Where’d my 2015 summer go?!?! (“Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl” edition)
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Where’d my 2015 summer go?!?! (“Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl” edition)

I recently was told that it was now officially Autumn. Really??!!  Summer couldn’t have passed by that quickly, could it have?  The temperature yesterday was still the 90’s as it has been for much of the past few weeks, and the humidity is ridiculous by Southern California standards. But it’s true, Fall is here.  There were signs:  Football season … Continue reading

Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra offer solid start to 2015-16 season, highlighted by Spiva world premiere and Schubert 8th
All Reviews / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2015/2016

Kahane and LA Chamber Orchestra offer solid start to 2015-16 season, highlighted by Spiva world premiere and Schubert 8th

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and their Music Director, Jeffrey Kahane, recently launched their penultimate season together in familiar fashion:  offering works by living composers on the same program as old masters.  It’s a very welcome habit that once again proved to be quite fruitful. The first half of this inaugural program of their 2015-16 season especially … Continue reading

Yuja Wang dazzles in Hollywood Bowl classical season opener with Bringuier, LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Reviews 2014/2015

Yuja Wang dazzles in Hollywood Bowl classical season opener with Bringuier, LA Phil

Ah, the Hollywood Bowl season.  The music under the stars.  The celebrity soloists.  The reliable if relatively unheralded conductors.  The people watching.  The pre-concert drinking and picnicking.  The mid-concert helicopters.  The late-concert fireworks. The post-concert crush of many thousands all trying (and largely failing) to quickly amble downhill to their bus or car at the same time.  Good times, good times … Continue reading

Random thoughts from Ojai 2015 so far (updated 2:30pm Saturday)
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2014/2015

Random thoughts from Ojai 2015 so far (updated 2:30pm Saturday)

It’s an overcast and relatively muggy Saturday morning in Ojai. Still here for the 69th edition of the town’s iconic Music Festival and we’re about 45 minutes away from today’s first concert of Day Four (or Three if you don’t count Wednesday night). Planning on detailed reviews of the entire festival experience, but wanted to … Continue reading

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble splendid in Long Beach appearance
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2014/2015

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble splendid in Long Beach appearance

The musicians of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the nomadic London-based chamber orchestra, are no strangers to Southern California.  They show up annually on the season schedules of Los Angeles and/or Orange County arts organizations.  Two of their most prominent figures — Neville Marriner, founder and Life President, and Iona Brown, former leader and … Continue reading

How are things on the West Coast?  For MTT, the LSO, and Yuja Wang, things were good but could have been so much better
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Reviews 2014/2015

How are things on the West Coast? For MTT, the LSO, and Yuja Wang, things were good but could have been so much better

The London Symphony, 111-year old bastion of UK musical institutions famed for its virtuosity and flexibility, is an orchestra in transition. The peripatetic Valery Gergiev remains its official Principal Conductor through the end of this year, but the LSO created a big splash earlier this month when it announced that Simon Rattle will become its Music … Continue reading

Down a different sort of rabbit hole:  the LA Phil finally brings Chin’s <i>Alice in Wonderland</i> to SoCal
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

Down a different sort of rabbit hole: the LA Phil finally brings Chin’s Alice in Wonderland to SoCal

(Publisher’s note:  I’m proud to welcome Lauri D. Goldenhersh to the pages of All is Yar.  By training and profession, she is a mezzo-soprano, active throughout Los Angeles and a veteran of many local ensembles, including the Los Angeles Master Chorale.  She is also the publisher of Lauri’s List (laurislist.net), a website devoted to helping … Continue reading

LA Master Chorale joyously celebrates another important anniversary
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2014/2015

LA Master Chorale joyously celebrates another important anniversary

If you’re trying to pack ’em into a concert hall for a choral concert, the usual course of action involves programming a warhorse, preferably one with a big orchestra.  Carmina Burana.  Beethoven’s 9th.  A requiem by Verdi or Mozart. The Los Angeles Master Chorale has an alternate formula that works just as well:  program something written … Continue reading

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