Fine Compendium Revives Forgotten Orchestral Gems

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By Robert Moon

DIGITAL REVIEW – Marking the centennial of American composer Irving Fine’s birth, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project CD of all his orchestral works includes one of America’s best symphonies and a Brandeis U fight song.

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Revisiting Exotic Sound World Of Maverick Partch

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By Susan Elliott

NEW YORK – To mount Delusion of the Fury, Heiner Goebbels and Ensemble Musikfabrik had Harry Partch’s original musical instruments recreated. They are a wonder. Lincoln Center Festival hosted the production’s U.S. debut.

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Brass Group Sets Spark To Ottawa Chamber Festival

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By Charles Pope, Jr.

OTTAWA, Ontario – High-decibel intensity marked the onset of Chamberfest, an annual two-week event that’s getting bigger and better. The Canadian National Brass Project launched it with classic fanfares and a world premiere.

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Bach, By The Sea, Rubs Shoulders With Varied Fare

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By Richard S. Ginell

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. – The theme of the 78th Carmel Bach Festival is “Bach, Bohemia and Beyond,” with Dvořák, Bartók, Zelenka, and even Ligeti in the mix with old Herr Bach, plus a concert version of The Magic Flute.

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Tanglewood Flush With Fresh Music To Honor Center

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By Leslie Kandell

LENOX, Mass. – For its 75th anniversary, Tanglewood Music Center commissioned a whopping 34 new pieces. Most are slated for this summer season, reaching critical mass during the annual Festival of Contemporary Music.

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Ghosts, Ginsburg Given Justice As Summer Delights

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By Charles T. Downey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two festivals have done their part to program beyond the familiar, with a boutique revival of Marie Antoinette’s Versailles and a premiere comic opera on Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and Scalia.

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Like Old Aerosol, New Opera Fallout Lacks Some Punch

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By Robert Croan

PITTSBURGH – “DDT is good for me-e-e.” That’s the ironic jingle in A New Kind of Fallout, by Gilda Lyons and Tammy Ryan, starring Lara Lynn Cottrill as a zealous fighter against chemical hazards. It’s a Pittsburgh Opera premiere.

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Yarn/Wire Weaves Off-Beat Blend In Close-Up Setting

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By Jackson Cooper

NEW YORK – When two pianists and two percussionists formed a quartet in 2005, they arranged traditional music at first. Spawning new music is now Yarn/Wire’s mission. At Lincoln Center Festival, they offered three world premieres.

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Chicago’s Lyric Casts Opera Lure Via Social Media

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By Nancy Malitz

CHICAGO – If you want to share your excitement about opera with your college-age nephew or your grandchild, how do you go about it? Do you send a letter? Leave a voicemail? Take your cue from Lyric Opera. Try social media.

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Around the U.S.

Cactus Pear Fest Popular Balm In San Antonio Heat

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By Mike Greenberg

SAN ANTONIO  – It seemed a quixotic adventure, 19 years ago, to launch a chamber music festival in San Antonio in mid-July, when the very streets melt and brains fry. But Cactus Pear was an immediate hit, and it’s again underway.

Conlon Will Close Ravinia Run With Reprise Programs

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By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO – After 11 years as music director of the Ravinia Festival, where he leads Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts, 65-year-old James Conlon will step down this summer. The maestro muses on his new horizons.

Feat Of Endurance Revisits Beethoven Night Of Premieres

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By Jeff Dunn

SAN FRANCISCO – On the same date that Belgium fielded a Battle of Waterloo re-do, Michael Tilson Thomas re-created Beethoven’s marathon Akademie concert of 1808, allowing a few extra breathers for his 21st-century audience.

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Around Canada

Sigiswald Kuijken Shoulders J.S. Bach On Cello Outrider

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By Alan Conter

MONTREAL – An odd new-old instrument, the violoncello da spalla, made its Canadian debut at the 13th Montreal Baroque Festival, where an affinity between Vivaldi and little-known eastern European gypsy music was also explored.

Classical-Jazz Mix Is Obsessive Lure For Alberta Eight

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By Bill Rankin

EDMONTON, Alberta – What do you get when you blend a string quartet with a jazz quartet? Kent Sangster’s Obsessions Octet, which has been exploring fresh sonic terrain since the musicians began grooving a decade ago.

Schafer Envisions Fire, Brimstone For End Of Time

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – It’s unlikely that composer R. Murray Schafer has ever been accused of smallness of vision. One of his largest works, the 1980 Apocalypsis, for close to 1,000 performers, is being revived at the 2015 Luminato Festival.

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International

Dancers Sing And Singers Dance In Sasha Waltz Orfeo

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – In what she last summer declared would be the final opera produced by her company, the choreographer Sasha Waltz has fulfilled a long-time dream by giving Monteverdi’s Orfeo a danced staging at the Staatsoper.

Festival Reveals Piano Gems From A Siberian Prison

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By Rebecca Schmid

GOHRISCH, Germany – The last music teacher to the Tsar’s family, Vsevolod Zaderatsky, was sent to a Gulag, where he used telegram forms to scratch out 24 preludes and fugues, heard at International Shostakovich Days in full.

In Tokyo’s Garden Of Chamber Music, Bouquets Abound

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By Robert Markow

TOKYO – There’s a great hunger for classical music in Japan, but less taste for chamber forms. Suntory Hall’s two-week festival in a salon setting is designed to nurture young Japanese musicians alongside international stars.

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Issues in the Arts

WFMT’s American Salute Seeks Out Neglected Masters

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By Wynne Delacoma

There’s a lost generation or three at the heart of 20th-century American classical music, and that loss feels grievous as July 4, 2015, rolls around. With help from Leonard Slatkin, WFMT radio promotes some slighted oldies.

European Jewish Culture Preserved In Song Collection

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By Gail Wein

The Stonehill Jewish Song Collection — over a thousand songs on 39 hours of recordings — provides a reminder of a once-stable life in the old country. Dr. Miriam Isaacs has spent three years working on the project.

Church And Patner Memorialized At Critics Gathering

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By Lawrence B. Johnson

The fraternity of music critics lost two beloved and esteemed members in the last year, Francis L. Church and Andrew Patner. They were honored at the 2015 meeting of the Music Critics Association of North America in San Francisco.

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Disc and Stream

New Boulez CD Set Offers Portrait Of Young Firebrand

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Perhaps the most interesting of all the Pierre Boulez repackagings is a collection that revisits his tumultuous early days as an intellectual bomb thrower and musical style setter at the head of the Domaine Musical.

An Awe-Inspiring Path of Miracles from Conspirare

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Many Christians consider Spain’s Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela one of the world’s holiest sites. British composer Joby Talbot made a pilgrimage to the church while preparing to compose his choral work.

Gilbert, New York Cap Nielsen Cycle With Power, Flair

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Leonard Bernstein punched Nielsen into the Philharmonic agenda, but it took Alan Gilbert to do all six symphonies for Dacapo. He completes the cycle with the craggy Fifth, and the Sixth, in which he really lets fly.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

Peter Schickele and the Armadillo Quartet – 25 Years Together

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Monday night, the Shatto Chapel within the massive First Congregational Church near Wilshire Blvd. was the …

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

Pierre Boulez on his 90th Birthday – A Personal Memoir

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
On Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday, I’d like to share a few memories of watching this once-controversial, …

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

What do Pharrell Williams and Anton Bruckner Have In Common?

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Some rants about the verdict that a misguided jury slapped upon Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams …

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