Shankar’s ‘Garland Of Ragas’ Blooms In West Coast Bow

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By Rick Schultz

LOS ANGELES – With the LA Phil under Zubin Mehta, Anoushka Shankar played her father’s Sitar Concerto No. 2, more a string of colorful moments than a unified whole. Or does that view just reflect Western conditioning?

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SF Symphony Goes Multimedia With ‘Klagende Lied’

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By Richard S. Ginell

SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Tilson Thomas combined the ‘Blumine’ movement from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with Songs Of A Wayfarer and a semi-staging of Das klagende Lied. It was very clever, instructive programming.

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Trio Of 20-minute Operas Premiered In WNO Showcase

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By Charles T. Downey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington National Opera presented three new brief works in the latest edition of the company’s American Opera Initiative. What Gets Kept featured mezzo-soprano Daryl Freedman and tenor Frederick Ballentine.

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Turn Up Volume: Einstein Revisited On Blu-ray, DVD

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – A video release of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach, with direction and design by Robert Wilson, looks as tradition-shattering and exhilarating as the opera must have been some 40 years ago when it was new.

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Coming Events: Canada Turns 150, Makes Joyful Noise

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By Colin Eatock

DATE BOOK – The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has organized Canada Mosaic in celebration of the country’s 150th year. Commissions from the nation’s many distinctive musical voices will ring out at orchestras coast to coast.

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In Twin Revivals, Candide Glitters, NYC Opera, Too

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By Susan Elliott

NEW YORK – Just a year out of bankruptcy, the New York City Opera is envisioning “the best of all possible worlds” in ticket demand for its 1982 staging of Bernstein’s gem, tweaked by original director Harold Prince for the intimate Rose Theater.

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Mata Hari Makes Lackluster Debut At Prototype Fest

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By George Loomis

NEW YORK – Matt Marks’ opera about the dancer and courtesan who was convicted as a German spy during the First World War, featuring a magnetic performance by Tina Mitchell in the leading role, comes up short dramatically.

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Around the U.S.

Gruber’s Piano Concerto Chatters Away At NY Phil

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By Vivien Schweitzer

NEW YORK – The Austrian composer’s work, featuring Emanuel Ax, sometimes felt like listening to a multitude of opinionated voices competing for attention without one ever rising above the fray long enough to make a point.

Grigolo, Damrau Radiant As Met’s Star-Crossed Duo

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By Susan Elliott

NEW YORK  – Tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano Diana Damrau headed a solid cast as the Metropolitan Opera kicked off the new year with Bartlett Sher’s gorgeous production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, first seen at Salzburg in 2008.

Coming Events: Bounty Of Opera, New And Notable

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By Kyle MacMillan

DATE BOOK – The PBS broadcast of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s world premiere production of Bel Canto, by Jimmy López and Nilo Cruz, leads off an ambitious series of premieres and novel opera projects in early 2017.

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Around Canada

Montreal ‘Ladies’ Club Serves Up Classical Cream

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By Arthur Kaptainis

MONTREAL – Since 1892, the Ladies Morning Musical Club has sponsored concerts in Montreal, although men can now attend and recitals are later in the day. Soprano Karina Gauvin offered art song, folk and cabaret.

Joyce DiDonato Devises Inventive Recital Variation

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By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – The American mezzo-soprano’s extragavant project, In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music, includes contemporary media, a period-instrument orchestra, and stage movement, along with stellar vocalism.

Trio And Soprano Serve Up Charming And Eclectic Menu

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By Bill Rankin

CALGARY – For their subtle concert at the University of Calgary, Toronto’s Gryphon Trio and Canadian soprano Patricia O’Callaghan performed works from various traditions, including classical, pop, and cabaret.

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International

Passionate Duet: Mascagni Paired With Hindemith

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By Susan Brodie

PARIS – Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, featuring Elīna Garanča singing her first Santuzza, and Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna share a Paris Opera bill that makes for an evening of fierce drama and satisfying music making.

Venerable Suntory Marks 30 Years As Tokyo’s Heartbeat

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By Robert Markow

TOKYO – The sound is full and warm, and the architecture combines grandeur with restfulness, intimacy with spaciousness. These qualities were in evidence during performances by the Vienna Philharmonic in early October.

Political Terror Spans Time, Place In Redrawn Operas

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By James L Paulk

BUENOS AIRES – Teatro Colón paired Luigi Dallapiccola’s finest opera, Il prigioniero (The Prisoner), with his first, Volo di notte (Night Flight), in a staggering tour de force that alluded to Argentina’s “Dirty War” of the ’70s and ’80s.

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Issues in the Arts

Critics, Gathered In Charleston, Honor A Leader

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By John W. Lambert

IN MEMORIAM – Robert Paul Commanday, who died in 2015 at the age of 93, was fondly remembered in Charleston, S.C., where the Music Critics Association of North America heard a tribute to his guiding force in a transitional age.

Canada Tempest: Debating Critic’s Role In Our Time

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By Allan Kozinn

ANALYSIS – A publicist for Canadian Opera took issue with a National Post critique of Maometto II, an editor yanked the review, the critic was in the dark, emails went viral and things went downhill from there. What’s at stake here?

Robert W. Gutman Altered Views Of Mozart, Wagner

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By James L. Paulk

APPRECIATION – The American scholar, who died May 13 at the age of 90, was best known for landmark biographies of two seminal figures. The books dispelled myths and provided fresh and surprising perspectives.

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Disc and Stream

Bruckner 3 Twice With Care, Insight From Nézet-Séguin

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – A sensational live recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3 with Staatskapelle Dresden, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in 2008, makes for a fascinating comparison with his Orchestre Métropolitain CD of the work.

Adams On Rimsky, Scheherazade.2, Debuts On New CD

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By Richard Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – The star of the Arabian Nights is the raison d’être for a massive 2015 violin concerto that composer John Adams calls Scheherazade.2. Leila Josefowicz possesses and devours it on a new recording.

Live And On CDs, Flock of Messiahs To Feed The Fans

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By David Shengold

Rewarding performances in Philadelphia conducted by Natalie Stutzmann and in New York under Kent Tritle offered a high contrast in styles, while conductor Andrew Davis’ new CD proved a throwback to the grandiose Messiahs of old.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

Rattle and the Berlin: One More Time

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
“First, we’ll take Manhattan. Then we’ll take Berlin.”
–  Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
These words were ringing through my …

A Steve Reich Recordings Survey As He Turns 80.

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Steve Reich, the onetime outsider turned venerated new music master, turns 80 today – and to commemorate …

MTT Revisits Das Lied Von Der Erde – This Time With A Mezzo

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
SAN FRANCISCO — Das Lied Von Erde, Mahler’s gigantic unnumbered symphony disguised as a song cycle, …

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