Mesmeric Gallicthumpery

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Imagine being in a packed Symphony Hall, listening to three beloved masterpieces played by a terrific orchestra, a brilliant, very young competition winner, and a conductor (also very young), who has been sought after by a huge number of prestigious orchestras. The hottest of hot tickets.  This  Sunday night arrived courtesy of the Celebrity Series [continued]

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Exuberant and Eternal: Beethoven’s 9th

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Conductor Raphaël Pichon possesses a knack for the daring and dramatic. His bold direction reveals an uncommon verve from even the most familiar score. And it helps that he often stages his performances in unusual venues. Ensemble Pygmalion, which he regularly leads, produced an interactive Brahms’s Requiem at a submarine base in 2021. The emotive [continued]

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Exciting, Colorful, Varied

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Friday afternoon’s BSO subscription concert, one of the most interesting musical events I have attended in many months, centered on a commissioned work and also contained a fine cohort of less-often-heard masterpieces, masterfully directed by a visiting expert, Sir Mark Elder, director of the Hallé Orchestra of Manchester. [continued]

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Saxophonist Debuts

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English saxophonist Jess Gillam’s Celebrity Series debut with American pianist Thomas Weave on Tuesday evening at Pickman Hall eclectically spanned the Renaissance to the here and now. [continued]

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Musica Sacra Warms to Minimalism

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Musica Sacra’s Danish modernist guest conductor Heinrich Christensen put together a very well-engineered and very well sung Pilgrim’s Progress of minimalism last night at First Church in Cambridge. [continued]

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Summiting a Keyboard Everest

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Minsoo Sohn gave stunning accounts of Liszt’s Consolations and Transcendental Etudes in the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts concert series at Jordan Hall on Friday. [continued]

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BSO Does Theatrical Peer Gynt

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dima Slobodeniouk, presented Edvard Grieg’s complete incidental music to Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt in a theatrical adaptation conceived, written, and directed by Bill Barclay. Soprano Georgia Jarman, eight actors (playing 18 roles), and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus shared the stage. [continued]

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Civic Voicings

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On the verge of its centennial, a full-size Boston Civic Symphony thundered through Carl Nielsen’s Inextinguishable, dreamed Claude Debussy’s Faune, and introduced 16-year-old competition winner violinist Dana Chang in Henri Wieniawski’s second concerto on Sunday afternoon. [continued]

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Together and “At Odds”

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Conductor-less but not rudderless, A Far Cry’s “At Odds” celebrated the concerto grosso, which pits a small group of soloists against the forces of the ensemble at-large, at Jordan Hall on Friday night. [continued]

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Cleaving Eurydice from Orpheus

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Carolyn Abbate opens “In Search of Opera” (2001) linking the genre of opera with the butchery that severs Orpheus’ voice from his dismembered body. Sarah Ruhl, in her 2003 play “Eurydice,” and now Matthew Aucoin in his operatic setting of her text, cleave Eurydice from Orpheus, voice from instrumental music, and memory from body. The [continued]

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The Odesa Boys Connect

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The mesmerizing duo of acclaimed clarinetist Julian Milkis and virtuosic pianist Maxim Lubarsky ranged widely across a diverse repertoire for the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative sponsored event at Congregation Kehillath Israel on Thursday. [continued]

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For the Love of It

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My first hearing of the 29-year-old New Philharmonia Orchestra left me wondering why I waited so long. The relaxed yet expectant, ambience furthered the feel of “a community,” as the Philharmonia envisions itself. [continued]

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H + H Keeps Tradition Alive with Harry

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Over the weekend the Handel & Haydn Society welcomed back Conductor Laureate Harry Christophers to Symphony Hall for its yearly portion of Mozart and Haydn. Predictable selections of those two composers capped the ends of event, but the addition of music from Hildegard von Bingen and Raffaella Aleotti gave the audience a rewarding exploration of nearly 700 years of composition. [continued]

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Great Lizardry Rewards Us Again

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Sebastian Currier’s Vocalissimus, a suite of 18 brief to even briefer, moody numbers for Pierrot ensemble plus percussion formed the core of Chameleon Arts Ensemble’s latest outing. [continued]

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Jonathan Biss Essays Last Three

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Jonathan Biss began his survey of  Schubert’s last three piano sonatas at the ISGM’s Calderwood Hall on Sunday. The others will follow on March 24th and April 28th. [continued]

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When Israelis Were In Rockport’s Land

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During a period of (truly) hard times for Israelis, the four musicians from Israeli Chamber Project who appeared at Shalin Liu Center for Rockport Music on Sunday have soldiered on (so to speak), playing brilliantly, spreading beauty and emotive force. Based in both Israel and New York, this award-winning ensemble consists mostly of Israeli-born virtuosos [continued]

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Consorting With Dandrieu

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For the young musicians of this celebrated French ensemble, Dandrieu remains an emblem of their unique vision of the trio sonata genre. Their BEMF performance at the First Congregational Church in Cambridge suggested as much exuberance as intimacy. [continued]

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