Reviews

April 27, 2015

High Clarity in the Moment

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The Claremont Trio brought in a former colleague as last-minute sub pianist Sunday afternoon at the Gardner Museum, to give powerful accounts in its Brahms cycle.    [continued]

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Yet Another BPYO Triumph

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A Wagnerian Benjamin Zander, his Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and four fine singers conquered more than fear Sunday afternoon at Symphony Hall.     [continued]

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Building Jerusalem with Live Stones

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The Seraphim Singers with Kol Arev, the chamber choir of Hebrew College, gave an uplifting, highly original and deeply moving “Jerusalem, Holy, Disputed, Lamented” on Sunday at First Church in Cambridge, with remarkable world premieres coming from composers Joseph Ness and the Israeli-born Avner Dorman.     [continued]

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April 26, 2015

AGrippin’ Agrippina Impresses

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Handel’s Agrippina at Jordan Hall on Friday with the Boston Baroque earned high marks for vocal casting with local favorites and out-of-town superstars.    [continued]

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April 25, 2015

Ma’s Silkroad Stretches Beyond

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Silkroad’s latest manifestation at Sanders Theater Friday invited onstage several undergraduates in skilled cameo roles on strings and percussion to participate in a world-folk jam.     [continued]

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April 24, 2015

Raveworthy Ravel, Mediocre Mozart at BSO

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Ravel’s Concerto in G with Jean-Yves Thibaudet ignited at the BSO yesterday in an otherwise lackluster program under Haitink.     [continued]

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April 23, 2015

Musical Connections to T. S. Eliot

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“Settings of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets” on Tuesday was the fourth installment in BU Center for the Humanities series exploring the influence of T. S. Eliot on music. The proceedings including works by Stravinsky, Andrew List and Mark Berger and discussions felt deeply connected to Eliot.   [continued]

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April 22, 2015

Replacements at BCMS

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The Boston Chamber Music Society’s commissioning program continued with the premiere of a Philippe Jalbert work which was bookended at Sanders on Sunday by old chestnuts from Schubert and Brahms.     [continued]

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Charisma, Calleja: What a Voice!

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Boston is very fortunate that the Celebrity Series brought charismatic Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja to Jordan Hall during his first recital tour of the USA. The man loves to sing.     [continued]

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Spasstich Affair from Criers

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The musical joke usually remains the province of performing musicians themselves. Not so for A Far Cry’s “Tongue in Cheek” at St. John’s Church in Jamaica Plain on Saturday and the Gardner on Sunday.   [continued]

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April 21, 2015

Four Hands and Round Tables

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The four-hand piano works on Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston’s “up close” program had something to say to each other. Gloria Chien and Elizabeth Schumann performed brilliantly at Goethe-Institut Boston.     [continued]

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April 20, 2015

Cosi Singers Happily Like That

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NEC opera students transported Così fan tutte to a 1960s Italian resort last weekend at Emerson College’s Paramount Theater. Continuing through Tuesday.     [continued]

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April 19, 2015

Large Forces Mustered in New Tempest

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Composer Joseph Summer does not lack for nerve, and the product of that boldness was on display Friday at the world premiere of his chamber opera The Tempest at the Somerville Theater.     [continued]

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Improvs as Premieres: No Cake for Riley’s 80th

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Terry Riley’s 80th birthday ran well over three hours Saturday night at Kresge, where the master instigator of minimalism did more comping than weaving his brand of melodic modalities.     [continued]

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April 18, 2015

Christopher LaRosa: Entrepreneurial Composer

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Young Boston-area players performed works by the up-and-coming BU composer Christopher LaRosa Friday night at the United Church of Brookline, virtually rattling the stained-glass windows and prompting much whooping by his BU comrades.     [continued]

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Another Emmanuel Combo Plate

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Young Wolf and teenage Mendelssohn concluded Emmanuel Music’s dedicated chamber series last Sunday, featuring top-shelf musicmaking.     [continued]

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April 17, 2015

New Insights Into Familiar Works

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The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra’s reprised three Romantic warhorses at Sanders Theater on Thursday night: Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser. Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.      [continued]

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BU’s Cinderella Goes Beyond the Brothers Grimm

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Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon is a fine entertainment in the production the BU Theater. Having opened Thursday night, it will run for three more performances.     [continued]

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April 15, 2015

BMV: Cycling Across Cultures

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Boston Musica Viva under Richard Pittman concluded its 46th season at Longy Saturday evening with four meditative contemporary works, including the premiere of Shirish Korde’s new song cycle, Kala Chakra.     [continued]

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April 13, 2015

Strings and Oboe Abloom in Newburyport

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Apple Hill Concerts dispatched its namesake quartet and Peggy Pearson with Haydn, Brahms, a new hymn, and an important premiere by James Primosch to Newburyport’s sunstruck First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist, on Sunday.     [continued]

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RenMen Amuse and Edify

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The nine-man vocal ensemble Renaissance Men wrapped up its inaugural season in Gordon Chapel at Boston’s Old South Church with a very fine “journey from the church . . . to the tavern.”   [continued]

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A Worthy Mendelssohnian Revival

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Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 in B-flat, a “symphony-cantata” titled Lobgesang (song or hymn of praise) came to Jordan Hall on April 12th with Dedham Choral Society under Jonathan Barnhart in a success we hope will encourage other choral societies to reintroduce this great work to standard-rep status.     [continued]

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Melodrama at the Modern

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Long champions of unjustly neglected repertories, the Musicians of the Old Post Road devoted a particularly fascinating afternoon to the music and melodrama of Franz and Georg Benda at Suffolk University’s Modern Theater on Sunday.     [continued]

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When Jupiter Aligns with Beethoven

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Fast often but lusciously played always, the glorious conclusion to the Jupiter Quartet’s Beethoven cycle at MIT’s Kresge auditorium arrived Friday night capped by an outstanding Great Fugue.   [continued]

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Mistral’s Mission Accomplished

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Mistral’s final program of its 18th season of so-called gypsy music was designed to “transport you for these few hours into … a lightness of heart!” It seemed to be working for those in St Paul’s Episcopal Church on Saturday afternoon.     [continued]

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