Archive | Concerts

Rachmaninov Series Ends with a Bang at Lincoln Center

AVERY FISHER HALL: JANUARY 9, 2002–Vladimir Ashkenazy and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra brought the long-delayed Rachmaninov series at Avery Fisher Hall to a close with two of the composer’s better-known works: the grandiose Third Piano Concerto, and the Symphonic Dances. The sense of occasion was palpable, as this three-day retrospective was sadly postponed because of the […]

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Gergiev and Verdi’s Don Carlo: A Marriage that Needs Work

Metropolitan Opera House, New York – January 7, 2002–Don Carlo is Verdi’s longest, and in some ways, most multifaceted opera. In it, he tackles several of his favorite themes: The conflict between church and state, patriotism, and public vs private issues in the lives of his characters. For generations it was known largely in its […]

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The Met’s Fantastic New Frau

Metropolitan Opera House, New York: January 1, 2002–After the 1919 premiere of Die Frau Ohne Schatten (The Woman Without A Shadow), Strauss expressed his dissatisfaction with the work in a letter to his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, in which he noted, among other things, that it “lacked the necessary lightness of touch.” Boy was he […]

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Gergiev and Toradze: 1; Prokofiev: 0

Carnegie Hall: December 15, 2001–Valerie Gergiev ought to be a master at Prokofiev’s music, as his numerous successful recordings of the composer’s operas and ballets attest. What a shock, then, to hear such indifferent playing and conducting when he, his Kirov Orchestra, and Alexander Toradze gave an all-Prokofiev program recently at Carnegie Hall. The opening […]

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Juilliard and Mahler “Resurrection” Triumph

Carnegie Hall: December 10, 2001–The Juilliard Orchestra and Choral Union under the direction of Jahja Ling presented an absolutely first-class performance of Gustav Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection.” A major test for any orchestra, only the slightest corporate timidity from the otherwise excellent winds and a touch of rhythmic unsteadiness in the strings in […]

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Magnificent Messiah in Montréal

Location: Salle Claude-Champagne, University of Montréal: December 6, 2001 If there are bragging rights in the world of Messiah performances, then Bernard Labadie and his Les Violons du Roy orchestra and chorus La Chapelle de Québec can claim a respectable share, owing to their outstanding rendition of the complete oratorio before a sold-out house last […]

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