Musical Diaspora and Exile: The Convulsion of Two World Wars. HMA Commission among Musical Presentations at CrossCurrrents.

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A three-day conference at Harvard on any subject is bound to be a fruitful occasion, unless, perhaps, the subject is economics. The one just concluded, CrossCurrents: American and European Music in Interaction, 1900-2000, Part 1 (1900-1950), on October 30 through November 1, was one of the best within recent memory. The exilic theme carried over into the two evening concerts. Thursday evening featured a fine saturation of two pianos, with a special premiere, Teletalks by American-French composer Betsy Jolas, who was jointly commissioned by the Crosscurrents conference and the Harvard Musical Association. The final event of Crosscurrents was a piano recital by Bruce Brubaker, head of the Piano Department at the New England Conservatory; he was assisted by two Harvard undergraduates, Konrad Binienda and Kenric Tam. [Click on title for full review]    [continued]

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An Evening of the French Avant-Garde at Symphony Hall

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Once the diabolus in musica (the devil in music) during the late Middle Ages, the “tritone” takes on an entirely different meaning for the devout Catholic mystic, Messiaen. For him, it is the musical equivalent of the luminous multi-colored stained-glass windows in the great French churches. [Click on title for full review.]    [continued]

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Opera Boston opened its season with Carl Maria von Weber’s “Der Freischütz”

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Opera Boston opened its season opened at the Cutler Majestic Theatre with Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz, locally absent for two dozen years. On the last night (October 21) Gil Rose led a rendition musically compelling enough to overlook some orchestral untidiness – though the key instrumental soloists all delivered – and to withstand director Sam Helfrich’s rather smirky staging. [Click on title for full review]    [continued]

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A Heroically Ambitious Program by the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra

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Times, tastes, and training have all changed, of course; yet the notion that an orchestra comprising almost entirely underage players would attempt either the “Eroica” Symphony (No. 3) of Ludwig van Beethoven or the Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky is still remarkable. The Boston Youth Symphony under the baton of Federico Cortese chose to present both these pieces on the same program. [Click on title for full review]    [continued]

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“Discovery” concert by Boston Philharmonic demonstrated its high quality.

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It hardly needs saying, to a Boston audience that knows them so well, that the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra under Benjamin Zander is much more than a simple alternative to the Boston Symphony under James Levine. In 30 years it has proved itself to be a first-rate ensemble worthy of comparison, in discipline and cohesiveness, to any professional orchestra in America…[Click title for full review]    [continued]

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Radiant, sonorous, full-hearted, vigorously alive performance of Mahler’s Sixth at BSO

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Will the Mahler revival ever ever end? Fifty years on, the music has become (and stayed) more than just popular: it’s inescapable, so always-with-us, such a cultural “given” that, some will say, that none of us can hear – that is, really hear – his music any more. [Click title for full review]    [continued]

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“Transcendent music I have heard” by Chameleon Arts Ensemble

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Today, concerts more often than not come with program titles which are meant to inform and even pique the curiosity of the concertgoer. The Chameleon Arts Ensemble’s program title, “transcendent music I have heard,” puzzled me. [Click title for full review]    [continued]

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A Concert to “Create Memories” Russell Sherman, piano

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Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes represent some of the most technically challenging works in the repertory. It is always an event to hear just a few of them, and a tour-de-force for any pianist to play all in a single evening. Russell Sherman did just that in Jordan Hall last Thursday, and he brought with him his formidable arsenal of fingers and probing musicianship for the occasion. [Click on title for full review]    [continued]

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A Benefit on the Eve of the Autumnal Equinox

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The Concord Orchestra, Alan Yost, conductor, plays the Mozart Horn Concerto No. 2, Kathryn Denney soloist; Debussy’s Syrinx for solo flute with Susan Jackson and Sacred and Profane Dances for Harp and String Orchestra with Emily Halpern Lewis; 3 Poems of Mallarmé with soprano Sarah Telford; and Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess. [Click on title for full review]    [continued]

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Glimmerglass Opera Festival

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Reviews of four operas: Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Wagner’s Liebesverbot, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Cole Porter’s Kiss me Kate. [Click on title for full review]    [continued]

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