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When A Musical Match Turns Out To Be A Mismatch

By Rodney Punt
LOS ANGELES – Continuing its old-new pairings, the LA Master Chorale did well by Mozart’s Requiem and Shawn Kirchner’s Songs of Ascent – the former retaining its urgency, the latter offering an overstuffed serenity.

Extra! Breaking News Adds Fizz To Rare Rossini Opus

By Rodney Punt
LOS ANGELES – Obscure for two centuries, the comedy La gazzetta (The Newspaper) found new life when a critical edition appeared in 2001. An enchanting production by the Pacific Opera Project restores a rousing, long-lost quintet.

Postmodern ‘Alcina’ In Baroque Style – And Gender Melee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Stories We Like: Archive of Reader Recommendations

These classical music and arts-related stories have been recommended by members of the Music Critics Association of North America and the editors of Classical Voice...

Symphony Shines In Rich, Rewarding New Music Festival

By David Gordon Duke
VANCOUVER – Music director Bramwell Tovey teamed with composer-in-residence Jocelyn Morlock to bring a flair for programming and a spirit of exploration to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s fifth annual New Music Festival.

MCANA Members on the Web

Members of the Music Critics Association of North America publish and broadcast their work through a variety of newspapers, magazines, radio stations and other...
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