Archive | Concerts

Andermatt-1_Urseren_Hospental

Moo Is For Mozart: Notes From The Andermatt Music Festival, Part 1

Andermatt is not the prettiest Swiss village. Certainly not the most famous or even otherwise particularly notable in a country positively littered with gorgeous little alpine towns straight out of a kitschy re-make of Heidi. It had been an important trade post along the route connecting Milan and Zurich, Italy, and much of north-western Europe. […]

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Thielemann’s Good If Not Revelatory Bruckner From Vienna

Vienna, October 5, 2019; Musikverein—When Christian Thielemann stands in front of the Vienna Philharmonic, you can be sure of one thing: The orchestra does what he wants. Famous for simply ignoring or not caring about who stands in front of them or how they are conducted, the finicky Vienna Philharmonic likes and listens to the […]

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Orchestra of St. Luke’s Plays Bach and Mendelssohn

Thursday, October 17, 2009 8pm. Carnegie Hall, NY Bach and Mendelssohn always go well together, the one having been a major influence on the other, and so it proved Thursday evening at Carnegie Hall, when the Orchestra of St. Luke’s presented two Bach keyboard concertos framed by two of Mendelssohn’s most popular orchestral works, The […]

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Rusalka Gets Wet Feet In Vienna

Vienna, September 23, 2019; Theater an der Wien—The Theater an der Wien, Vienna’s interesting opera house, put on Dvořák’s Rusalka last month, directed by Amélie Niermeyer and conducted by David Afkham. The most notable aspect about the production might well have been the set, designed by Christian Schmidt, intending to make a splash – literally […]

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All-Bartók Season-Opener With The Hungarian National Philharmonic

Budapest, September 25, 2019; Müpa—For my ongoing survey of Budapest’s orchestral scene, I picked out an all-Bartók evening with the Hungarian National Philharmonic. The National Philharmonic came to (Western) fame under its longtime director János Ferencsik and again when it was led for two decades by Zoltán Kocsis until the latter’s death in 2016. The […]

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Fine Performance of Korngold’s Dreamlike Die Tote Stadt at Bard

Bard Summerscape, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.; August 18, 2019—For almost 20 years now, Bard College, at Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has been presenting, under music director Leon Botstein, important operas outside of the familiar repertory of the major opera companies. Works by Chabrier, Smyth, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Blitzstein, Zemlinsky, and others have met with audience and critical […]

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A Magnificent Budapest Ring, Part 2: Walküre, Siegfried, & Götterdämmerung

Budapest, June 13-16, 2019; Müpa—If the Rheingold of the Budapest Wagner Week’s annual Ring Cycle was a stunner for its excellent-yet-largely-unknown cast, the three remaining operas of the tetralogy boasted excellence with well-known stars of the Wagnerian world. Apart from Johan Reuter’s elegant, noble Wotan – ever the host of an elegant 1920s dinner party […]

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A Magnificent Budapest Ring: Prelude and Rheingold

Budapest, June 13-16, 2019; Müpa—Loved by the cognoscenti – but a bit off the radar for much of the rest of the Wagner-loving world – Ádám Fischer has been throwing a little Wagner Festival for the last 15 years, right on the banks of the Danube in the Müpa, Budapest’s fine modern arts center. The […]

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Mariss Jansons Delivers AM-Berlioz in Vienna

Vienna, May 30, 2019; Musikverein—I don’t know about you, but I have yet to meet anyone who thinks Hector Berlioz in the AM is a terribly bright idea. Certainly not the ingeniously over-egged, self-important frivolity of his Symphonie fantastique, not even with Mariss Jansons leading the Vienna Philharmonic in the Musikverein’s Golden Hall, as was […]

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Vienna Aroused: Mahler’s Eighth Still Does the Trick

Vienna, May 11, 2019; Vienna Konzerthaus—Even in times of inflationary Mahler performances, a Mahler Eighth is something special. It was notable from the moment you set foot into the Vienna Konzerthaus on this past Saturday afternoon. The mood was different. A little tense, a little hushed in anticipation of an “event”. The big wigs were […]

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