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Critics' Picks

A Conductor’s Practical Book On Making A Life Of Waving One’s Arms

BOOK REVIEW – Maestro and author Carl Topilow offers advice that is specifically practical in the world of community or student orchestras, one path sometimes taken by young conductors. Topilow created the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.

Berliners Conjure Gold From Musical Pantheon Of Weimar Twenties

DIGITAL REVIEW – Now available for streaming is a well-produced series of concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic titled The Golden Twenties. Works by composers from Weill and Strauss to Sibelius bespeak an era of exceptional creativity.

Pärt’s New Voice Emerges On Disc Of Recent Works

DIGITAL REVIEW – Religious fervor and near-operatic passion resound across a CD of six works, four of them written in the 21st Century, performed by the Massachusetts-based choir Gloriae Dei Cantores directed by Richard K. Pugsley.

‘Dido’ In COVID: Intimacy On Film, At A Safe Distance

BOSTON – The early-music ensemble Boston Camerata, innovators in performance practice since 1954, planned a Purcell party. Then came COVID. And necessity sparked a film: Dido and Aeneas, An Opera for Distanced Lovers.

Obscure Telemann Opera ‘Miriways’ Sparkles On Disc

DIGITAL REVIEW – Conductor Bernard Labadie, founder of Quebec's Les Violons du Roy, leads a stylish Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and a strong cast through this attractive score framing a tale of the exotic ancient Middle East.

Blaze Of Fanfares, With A Solo Twist, Recaptures Legacy

CINCINNATI – Recalling its World War II fanfare project, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops commissioned solo fanfares from 13 composers, including Tyshawn Sorey's terse flourish for trumpet, to air online.

Critics’ Choice: Video Treasures Historic And Novel

DIGITAL REVIEW – From concert broadcasts at the mid-century's cutting edge to musical bio-pics and fledgling livestream efforts by today's entrepreneurs (of necessity), the internet remains a source of discovery for our critics.

Of Special Interest

Classical Voice North America