One Mezzo, Two Texas Orchestras Do Mahler’s Third

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By Mike Greenberg

DALLAS AND HOUSTON – In the same week, the Dallas and Houston orchestras performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, both with mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, highlighting differences in the orchestras, their conductors, and halls.

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Salonen’s Splendid Turangalîla Wraps Chicago SO Fest

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By Lawrence B. Johnson

CHICAGO – It was a large cap, but fitting: Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie that topped off Chicago’s French Reveries & Passions Festival led by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The entire three-week affair was indeed a fête to remember.

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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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Spoleto Presents Operas New And Very, Very Old

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By Paul Hyde

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The world premiere of an opera by Chinese-born American composer Huang Ruo shares billing with Francesco Cavalli’s Veremonda, which hasn’t been heard in 350 years, at the 39th Spoleto Festival USA.

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Twist Upon Twist, Elektra Reshaped At Bavarian Opera

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By Jason Victor Serinus

MUNICH – In a revival of Herbert Wernicke’s 1997 production, Iréne Theorin, at the top of her game as Elektra, stared straight ahead into space, axe in hand, less mad than fixated on revenge for her father Agamemnon’s murder.

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Tafelmusik Salutes Bach’s Leipzig In Circle of Creation

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – The admired Canadian baroque orchestra has come around to thinking that modernity isn’t all bad. J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is its third multimedia blend of a well-honed HIP ethos with cutting-edge technology.

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Around the U.S.

D.C. Cenerentola Weighs In With Splendid Singing

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By Charles T. Downey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The controversy last year over Tara Erraught’s appearance at the Glyndebourne Festival was not an issue at her American stage debut in Rossini’s comedy, in which she and Isabel Leonard are rotating in the title role.

Mendelssohn, Bard Meet In Hilarious N. Carolina Dream

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By Jackson Cooper

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Three state arts organizations joined forces to present A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a semi-staged version of Shakespeare’s sophisticated comedy, backed by a choral-orchestral mix that also included Adams and Ives.

Los Angeles Doffs Cap To Its Own At HEAR NOW Fest

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By Richard S. Ginell

VENICE, Calif. – The three-day annual event focusing on local talent this year fielded an amazing range of composers and music, including a quintet by 15-year-old Andrew Moses and songs by 94-year-old Walter Arlen.

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Around Canada

Paired Dark Tales: Vintage Lepage At Canadian Opera

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – It was in the early 1990s that director Robert Lepage and designer Michael Levine twinned Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung with a boldness that has aged well – or perhaps it’s better to say that it hasn’t aged at all.

Toronto Symphony Salutes Armenian Music And Artists

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – A packed house heard the orchestra give a concert featuring such musicians of Armenian descent as violinist Sergey Khachatryan, soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, and music director Peter Oundjian.

Nézet-Séguin Triumphant In Montreal Return

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By Robert Markow

MONTREAL – The Canadian music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra could have told the Orchestre Métropolitain he no longer had time for them. Yet he returns each season to conduct, and the results are remarkable.

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International

Eötvös, Bartók: Brothers In Opera, Without The Blood

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By Rebecca Schmid

COLOGNE – Peter Eötvös’ one-act opera Senza Sangue (Without Blood), created as a companion piece to Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, had its premiere with Anne Sofie von Otter during a New York Philharmonic tour.

Moses Und Aron Takes Rocky Path At Komische Oper

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By Rebecca Schmid

BERLIN – Much as Moses und Aron allowed Schönberg to grapple with Judaism’s fate in the 1930s, it gave director Barrie Kosky a way to explore the conflict and tragedy of our age. But he doesn’t know when to leave a good thing alone.

Yannick Displays Russian Sound Of Rotterdam In U.S.

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By Rick Schultz

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – In his seventh year leading the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Yannick Nézet-Séguin says Russian music is still in its blood, a gift of his predecessor. After a start in the American west, the U.S. tour heads east.

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Issues in the Arts

Hey, What About Lisitsa’s Take On Rachmaninoff?

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By Arthur Kaptainis

TORONTO – Tweet-happy Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa found herself out of an engagement when the Toronto Symphony decided that her comments were too extreme to warrant her playing Rach 2.

Images Slow-dance To Bach Behind Violinist Shaham

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By Kyle MacMillan

Gil Shaham tells his children to try new things and not be afraid of making mistakes. But the renowned violinist realized a few years ago that he had not done a very good job of following his own advice, so he decided to revisit Bach.

The Worldly Wag Behind Cherubino, Rosina And Figaro!

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By Susan Brodie

Beaumarchais’ own dashing story rivals the operas he inspired, and John Corigliano has written him into The Ghosts of Versailles, based on the last of the French scribe’s Figaro trilogy. A project at LA Opera prompts a closer look.

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Disc and Stream

Messiaen-ic Music From The Canyons To The Stars

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By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park inspired the French composer’s colorful work, which is replete with birdsongs and spiritual imagery. Christoph Eschenbach leads a striking new recording.

American Classics Resound On Fine CD From Oregon

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By Paul Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony continue the ensemble’s tradition of focusing on American music with a program of music by Walter Piston, George Antheil, and Aaron Copland.

Hovhaness’ Image Of Andromeda Has Aspect Of Far East

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By Richard s. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Prolific beyond understanding, Alan Hovhaness died in 2000 with many works left unrecorded, among them his “Vision of Andromeda,” the 48th of 67 symphonies. The 1982 opus makes its disc debut at last.

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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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