Gubaidulina Triple Concerto Set For World Premiere

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By Kyle MacMillan

BOSTON — Boston Symphony music director Andris Nelsons will lead performances of this unusual work Feb. 23-25 in Boston’s Symphony Hall and Feb. 28 at Carnegie Hall. Sofia Gubaidulina is hoping to attend at least one of them.

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New Light On Nazi Rule In Orchestras Of Vienna, Berlin

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By Paul E. Robinson

BOOK REVIEW – The Political Orchestra by Fritz Trümpi provides important new information and a broader context for understanding how the two greatest orchestras in the German-speaking world were affected by politics.

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Eloquent Sextet Stretches Bounds Of Vocal Art

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By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – The ensemble Nordic Voices presented works by a trio of living Norwegian composers, including Lasse Thoresen (right), plus music by Goffredo Petrassi and György Ligeti. The performances were magisterial.

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A Fugitive Unseen On Copeland’s Isle Of The Unreal

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By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO  – The first commission in the 43-year history of the Chicago Opera Theater unites the composer, drummer, and co-founder of The Police with the intense fantasy of Adolfo Bioy Casares’ novel The Invention of Morel.

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In Deft Schumann, Pianist Shows His Star Power At 21

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has grown into a tall young man. He perches precariously on the edge of the bench and doesn’t quite know what to do with his knees. Fortunately, he knows exactly what to do with his hands.

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Rattle, Berlin Phil Explore Drama In Symphonic Music

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – Under the baton of Simon Rattle, the Berlin Philharmonic brings out the theatrical dimension of works by Rihm, Ligeti and Mahler. The Rihm premiere Gruß-Moment 2 was composed in remembrance of Pierre Boulez.

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Early Music Fest, Born On The Bayou, Turns Five

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By William Albright

HOUSTON – The nine-day Houston Early Music Festival focuses this season on Baroque and Renaissance
vocal music in its infinite varieties. But it opened with Rameau’s Les Indes galantes, sans singing and dancing.

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Around the U.S.

N. Carolina SO: Poster Perfect For Kennedy Festival

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By John W. Lambert

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Symphony under Grant Llewellyn showed why such undervalued orchestras merit the spotlight about to shine on them in the nation’s upcoming SHIFT Festival at the Kennedy Center.

Adès Presides Over Dances Of Death Program In LA

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – Among the pieces in which the admired British composer Thomas Adès led the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall were two of his most recent works in U.S. and West Coast premieres.

Voices Illuminate Dark Landscape In Mahler’s Das Lied

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By Daniel Hathaway

CLEVELAND – Under the baton of Donald Runnicles, the Cleveland Orchestra, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, and tenor Paul Groves offered an unflinching take on the bittersweet ambivalence of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.

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Around Canada

Estonians Honor Choral Tradition In Toronto Return

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – As part of its North American tour, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir sang solemn music of Arvo Pärt, Estonia’s most famous composer, and Canadian music by composers of Estonian descent.

Toronto Symphony Salutes Own With ‘Canadian Legacy’

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Colin Eatock

TORONTO – Except for an introductory work, the evening was given over to Canadian scores not receiving premieres. The five main pieces were premiered decades ago and written by composers who are no longer living.

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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International

Visual Magic Hits, Misses In Ravel, Stravinsky Bill

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – In Komische Oper’s staging of Petrushka and
L’Enfant et les sortilèges, animated visuals by British studio 1927 immersed viewers in an alternative universe, but human performances proved a stronger attraction.

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.

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Issues in the Arts

New Light On Nazi Rule In Orchestras Of Vienna, Berlin

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By Paul E. Robinson

BOOK REVIEW – The Political Orchestra by Fritz Trümpi provides important new information and a broader context for understanding how the two greatest orchestras in the German-speaking world were affected by politics.

Hear, Hear! New Halls Diverge In Acoustic Designs

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By Nancy Malitz

When it comes to concert hall acoustics, controlled comparisons are difficult, but the temptation was irresistible on a Chicago Symphony tour of new halls in Paris, Hamburg and Aalborg, Denmark, followed by two old gems.

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.

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Disc and Stream

Power Of Music Transmutes Cruelty To Hope

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Conspirare artistic director Craig Hella Johnson’s
Considering Matthew Shepard is a masterpiece, the essence of which will still speak to us,
especially at times of loss and suffering, for years to come.

Novel Keyboards In Goldberg Feats Accent Variation

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By Arthur Kaptainis

DIGITAL REVIEW – Angela Hewitt has recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations using her own Fazioli piano, and Mahan Esfahani has employed a Huw Saunders harpsichord based on a Thuringian model of c. 1710, tuned with sharp keys in mind.

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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MCANA Hosted Blogs

John Adams on Record – Part Two

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Here is Part Two of my updated, expanded, 70th birthday discographical survey of John Adams’s music, …

John Adams On Record – Part One

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
 
My most vivid memory of John Adams was way back near the beginning of his career, …

Susan Brodie - Toi Toi Toi

A Paris Opera 2017-18 Season to Enchant

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By Susan Brodie: Toi Toi Toi!
“Laissez-vous porter”–let yourself be carried away–is the motto of the Paris Opera’s 2017-18 season, and the upcoming program provides …

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