Escher Foursome Reveals Dimensions

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The New York-based Escher String Quartet made an impressive debut in the Concord Chamber Music Society series yesterday afternoon in the Concord Academy’s dry-but-articulate, steeply raked arena theater, producing a variety of sound signatures appropriately particular to each composer on the program of Beethoven, Janáček, and Brahms, earning quite an enthusiastic response.    [continued]

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Russian Anchors Again at BSO

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Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Inon Barnatan and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition led by BSO Assistant Conductor Anna Rakitina naturally paired in Friday’s matinee. Both Moscow-born, contemporaries Rakitina and composer Elena Langer stepped out in the former’s Suite from Figaro Gets a Divorce.    [continued]

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Václav Luks Leads Ebullient Messiah

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Handel and Haydn Society’s Messiah under the spell of guest conductor, Václav Luks, an energetic musical polymath, with well-matched soloists—soprano Amanda Forsythe, contralto Avery Amereau, tenor Ben Bliss and bass-baritone Kevin Deas, proved riveting. Reprises Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.    [continued]

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Dracula Meets the Bacchae

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The Lord of Cries received its East Coast premiere at Jordan Hall on Saturday night in Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s concert-version co-production with Odyssey Opera. The large orchestra under Gil Rose, gave a vigorous and often incandescent account which matched the work of the excellent vocalists, headlined by counter-tenor superstar Anthony Roth Costanzo.    [continued]

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Deep Bach with Angela Hewitt

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Angela Hewitt led the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in a profoundly moving reading of a selection of Bach’s keyboard concertos on Saturday afternoon, in the beautiful, sold-out Shalin Liu Performance Center at Rockport.    [continued]

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Some Enchanting Evening from H+H

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The Handel & Haydn Society brought an exquisitely played and sung, and very well-blocked and costumed Marriage of Figaro to Symphony Hall on Friday. Conductor Raphaël Pichon, singers, and fortepianist melded as if long-time collaborators with the responsive and sonorous H+H orchestra and chorus.      [continued]

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Yazhi Guo’s Formidable Reach

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The Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts’s “Desert River” mixed Yazhi Guo’s suona and guanzi with Chi Wei Lo’s classical-piano improvisation; and Leo Blanco’s jazz piano for an interested turnout Saturday evening at Jordan Hall on Saturday night. Held in esteem in his country, Guo should find such recognition and honor far beyond.    [continued]

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Reaching the Summit: Taylor and Beethoven

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All eyes and ears turned to the audacious submitting of one man at the Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Calderwood Hall this past Sunday, as Christopher Taylor triumphed in this fourth and final installment (Beethoven’s comedic Eighth and gargantuan Ninth) of his self-proclaimed “crazed odyssey” through all nine of Beethoven’s Symphonies transcribed for solo piano by Liszt.    [continued]

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Harry, Clara, and New Ancient Ones

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Love in the Time of…”, Boston Opera Collaborative’s interestingly staged mashup of Schumann’s Dichterliebe and 16 commissioned songs “about love” based on responses to Schumann’s music and Heine’s poetry debuted last night at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center. Continuing Friday and Saturday nights,    [continued]

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Luminous Refinement, Sublimity and Connoisseurship

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Lionel Meunier, Artistic Director of Vox Luminis, led a five instrumental- and nine vocal- contingent through Claudio Monteverdi’s valedictory compilation, “Selva morale e spirituale” (The Moral and Spiritual Forest) with some appealing detours into the composer’s other collections at Jordan Hall last night for Boston Early Music Festival. And early times it was as the    [continued]

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BSO Has Symphony Hall Shaking

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The BSO marked James Sommerville’s final performances at Symphony Hall as principal horn last night. The Strauss-BSO-Nelsons Alpine Symphony  elicited euphoria Thursday night, while a cubistic BSO commission from Caroline Shaw and Mozart’s 40th left milder impressions.    [continued]

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Rorem and Wilder Commiserated in the ’Hood

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Boston University’s 26th annual Fringe Festival under the auspices of the BU Opera Institute and the School of Theatre, opened its second week this past Friday with Ned Rorem’s idiosyncratic opera Our Town in a run at the CFA Concert Hall.    [continued]

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Connecting With Boston Composers

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The Whitman sampler that Winsor Music proffered Friday at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center packaged new flavors with old favorites mostly from composers with solid connections to Boston.    [continued]

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Fascinating Rhythm Meets Twist and Shout

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Skylark’s confident, raucous, loud, and at times radiant traversal of Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles last night at Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, led this writer on a journey from a skeptical distancing through hypnotic confusion to free-will acceptance.    [continued]

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BSO/Uchida: Haunting and Resplendent

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This week’s BSO concerts with conductor Andris Nelsons offer Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto, the Emperor, with the revered pianist Mitsuko Uchida and Shostakovich’s haunting and energetic 5th Symphony, known for its outward apologia, inner sarcasm, and unique references.    [continued]

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On the Edges of Principal Chairs

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What blissful, Vienna-centered divertissements Boston Symphony Chamber Players dispensed at Jordan Hall yesterday afternoon, during which time we compared the 16-year-old Mahler with the 19-year-old Schubert, saluted a fleet-of-foot 94-year-old whose work sounded the youngest of all, and imagined a monkey and organ grinder.    [continued]

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JACK And Gerring In ICA Harbor

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The world premier of Harbor by the Liz Gerring Dance Company with the JACK Quartet at the Institute of Contemporary Art this past Friday proved that dance can fundamentally enhance John Luther Adams’s music.    [continued]

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