Montana Grandeur Cues Harmony Of Music, Sculpture

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By Nancy Malitz

FISHTAIL, Mont. – Arts philanthropists Cathy and Peter Halstead traveled the world in search of a remote landscape in which nature and the arts could interact. It’s called Tippet Rise, and classical music plays its part.

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Carmel Bach Fest Goes Well Beyond Namesake’s Music

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By Richard S. Ginell

Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. – Festival artistic director Paul Goodwin and associate conductor Andrew Megill have been throwing in things you wouldn’t associate with an event called a Bach festival and making everything fit.

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Levine Returns To Ravinia With Heavenly Mahler

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By Lawrence B. Johnson

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – After an absence of 23 years, former festival music director James Levine made a triumphant appearance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus leading Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony.

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Festival Mimics Concert Styles Of Old London Town

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – A “London Calling” theme has yielded chamber music programs for 2016 Toronto Summer Music, which reconstructs 18th- and 19th-century traditions for coronations and fashionable concert societies.

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Gergiev Revisits Cosmic Scriabin, But Sans Ecstasy

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Valery Gergiev’s cycle of Scriabin symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra does not eclipse excellent earlier efforts by other orchestras. Nor does it surpass previous work by Gergiev himself.

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Tough And Tender Russians Open Music@Menlo

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By Gary Lemco

ATHERTON, Calif. – Music by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, and Stravinsky enchanted and dazzled. A full house erupted into unbridled applause after the 1913 piano four hands version of Le sacre du printemps.

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Get Cool, Dude: LA Phil’s Hip Boss Savors Bernstein

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By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – If any score is made-to-order for the musical strengths and temperament of conductor Gustavo Dudamel, Bernstein’s West Side Story is it. Dudamel delivered the goods, and then some, at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Around the U.S.

Brexit Lends New Requiem Ex Post Facto Prescience

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By James Bash

EUGENE, Ore. – Though still grounded in the music of J.S. Bach, the Oregon Bach Festival also embraces the present. Matthew Halls led the world premiere of James MacMillan’s timely — as it turned out — A European Requiem.

Marsalis Muses On His First Concerto (For, Yes, Violin)

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By Kyle MacMillan

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – Jazz trumpet star Wynton Marsalis, whose freshly minted Violin Concerto in D will be played July 12 at the Ravinia Festival, says his friendship with soloist Nicola Benedetti led him back to the classical realm.

In Newfoundland, An Opera Honors Regiment of WWI

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By Richard Todd

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – The ambitious little company Opera on the Avalon presented the world premiere of Ours by composer John Estacio and librettist Robert Chafe, about the force of 800 men that was decimated at the Somme.

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Around Canada

Charles Pope Jr., Noted Canadian Critic, Dies At 69

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By Earl Arthur Love

IN MEMORIAM – Charles Pope Jr. of Ottawa, Ontario, an elegant writer who was a longtime correspondent for Opera Canada and frequent contributor to ConcertoNet.com, died suddenly on May 31, 2016.

Grand Mahler 8th Caps Minczuk Era With Calgary Phil

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By Bill Rankin

CALGARY – There was a spirit of unabashed sentimentality as well as musical energy when the Calgary Philharmonic and a sold-out audience said farewell to Roberto Minczuk, who is moving on after a decade as music director.

Toronto Festival Yields Gamut Of New Compositions

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Colin Eatock

TORONTO – The third annual Twenty-First Century Music Festival at the Royal Conservatory of Music presented scores ranging from here-today-gone-tomorrow works to pieces that could have some staying power.

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International

Bloody Whispers, Ripped From The Headlines Of 1590

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – Salvatore Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici, inspired by Gesualdo’s crime, creates a realm where human emotion is stripped down to elemental vibrations. The Staatsoper staging is memorable for its committed performances.

Hungary Affords Worthy Option To Bayreuth’s Ring

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By James L Paulk

BUDAPEST – The appeal of this semi-staged Ring to Wagner enthusiasts is a story of magic, pluck, and luck, but also one of artistic success at a high level. The star is Ádám Fischer, who rivals the greatest Wagnerian conductors.

Incantesimi Plays With Spells, But Magic Is Missing

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – Julian Anderson’s Incantesimi, or magic spells, introduced by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic,
shows Mahlerian foreboding at moments but never quite casts its own spell, despite an obviously caring performance.

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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

Leaping Genres, Film Score Paints Winding Colorado

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Five composers, operating in specialized sound worlds of their own, wrote a tour-de-force for the vocal group Roomful of Teeth in evocation of a river diverted to serve the parched American West.

Guns & Coloratura Fuel Caesar & Cleo In Salzburg Remix

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Leiser and Caurier’s satirical 2012 production, now on DVD, has Cecilia Bartoli’s Cleopatra singing a Handel aria with a bag over her head, plus mind-bending sex, fantasy and horror that’s over the top.

Pianist Roe Enjoys A Field Day With Nocturnes on CD

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Elizabeth Joy Roe performs all 18 of Irish pianist and composer John Field’s nocturnes on her new recording for Decca, giving listeners a taste of the form that would be taken up with greater distinction by Chopin.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

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, …

The Chairman Turns 100

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
While making the rounds of local garage sales over the past weekend, I spotted a box …

Pull Up A Chair at the Valley Performing Arts Center

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Frequent concertgoers are used to enduring the usual welcome  from some anonymous public-address announcer, followed by …

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