, I don’t know the word for it.”

Mar 1st 2016


"[......] music-lovers watched the obituary columns to guess when new subscription seats might become available."

Feb 20th 2016

It’s a crowded field, but to my mind there are never too many variations of Franz Schubert’s late masterpiece, the Winterreise (Winter Journey) song cycle.

Feb 9th 2016

Pianist Alexander Paley’s new CD of Medtner and Rachmaninov couples the works of two great friends whose lives evolved in similar ways. Both enjoyed early success but Rachmaninov’s sense of melody won larger acclaim from the international public.

Feb 9th 2016

Pianist Alexander Paley brings together some rarely heard and nicely coherent pieces by Sergei Rachmaninov and Nikolai Medtner, close friends from their Moscow student days, in a new CD (La Musica LMU005).

Jan 30th 2016

One of the great innovators of new music, composer Julius Eastman, was born unlucky – both black and gay.

Dec 29th 2015

The perfumed prose of music criticism can sometimes be as annoying as it is unhelpful.  For a lesson in turning music into words, however, there is better, as I have found in reading analyses and opinions on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.

Dec 22nd 2015

French-Armenian pianist Varduhi Yeritsyan has attracted international accolades from major critics for her vigorous interpretations of the ten Scriabin piano sonatas, a corpus that continues to intrigue pianophiles a hundred years after his death.

Dec 17th 2015

Alexander Scriabin’s ten piano sonatas serve as a guide to his journey from Romantic to atonal composition, 20 years in the making. His innovations took him into obscure, abstract territory but rescued him from being labeled a mere Chopin copycat, his starting point.

Dec 5th 2015

British pianist Paul Lewis delivered a silken, stormy and violent performance of the colossal Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-minor Op. 15 Thursday evening (Dec. 3), joined by the Orchestre Nationale Bordeaux Aquitaine in the city’s new Auditorium.

Browse articles by author