Coming Events: 2017 Rings In New Year Of New Music

Share
By Daniel Hautzinger

DATE BOOK — The New York Philharmonic starts off the new year swinging, with the world premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ The Jungle. Here are more premieres promised at major orchestras in North America in early 2017.

Full Story - →

Mahler Tradition Honored With 5th By Concertgebouw

Share
By Michael Gray

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amsterdam’s famed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Semyon Bychkov, bespoke its great Mahler legacy with a performance of the Fifth Symphony and a new work by Detlev Glanert on a U.S. tour.

Full Story - →

Trio And Soprano Serve Up Charming And Eclectic Menu

Share
By Bill Rankin

CALGARY – For their subtle concert at the University of Calgary, Toronto’s Gryphon Trio and Canadian soprano Patricia O’Callaghan performed works from various traditions, including classical, pop, and cabaret.

Full Story - →

Joy To The World On One Thin Disc: Vintage Beethoven

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Karajan’s second Beethoven cycle, recorded in 1961 and 1962, sold nearly a million LP box sets. Now the DG label is offering the nine symphonies on a single Blu-ray audio disc at a stocking-stuffer price.

Full Story - →

Neglected Russian Operas Spotlighted In Spate Of DVDs

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Russian videos of Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Glinka operas add greatly to our appreciation of a neglected repertoire, and in some cases imaginative direction adds an appeal that transcends national origins.

Full Story - →

Van Zweden Looks To Be A Keeper In NY Phil Foretaste

Share
By Leslie Kandell

NEW YORK – The future music director of the Philharmonic gave the Lohengrin prelude the deep pleasure of a long exhale and led a rousing take on Tchaikovsky’s Fourth.
Between them, a new viola concerto by Julia Adolphe.

Full Story - →

Work’s Chirpy Wit Caps Centennial For Baltimore SO

Share
By Charles T. Downey

BALTIMORE – TJ Cole’s clever Double Play, based on calls of the oriole, produced a major league success with a brevity that contrasted to Beethoven’s Ninth as the orchestra under Marin Alsop rounded off its 100th birthday celebration.

Full Story - →

From Fall Of Troy To Carthage Pyre: Berlioz In Chicago

Share
By Roy C. Dicks

CHICAGO  – Only the fifth U.S. company to stage the massive Les Troyens, the Lyric Opera’s new production with Brandon Jovanovich and Susan Graham offered thrilling moments, but the directorial conception diminished the mythic scale.

Full Story - →

Mullova Is Special As She Mixes With Early-Music Group

Share
By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova isn’t an early-music specialist, or a specialist in anything, really. But she was a first among equals with members of the Italian ensemble Accademia Bizantina.

Full Story - →

Michael Daugherty Finds Eclectic Wit In American Icons

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Who wouldn’t want to hear what a composer does with this trio of subjects – fabled yarns of Ernest Hemingway, the rural American Gothic portrait by Grant Wood, and the epic film Citizen Kane of Orson Welles?

Full Story - →

The Clarinets Are Front, Center For A Minnesota First

Share
By Michael Anthony

MINNEAPOLIS – Claudio Puntin’s Aroma, a concerto for clarinets with electronic effects, was introduced by the Minnesota Orchestra, with the composer as soloist. Music director Osmo Vänskä, a clarinetist himself, conducted.

Full Story - →

Around the U.S.

Rattle Animates Boulez And Mahler With Berlin Phil

Share
By Lawrence B. Johnson

NEW YORK – Pierre Boulez’s Éclat and Gustav Mahler’s Seventh Symphony received commanding performances by the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle at Carnegie Hall, where the audience didn’t want to depart.

Zambello’s Aida Offers Rare Look Into Opera’s Heart

Share
By Janos Gereben

SAN FRANCISCO – The great musical and dramatic depth in Verdi’s opera is fully realized by director Francesca Zambello in an intimate San Francisco Opera production with, in her words, “a huge Triumphal Scene parked in the middle.”

Glass’ Akhnaten Reaches LA Opera In Full Splendor

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

LOS ANGELES – It took a long, long time for Philip Glass to establish a toehold at LA Opera, but he’s here now with a vengeance. The Phelim McDermott production of Akhnaten has checked in at the Pavilion for a three-week run.

Browse Archive →

Around Canada

Singular Sonorities In Four New Works Get Big Bass Boost

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

MONTREAL – Reveling in a big, big way, the Montreal Symphony lauded the 50th anniversary of the city’s Metro subway and explored new sounds in Jewish music in back-to-back concerts. Also unveiled – a monster octobass.

Lackluster Staging Undercuts Strong Singing in Norma

Share
By Arthur Kaptainis

TORONTO – Sondra Radvanovsky shines in the daunting title role, with Russell Thomas as Pollione, in a misbegotten if harmless rendition of Bellini’s bel canto drama to open the season at the Canadian Opera Company.

Near Centennial, Vancouver SO Is Also Near Change

Share
By David Gordon Duke

VANCOUVER – Bramwell Tovey began his next-to-last season as the Vancouver Symphony’s most successful music director ever with a splashy proposition very much to his taste, including a roof-raising Le sacre du printemps.

Browse Archive →

International

Venerable Suntory Marks 30 Years As Tokyo’s Heartbeat

Share
By Robert Markow

TOKYO – The sound is full and warm, and the architecture combines grandeur with restfulness, intimacy with spaciousness. These qualities were in evidence during performances by the Vienna Philharmonic in early October.

Political Terror Spans Time, Place In Redrawn Operas

Share
By James L Paulk

BUENOS AIRES – Teatro Colón paired Luigi Dallapiccola’s finest opera, Il prigioniero (The Prisoner), with his first, Volo di notte (Night Flight), in a staggering tour de force that alluded to Argentina’s “Dirty War” of the ’70s and ’80s.

Rihm’s Tutuguri Leaves Percussive Tattoo On Festival

Share
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.

Browse Archive →

Issues in the Arts

Critics, Gathered In Charleston, Honor A Leader

Share
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

Share
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

Share
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.

Browse Archive →

Disc and Stream

Michael Daugherty Finds Eclectic Wit In American Icons

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Who wouldn’t want to hear what a composer does with this trio of subjects – fabled yarns of Ernest Hemingway, the rural American Gothic portrait by Grant Wood, and the epic film Citizen Kane of Orson Welles?

Jochum CD Bounty Accents Bruckner In First Release

Share
By Paul E. Robinson

DIGITAL REVIEW – Deutsche Grammophon is celebrating German conductor Eugen Jochum by releasing his complete recordings for the label. Volume 1, comprising 42 compact discs, bulges with great orchestral performances.

Starry Cast Joins Nézet-Séguin In Fast-Paced Figaro

Share
By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – In the latest in a series of Mozart opera releases from DG, Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a dashing Marriage of Figaro that features Rolando Villazón, Anne Sofie von Otter, Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni.

Browse Archive →

MCANA Hosted Blogs

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

Rattle and the Berlin: One More Time

Share

By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
“First, we’ll take Manhattan. Then we’ll take Berlin.”
–  Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
These words were ringing through my …

A Steve Reich Recordings Survey As He Turns 80.

Share

By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
Steve Reich, the onetime outsider turned venerated new music master, turns 80 today – and to commemorate …

MTT Revisits Das Lied Von Der Erde – This Time With A Mezzo

Share

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, …

Browse Archive →