April 17, 2016
1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): Vladimir Jurowski, one of the most sought-after conductors in the world, conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra in a program of works by Beethoven ( Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor," with pianist Yefim Bronfman), Janácek ( Taras Bulba ), and Miaskowsky ( Symphony No. 10 ).
January 25, 2014 |
You've never met anyone quite like Peter Serkin before. In his three-piece suit with white pocket square, he was a natty presence on the Perelman Theater stage Wednesday night. It was the playing that was rumpled. Not always. There were many moments of incredible polish, especially when it came to the pianist's approach to sound. He has that ability to conjure an instantly rounded tone without doing any violence to the start of the note. But all over - in Beethoven no less than in a contemporary score - Serkin, 66, occupied the space somewhere between an eccentric and outsider.
February 11, 2015 |
There was no Schubert, no Hugo Wolf. By starting with Beethoven and wending a pleasant path through Liszt, Satie and Frank Bridge, tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake surveyed the lieder road less traveled. Not one of the composers on Friday night's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital in the Perelman would become best known for the genre; Liszt conquered the piano, Ravel the orchestra, and Beethoven, well, almost everything. And yet, what gems. Adelaide, Op. 46 , is a relatively early Beethoven work of great sophistication, an energetic burst of yearning in which the singer sees and hears his love object and nature as one. So, too, the performers.
September 18, 2014 |
Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral") is usually about as safe as concert programming can be. Yet when the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia decided to opened its 50th season with Beethoven's celebration of nature and weather Monday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, it took one of the bigger chances of its recent history. Audiences here aren't used to hearing that music played by 35 or so players. But then, music director (and composer) Sir Dirk Brossé (newly knighted in his native Belgium)
December 15, 2006 |
The more you admire Peter Serkin, the more likely he is to leave you exasperated. One of America's great pianists, he loves steering himself out of the mainstream, sometimes to artistic Valhalla, sometimes into the ozone. Both extremes were apparent in his Tuesday recital, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. On the merit of his performance of Beethoven's fearsome Piano Sonata in B-flat major ("Hammerklavier"), the recital was among the great classical events of the waning year.
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?
May 13, 2015 |
Though Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia began its 50th-anniversary season amid fears within the music community that there may not be a 51st, the official half-century celebration arrived Sunday at Verizon Hall with many visiting dignitaries and an air of solidity, both artistic and financial. Enjoyment was buoyed by relief. Music director Dirk Brossé promised an Organ Concerto but missed the deadline, and filled the slot with his own Philadelphia Overture and Barber's Toccata Festiva (with organist Alan Morrison often using demure tone colors to show just how wild this piece can be)
January 13, 2016 |
Individual charisma can be regarded suspiciously in chamber music, because the medium is so much about cooperation. Thus, the Orion Quartet concert Sunday with Philadelphia Orchestra oboist Richard Woodhams packed the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater with promises that the excitement would arise from integrity rather than superficialities. The program was as serious as they get: Leon Kirchner's String Quartet No. 1 and Beethoven's mighty String Quartet in E-flat Op. 127 . The one lighter spot positively glimmered: Mozart's Oboe Quartet K 370 , not the composer's most significant piece of chamber music, but who cares?
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.
March 15, 2015 |
Beethoven and Falla. Only one conductor would dare to pair such radically dissimilar composers with the Philadelphia Orchestra: the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Planned by him before his death last year, the program on Thursday fell to the orchestra's conductor in residence, Cristian Macelaru. He is as strong-minded as anyone standing before the orchestra this season and, overall, made the evening work in a manner hugely different from Frühbeck de Burgos'. Beethoven was represented by his least severe orchestral work, the Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral")