Kahane Says Adieu To LA Ensemble In Grand, Small Ways

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By Richard S. Ginell

GLENDALE, Calif. – Twenty years after taking leadership of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane gave a scintillating account of Schubert’s last completed symphony (the Ninth) to end his tenure as music director.

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Think Like A Pro To Get Big Sound At Your Desktop

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By Michael Gray

DIGITAL – You may be surprised that you can enjoy great musical sound from your computer. To get there, you need to address some basic questions, ranging from what you expect to hear to the space available on your desk.

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Coming Events: Midwest Fests Get Jump On Summer

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By Kyle MacMillan

DATE BOOK  – Among music festivals getting a head start on summer are some with distinctive offerings that can’t be found elsewhere. Here are lineups of festivals with premieres and rarities coming soon to America’s heartland.

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Wagner’s Other Comedy Makes Merry DVD Debut

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – The production of Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love) from Madrid’s Teatro Real breezily whisks the work into present-day Palermo, where director Kasper Holten presses some pop-culture buttons.

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Youth Speaks Transformatively In Silent Voices

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By Anne E. Johnson

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Brooklyn Youth Chorus marked its 25th anniversary by letting singers’ voices be heard in a new way, connecting commissioned works by eight composers with choristers’ personal testimonies.

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Frank’s Colorful Requiem Sings In Three Tongues

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By William Albright

HOUSTON – The Houston Symphony and music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada premiered its newest commission, Gabriela Lena Frank’s Conquest Requiem, on May 5, the Mexican holiday known as Cinco de Mayo.

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Magic Flute Zips, But Also Overruns Spirit Of Mozart

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE – A cast of young singers had shining moments in Seattle Opera’s production of Mozart’s beloved work, but brisk tempos and directorial choices created problems that compromised the music in style and essence alike.

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Power Of Berlioz Requiem Endures In Dutoit’s Hands

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By Rodney Punt

SAN FRANCISCO – Because the Berlioz Requiem is what we would today call a “site-specific” work, it requires modification in scale for modern halls. Charles Dutoit led a reduced version for 330 musicians, still a mighty force.

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Around the U.S.

Mist, Mystery And Magic In Colorful, Soft-Edged Pelléas

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By Daniel Hathaway

CLEVELAND – In the latest of the Cleveland Orchestra’s annual opera performances, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is given a strange and wonderful staging that features actors and dancers as “mythological doppelgängers.”

Ear Snared Twice Amid Sonic Lures At Hear Now Fest

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By Richard S. Ginell

PASADENA – At the opening of the seventh Hear Now Music Festival, two compositions caught the imagination as well thought-out works with something pertinent to say, a sense of drama, and an idea of where they were going.

Old Is Newly Apt In Rameau’s Temple of Glory

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By Janos Gereben

BERKELEY, Calif. – The first modern revival of the song-and-dance spectacle, with a politically charged libretto by Voltaire, capped a nearly quarter-century quest by the Philharmonia Baroque’s Nicholas McGegan.

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Around Canada

Hoping For Spark, Vancouver Opera Becomes Festival

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By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – In a bold restructuring that replaces the conventional season, the first Vancouver Opera Festival, April 28-May 13, will boast three full-scale productions as well as solo performances and a variety of special features.

Native Resistance Recalled In Opera Of Canadian West

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – In choosing Louis Riel, a rebel of the Canadian Métis people, as the subject of their 1967 opera, composer Harry Somers and libettist Mavor Moore hit on a dramatic topic that’s so Canadian it bleeds maple syrup.

Oddly Enough, Schafer Non-opera Makes Good Opera

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – Armed with a quasi-Wagnerian ethos, R. Murray Schafer’s massive, twelve-part cycle called Patria dwarfs Wagner’s Ring. Now Soundstreams has fashioned Odditorium from four excerpts, with a part for singing head.

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International

Old Music In New Venue: Paris Puts Hall In The Seine

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By Rebecca Schmid

PARIS – Part of a project in the western suburbs on the former site of the Renault car manufacturer, the new glass-domed Seine Musicale music center looms over the Seine river, reminiscent of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Wolfgang Rihm Weaves Reflective, Poetic Requiem

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By J.J. Van Vlasselaer

LUCERNE – Requiem-Strophen takes us on the journey of the mystery of death and how it turns life into our reality. The Easter Festival concert, led by Mariss Jansons, opened with Rihm’s memorial to Pierre Boulez, who died Jan. 5, 2016.

Comic Sorochintsy: Pigs On Stilts In Ukrainian Village

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – The Komische Oper production of Mussorgsky’s Fair at Sorochintsy, directed by Barrie Kosky, explores young love, superstition and alcoholism. It pulls out all the stops in a dream banquet featuring porcine humans.

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Issues in the Arts

Anton Coppola, Feted At Age 100, Still The Maestro

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By John Fleming

TAMPA – Conductors tend to be durable, but maestro and composer Anton Coppola, still active, hit the century mark on March 21. Four days later, Opera Tampa honored the ageless Coppola at a two-hour concert – which he conducted!

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.

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Disc and Stream

One Prodigious CD Illuminates Music Of Adolf Busch

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – The great violinist, quartet leader, and festival founder Adolf Busch (1891-1952) composed music of all kinds, some of it championed by son-in-law Rudolf Serkin. Jakob Fichert performs all the piano works.

Melancholy Trios, Where Piano Rules And Strings Serve

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Two works from Rachmaninoff’s youth – played by pianist Daniil Trifonov, violinist Gidon Kremer, and cellist Giedré Dirvanauskaité – display a bravura pull to the piano and an uncertainty with strings.

Renée Fleming Explores South, North, And Bjork

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – The American soprano once again stretches the ears of her fans. She joins the Royal Stockholm
Philharmonic on a trek from Samuel Barber’s familiar Knoxville to music of distant northern climes.

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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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