Yesterday, for her third appearance at the Frederick Collection, Gail Olszewski played 29 piano miniatures by 7 Finnish composers. This music is charming, with beautiful melodies, interesting rhythms and textures, and Olszewski was a wonderful advocate. [continued]
Violinist Lisa Brooke joined Duo Maresienne on Sunday afternoon at the Somerville Museum with early 18th-century works by two of the greatest instrumental composers of the late Baroque in France: the harpsichordist François Couperin (“le Grand”) and Marin Marais. [continued]
Exsultemus offered a rare performance of Orazio Vecchi’s Le veglie di Siena, a 16th century Italian madrigal comedy on Saturday night at the University Lutheran Church in Cambridge. Vecchi’s music has an immediacy that transcends its original time and place. [continued]
Chameleon’s “mystic moons and dream music” made for a Saturday evening full of illusion. Hearing Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Le sacre du printemps, and Pierrot Lunaire in First Church Boston’s acoustic summoned up some of the most striking sounds imaginable. [continued]
Three composers in their early to mid 30s were featured in last night’s Gen OrcXstrated concert by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project at Jordan Hall. Their contrasting takes on how to find places within evolving concert traditions could dispel the disparaging stereotypes which might still adhere to Gen X. [continued]
La Donna Musicale’s “Shades of Death and Alleluia,” consisting of vocal works by 17th-century composers and some recent compositions, was presented last night in Lindsey Chapel at Emmanuel Church, Boston. Is there still a need for a grab-bag of music that happens to be (mostly) by women? [continued]
Pianist Christopher O’Riley, on a brief nationwide tour to promote his new of iconic piano transcriptions by Franz Liszt, gave a small band of fans and friends just what they wanted Wednesday night at the Regatta Bar in Cambridge. [continued]
One can’t help but feel pride for one of our newest home teams as it prepares to depart on a tour of Old Europe. The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, consisting of 120 players age 13-21, excelled in the third concert of its inaugural season last night at Sanders Theater. [continued]
At the Frederick Collection’s Historical Piano Concerts series, clarinetist Chester Brezniak and pianist Malcolm Halliday offered 19th and 20th century works for duet and solo, opening on Sunday afternoon with one of the most famous works for the combination: Claude Debussy’s Première rhapsodie pour clarinette et piano. [continued]
Sergey Antonov, a cellist for the ages, was joined by the outstanding pianist Ilya Kazantsev, in a recital of late romantic music on Sunday at First Church in Boston. Subsequent concerts from Chamber Music Foundation of New England should not to be missed. [continued]
“Alchemy” from the Radius Ensemble at Pickman Hall Saturday was less a celebration of transformation than a study in what transformation might be, and how composers may struggle with it, through works of Mozart, Harbison, Morrison and Southworth. [continued]
Cantilena’s different-stepping “Poetic License” presented 14 new and unfamiliar choral pieces First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington Sunday. The newest of these fairly new works came as a commission: Scott Wheeler’s setting of “Jabberwocky.” [continued]
The North Country Chamber Players, an accomplished group of musicians from that bucolic corner of the world, headed south to the MFA on Mother’s Day 2013 to present a program inspired by the exhibit, aptly entitled “A New England Afternoon.” [continued]
John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, which premiered at The Metropolitan Opera in 1999, has taken far too long to get to here—Emmanuel Music presented its belated Boston premiere Sunday at Jordan Hall, and offered immense pleasures. [continued]
The Boston Chamber Music Society has been in business for three decades because they are doing a huge amount right. Interesting, offbeat pieces keep turning up on their programs, and the core group of artists and guests remain very high-caliber. I heard them Sunday night at Sanders Theater. [continued]
“Rhetoric’s Revolution” provided a conceptual link among stylistically differentiated works by three generations of composers, all working within the aura of 18th-century Viennese classicism, in Cantata Singers celebration of David Hoose’s 30th anniversary on Friday at Jordan Hall. [continued]
Under the direction of Ronald Feldman, the Longwood Symphony Orchestra presented “A Concert of Healing” at Jordan Hall Saturday evening. A teenage pianist with all kinds of virtuoso knockout punches by the name of George Li performed in Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The power of music was made manifest. [continued]
From the here and now, Lorelei Ensemble gave a word-driven piece by Schankler and a sound-driven one by Yamada, both commissions which attempted to cover new ground. From then and there, Du Fay and Bingen rang out, albeit sharply in Marsh Chapel. [continued]
A travelling contingent of Musicians from Marlboro, six young professionals in the company of a member of the Marlboro faculty, held forth Sunday at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in a program of two rarities and one familiar friend. [continued]more reviews →
Harold Shapero of Natick, Mass., a classical music composer, pianist and longtime professor of music at Brandeis University, died in his sleep on May 17th at age 93, following complications from pneumonia. Born in Lynn, Mass., on April 29, 1920, Shapero maintained a bold presence on the music scene in Greater Boston for more than 70 years. [continued...]
Lee Eiseman: Since 2006, when James Levine tore his rotator cuff and became undependable, you’ve had a tremendous role in repertoire and personnel. Does the appointment of the new music director allow the artistic administrator to contemplate relaxing a bit?
Tony Fogg: [Laughter] Well, relaxing—that’s a great prospect!
