Ad majorum Dei gloriam:  LA Master Chorale radiant in sacred music by Bruckner & Stravinsky
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Ad majorum Dei gloriam: LA Master Chorale radiant in sacred music by Bruckner & Stravinsky

Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale have spent the better part of a month helping the Los Angeles Philharmonic with their Mahler Project.  With their Disney Hall roommates moving on to Venezuela for the rest of the “Project,” conductor and chorus have collectively moved on in their own way without having to leave … Continue reading

LA Opera’s <i>Simon Boccanegra</i>:  the view from — and of — the Tweet Seats
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

LA Opera’s Simon Boccanegra: the view from — and of — the Tweet Seats

Los Angeles Opera’s production of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra opens today, with Placido Domingo in the title role of pirate turned Doge of Genoa.   As previously mentioned, I was offered one of LA Opera’s inaugural “tweet seats” for last Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal.  Normally, I wouldn’t be writing about a rehearsal at all, let alone doing … Continue reading

An old soldier:  the Mahler 9th as done by Dudamel & the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

An old soldier: the Mahler 9th as done by Dudamel & the LA Phil

Clearly, Mahler was a guy who liked to think and compose about death.  Musical allusions to it show up in all of his works being performed as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Mahler Project” (some may quibble about Songs of the Wayfarer, but if you’re singing about putting a red-hot knife in your breast, … Continue reading

Timeless like a broken watch:  Marino Formenti in recital
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond) / Philharmonic Society of Orange County / Reviews 2011/2012

Timeless like a broken watch: Marino Formenti in recital

“I always hated the Diabelli Variations,” writes Marino Formenti.  Coming from any other pianist, this would sound like a confession. Marino Formenti is not “any other pianist.” The Italian-born musician only began studying Beethoven’s meandering piano work at the recent request of Dean Corey, President and Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. … Continue reading

Fashionably late:  Salonen and the LA Phil take on lost-and-found Shostakovich
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Fashionably late: Salonen and the LA Phil take on lost-and-found Shostakovich

Esa-Pekka Salonen was back for his second week with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With a world premiere of the abandoned opera, Orango, paired with the withdrawn-for-25-years Symphony No. 4, his all-Shostakovich concerts were a study of two contrasting works that had both been hidden and eventually brought to new light. To add to the lost-and-found theme, E-P himself … Continue reading

Listening to “Sirens” without being tied to a mast:  Salonen and the LA Phil with Ax, Hillborg, and Beethoven
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Listening to “Sirens” without being tied to a mast: Salonen and the LA Phil with Ax, Hillborg, and Beethoven

Esa-Pekka Salonen is back, and there is much rejoicing. All the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Conductor Laureate had to do was merely walk on stage Sunday afternoon, and the applause was enthusiastic and loud cheers were already audible. He didn’t disappoint. The first series of his two week stint was vintage Salonen. Continue reading

Two women and an orchestra:  Emmanuelle Haïm and Sonya Yoncheva debut with the LA Phil in an all-Händel program
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Two women and an orchestra: Emmanuelle Haïm and Sonya Yoncheva debut with the LA Phil in an all-Händel program

On paper, Sunday afternoon’s concerts belonged to conductor Emmanuelle Haïm.  The reality was that and much more.  Ms. Haïm dominated the concert.  Many musicians had solo turns of one sort or another, and two — oboist Ariana Ghez and recorder player (or is it recordist?) Rotem Gilbert — even played front and center.  Yet when it was … Continue reading

Thoughts on Haitink, the New York Philharmonic, and Avery Fisher Hall
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Thoughts on Haitink, the New York Philharmonic, and Avery Fisher Hall

As previously mentioned, I made a “game day decision” last Saturday night to see Bernard Haitink conduct the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.  Note that I listed Mr. Haitink’s name first, then the orchestra, then the hall:  chalk up the opportunity to see the legendary Dutch conductor in person for the first time … Continue reading

Yuja Wang and James Conlon triumph with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Yuja Wang and James Conlon triumph with the LA Phil

Yuja Wang is the real deal. If there was any doubt that might have crept in as to whether or not she was a “serious” pianist and/or musician based on a spate of recent cancellations and a critic’s unfortunate comments about her attire at the Hollywood Bowl, let them be put to rest after this … Continue reading

The world we live in, and life in general:  LA Phil and Dudamel do Kurtág, Mozart (with Richard Goode), and Strauss
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

The world we live in, and life in general: LA Phil and Dudamel do Kurtág, Mozart (with Richard Goode), and Strauss

I almost always go to classical music concerts because I feel I must see/hear something on the program:  a certain composer or his work, a soloist, maybe even a conductor.  Other times it’s because I’m curious about a world premiere of a new work or a performer I’ve never heard before.  This past Sunday at … Continue reading

Prokofiev rolls while Chapela tries to rock:  Dudamel, Moser, and the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Prokofiev rolls while Chapela tries to rock: Dudamel, Moser, and the LA Phil

“Let’s rrrrock this place.” Gustavo Dudamel wasn’t talking about the Prokofiev 5th Symphony when he made that comment from the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall, but he could have been.  In fact,  he should have been.  On a Friday night when the performance of  a newly commisioned work for electric cello should have provided … Continue reading

A night of gods and witches:  Dudamel and the LA Phil open the 2011/2012 season with Adams, Benzecry, and Berlioz
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

A night of gods and witches: Dudamel and the LA Phil open the 2011/2012 season with Adams, Benzecry, and Berlioz

There is a point in the last movement of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique when funeral bells loudly toll and announce the beginning of a dance of witches. The ominous three note sequence repeats — forte, then piano — and continues on as the tubas begin playing the Dies Irae from the old Roman Catholic mass for … Continue reading

Opening night for The Colburn Orchestra
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Opening night for The Colburn Orchestra

School only started a few weeks ago, but the members of the Colburn School Conservatory’s flagship ensemble, The Colburn Orchestra, held their first concert of the year this past Saturday night.  Yehuda Gilad, music director and wold-renowned clarinet pedagogue, led the first in a five concert series at the famed Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.  Thanks … Continue reading

Rodrigo y Gabriela (et al) at the Hollywood Bowl
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Rodrigo y Gabriela (et al) at the Hollywood Bowl

A near-capacity crowd filled the Hollywood Bowl to the brim this past Saturday night.  Gustavo Dudamel was in the house,  along with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and some other folks.  But for once, the crowd was not really there to see The Dude.  Sure, there were a few screams of “We love you, Gustavo!” but … Continue reading