Salonen, Wang, Hooten, and the LA Phil create their own fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Salonen, Wang, Hooten, and the LA Phil create their own fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl

A little bit of Esa-Pekka Salonen is better than none at all.  And so it turned out this past week with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The original plan was that the orchestra’s beloved Conductor Laureate was supposed to be at the Hollywood Bowl for two concerts, beginning Tuesday night when he and pianist Yefim Bronfman (long-time … Continue reading

Shaham’s Bartók, Denève’s Rachmaninoff pair nicely at Walt Disney Concert Hall
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Shaham’s Bartók, Denève’s Rachmaninoff pair nicely at Walt Disney Concert Hall

(Publisher’s note:  We’re very happy to welcome back Fiona Bryan, writer and violinist, to All is Yar for this concert review). In the short year and a half that I have lived in Southern California, I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to programming presented by various cultural organizations around Los Angeles. The progressive landscape of … Continue reading

Music Video:  post-April-Fool’s-Day classical music fun and silliness, care of the excellent duoW
Humor / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Music Video: post-April-Fool’s-Day classical music fun and silliness, care of the excellent duoW

I hope you survived April Fool’s Day without a scratch to either your person or psyche.  I witnessed some good-natured April Fool’s Day pranks, and managed to fall victim to none of it. FWIW:  I’m a big fan of silly fun, and feel that there’s not enough of it during the other 364 days of the … Continue reading

Trading (perhaps treading?) on the family name:  Alexis Gershwin releases a new CD
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Rock, Jazz, World Music, etc. / Reviews 2013/2014

Trading (perhaps treading?) on the family name: Alexis Gershwin releases a new CD

George Gershwin is one of my favorite composers, easily in my top three if not my absolute favorite of all time.    His classical music compositions, harmonically and rhythmically complex yet thoroughly lyrical and organic-sounding, were so inimitable and uniquely formed that both Maurice Ravel and Arnold Schoenberg refused to give him composition lessons on … Continue reading

Four musical gifts you should give yourself if you didn’t get them during the holidays
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2013/2014

Four musical gifts you should give yourself if you didn’t get them during the holidays

Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, and Festivus — all of their latest editions are now a distant memory.  Perhaps it passed by and you didn’t get the CD you had secretly hoped for.   Or maybe you’ve got an Amazon gift card and you’ve decided that you should really stop accumulating novels about forlorn vampires that … Continue reading

A million miles away, everywhere at once:  <i>Invisible Cities</i> is an opera that embodies the LA experience
All Reviews / Architecture / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2013/2014

A million miles away, everywhere at once: Invisible Cities is an opera that embodies the LA experience

Yuval Sharon and the intrepid team at “The Industry” have done it again.  Last year, they raised operatic hell with their innovative conceptualization of Anne LeBaron’s Crescent City.  This year, their take on Chris Cerrone’s Invisible Cities has an entirely different vibe, but is innovative in its own way. Invisible Cities is one of those artistic … Continue reading

Wafna!  LA Master Chorale’s fortunes remain high with grand renditions of <i>Carmina Burana</i>, Verdi’s <i>Te Deum</i>
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Wafna! LA Master Chorale’s fortunes remain high with grand renditions of Carmina Burana, Verdi’s Te Deum

After the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s rousing season opening gala, Music Director Grant Gershon decided to trot out a familiar crowd-pleaser for its second weekend of concerts:  Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.  For some, the cantata has worn out its welcome long ago, but for others — myself included — it remains an entertainingly addictive thrill-ride … Continue reading

LA Chamber Orchestra offers a full musical spectrum in latest concert
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

LA Chamber Orchestra offers a full musical spectrum in latest concert

The second set of concerts in this Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra season featured the group’s typically interesting mix of old and new, familiar and unexpected.  Music Director Jeffrey Kahane crafted a program featuring orchestral works by Britten and Mozart, and also generously invited two musicians to make their LACO debuts in a pair of divergent … Continue reading

Of its own time and space:  <i>Einstein on the Beach</i> alights onto the LA Opera stage in memorable fashion
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Of its own time and space: Einstein on the Beach alights onto the LA Opera stage in memorable fashion

Let’s see . . . how best to put this . . . Einstein on the Beach is like ice cream.  Or sex.  Or Yosemite.  Or that famously stinky flower that blooms at The Huntington. You can read or listen to descriptions, see pictures, even watch videos, but none of that can come anywhere close … Continue reading

Frank Gehry gets the hero treatment at LA Phil season opening gala
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Frank Gehry gets the hero treatment at LA Phil season opening gala

The names on the program — Gustavo Dudamel, Yo-Yo Ma — were impressive, the kind that transcend classical music into the popular consciousness.   The musical offering — Cage, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Adès, Mahler, Saint-Saëns — was noteworthy, both for its eclecticism and its ability to offer a diverse showcase for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Walt … Continue reading

A golden celebration for golden voices: LA Master Chorale struts its considerable stuff in a living tour through its legacy
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

A golden celebration for golden voices: LA Master Chorale struts its considerable stuff in a living tour through its legacy

Of all the resident companies at The Music Center, the Los Angeles Master Chorale is the one that truly sets LA apart from other big metros.  Orchestras, opera and theatre companies, even ballets, are a dime a dozen in other performing arts centers, but no one else can claim an independent choir of such high … Continue reading

Strong vocalists overcome some hurdles in LA Opera’s season opening <i>Carmen</i>
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Strong vocalists overcome some hurdles in LA Opera’s season opening Carmen

The mood at Los Angeles Opera leading up to the beginning of this new season has been thoroughly buoyant, the result of a confluence of good news: After successfully dealing with a pulmonary embolism that kept him off stages and podiums all over the world,  Plácido Domingo — the company’s General Director, überbaritenor, and part-time conductor —  triumphantly returned to … Continue reading

LA Chamber Orchestra & Benjamin Beilman dance their way through an impressive season opener
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

LA Chamber Orchestra & Benjamin Beilman dance their way through an impressive season opener

(Publisher’s note.  I’m thrilled to introduce the first-ever guest writer on All is Yar:  Fiona Bryan.  Fiona has a BM & MM in Violin Performance from Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and University of Missouri, respectively, and has performed in various orchestras across the country.  More recently, she’s been working in marketing, PR, and … Continue reading

Rafael’s <i>Rite of Spring</i>:  Frühbeck de Burgos puts his own stamp on Stravinsky masterwork with LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

Rafael’s Rite of Spring: Frühbeck de Burgos puts his own stamp on Stravinsky masterwork with LA Phil

There have been so many performances this season of The Rite of Spring (AKA Le sacre du printemps in the original français) in celebration of the work’s centenary  that some people have expressed concerns that the work was becoming over-exposed.  You wouldn’t have known it by the number of seats filled Tuesday night at the Hollywood Bowl … Continue reading

Rodrigo y Gabriela unleashed at the Hollywood Bowl
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Rock, Jazz, World Music, etc. / Reviews 2012/2013

Rodrigo y Gabriela unleashed at the Hollywood Bowl

When last we saw Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero — AKA Rodrigo y Gabriela — at the Hollywood Bowl, it was for their 2011 debut at the legendary amphitheater when they played two nights backed up by the full forces of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Between then and now, they appeared locally at smaller venues … Continue reading