The period of James Levine’s declining health was very stressful for everyone—most particularly the orchestra. It was distressing from the audience’s point of view to see someone clearly, and publicly, suffering as much as he did. And his withdrawal from performances was undeniably an extra burden for those of us in the administration who often had to deal with last-minute rearrangements of plans. Cancellations always happen. But to have them with such concentration, and with someone who was as important as Jimmy was to our musical lives, was a difficult situation. [continued...]
According to the BSO’s press release, Andris Nelsons has been appointed the 15TH Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since its founding in 1881. BMInt will follow with a feature article presently.
The announcement was made today by Chairman of the BSO Board of Trustees Ted Kelly, BSO Board of Trustees Vice Chairs Stephen B. Kay and Robert O’Block, and BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe, following a meeting of the orchestra’s Board of Trustees earlier in the day at Symphony Hall. At 34 years old, Andris Nelsons is the youngest music director to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in over 100 years; he is also the first Latvian-born conductor to take on the post. [continued...]
For the last concert of its season the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) will showcase a style often described as post-minimalism—all of the composers are in their 30s. While BMOP is dedicated to performing new orchestral music, often by living composers, it is rare that its programs feature three composers whose aggregate ages hardly total 100. The evening will feature two New England premieres, Sea-Blue Circuitry (2011) by 35-year-old Mason Bates and Path of Echoes: Symphony No. 1 (2006) by 36-year-old Huang Ruo. This concert will also feature the world premiere of Play (2013) which marks the culmination of Andrew Norman’s two year tenure as composer-in-residence with BMOP. [continued...]
Gatsby is back! F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age novel continues to haunt us with its portrait of glitter, frivolity and bad behavior. There have been TV, radio, theatrical, literary, even computer-game adaptations. The fifth major Gatsby movie is playing in theaters; and on May 12th at Jordan Hall, Emmanuel Music will present in concert form, the New England premiere of John Harbison’s brilliant Grand Opera The Great Gatsby. We are doing a revival of the opera because I believe it is a major American work that cries out to be heard in its final, mature form. [continued...]
Despite its obscure status, Zelenka’s last and grandest composition, his Missa votiva in E Minor (1739), has grown on me. During rehearsals it’s become clear that it’s a masterpiece deserving of listeners’ attention. Cantata Singers will present the Mass at Jordan Hall next Friday.
Jan Dismas Zelenka was born in 1679, near Prague. He spent most of his mature life at the court of the Elector in Dresden, playing the violone and composing music for the court. Dying in Dresden in 1745, he left a wealth of music, including 2 settings of the Mass Ordinary. Georg Philipp Telemann and J.S. Bach numbered among his friends; the latter entertained Zelenka as a guest in Leipzig, owned scores of two Zelenka masses, and surely drew inspiration from Zelenka to create his Mass in B Minor.
David Hoose, who is celebrating his 30th season as Cantata Singers’ music director, talked with me about the Missa votiva and the other works planned for Friday’s concert. [continued...]
Not too many years ago, it would have been very unlikely to imagine Mellville’s “Moby Dick” as a “condensed and streamlined” opera sung by children. That all changed in 2004 when the Vienna Boys’ Choir debuted Raul Gehringer’s setting and the Musikverein reverberated with a famous call from Ishmael. On May 3rd through May 5th, The PALS Children’s Chorus, 185 voices strong, will bring the whaleship Pequod, a great white whale, and an obsessive captain to Pine Manor’s Ellsworth Theater in Chestnut Hill, in the Amercian premiere of The Tale of Moby Dick. According to PALS artistic director Andy Icochea Icochea, “Though the script is based on Hermann Melville’s masterpiece of American literature, it has been adapted so as to be accessible to a cast and an audience that include children. Musically, though composed with modern techniques, the opera maintains the tradition of the melodic leitmotif, making its intricate sonorities accessible and engaging for both music lovers and the general public, both children and adults.”
Ichochea and PALS’ stage director Chris O’ Neill had some thoughts for BMInt’s readers.
BMInt: Is the opera as long as the novel? [continued...]
No one in these parts who loves French chansons, 16th-century music, or the viola da gamba should miss Blue Heron’s concert on May 4, at 8 p.m., at First Church in Cambridge. Director Scott Metcalfe’s will collaborate with New York City’s viol consort Parthenia in Chansons de printemps, a varied program of French songs known for their finely wrought counterpoint, beautiful poetry (including works by Ronsard and Marot and expressive settings.
Six Blue Heron singers (Shari Wilson, Martin Near, Owen McIntosh, Jason McStoots, Michael Barrett, and Paul Guttry) and the four viol players of Parthenia (Beverly Au, Lawrence Lipnik, Rosamund Morley, and Lisa Terry), will be joined by guests Emily Walhout, viol, from Boston, and Hank Heijink, lute, from New York. Blue Heron’s director, Scott Metcalfe, will also play the violin. A pre-concert talk will be given at 7:15 by Peter Urquhart of the University of New Hampshire, sponsored in part by The Cambridge Society for Early Music. [continued...]
Chaya Czernowin is a local composer and the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard, but the heart of her musical performance life is in Europe where she is involved with festivals in Bern, Lucerne, Stuttgart, and Saltzburg. So when the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra presents Zohar Iver (Blind Radiance) in Sanders Theatre on Saturday, it will be a rare opportunity to hear her work locally.
I spoke with Czernowin on the steps of Sanders before a rehearsal, and she offered a descriptive preview of her piece and also discussed her international perspective on contemporary music. [continued...]more news & features →