Berkshire Opera Festival brought an estimable Butterfly to the Colonial Theater, Pittsfield: continuing on August 30th and September 2nd. [continued]
An often inaudible violinist Lara St. John and dominating pianist Matt Herskowitz promoted their new CD “Shiksa,” at Maverick Concerts on Saturday. [continued]
On a rare classical Friday night at the Maverick, the St. Lawrence Quartet lived in with us as old friends. [continued]
The Portland Chamber Music Festival wrapped up for this year on Saturday with its usual pleasantly eclectic blend of old and new. [continued]
Under the sure hand of Andris Nelsons, the BSO demonstrated its operatic potential with the first two acts of Aida in the Tanglewood Shed on Saturday. [continued]
The third of the four concerts of the Portland Chamber Music Festival got going Thursday with Vivaldi before works of David Ludwig and Franck occupied the stage. [continued]
Russell Platt’s Mountain Interval, a commission for the Maverick centennial, received great advocacy from th Borromeo in a Saturday concert which also included Beethoven and Haydn. [continued]
Charles Dutoit directed 200+ players and singers along with pianist icon Menahem Pressler Friday at Tanglewood. [continued]
Alexander Platt led the Maverick Chamber Orchestra and in an interesting, varied and challenging program which also featured solos outings from pianist Adam Tendler and cellist Emmanuel Feldman. [continued]
Aided and abetted by Meow Meow and members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Barry Humphries presided over a foray into what the Nazi’s deemed degenerate (Entartete) music at Ozawa Hall on Sunday. [continued]
A half-century separated the two offerings in the Portland Chamber Music Festival Saturday night, expertly served. [continued]
At Trio Solisti’s Maverick concert Sunday, pianist Fabio Bidini produced excellent sound quality from Maverick’s Yamaha, but he produced much too much of it. As a result, in Beethoven’s “Geister” Trio and Brahms’s Op. 101, the strings were difficult or impossible to hear. [continued]
Following its recent three-part pattern there, the quartet gave us three transcriptions from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, a modern work, and a “Rasumovsky” Sunday at the Gardner. [continued]
Mitigating the 95-degree weather, Channing Yu and the Mercury Orchestra remained in northern climes Friday evening at Sanders. [continued]
The Portland Chamber Music Festival got underway Friday with Beethoven, Brahms and Magnan. [continued]
In one amazing day, Ohio Light Opera Company morphed from Offenbach’s frothy “theater of the absurd” La Vie Parisienne to a very rare production of Ivor Novello’s The Dancing Years. [continued]
The Boston University Tanglewood Institute celebrated its 50th anniversary Saturday with a gala concert and “soiree” reception, highlighting its legacy by featuring students of the 2016 Young Artists Orchestra and Chorus Programs along with a host of alumni performers and composers. [continued]
The Ohio Light Opera gave Mikado and Kiss Me Kate to delighted crowds on Wednesday in Wooster, OH. [continued]
In the continuing Chinese Performing Arts Foundation Walnut Hill Festival, featuring more and more superior young pianists, it turned out that the last would be first, in this case a sensationally mature 22-year-old on Saturday. [continued]
The Emerson Quartet served up a variety of standards, with the newest one the winner, in Wellfleet on Thursday. [continued]
At his Chinese Performing Arts Foundation’s debut Wednesday night, the 18-year-old showed chops aplenty, so now it’s on to the eternal matters of feeling, taste, and judgment. Wait, maybe that’s unnecessary. [continued]more reviews →
Violinist Miriam Fried celebrates her 70th birthday by performing all of the Bach unaccompanied sonatas and partitas in two Jordan Hall concerts today. Three of them will be performed in an afternoon concert starting at 4:30pm and the other three performed the same day in a 7:30 concert. Ms. Fried will also be replicating these concerts in Ravinia, Israel, Belgium and Canada throughout the birthday celebration season, as well as recording the works in December. Ms. Fried performs today’s concerts on her 1718 Stradivarius violin, along with a baroque bow.
Miriam Fried has been recognized for many years as one of the world’s preeminent violinists. A consummate musician—equally accomplished as recitalist, concerto soloist or chamber musician—she has been heralded by Musical America for her “fiery intensity and emotional depth,” as well as for her technical mastery. Her supreme blend of artistry and musicianship continues to inspire audiences worldwide. Fried recently recorded a series of lectures about Bach which are now available on iclassical-academy.com.
In 2005 Cerise Lim Jacobs set out to mark her husband’s birthday with a commissioned song-cycle. She finished with libretti to a trilogy of operas. The first to be performed was Madame White Snake, premièred in 2010 by Opera Boston, reviewed here), and winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Charles Jacobs lived long enough to see the première but not the Pulitzer. Boston will now see the première of the Ouroboros cycle September 10th – 17th in the Cutler Majestic Theater, thanks to Beth Morrison Projects and Arts Emerson. In advance of this event, principals in the production spoke and performed at The Boston Athenæum on August 18th and composer Scott Wheeler (by email to BMInt earlier) kindly answered our questions.
Madame White Snake begins with a Chinese folktale dating from the Tang and Five Dynasties period (7th – 10th centuries CE) and the earliest written version extant dates to the Ming Dynasty (14th – 17th centuries CE). It is now considered one of that nation’s four great folktales, and has grown and shifted over time. There are Taoist and Buddhist elements in this story of good and evil, a quest for immortality, an intergenerational quest to reunite a family, and stories of striving in the face of adversity and opposition; sometimes it is a tale of horror and sometimes a romance. There are television series, films, plays, picture books, modern dance interpretations, Chinese operas, and Western opera. Swatch even based a 2012 watch design on this legend, celebrating the Year of the Snake. It is a widely known cornerstone of Eastern folktales. [continued…]
Performing classic Broadway musicals with a full orchestra returns them to their original symphonic splendor. Because of the decreasing size of pits and budgets, many first-rate theater companies now use scaled-down instrumental forces when producing musicals. Clever reductions exist, but something is lost. The harp part is covered by the pianist, four sax lines are boiled down to one, and the string section is decimated. In the worst scenario, everyone is replaced by a synthesizer. What is lost is not just color and richness but also counterpoint—the back and forth among instruments that is a hallmark of masterful orchestral writing.
