Archive | Reviews

Book Review: Furtwängler’s Writings–The Intellectual Biography of a Second-Rater

Roger Allen. Wilhelm Furtwängler: Art and the Politics of the Unpolitical. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2018 (286pp). Just how smart was Wilhelm Furtwängler? That he was musically gifted there can be no question, but there is a significant difference between being talented and being intelligent. Similarly, one can be very highly educated—as a function of […]

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Mahler In Milan

La Scala, Milan, June 22, 2018—Herbert Blomstedt, who turns 91 in July, has been guest conducting Mahler’s Ninth Symphony these past months with various orchestras. On Friday evening he led the first of three performances with the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra. The orchestra’s busy opera schedule apparently did not allow for more than minimum rehearsal […]

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Superb All-Haydn Program From Clarion

Church of St Jean Baptiste, 76th st and Lexington Avenue, NY; May 23, 2018—On the evening of May 23rd, the now- 60-year-old Clarion Orchestra and Choir gave the last concert of its under-publicized season at the Church of St Jean Baptiste. A major influence on the music of the Baroque and Classical era in the […]

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MORE MUSICOLOGY FROM OVIEDO, PLUS A GUIDED TOUR

DAY 2. INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE: SYMPHONISM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE Organized by:Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca; Research Group ERASMUSH, University of Oviedo (Oviedo, Spain) in collaboration with: Ad Parnassum. A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music Oviedo, Edificio Histórico de la Universidad de Oviedo 10-12 May 2018 Like most European cities and towns, Oviedo has its share of historic […]

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Fascinating Conference and Concert from Oviedo, Spain

INTERNATIONAL  CONFERENCE: SYMPHONISM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE Organized by:Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca; Research Group ERASMUSH, University of Oviedo (Oviedo, Spain) in collaboration with: Ad Parnassum. A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music Oviedo, Edificio Histórico de la Universidad de Oviedo 10-12 May 2018 Oviedo, Spain is a medium-sized city of some 240,000 persons, the capital of […]

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Stylized Look, Virtuoso Singing in Met’s Semiramide

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY; March 6, 2018—Rossini’s Semiramide, all four hours of it, is more a pageant and showcase than it is a dramatic whole. It’s not easy to engage an audience in the politics of ancient Babylon, so, as was his wont, Rossini keeps us riveted by showing us what singers are […]

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A Good Case For Cilea From Vienna

Vienna Staatsoper, November 18, 2017—In Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, a leading actress at the Comédie-Française (based on the real life Adrienne Lecouvreur) is poisoned by her rival for the heart of a count. The story may look titillating, but librettist Arturo Colautti’s version is convoluted, and the score can sound maudlin compared with grittier verismo works. […]

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Filarmonica della Scala On Top Form In Mahler 2

La Scala, Milan; October 16, 2017–These are exciting times for the Filarmonica della Scala. Founded by Claudio Abbado to provide La Scala’s regular players with an opportunity to play symphonic repertoire, the orchestra has been getting better and better since Riccardo Chailly became music director two years ago. A recently-concluded tour over the summer, which […]

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Angel Blue, The Met’s New Mimi

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NY, October 2, 2017–Franco Zeffirelli’s 36-year-old staging of La bohème at the Met is getting another workout this season, and the first performance brought three debuts. Primary was conductor Alexander Soddy, a 37-year-old Brit who is music director of Mannheim’s National Theatre, where his polyglot taste has taken him from […]

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Glimmerglass’ Porgy A Perfect Grand Opera Version

Glimmerglass Festival, Alice Busch Theater, Cooperstown, NY; August 13, 2017—Deep in operatic lore is the story of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. The work is through-composed and huge in scale, and Gershwin opted to have it performed in a Broadway theater despite interest at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. His thinking was that not only could […]

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