Rodney Punt

Postmodern Alcina In Baroque Style – And Gender Melee

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By Rodney Punt

SANTA FE, N.M. – While David Alden’s setting of Handel’s opera in a tawdry movie theater was fraught with gender ambiguities, conductor Harry Bicket kept the music smartly attuned to the period at the Santa Fe Opera.

Power Of Berlioz Requiem Endures In Dutoit’s Hands

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By Rodney Punt

SAN FRANCISCO – Because the Berlioz Requiem is what we would today call a “site-specific” work, it requires modification in scale for modern halls. Charles Dutoit led a reduced version for 330 musicians, still a mighty force.

Women Composers Reign At Subdued 70th Ojai Festival

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By Rodney Punt

OJAI, Calif. – All but two works at this year’s festival were by women, about which Peter Sellars said, “I’d rather not have to mention that, but there’s something wildly exciting about hearing from the other half of the planet.”

Eclectic Fest By The Neckar, From Brahms To Jazz

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By Rodney Punt

HEIDELBERG, Germany – The 20th Heidelberg Spring tended to its Romantic-era roots with Brahms and Schumann, but also reflected the city’s
innovative present with pop and avant-garde events, and Thomas Quasthoff sang jazz.

Salonen’s Pelléas Frames Drama Of Rarefied Finesse

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By Rodney Punt

LOS ANGELES – Learning by trial and error how to best convey the delicate essence of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Phil, in their third effort, created a semi-staged version, narrated and dramatically lit.

Derrick Spiva Gets 2-For-1 Premiere: In Concert, On CD

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By Rodney Punt

LOS ANGELES – The LA-based composer’s Prisms, Cycles, Leaps received its world concert premiere by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at the same time the Bridge To Everywhere ensemble’s CD came out on the Orenda label.

Dresden Fest’s Varied Programs Sizzle And Chill

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By Rodney Punt

DRESDEN – “Fire Ice” is the theme of the 2015 Dresden Music Festival, an extravaganza of eclectic offerings devised by German cellist Jan Vogler, who has transformed the event since taking over in 2009.

Exhaustive Tome On Schubert Songs Is Beguiling, Too

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By Rodney Punt

BOOK REVIEW – Graham Johnson’s definitive survey of Schubert’s lyric art is at one stroke the indispensable reference for singers, pianists, scholars, lovers of music in general, and Schubert fans in particular. It arrives Dec. 16.

Suddenly Schubert Is The Song On Everyone’s Lips

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By Rodney Punt

An unusually large bounty of Schubert is to be discovered in this bicentennial year of “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” composed by the seventeen-year-old Schubert in 1814. Three wide-ranging projects focus on his influence.

Devils and crazy guys

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Check out my review of the Santa Fe Opera 2011 season at Huffington Post.

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