When Boston Landmarks Orchestra and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) decided to revive Rodgers & Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse, this summer, we looked forward to what we had done in 2013 with Kiss Me, Kate: playing the full charts. The performance comes next Wednesday at 7pm at DCR’s Hatch Memorial Shell. [continued…]
In a surprise substitution, award-winning tenor Pavol Breslick will replace Matthew Polenzani, in what is sure to be an explosive local debut (featuring a rare high D-flat in one of Rossini’s most beautiful tenor arias). After winning First Prize at the 2000 Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in the Czech Republic and studying with Mirella Freni, Breslick was named “Most Promising Singer of the Year” in the critics’ survey of Opernwelt magazine, while appearing regularly with the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden. He is recognized as one of the great new European Nemorinos and Lenskis (the latter notably for the Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden’s recent productions of Eugene Onegin), and has been a member of the Zurich Opera House since 2012, singing Števa, Don Ottavio, Faust, Roberto Devereux, Nadir, and Peter Quint. He describes his 2014 debut at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg as a “highlight of his career,” and has recently released a recording of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin [here] . [continued…]
Music Director Andris Nelsons will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in its now traditional season-ending performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on Sunday, August 28th, at 2:30 p.m. in place of 86-year-old Christoph von Dohnányi, who had cataract surgery earlier in the summer, and whose recovery was more difficult than expected: he canceled his earlier Tanglewood weekend on doctor’s orders. At that time, he expected to be able to get to Tanglewood for the closing Beethoven Ninth, but apparently he’s still not cleared to fly.
Andris Nelsons became available for the final Tanglewood weekend after he withdrew from Parsifal at Bayreuth. Nelsons did the Beethoven Ninth last summer at the Proms as his final appearance in the role of Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. According to member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus Steven Owades, “We in the chorus (and orchestra) are looking forward to our first opportunity to explore the B9 with Andris.”
The tradition of ending the Tanglewood season with Beethoven 9 is pretty well established, but it doesn’t date to the early years of the festival. Leinsdorf’s gave his farewell performance with it in 1969, and the newly formed TFC sang it in both the spring and summer of 1970, but it was a while before annual performances became standard. In some seasons, B9 has come before the close, but in recent years it’s concluded the series. [continued…]
The August doldrums find BMInt in no doubt as to what musical event to feature this week—the only one in town on our calendar for the night. Tens of thousands attend Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s Hatch Shell concerts for the good reasons that they’re free and they present summer classical hits without pandering. Don’t expect the Boston Pops to play any contemporary classical music on its annual Esplanade outing or any classical music at all, for that matter, but count on BLmO to do both.
John Adams’s Lollapalooza, in fact, opens the show Wednesday at 7:00. Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, and Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band Overture follow before the next new work, Gonzalo Grau Elements, a world premiere. In Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, Music Director Christopher Wilkins brings a once-beloved pops staple. [continued…]
Serious BSO listeners and classical lovers always have the fine live WCRB broadcasts, plus CRB’s superb Concert Channel archives, to get their Tanglewood or Symphony Hall fix. But we live in visual times, and shorter-attention times, in case you hadn’t noticed. And to that end, Saturday nights at 9:05 the BSO has been live-video-streaming a selected 15 minutes of the Tanglewood performance via http://streambso.org/. We’re halfway through, so for the next three weeks, be there or be square.
The time constraint is due (of course) to American Federation of Musician union regulations for orchestra promos. There is no connection with the simultaneous CRB broadcasts, and while audio quality is unknown at press time, we request that BMInt readers who caught the first three weeks already past, report (15 minutes from the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto, Mozart 39, and Sibelius 5).
This Saturday sees, or rather hears, the first movement of Beethoven 7 under the orchestra’s music director, and anyone who heard Andris Nelsons’s indoors rendition last winter knows the power and excitement likely to be in store. The August 5th video stream is Brahms Serenade 2 IV and V under Giancarlo Guerrero, and the 12th’s is La Mer II and III under Dutoit.
It may not be the Evening at Symphony of yore, and excerpting movements may not be haute enough for many of us, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Per the BSO, it’s “a pilot test project to assess the level of interest in this kind of access.” We wish all involved every success!
Famed Wagnerian soprano Jane Eaglen’s hojotohos at the Hatch Shell Wednesday, as Boston Landmarks Orchestra highlights Wagner’s Ring, including The Ride of the Valkyries and the dramatic final scene of the cycle. The stirring Anvil Chorus precedes the New England premiere of Verdi’s Libera me, which five years later would become the dramatic conclusion of the Requiem.
One City Choir, Back Bay Chorale (Scott Allen Jarrett, music director), North End Music and Performing Arts Center Children’s Choir join the orchestra in a free extravaganza which begins at 7:00.
Music director Christopher Wilkins is pleased to share his thoughts on the program.
For six years the One City Choir has embodied the Landmarks Orchestra’s desire to bring people from every Boston neighborhood together in joyful and meaningful collaboration. This year a record number of choristers have signed up—so many that we have to place them both behind and in front of the stage. (Just the kind of complication we love.) [continued…]more news & features →