Avoiding “conductor porn”:  Gaffigan shakes things up with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Avoiding “conductor porn”: Gaffigan shakes things up with the LA Phil

The ten-week parade of guest conductors at the Los Angeles Philharmonic has begun.  First in line:  James Gaffigan, the American-born Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony and previous right hand man to Michael Tilson Thomas in San Francisco and Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland. His program featured one favorite, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Simon … Continue reading

<i>Pictures</i> in high contrast:  Dudamel, LA Phil play Salonen, Rachmaninoff, and Mussorgsky
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Pictures in high contrast: Dudamel, LA Phil play Salonen, Rachmaninoff, and Mussorgsky

Gustavo Dudamel’s final Walt Disney Concert Hall appearance of 2014 was all about himself, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and what they could do together.  The program featured three orchestral showpieces laden with built-in imagery for him to exploit.   No daintiness was required. No soloists got in the way.   A good time was had by all. Continue reading

Expecting the extraordinary:  a look back at six weeks of Dudamel, Salonen, and the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Expecting the extraordinary: a look back at six weeks of Dudamel, Salonen, and the LA Phil

We in Southern California are so spoiled.  We’ve got amazing weather and a diverse geography with which to enjoy it; where else can you spend a couple of hours surfing in the morning and be snow skiing by lunchtime?  We’ve got Vin Scully, two Stanley Cups in three years, and two solid college football teams 13 … Continue reading

A very conscious coupling:  LA Opera’s unconventional yet compelling double-bill of <i>Dido</i> & <i>Bluebeard</i>
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

A very conscious coupling: LA Opera’s unconventional yet compelling double-bill of Dido & Bluebeard

Admit it:  the first time you heard that Los Angeles Opera had decided to pair the Baroque charms of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the expressionistic horrors of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, you didn’t exactly say to yourself, “Oh yeah, that makes total sense.”  No, at best, you probably thought, “Hmmmm — that’d be interesting.”  If … Continue reading

The power and the passion:  LA Master Chorale’s moving season opener
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

The power and the passion: LA Master Chorale’s moving season opener

  Tant y a feme scet bon taire! Femme est dehors religiouse, Dedanz poignaunt e venimose . . .  (When it comes to women, men, hold your tongue! On the outside she’s religious, On the inside keen and venomous . . .) – excerpt from “The Vices of Women,” 13th Century poem, used in the … Continue reading

LA Phil season opening gala concert shows off John Williams’ musical breadth and depth
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

LA Phil season opening gala concert shows off John Williams’ musical breadth and depth

The works of John Williams are as ubiquitous as orchestral music can be in our 21st Century pop-dominated, globally diffuse society.  It’d be an interesting experiment to see if a random sampling of people on the street would be as successful identifying such classical music standards as Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik or Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as they would the … Continue reading

A colorful 2014-15 season opener for Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

A colorful 2014-15 season opener for Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and their Music Director, Jeffrey Kahane, can  almost always be counted on to present compelling programming, interesting soloists, and thoughtful interpretations.  For their 2014-15 season opener, Mr. Kahane and the orchestra rolled out more of the same, care of a new work by Cameron Patrick, an infrequently-heard bit of piano concerto sass … Continue reading