January 31, 2015 |
In a somewhat unconventional program, Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the Philadelphia Orchestra through the lighter side of Shostakovich - assuming there actually is one. Even when the composer seems to be kidding around, his music hints at something subversive, that the music means much more than it says, and what it says is always dangling out of reach. That's why you want to hear it again. The objects of curiosity Wednesday at the Kimmel Center were Shostakovich's seldom-heard Piano Concerto No. 2 and music for the film The Gadfly - paired with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 - creating a provocative conclusion to the St. Petersburg Festival that could have been less convincing had performances not been so purposeful.
February 5, 2002 |
Andre Watts had planned a program of Chopin and Liszt for his recital Sunday at Verizon Hall, but changed to Beethoven and Chopin. The first would have been an essay on the rise and dominance of pianists and their idiom in the 19th century, but by prefacing Chopin with Beethoven, Watts may have been reminding listeners of music's ability to surmount and adapt in times of apparent crisis. To contemporaries, Beethoven's death in 1827 seemed to mean the end of music. What else could be said, after all?
February 21, 2011 |
CAMDEN - In music, as in other areas of life, a young artist's ideal situation is one where successes are noticed and mistakes are understandable - one reason Symphony in C is worth the trip to Camden, both for musicians and audiences. When the flu sidelined the up-and-coming pianist Di Wu, her Saturday replacement, Sara Daneshpour, had a star-is-born opportunity. She at least had welcome exposure that will serve her well in future, not-so-last-minute engagements. Music director Rossen Milanov gave a highly considered performance of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll that might not have worked outside the resonant acoustic of the Gordon Theater.
February 24, 2012
IN CASE YOU haven't heard, yarn bombing is the new graffiti, and not just because it's cleaner and more environmentally-friendly. Yarn bombing is the act of knitting a cozy or warmer to spontaneously and secretly wrap around something in a public space.One famous examples of this guerrilla knitting is last April's bombing of the Rocky statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. To prove how mainstream the movement has become, it's moved into...
February 1, 2001 |
BEETHOVEN'S "MISSA SOLEMNIS. " Performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting. With soprano Christine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Marjana Lipovsek, tenor Robert Dean Smith, bass Alfred Reiter and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. 8 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday, Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets. Tickets: $18-$60. Info: 215-893-1999. When Beethoven's friend and pupil, the Archduke Rudolf, was elevated to archbishop, the composer was commissioned to write a solemn mass for the occasion.
February 21, 2011 |
Somebody in Verizon Hall tried to make Vladimir Jurowski shut up on Friday - and failed. One of the Philadelphia Orchestra's favorite guest conductors (among musicians and audiences), Jurowski was giving a preperformance explication of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 6 that was going on a bit longer than usual. Then from the hall, somebody began applauding, as if to say, "That's enough. " Coolly, the conductor explained why these matters are important, and assured the heckler, "The symphony is short.
November 24, 2013 |
Violinist/conductor Itzhak Perlman enjoys a rare freedom in classical music: His relationship with audiences is such that he needs only to show up, and adoration is assured. What's frustrating is that Perlman doesn't do more with that status, especially since his string of subscription concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra this week features four performances, rather than the usual three. This program stands to reach more listeners than perhaps any other this season. From a repertoire standpoint, Perlman has never been terribly ambitious as a violinist.
July 19, 2013 |
PRINCETON - Known among classical piano insiders as a place to learn pain-free, injury-free keyboard technique, the Golandsky Institute is, for most of us, a welcome piano-recital festival during the slow summertime concert period, featuring its own pool of talent not often heard in these parts. Yet the Taubman Approach - the method championed by the institute's Edna Golandsky to promote ease of execution - seems not to encourage any sort of pianistic uniformity among its disciples.
May 7, 2014 |
Symphony in C ended its season Saturday with two works that demand explanation bracketing a work that requires none at all. The Mendelssohn Violin Concerto glowed in the middle of this program like a jewel in a forest of vines and dark leaves. But those outer works insisted on the closest attention, for both Schumann's late Manfred Overture and Arnold Schoenberg's orchestration of Brahms' Piano Quartet in G minor lurk at the edge of the repertoire, posing stylistic questions and interpretive gestures.
November 3, 2010 |
Past visits by pianist Piotr Anderszewski have inspired nothing but admiration for his risky repertoire choices - namely, the great but neglected Karol Szymanowski - but left you wanting to hear his artistry applied to more mainstream stuff. On his return Monday to the Kimmel Center with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, he delivered two superbly rendered Mozart piano concertos - one of his longtime specialties - in a great occasion that lived up to high expectations. Anderszewski speaks Mozart's language with his own kind of elegance, which is born out of Mozart's Baroque-period predecessors, rather than looking back from Beethoven.