Dudamel, Shaham, and LA Phil make old standards sound fresh; Julien Beaudiment sits in as first-chair flute
All Reviews / Appointments / Auditions & Appointments / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

Dudamel, Shaham, and LA Phil make old standards sound fresh; Julien Beaudiment sits in as first-chair flute

Gustavo Dudamel returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic podium for the first time since October 14, 2012.  Most of the next few weeks will be devoted to preparing programs for the orchestra’s upcoming tour to Europe and New York, but this past weekend’s concerts were not going to be played out of town. On paper, … Continue reading

Catching up with the LA Phil:  one post, three concert reviews
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

Catching up with the LA Phil: one post, three concert reviews

Continuing my efforts to clear my mental backlog of things I’ve wanted to write about during the past two weeks but couldn’t, below are my (slightly abridged) thoughts on three Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts from last week, specifically: Gustavo Dudamel’s multimedia concert featuring Ravel and Knussen The first Green Umbrella concert of the year, with … Continue reading

A case of musical ADD:  Andsnes and Dudamel headline latest LA Phil concert, but news of deMaine creates the biggest buzz
All Reviews / Appointments / Auditions & Appointments / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

A case of musical ADD: Andsnes and Dudamel headline latest LA Phil concert, but news of deMaine creates the biggest buzz

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s second week of concerts in the 2012/2013 season was clearly meant to be a contrast from the first.  After having regaled us all with a sparkling world premiere of Symphony by Steven Stucky and a romp through the modernist machinations of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), Gustavo Dudamel decided … Continue reading

Make mine a double:  season opener by Dudamel and the LA Phil was so awesome, I had to see and hear it twice
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Reviews 2012/2013

Make mine a double: season opener by Dudamel and the LA Phil was so awesome, I had to see and hear it twice

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened their 2012/2013 season with a contemplative work by Ravel, a world premiere by Steven Stucky, and Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring). In other words, it was Retro Week at Walt Disney Concert Hall. This is exactly the kind of program which the orchestra … Continue reading

Style and substance in equal measure:  Wang joins Dudamel and the LA Phil for some Tchaikovsky
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Style and substance in equal measure: Wang joins Dudamel and the LA Phil for some Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky concerts at the Hollywood Bowl are common occurrences.  Thursday night’s Los Angeles Philharmonic concert was pretty typical, with a program featuring a pair of frequently heard warhorses:  the Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Symphony No. 4. Then again, in some ways, this wasn’t all that typical.  There were no fireworks, no 1812 Overture, … Continue reading

Forgive them for they know not what they do:  Adams & Sellars over-reach with “The Gospel According to the Other Mary”
All Reviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Forgive them for they know not what they do: Adams & Sellars over-reach with “The Gospel According to the Other Mary”

For their season finale, the Los Angeles Philharmonic ordered up a world premiere of a major new work from John Adams, their Creative Chair and one of the most prominent American composers currently living.  Once again, the orchestra was thinking big and taking risks. You’ve gotta appreciate their moxy.  Audentes fortuna juvat — “Fortune favors the … Continue reading

Nothing casual about this Mozart:  Kiera Duffy joins Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Nothing casual about this Mozart: Kiera Duffy joins Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil

It wasn’t supposed to be an all-Mozart program.  What was originally announced as a Tchaikovsky/Sibelius program morphed a couple of times over the course of this season before landing on its final form.  One of the subscribers wasn’t happy about all the repeated changes and made her opinion known during the “Casual Friday” post-concert Q&A.  With … Continue reading

Go big or go home:  an ambitious Don Giovanni staged by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Go big or go home: an ambitious Don Giovanni staged by the Los Angeles Philharmonic

It was not your average Sunday afternoon at Walt Disney Disney Concert Hall.  Gustavo Dudamel was still on the podium for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s unofficial Mozart Month, but that was pretty much where “business as usual” ended.  The LA Phil had decided that their first-ever complete performances of Don Giovanni would be full-blown productions, … Continue reading

Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

Anticipating the Don

I’ve been looking forward to attending the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s fully-staged Don Giovanni for a number of reasons: First of all, well, because it’s Don Giovanni and who doesn’t want to see and hear that under pretty much any circumstance? The appearance of Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role.  It’s been a very good season for … Continue reading

Music News & Info: Classical

Happy Birthday, Jean Sibelius

On this date in 1865, Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer and nationalist, was born. In his honor, below is a brief excerpt of his Second Symphony played by the Gothenburg Symphony, conducted by their Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel. If you want to hear the whole thing, here’s also a live recording of the whole Second Symphony conducted by Esa-Pekka … Continue reading

Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

Gustavo Dudamel and new music: some comparisons to Salonen (Part Two of an ongoing series)

With Esa-Pekka Salonen returning for a second weekend to the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s podium, and with me trying to kill an hour before tonight’s all-Shostakovich program begins at Walt Disney Concert Hall, I thought it was time to fulfill a promise I made in a prior discussion; namely, to compare Mr. Salonen’s penchant for conducting … 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

Rodrigo y Gabriela (et al) at the Hollywood Bowl
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Music News & Info: Rock, Jazz, World Music, etc. / Reviews 2011/2012

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

Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

News about many conductors; a comment about a critic, a pianist, and a dress

I am still trying to piece together the data for the next installment of my analysis of Gustavo Dudamel’s penchant for new music (as promised in my previous post); however, these things take time and the day job keeps getting in the way.  In the meantime, it seems like every time you turned around recently, … Continue reading

Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

Gustavo Dudamel and new music (Part One of an ongoing series)

“Gustavo Dudamel — new music conductor.”  Or perhaps, “Gustavo Dudamel — new music proponent.” Really?? The young maestro is not necessarily known for conducting new music as much as others such as David Robertson or Kent Nagano, and he certainly does not have the reputation or gravitas that Esa-Pekka Salonen brings when conducting “new” or … Continue reading