Swinging, Soulful B’way Cast Clicks In West Side Story

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By Richard S. Ginell

Rejecting Leonard Bernstein’s disjointed operatic approach, Michael Tilson Thomas’ new recording is all of a piece, the sound of 1957 Broadway stretching confidently into fresh, tragic territory instead of a work at war with itself.

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John Luther Adams Melds Music, Open Air Milieu For Sila

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By Gail Wein

NEW YORK – To kick off the Mostly Mozart Festival, 80 musicians gathered in and around Lincoln Center’s plaza pool for the premiere of Sila: The Breath of the World as the audience roamed. Spectacular weather played its part.

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Tuba To Tennies, Youth Orchestra Ready To Rumble

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By Marvin J. Ward

LENOX, Mass. – The 2104 edition of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, featuring 120 of the nation’s top teenage musicians, began its U.S. tour at the Tanglewood Festival and is heading west this week.

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Ohio Light Opera Stages Gems From Tuneful Treasury!!

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By Donald Rosenberg

WOOSTER, Ohio – Drive past the corn and the cows and you eventually arrive at the College of Wooster, where major generals and merry widows have long been in residence. Among this summer’s treats: Jerome Kern’s Oh, Lady! Lady!!

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Tanglewood’s New Music Fest Honors Enduring Legacy

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By Leslie Kandell

LENOX, Mass. – The annual Festival of Contemporary Music bifurcates Tanglewood for five days each year. This year’s music featured Tanglewood fellows and teachers, a who’s who of the last half century or so.

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Corigliano Lullaby Sets Gentle Accent On NC Music Fest

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By Roy C. Dicks

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Eastern Music Festival benefits from a 10-year commissioning project for a new American work each season. This year John Corigliano created an orchestration of his 2010 “Lullaby” for violin and piano.

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Around the U.S.

Puts’ Silent Night Gleams Darkly At Cincinnati Opera

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By Janelle Gelfand

CINCINNATI – Within days of the centennial of the Sarajevo assassination that triggered World War I, Kevin Puts’ Silent Night, about the Christmas Eve truce of 1914, took place here. The company’s resonant staging is the opera’s fourth.

MCANA Reports: Riccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony Host Critics

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CHICAGO — The 2014 Annual Meeting of the Music Critics Association of North America, held in Chicago from June 17-19, centered largely on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which graciously hosted our too-short visit.

Cincinnati Opera’s Calisto Is Stylish Baroque Venture

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By Mary Ellyn Hutton

CINCINNATI – It was the right place at the right time for 94-year-old Cincinnati Opera’s first Baroque opera, Cavalli’s La Calisto. The new Corbett Theater seats 750 and early-music ensemble Catacoustic Consort was ready to play.

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Around Canada

2 Chamber Music Festivals Enrich Ottawa’s Summer

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By Richard Todd

OTTAWA – Cellist Julian Armour first founded Chamberfest, then Music and Beyond, making Canada’s capital a top destination for music lovers in North America. Why such festive abundance? Therein lies a tale.

Piano Competition Is Bang-On Clash Of Loud, Louder

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By Robert Markow

MONTREAL – Australian-British Jayson Gillham won the 2014 Montreal International, a disturbing tourney in which most contestants seemed to regard the piano as an adversary to be attacked, beaten, and conquered.

Tafelmusik Honors Director Lamon As Long Tenure Ends

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By Colin Eatock

TORONTO – A festive tribute to Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s artistic director and concertmaster Jeanne Lamon included a postmodern melange of new variations on Purcell themes and a medley of Lamon’s favorites.

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International

MCANA Reports: Strauss Leads The Way At 2014 Dresden Music Festival

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DRESDEN – It was to this magical city on the Elbe that five members of the Music Critics Association of North America were drawn for the Dresden Music Festival June 7-10. Their reviews and impressions are gathered here.

Lean Force Lifts Beethoven Missa At Dresden Fest

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By Paul Hyde

DRESDEN – The late conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler believed the Missa Solemnis to be the composer’s greatest work, and a thrilling performance at the Dresden Music Festival under Ivor Bolton supported that claim.

Venerable Leipzig Orchestra Upholds Its Historic Image

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William Littler

DRESDEN – The Gewandhaus Orchestra, in a visit to this neighbor Saxon city, is now led by Italian Riccardo Chailly, whose operatic experience seems to have contributed to a lightening and brightening of the ensemble’s famed sound.

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Issues in the Arts

Maazel In His 80s Rode In To Rescue Chicago SO Tour

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By Nancy Malitz

Lorin Maazel was 84 when he died July 13 of complications from pneumonia. But in early 2013, he was vigorous, mentally sharp, and openly thrilled to be able to step in for ailing Riccardo Muti on a Chicago Symphony Asia tour.

Like Super Heroes, Subs Often Save The Musical Day

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By Adeline Sire

Kristine Opolais’ back-to-back role debuts as both Butterfly and Mimi within 24 hours at the Metropolitan Opera is just one example of last-minute bravery that occurs regularly, often with mad chains of events backstage.

Chicago Academy Is Major Key For Young Musicians

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By Kyle MacMillan

CHICAGO — How many cello concertos did Mozart write? A music theory contest caps the elite academy school year at the Music Institute of Chicago with applause, cheers and laughter, but the dedication to learning is serious.

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Disc and Stream

Nézet-Séguin CDs Display Schumann In Classical Light

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By Paul Hyde

DIGITAL REVIEW – Working with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads streamlined readings of Schumann’s four symphonies that bring out considerable detail often lost in a thicker orchestral sound.

Berlin PO Blazes Own Trail With Schumann Discs

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By Nancy Malitz

DIGITAL REVIEW – In recording circles, May 2014 will be remembered as the Berlin Philharmonic’s new spring. A bold Schumann project under Simon Rattle is the orchestra’s first venture as a go-it-alone label.

Seattle Symphony Spotlights Carter In Label Launch

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By Richard S. Ginell

DIGITAL REVIEW – Joining the go-it-alone recording trend, the Seattle Symphony under Ludovic Morlot has issued an all-American release including Elliott Carter’s Instances, written for them at the unbelievable age of 103.

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MCANA Hosted Blogs

Hearing the Los Angeles Philharmonic Outdoors and iPalpiti Indoors

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
In the good old summertime in the Los Angeles area, classical music heads outdoors to Hollywood …

Richard S. Ginell - From Out of the The West

Lorin Maazel 1930-2014

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By Richard S. Ginell: From Out of the West
It has not been a good year for followers of major maestros. First to fall in …

CD Roundup: Mozart, Schubert & Von Stade’s Coffin

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By Roy C. Dicks: What’s the Score?

Reviews of new releases: Anderson & Roe Mozart duos; Jonas Kaufmann’s “Winterreise,” and Frederica von Stade in Ricky Ian Gordon’s “A Coffin in Egypt”

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