Making a Case for the Unfamiliar

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In Chameleon Arts Ensemble’s eclectic mix of chamber music, including a world premiere, three unfamiliar 20th-century works , and one chestnut, the pieces informed each other and offered a coherent arc, from lightness to somberness to joy at First Church Boston this weekend.    [continued]

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A New American Classic

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Boston Cecilia debuted an innovative and gripping concert-length work of their own commissioning, Paul John Rudoi’s Our Transcendentalist Passion, on Sunday at the Concord Umbrella Arts Center. Appropriating the Passion format from Bach, Rudoi’s combined music, words and monumental structure to tell the story of the awakening, flowering and premature demise of the Transcendentalist movement.    [continued]

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Noah’s Ark

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Jeremy Denk took to the Calderwood Hall stage on Sunday afternoon for a journey through one of history’s most influential works, Book 1 of  Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier.    [continued]

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Hiding From Hell

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A brilliant delivery of Weinberg, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky by the Quatuor Danel at the Harvard Musical Association on Friday April 1st provoked some thoughts on projecting war into the cultural realm.    [continued]

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RCS Returns With Departure

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Radcliffe Choral Society’s Un Nouveau Départ (A New Beginning) served as a return to normalcy for the 58 sopranos and altos in the University’s major treble chorus. Not only does their ‘normal’ include singing for the public instead of for cameras, but it also signals commissioning new works. Saturday saw the chorus at a comfortably    [continued]

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Glimmering Optimism, Paths of Light

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Aficionados had widely anticipated classical guitarist Jason Vieaux’s return to Boston as guest of the Boston Classical Guitar Society (BCGS) following an 11-year hiatus. Seeing him take the stage at the First Lutheran Church on Berkeley St. offered glimmers of hope for music fans longing for live shows.    [continued]

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Composer Henri Lazarof Feted

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We remember Lazarof today as a prolific and well-respected composer (7 symphonies, 11 string quartets, many concertos, etc.) and pianist who taught many years at UCLA. The two works performed Sunday’s at Slosberg mobilized with inspiration and skill.    [continued]

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Heartfelt Benefit for Ukraine

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Chamber Music Boston held a special benefit at the Harvard-Epworth Church in Cambridge on Saturday night dedicated to the victims of the war in which Hazel Dean Davis (horn), Jonathan Cohler (clarinet), and Rasa Vitkauskaite Faneuf (piano) played transcribed and original works with strong commitment.    [continued]

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Rantings and Revelations on John

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Rising to the challenge Bach set in the Saint John Passion, Emmanuel Music delivered the goods on Saturday night. At Sunday morning’s service, the indispensable and indefatigable 52-year-old ensemble went back to work with BWV 1 – Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern and a commissioned motet by Kati Agócs.      [continued]

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The Improbable Becomes Most Probable

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Pharos Wind Quartet opened Saturday night at Marsh Chapel with a drip of hot sauce on the tongue before eight bass clarinets of Improbable Beasts made their world in-person debut.    [continued]

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Skylarking with Brilliance and Blarney

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Like many other local events celebrating Hibernian heritage, Skylark’s “Emerald Isles” opened with bagpipes on Sunday at First Parish, Weston. Matthew Guard’s program blurred the boundary between Celtic folk songs and classical choral music at the very time the storied Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was taking place in South Boston.    [continued]

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Celebrating Together Behind the Grate

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At the high points of Boston Baroque’s take on  Vivaldi’s Gloria (RV 589) and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecelia’s Day, the listeners at the WGBH Calderwood Studio Saturday night could revel in the power of music to glorify, to emote, and, after a fashion, to define and even create elements of our human experience.    [continued]

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Degenerate Wozzeck Regenerated

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In Thursday’s vocally excellent Symphony Hall traversal,  singers walked on and off as stage directions required, and the principals, Wozzeck and Marie (Bo Skovhus and Christine Goerke), projected gesturally and dramatically with no little success. Otherwise, the lack of staging made for serious limitations, especially in balance of sound.    [continued]

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Destination Amazon

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A Far Cry traveled 3,000 virtual miles south to the heart of South America for “Amazonia,” featuring composers from the namesake basin. Vibrant, virtuosic, and wholly unexpected, the concert once more demonstrated the Criers’ adventurous programming.    [continued]

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Collage Returns to Corporeal Life

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After the ensemble’s two years of incorporeal existence, it  returned to life with a large, ambitious program at Longy on Sunday.  With soprano Tony Arnold’s presence, the vocal works proved  especially enriching.    [continued]

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