Archive | Concerts

400-Plus Years Of A Cappella With New York Polyphony

Le Poisson Rouge, 156 Bleecker Street, NYC; April 11, 2017—There were two remarkable things about the recent show at Le Poisson Rouge, the nightclub/music venue in New York’s Greenwich Village. Most important, of course, was the four-man group known as New York Polyphony–and I’ll get to them in a moment. But the event also heralded […]

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The 2017 American Pianists Awards Gala Finals

Hilbert Circle Theater, Indianapolis, IN; April 7 & 8, 2017—The 2017 American Pianists Awards Gala Finals took place over two evenings, where each of the five finalists performed a concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra led by Gerard Schwarz, and aired via live webcasts hosted by soprano Sylvia McNair and pianist Eric Zuber, a 2013 […]

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American Pianists Awards Discovery Week

Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, Indianapolis, IN; April 6, 2017; Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, IN; April 7, 2017—The American Pianists Association’s Discovery Week marks the culmination of a seven-month period during which five selected finalists participated in concerts and community outreach events. The finalists have convened this week for the competition’s home stretch, […]

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Hibla Gerzmava Rescues La Scala’s Problematic Anna Bolena

La Scala, Milan, March 31, 2017—Donizetti’s Anna Bolena has had a tumultuous history at La Scala. Triumphs include Maria Callas’ legendary live-recorded 1957 performance—an abiding benchmark interpretation. Scandals include Montserrat Caballé’s late-cancellation in 1982, when, for the first and only time at La Scala, an irate audience prevented the performance from going ahead. It’s therefore […]

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Pärt’s “Passio” At St. Bart’s: Glorious Stasis

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Park Avenue, NY, April 4, 2017—Listening to Arvo Pärt’s Passio one wonders how a piece of music that is almost self-consciously undramatic moves people so thoroughly. The 70-minute work, all of a piece (without “numbers” or places to pause), composed in 1989, is scored for four soloists (SATB) who act together […]

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Estonian Choir in Church with Arvo Pärt

Church of St Ignatius Loyola, New York, NY; February 1, 2017—Presented by the organization Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, the concert on February 1st was in the exquisite German Baroque Revival Church of St Ignatius Loyola on 84th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan; surroundings and music were perfectly wed. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber […]

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Riccardo Muti Returns to La Scala

La Scala, Milan, January 21, 2017—Riccardo Muti’s return to La Scala has been a long time coming. The opera house and its former music director parted on painful terms back in 2005. Thereafter he had conducted here only once: with the Vienna Philharmonic that same year. On this occasion the public turned up in droves […]

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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 […]

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Rossini’s Operatic Swan Song, Guillaume Tell, At The Met

Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, N.Y. October 25, 2016—It has been 80 years since the Metropolitan Opera staged Rossini’s final opera, Guillaume Tell. A gigantic work lasting four-plus hours, here it is presented almost complete, with only a piece of ballet and a few recitatives omitted—about 15 minutes’ worth. The issue with it is not its […]

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Ailyn Perez Sings Glorious Mimi At The Met

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY, September 28, 2016—It’s always good to re-visit the Met’s production of La bohème, particularly when new singers have been called in to navigate the vast stage with Franco Zeffirelli’s stunning and gargantuan sets. Critics balk at the scale of the production, some claiming that the singers get lost in […]

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