Reviews

September 30, 2014

Moving Music for Moving Images

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This year’s SeptemberFest at the Longy School of Music, entitled “Moving Image: music inspiring images inspiring music” was dedicated to the synergy between sound and images, speech, or film, with Saturday’s concerts, curated by artistic director Wayman Chin, focused on the interplay between music and film.    [continued]

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Science and Music Meet with LSO

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Sunday at Jordan Hall the Longwood Symphony Orchestra began its 31st season with a pleasing amalgam of the classical and the 20th-century American canons; the concert also featured Russian pianist Vasilly Primakov.     [continued]

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September 29, 2014

Being Sharon Isbin

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Last night Rockport Music hosted a screening of the documentary film, “Sharon Isbin: Troubadour” (2014), followed by a Q&A with Susan Dangel, producer/director, and the guitarist. Thereafter Sharon Isbin took to the Shalin Liu stage and shared her incomparable musical prowess.     [continued]

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September 28, 2014

Substantial Froth Celebrates New Maestro

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Coming after some years of anxiety over the leadership of the orchestra, the debut performance of Andris Nelsons as 15th music director in the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 134 years heralded a welcome return to normality and, hopefully, developing greatness.     [continued]

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Jue Wang and the Limits of Color

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Under the auspices of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts, the multihued piano recital Saturday night at Jordan Hall by Shanghai-born prizewinner Jue Wang was a decidedly mixed Romantic affair.     [continued]

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Intrigue, Lure & Lucier Sounding

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A dry MIT Media Lab room E 14-674 hosted “Sounding Bodies—Music by Alvin Lucier and Arnold Dreyblatt” yesterday. With pitch creating rhythm, pure, simple, lovely, and fascinating effects were sometimes all we got.     [continued]

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September 27, 2014

Parker Quartet’s Erudition Shorts Context

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The inaugural concert of the Parker Quartet as Blodgett Artists-in-Residence came Friday night at Harvard’s Paine Hall featuring music of Haydn, Dutilleux, and Dvořák; the ensemble’s bow and string acumen made more obvious a shortage of cultural and chronological context.     [continued]

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Plushy Playing in Parched Acoustics

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The latest musical manifestation of the pantry-filling Music for Food came from Triple Helix on Thursday night in the form of an all-Brahms concert at BU’s Tsai Center. The Brahms chamber œuvre, for this listener, is the avatar for its entire species.     [continued]

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September 26, 2014

Lee Hyla Remembered

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Jordan Hall resounded last night with the music of Lee Hyla, who taught composition at New England Conservatory (his alma mater) from 1992 until moving to Northwestern University in 2007. Hyla died early this summer at the age of 61, and this concert memorialized him with performances of his compositions for diverse instruments.     [continued]

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September 25, 2014

Not All That Horribly Noisy

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Steven Drury’s Callithumpian Consort kicked off its 30-somethingth season Monday night at Jordan Hall, offering four intensely expressive pieces, in forms that were wildly divergent. The evening ended noisily, but not at all horribly.     [continued]

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September 23, 2014

Polished and Expressive COB

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“Changing Colors,” a rewardingly eclectic concert delivered by the Chamber Orchestra of Boston (COB) under David Feltner at First Church in Boston on Saturday, was apt not only for the imminent autumnal equinox but also for the featured repertoire ranging from Mozart to a world premiere.    [continued]

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A Chamber of Thwarted Pleasures

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Freisinger Chamber Orchestra’s Sunday concert at Old South Church competed from the start with disco thrumming leaking in from a festive Copley Square. Despite some pleasures from the soloist and an interesting new piece, listening was sometimes a chore.      [continued]

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September 22, 2014

A Master Gives a Tale of Two Organs

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Listening to William Porter on the 1929 Skinner Opus 793 and the CB Fisk Opus 139 (2012) at Harvard’s Memorial Church brought abundant joy to a good turnout, which clearly recognized organ sounds brimming with immeasurable know-how and unassailable naturalness.     [continued]

