Met’s New Tristan Sets Bright Voices Against Dark View

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By Susan Brodie

NEW YORK – Wagner’s hypnotic meditation on love and death returned to the Metropolitan Opera in a new production by Mariusz Trelinski. Splendid singing overcame grim and fussy staging to open the season.

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A 21st-Century Prokofiev Echoes Life In The City

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SEATTLE – In its world premiere, Gabriel Prokofiev’s When the City Rules evoked Bernstein, Gershwin, and grandfather Sergei Prokofiev, whose Love for Three Oranges symphonic suite followed on the Seattle Symphony concert.

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Monteverdi Helps Musicians Honor Late Conductor

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By Arthur Kaptainis

MONTREAL – The Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal paid tribute to Christopher Jackson, its leader until his death last year, with a performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers led by Jackson friend and colleague Julian Wachner.

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Coming Events: Plans Big, Diverse In Middle America

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By CVNA Editors

DATE BOOK – Imaginative programming is the mark of the fall season at the St. Louis Symphony and six other mid-American orchestras, as they celebrate their uniqueness and music directors embark on their most ambitious projects.

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SFS Pays Tribute To Maverick Reich As He Turns 80

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By Richard S. Ginell

SAN FRANCISCO – Steve Reich was once considered a dangerous gadfly, infiltrating the sanctuary of classical music. But on the eve of his 80th, the San Francisco Symphony began a party that continues around the world.

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Touching Dream Receives Radiant Debut Production

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By Jason Victor Serinus

SAN FRANCISCO – As beautifully rendered by San Francisco Opera, Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang’s Dream of the Red Chamber distinguished itself with the universality of its music and profundity of its tale.

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Lang Monodrama the loser Freshens Aging Next Wave

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By David Shengold

NEW YORK – Starring in David Lang’s clever adaptation of a Thomas Bernhard novel, baritone Rod Gilfry traces the downfall of a virtuoso pianist after a Glenn Gould encounter. The premiere kicked off BAM’s 2016 Next Wave Festival.

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Wuthering Heights On CD Points Up The Opera’s Flaws

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Florentine Opera recording of a 1958 opera after Emily Brontë reveals lovely moments but Carlisle Floyd’s music is surprisingly mild when it comes to conveying the lovers’ self-destructive passion.

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Coming Events: Orchestras Launch Their New Season

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By CVNA Editors

As the 2016-17 orchestral season gets under way in the U.S., music directors celebrate prized relationships, introduce new works, and resurrect forgotten gems. Here are some late-September entries that caught our eye.

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Around the U.S.

Epic Chinese Novel Retooled As Opera By Sheng, Hwang

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By Janos Gereben

SAN FRANCISCO – Composer Bright Sheng and playwright David Henry Hwang explain the genesis of Dream of the Red Chamber, a tragic opera based on a revered Chinese saga, soon to receive its premiere at the San Francisco Opera.

Phyllis Curtin’s Vocal Wisdom Was 50 Summers’ Fruit

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By Leslie Kandell

APPRECIATION – Spurred by a Tanglewood memorial service on Aug. 8, a critic recounts nuggets of enduring wisdom from decades of summer vocal classes led by the celebrated soprano and teacher, who died in June at age 94.

Mostly Mozart Hosts Shiny Aix Cosi Fan Tutte

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By David Shengold

NEW YORK – Festival music director Louis Langrée led the same well-balanced group of six personable, stylish, if not epochal-voiced, singers he’d conducted in Mozart’s opera in June and July at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

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Around Canada

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.

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.

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International

Rihm’s Tutuguri Leaves Percussive Tattoo On Festival

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – With his sprawling Tutuguri (1980-82), Wolfgang Rihm set out to liberate music, transforming it into a stream “subject only to its own urges.” Daniel Harding led a consummate performance to open Musikfest Berlin.

Heart Of Parsifal Beats Clearly In Bayreuth Staging

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By James L. Paulk

BAYREUTH – Uwe Eric Laufenberg’s new production of Wagner’s Parsifal represents a startling turn from the recent festival practice of filling the stage with multiple complex references, and the result is psychologically satisfying.

Women Flourish With Baton At Lucerne Festival

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By Rebecca Schmid

LUCERNE – In a showcase that challenged an orchestral culture weighed down by its own conservatism, the 2016 festival featured a special event in which Anu Tali and four other women conductors led personally selected fare.

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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

Wuthering Heights On CD Points Up The Opera’s Flaws

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – The Florentine Opera recording of a 1958 opera after Emily Brontë reveals lovely moments but Carlisle Floyd’s music is surprisingly mild when it comes to conveying the lovers’ self-destructive passion.

Dausgaard Makes Fervent Case For Mahler-Cooke 10th

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Thomas Dausgaard, conducting the Seattle Symphony, has turned in a live recording of the Deryck Cooke performing version of Mahler’s entire Symphony No. 10 that makes most of the others seem timid.

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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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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