Reviews

January 25, 2019

Pleading His Case for the Guitar

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The guitar is “the instrument of the people,” celebrated Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas argued Wednesday at the first of two Celebrity Series solo recitals at Pickman Hall.    [continued]

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January 22, 2019

Capella Compelling to Its Devotees

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Sunday’s inclemence did not stay Cappella’s devoted fans from trekking out with ice-crusted cars, over slippery roads, and into one-digit temperatures on Sunday; our travel travails were more than amply rewarded.    [continued]

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January 20, 2019

Through a Storm to Haroun

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In Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s innovative semi-staged concert production of the complex, rich and fanciful two-act opera, Haroun and the Sea of Stories last night at Jordan Hall, Gil Rose brought forth electricity, eerie sounds, fright, joy and fancy to go along with bright costumes, mechanical birds, water genies and beautifully bizarre beasts.    [continued]

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January 19, 2019

Blomstedt and BSO: Lofty Brahms

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Herbert Blomstedt, a renowned Swedish conductor who has worked in Denmark, Germany, and San Francisco, is a 91-year-old Massachusetts native in superb condition. He demonstrated artistry, vigor, and wisdom with total assurance in Friday’s Boston Symphony concert.    [continued]

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January 18, 2019

The Scarlet Ibis Alights at Longy

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Boston Opera Collaborative’s new production of Stefan Weisman’s The Scarlet Ibis to a libretto by David Cote continues through at Longy through Sunday with BOC’s two alternating 5-singer casts.    [continued]

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January 14, 2019

BSCP Honors Harbison

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In celebration of John Harbison’s 80th-birthday year, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players offered a half-century spectrum of his chamber music at Jordan Hall on Sunday, topping off the afternoon with a Bach cantata in honor of Harbison’s lifelong dedication to that repertory.    [continued]

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January 13, 2019

Pro Arte Displays Jewels and Gems in Newton

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Pro Arte Chamber offering of  three 19th-century works in the aptly titled “Jewels and Gems.” under Paul Polivnick gave us much to appreciate in the highly-decorated sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Newton Centre on Saturday.    [continued]

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January 12, 2019

Gnarly Thursday, Delicate Friday at the Hall

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Thursday’s BSO subscription concert dispensed some intriguing repertory and interpretive choices, concluding with a cathartic reading of a popular classic, as Andrew Davis led off with a celebration of John Harbison’s 80th birthday.    [continued]

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January 8, 2019

BCMS Delivers a Stunner

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Boston Chamber Music Society’s concert last Sunday set such a high bar for musical camaraderie and inspired choice of repertoire that it will doubtless be counted as one of the best concerts of 2019.    [continued]

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January 5, 2019

BSO Redresses Neglect

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Shiyeon Sung featured Fanny Mendelssohn’s only orchestral work, one of her brother’s once-omnipresent piano concertos, and the most orotund and genial of Dvořák’s late symphonies Thursday night.    [continued]

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January 1, 2019

“Festive” Gala Floats on Even Keel

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While Vivaldi, Telemann, and Bach scores provided ample fodder for the virtuosic and dramatic, Boston Baroque ventured otherwise in its New Year’s Eve Gala at Sanders.    [continued]

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December 22, 2018

Eclectic Adventures with AMOC

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This writer’s spirit ran amok with AMOC — the American Modern Opera Company — through an afternoon of ambitiously eclectic adventures last weekend at two Harvard venues.    [continued]

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December 21, 2018

Faithful to Bach the Innovator

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Pianist Sergey Schepkin and violinist Robyn Bollinger brought exceptionally evocative performances of Bach’s Six Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard for Glissando at First Church Boston on Sunday.    [continued]

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December 14, 2018

A Joyful Baroque Christmas with H+H

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Handel and Haydn Society’s “A Baroque Christmas” notched some pretty high rankings in the celestial ether for a strong turnout of revelers at Jordan Hall Thursday. The program will be repeated Sunday, December 16, 2018 at Jordan Hall.    [continued]

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December 12, 2018

Dover Quartet: Musical Alchemy

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Dover Quartet satisfied an enthusiastic Celebrity Series crowd at Pickman Hall Wednesday with interpretations of the folk-influenced musical material ranging from stunning to amusing to downright thrilling.    [continued]

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December 10, 2018

Pinpoint Precision from Palestrina to Muhly

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Taking Palestrina as their standard bearer, Tallis Scholars regaled Harvard’s Memorial Church BEMF crowd on Friday with antiphonal symmetry even in program design.    [continued]

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December 9, 2018

The Variations United Are Indefatigable

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Saturday evening at Longy, the wide-ranging pianist Christopher Taylor effectively served up two of the larger thematic sets, from 1740 and 1975.    [continued]

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December 8, 2018

Messiah for the 18th and 21st Centuries

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In the auspicious year of 1812, some 76 years after its premiere in Dublin, and 51 years after the composer’s death, the Handel and Haydn Society introduced Handel’s Messiah to America. This weekend, Boston Baroque brings its 38th-annual HIP version to Jordan Hall.    [continued]

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December 6, 2018

Lutenist Succeeds With Diminutions

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Eight-course lutenist Hopkinson Smith reprised his Diapason d’Or-winning CD “Mad Dog” in a candlelight Cambridge Society for Early Music concert Monday evening at the Christ Church in Cambridge.    [continued]

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December 5, 2018

BMOP Features Frog, Two Cellos & Violin

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Gil Rose and Boston Modern Orchestra Project enlightened, stretched, and amused, and got  Friday’s Jordan Hall audience into “Trouble”    [continued]

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December 3, 2018

Refreshing Exactitude from H+ H

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Thanksgiving having passed, we heard a timely annual reminder of Who was born unto us in the year zero. Our most venerable singing society rais’d Messiah incorruptible three times at Symphony Hall over the weekend.    [continued]

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John Cage, Guitar?

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All the compositions on Aaron Larget-Caplan’s Saturday night concert at Arlington Street Church  came from the pen of the thorny master between 1933 and 1948. The eponymous Stone Records CD release party-concert included guest artists Sharan Leventhal, violin; and Adam Levin, guitar.    [continued]

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December 2, 2018

A Far Cry: Enthusiastically Mixed

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A Far Cry gave an imaginative selection of mostly transcribed pieces to a substantially populated and enthusiastic Calderwood Hall Saturday (and Sunday).    [continued]

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Chameleon Tells 100-year-old Tale

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The Chameleon Arts Ensemble under flutist-director Deborah Boldin honored the centenary of l’Histoire du soldat  in some interesting French company at First Church Boston last night. Repeats on Sunday, December 2, at four o’clock; don’t miss it!    [continued]

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December 1, 2018

Fire Bringers at Longy

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The Neave Trio (violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov, and pianist Eri Nakamura) can be counted on to present interesting and varied repertoire, but Friday’s concert of Roussel, Shostakovitch, and Korngold at Longy particularly stood out.    [continued]

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