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Russians at the Gardner

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As programmed by the Borromeo Quartet at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall on Sunday afternoon, a pairing of quartets by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky seemed just right. Their carefully thought out attention to every detail of articulation, phrasing, dynamics, and texture contributed to an overall sense of stylistic rightness in performances that were both probing and illuminating.     [continued]

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Modern Fairytale Opera Goes the Limit

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FirstWorks’ Decade Bash, with benefit of a Kickstarter campaign, premiered Steven Jobe’s Legend of the Fairy Mélusine at Round Top Center in Providence; it contained multitudes to probe.     [continued]

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September 21, 2014

A Soviet-Flavored Dutch Way of Farewell

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This time dispatching from Amsterdam, one of our far-flung correspondents reports on how the Concertgebouw took trips to Russia’s recent past in bidding goodbye to Mariss Jansons while looking to a continuous future. Pianist Yuja Wang provided additional inspiration.     [continued]

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September 20, 2014

Newish Music for Oldish Instruments

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“Emerge: New Music and Its Origins” was on offer from Juventas New Music Ensemble Friday at First Church in Cambridge, where a chamber orchestra of strings and percussion was joined by viola da gambist Andrew Arceci and flutists Carol Wincenc and Su Lian Tan; Lidiya Yankovskaya conducted.     [continued]

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September 19, 2014

A Brazilian Goal Scores for the BSO Opener

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Last night Marcelo Lehninger led the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Mozart, Villa-Lobos, and Beethoven for the opening night of the 134th season concert, leaving the audience and this writer enthused and excited for things to come.     [continued]

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September 16, 2014

A Heroic Return to the Gardner

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The well-established Eroica Trio made its first appearance at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall in a wide-ranging program on Sunday. The threesome endures as champions of the prototypical New York style—powerful, impassioned, theatrical, heroic.    [continued]

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September 15, 2014

The Dead City Brilliantly Revived

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Korngold’s Die tote Stadt flooded Jordan Hall with sumptuous tones on Odyssey Opera’s concert version Saturday night. The sold-out house testified to a continued appetite for late-late high-High Romanticism.     [continued]

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Colin Carr’s Lucid, Lively Bach at BoCo

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Last night cellist Colin Carr, offered J.S. Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello Nos. 2 in D Minor, 4 in E-flat Major, and 6 in D Major, in riveting, fluid, tastefully understated performances at Seully Hall, Boston Conservatory as the opening of the seventh season of BoCo’s String Masters Series.     [continued]

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September 13, 2014

Hellish and Idyllic Moods from the Criers

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Beginning its eighth season at Jordan Hall on Friday night, A Far Cry once more evinced a carefully constructed stage presence. Their challenging and thoughtful program “Return to the Idyll”, featuring young German violinist Augustin Hadelich, provided truly superior music making.     [continued]

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September 12, 2014

Adventures with Callithumpians Shouldn’t Be Missed

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Stephen Drury’s Callithumpian Consort of 15 musicians affiliated in some way or another with New England Conservatory chattered,  buzzed, yelped, grumbled, and snorted  away at the Gardner, demonstrating a high technical acumen as well as a pronounced penchant for the stuffs in which Drury thrives.     [continued]

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September 11, 2014

13 Opera Companies: #IAMOPERA at Club Oberon

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Musical entrepreneur Julia Noulin-Mérat set out to confront aesthetc elitism with #IAMOPERA (pre-hashtagged for the social media set) at the American Repertory Theatre’s Club Oberon on Monday night with a 13 course feast from Boston’s thriving opera scene.     [continued]

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September 10, 2014

A Magical Flute at a Winning Recital

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The Northeastern flute community gathered on September 7th in Jordan Hall to hear a recital by Adrian Sanborn, this year’s winner of the James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition. The moment the recital began, Sanborn’s gorgeous production, obvious technical mastery, and confidence made it clear why he won.     [continued]

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