Author Archive | David Hurwitz

Royal Concertgebouw Leads Bychkov In Mahler 5th

Carnegie Hall, New York: November 30, 2016, 8pm Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Semyon Bychkov (cond.) Detlev Glanert is a contemporary composer who takes himself very seriously. His Theatrum bestiarum, subtitled “Songs and Dances for Large Orchestra” supposedly explores the juxtaposition of man and beast, expresses primal terror, and has something to do with Caligula. The piece […]

Continue Reading


Music Criticism 1900-1950 Organized by: Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca and the Societat Catalana de Musicologia, Barcelona The second day of discussions concerning Music Criticism from 1900 to 1950 featured still more stimulating papers on a wide range of topics. These included Music Criticism under Italian Fascism, and a particularly intriguing trio of presentations on […]

Continue Reading


Barcelona: October 18, 2016 Conference Organized By: Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca and the Societat Catalana de Musicologia, Barcelona Greetings from Barcelona! This is Executive Editor David Hurwitz reporting as a participant in the above conference, part of a series devoted to the history of music criticism in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is, […]

Continue Reading

Here We Go Again–Andris Nelsons Will Record (Gasp!) Beethoven and Bruckner

There was a time when recording a Beethoven cycle was an enterprise undertaken with the benefit of a lifetime’s familiarity with the music, redolent with the (theoretical) wisdom of—if not old—at least a very mature age. Many of the greatest 20th-century conductors never completed their recorded traversals of all nine symphonies, at least not in […]

Continue Reading’s Top Ten CDs of 2015

I have to confess that we weren’t planning on doing a “best of the year” feature. Let’s face it: there are many superb recordings issued every year and no one can listen to enough of them to claim that their sample is truly “the best”; but then again, there’s no harm in picking a “Top […]

Continue Reading

Report: International Conference On 19th Century Music Criticism

Lucca, Italy, November 10-12, 2015: Lucca is the home of both Boccherini and Puccini, and so it seems the perfect location for a conference on the subject of 19th-century music criticism. Some 50 scholars from all over the world have gathered for three days of presentations and conversation. The event is organized by the Centro […]

Continue Reading

Concours Musical International de Montréal Closes With Gala Concert

Friday, June 5, 2015: Maison Symphonique, Montréal, Quebec The six finalists in this year’s vocal competition shared the spotlight with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra under conductor Johannes Debus in a program of favorite arias (mixed in with a few orchestral pieces) that both displayed their talents and reflected well on the judges’ discernment. After all, […]

Continue Reading

Tsujii and Orpheus Crown the “Emperor”

Carnegie Hall, New York, January 25, 2014—All Beethoven program: Coriolan Overture; Symphony No. 2; Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”, Nobuyuki Tsujii, piano; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra—It may sound cynical to say so, but I have no doubt that at least some members of the sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall waiting to see blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii […]

Continue Reading

Strauss’ Obscene Operatic Gesture Shines at Carnegie

Carnegie Hall, New York; Sunday, December 15, 2013—American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein: Richard Strauss: Feuersnot Feuersnot is Richard Strauss’ revenge opera, an attempt to give Munich the musical finger after the failure of his first opera, Guntram, several years previously. Taking place on midsummer’s eve, the townsfolk are out celebrating around a bonfire. Kunrad, a […]

Continue Reading

Two Mozarts at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall, December 10, 2013—MOZART: Symphony No. 36, “Linz”; A. MATHIEU: Concertino No. 2 Op. 13; A. MATHIEU: Piano Concerto No. 4 in E minor; Alain Lefèvre, piano; Orchestra of St. Lukes, JoAnn Falletta Canadian composer André Mathieu died in 1968, aged 39, another prodigy who burnt himself out at an early age. His premature […]

Continue Reading