Messiah Number 441 From H+H Delights

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Thirteen years into his tenure, Harry Christophers prestidigitated his last Messiah as the 13th Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. Sunday’s Symphony Hall traversal gave us more cause for thanks just a few days after the official holiday.    [continued]

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BSO Brahms Brings Balm

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Andris Nelsons led the BSO in Brahms’s Serenade No. 2 in A Major and the mighty Symphony No. 1 in C Minor last night. At the Symphony’s inexorable march to its final blazing cadences, Nelsons led with assurance and a dramatic forward thrust. Reprises Friday afternoon and Saturday night.    [continued]

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Paradise With Trumpets

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Jörg Widmann’s Towards Paradise (Labyrinth VI), a BSO co-commission getting its American premiere, and Mahler’s first symphony formed the program on Thursday at Symphony Hall. Håkan Hardenberger and Andris Nelsons took us pretty close to Paradise.    [continued]

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Renaissance Band Fugued Fearlessly

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Piffaro’s “Point/Counterpoint: Fuguing in Renaissance Music,” a marvelously illuminated sonic book of an hour, opened depictions of nymphs, satyrs, hunters, noblemen, and prey in a well-restored and orderly tapestry to a (Covid) capacity crowd at First Lutheran Church Boston under the sponsorship of  BEMF.    [continued]

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Stunning Debut and Veteran Solo Turn

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The charismatic and accomplished young conductor Roderick Cox made an impressive BSO debut Thursday, Friday and Saturday in two much appreciated works: Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto featuring the section’s veteran principal William R. Hudgins, and Mendelssohn’s craggy and towering Scottish Symphony. With these performances, (I attended on Friday afternoon) Cox, the winner of the prestigious Solti award, has earned a first class return ticket.    [continued]

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Appreciating Lindsey’s Liszt Anew

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Pianist Ian Lindsey opened Glissando’s fourth season with a fantastic all-Lizst recital a couple of weeks ago at  First Church in Boston. Lindsey sustained my interest through some relentless technical challenges in pieces that could have been equally impressive even at half their killer lengths.    [continued]

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The Camaraderie of Camerata

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“WE’LL BE THERE! American Spirituals Black and White 1800–1900,” traced vernacular worship music from the 12th-century Spanish monody (“Judicii signum”) to its near 20th-century counterparts—across many cultural divides and through much cross fertilization. The Camerata concert on Saturday at Longy will be streaming in a few days.    [continued]

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Sculptured-Sounding Duo Wows Jordan Hall

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Violinist Stella Chen, both alone and with pianist Henry Kramer, offered a varied, stirring, and depthful November 6th program at Jordan Hall to a fortunate, well distanced crowd. An incisive yet lyrical account of the Bartók Sonata for Solo Violin and an imposing traversal of Richard Strauss’s Violin Sonata E-flat major bookended the concert for the Chinese Foundation for Performing Arts.    [continued]

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Rana and Slobodeniouk Shine

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Dima Slobodeniouk led the BSO in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7. Though the concert looked conventional on paper, Italian guest soloist Beatrice Rana’s pizazz made for a superbly unconventional concerto, and Slobodeniouk’s dark, deep Seventh was major Dvořák all the way.    [continued]

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The Discreet Charm of Bold Intelligence

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Guest conducting the Handel & Haydn Society at Symphony Hall yesterday, Laurence Equilbey, founder and music director of the Insula Orchestra in Paris, led probing and enlightening accounts of symphonies by Beethoven and Louise Farrenc. Reprises Sunday afternoon.    [continued]

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From the Dark Pit to Living Color

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“Schoenberg in Color” kicked off this year’s Boston Ballet Music Series Wednesday at the company’s Clarendon Street headquarters. The tribute to Schoenberg gave seven players from the Boston Ballet Orchestra a chance to step onto the stage with Verklärte Nacht and Drei Klavierstücke. Reprises tonight.    [continued]

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Personal Space for Personal Music

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It’s safe to assume that “Kinesphere’s” personal space extends into artistic expression.  Radius’s Saturday night proceedings at Longy via livestream denied me the experience of sharing space at something close to arms’ length, (perhaps very apt to this moment), but the show nevertheless engaged.    [continued]

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Cool Times at Symphony

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Ballet music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Duke Ellington, and the Boston premiere of La Lección Tres with composer Victor Wooten on, of all instruments, the electric bass, made for a vitalizing, if not swinging, time at Symphony Hall Thursday night.    [continued]

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Folktales and Myths

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Emmanuel Music began its “Chamber Music Festival” with two concerts last weekend; Julian Grant’s SALT, a saga (for four voices and piano trio) occupied the centerpiece of Saturday’s first installment, the first public in-person event Emmanuel Music has presented since our lives were disrupted in March of 2020. Harvard Musical Association commissioned Salt in honor of Emmanuel Music’s 50th Anniversary.    [continued]

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To Celebrate Themselves and Sing Themselves

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“Folk Tales and Myths” explicitly and implicitly celebrated Emmanuel Music’s own “folk” in repertoire and personnel live at Emmanuel Church Sunday with a secular Bach cantata and Harbison’s Crossroads.    [continued]

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A Tale of Two Concert Halves

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Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston brought its adventurously programmed and artfully executed brand back to a grateful congregation of subscribers in First Church of Boston this weekend.    [continued]

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