Reviews

August 21, 2014

Old West Hall Needs To Be Wilder

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Local Baroque keyboardist and musicology scholar Matthew Hall essayed all Bach on the Fisk Organ in the Old West Organ Society summer series last Tuesday to mixed results but with much promise.     [continued]

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August 20, 2014

A Best of All Possible Candides

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The spirit of Bernstein smiled Saturday night on a first-rate rendition of his convoluted farce by the BSO, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Bramwell Tovey, and a coterie of soloists. [continued]

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August 19, 2014

CCCM at 35: Lights-Out Fireworks

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Old instruments fought imbalances as a half-dozen sterling musicians, alone and together, created a wide-ranging and effective festival tribute to founder Samuel Sanders  at the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival last Friday.     [continued]

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Fellows’ Orchestra Luxuriates in Russians

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There was a buzz in the air on a brilliant Sunday afternoon as the young residents of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra entered the Koussevitzky Shed stage with conductor Charles Dutoit for the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. This year’s all-Russian affair offered Stravinsky’s Scherzo Fantastique, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and Stravinsky’s Firebird (complete).     [continued]

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August 18, 2014

Bayreutherdämmerung

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As in the rest of his Bayreuth Ring, Frank Castorf’s Götterdâmmerung came and went with unclear messages and happenings. By many accounts, he did not look at Wagner’s score or evidently listen to much of it.     [continued]

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Tanglewood: Nobility, Tyranny, Triumph

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Under Deneve leading the BSO, Ax and the Emperor were plenty polished Friday in the Shed, but it was Prokofiev and Manistina who took us beyond the movie to the inspiring battlefield.     [continued]

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August 16, 2014

Das ist kein Ring!

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A second Bayreuth report comes from our far-flung correspondent and local pianist/gadfly Deveau, reporting further on a strange Ring featuring high-quality singing and playing along with assault weaponry and happy crocs.    [continued]

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August 15, 2014

Philharmonia Baroque Revives Teseo at Tanglewood

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For three hours last night in Ozawa Hall, Nicholas McGegan led Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and an amazing ensemble of singers in a stellar concert performance of Handel’s Teseo.
[continued]

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August 14, 2014

Rational and Mad: Bach and Ives From Denk

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Pianist Jeremy Denk offered Ozawa Hall listeners a superb recital Wednesday comprising only two works, both colossal: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata.     [continued]

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Certain Joyful Cellist Wows Tanglewood

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Child’s play, dying power, and sophisticated drama made for a full and beautiful afternoon of Tchaikovsky at Tanglewood.     [continued]

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Kavakos on Fire in Familiar and Profound

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Last Saturday Stéphane Denève led a satisfying Tanglewood BSO program of Debussy, Szymanowski, and Tchaikovsky, each piece seeming effortlessly to spring from the others.     [continued]

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August 13, 2014

Musings from Bayreuth

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Another submission from one of BMInt’s far-flung correspondents follows, this time the first of three Bayreuth reviews from pianist and gadfly David Deveau.     [continued]

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Pi-Hsien Chen’s Keyboard Characterizations

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The solo recital portion of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts music festival at Walnut Hill concluded with most satisfying renderings, by pianist Pi-Hsien Chen, of works big and small and full of color and character.     [continued]

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August 12, 2014

Jeremy Denk’s Concord and Goldberg

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Jeremy Denk was at the Steinway in the Shalin Liu Performance Center Monday night pairing Bach with Ives. There could be nothing more irresistible.   [continued]

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When They Were Good, They Were Very….

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Pianist Jon Klibonoff joined the Amernet String Quartet at Maverick Concerts on Sunday for a program of music by European composers who came to America. Most of the playing was quite good and so was some of the music, but Korngold’s Piano Quintet proved a wasted half-hour.     [continued]

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August 10, 2014

Stars Sparkle in the Berkshires

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Under a starry firmament at Tanglewood Thursday, a capacity crowd gathered within and without Seiji Ozawa Hall to witness a constellation of four musical stars. Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Johannes Brahms provided yet another reason to venerate the 20-year-old architectural tribute to Ozawa.     [continued]

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British and American Works On Tap at Tanglewood

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Sparks flew from the stage of the Koussevitzky Shed Friday as Leonard Slatkin led the BSO and Gil Shaham in a triumph of musical execution, though less perfection and more risk-taking might have led to more transcendence.     [continued]

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August 9, 2014

BLO and BLO Collaborate Incredibly

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Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Boston Lyric Opera produced a sultry and whimsical “best hits in opera” program; given the unbearable heat and humidity, the musicians may have been the only cool operators in the Boston’s Church of the Covenant.     [continued]

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August 5, 2014

Thibaudet at Tanglewood

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Friday night the faithful few braved the inclement weather to hear Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Tanglewood’s Koussevitzky Music Shed, under the direction of Marcelo Lehninger in a program encompassing Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Schumann.     [continued]

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August 4, 2014

Bows Replace Swords for Halcyon’s Duels

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Halcyon Music gave the seventh of eight concerts in its inaugural festival in Portsmouth New Hampshire last night at historical St. John’s Episcopal Church, featuring all-20 of the musicians who have been living and playing together for two weeks. Violinist extraordinaire Irina Muresanu introduced the “Dueling Instruments” theme.    [continued]

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Meng-Chieh Liu Scales Brahms Peaks

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The newest NEC piano professor ascended the mighty Brahms with us Sunday at Walnut Hill; in the hands of this magisterial guide, the views were majestic.     [continued]

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French Elegance Triumphs at Maverick

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The Modigliani Quartet, from Paris, made its Maverick Concerts debut in Woodstock on Sunday with a concert demonstrating the advantages of French elegance in chamber music. The ensemble’s tone was lean but beautiful, its interpretations similar.     [continued]

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August 3, 2014

Reputation and Reality with Hung-Kuan Chen

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In a nicely concocted and sequenced program, the eminent pianist/teacher Hung-Kuan Chen gave a Mozart and Schubert recital at Walnut Hill School for the Arts Friday with decidedly mixed results.   [continued]

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August 2, 2014

Rare Foss and Familiar Copland

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Under the direction of Andrew Clark, Americana through modernist lenses at Sander’s Theatre Friday from Harvard Summer School Chorus and BMOP, Director of Choral Activities at Harvard, included a fine, rare hearing of Lukas Foss’s The Prairie. Repeats for Monadnock Music on Sunday August 3rd at 3:00 PM in the Peterborough (NH) Town House.   [continued]

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August 1, 2014

Messiaenic, Miltonian Revelations

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The sole work on Ashmont Hill Chamber Music’s Thursday program was Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, a nearly hour-long meditation on scenes and concepts from the Book of Revelation. Recently installed Artistic Director Mary Beth Alger has begun her first season with AHCM strongly, with programs of meaty repertoire and performers of the highest quality.     [continued]

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