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Concerto

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 1991 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
A quiet ending - no matter how beautifully achieved - subdues the audience. They don't clap as long or enthusiastically; you don't get that stimulating aftermath that follows crashing cadences. Even pieces played badly seem to get tremendous applause - if their final chords are clamorous. That's why even the stern Janacek wasn't above advising pupils to end a piece with a bang. Stephen Albert's new clarinet concerto, Wind Canticle, has the confidence to forgo easy attention with a serene and spiraling ending.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Any harp concerto - especially one by a composer whose life has been devoted to creating music designed to please rather than disturb ("The Windmills of Your Mind," The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ) - isn't going to be imposing, and maybe not all that deep. The question, at the world premiere of Michel Legrand's Harp Concerto , was how much that matters. The Monday performance at the Kimmel Center by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia - not attended by the 81-year-old composer, who fell ill before getting to town - depended much on the musical charisma of its dedicatee, harpist Catherine Michel, at least in the first movement.
NEWS
March 13, 2003 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The classical music world has long sought to find a place in our videocentric age. It's been a cinch for opera, but symphony orchestras have seemed unable to add a visual element without creating a distraction or literalizing music's special way of communicating beyond images. But widely acclaimed composer Tan Dun has succeeded, at least tentatively, with a 10-movement, 45-minute concerto for cello, video and orchestra elegantly titled The Map. This is to be expected from someone who composes with apparent ease and great dramatic invention for all occasions, from his Bach-inspired oratorio Water Passion to his Oscar-winning score for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
NEWS
May 13, 1987 | By Leonard W. Boasberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
With any luck, Harrison Boyle will pay income taxes next year. With extraordinarily good luck, he might even begin to pay back his college loan. It has been hanging over his head since he graduated nearly 13 years ago from Temple University, where he majored in music composition. "I keep telling them it's obvious I intend to pay it back, or I'd have declared bankruptcy long ago," he says. "So I wish they'd stop calling me up once a year and asking me to sell my family to the gypsies.
SPORTS
March 30, 1997 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
Concerto won the $600,000 Jim Beam Stakes yesterday at Turfway Park after Inexcessivelygood broke down during a stretch duel with him. Inexcessivelygood suffered a dislocated right front ankle and threw jockey Chris McCarron. The colt was humanely destroyed. McCarron was taken to a hospital for observation. Concerto, the 6-5 favorite owned by George Steinbrenner and ridden by Carlos Marquez Jr., ran 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 48 1/5 seconds, nearly two seconds slower than Hansel's track record, despite a fast track that had yielded a record at 1 1/16 miles earlier in the day. Jack Flash finished second, 2 1/2 lengths behind Concerto, and Shammy Davis was another half-length back.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 1998 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Wolfgang Sawallisch has been showing off his good hires during the Philadelphia Orchestra's recent Orchestra Virtuosi Festival programs. Last week, tympani and horns got the spotlight. The subscription programs that opened Thursday night and ended last night did the maestro particularly proud. First up from his customary position at the rear of the academy stage was bass principal Harold Robinson. Robinson took the leading role in the Concerto for Double Bass, Strings and Harp, written for him by New Orleans composer David Anderson.
NEWS
March 16, 2000 | By Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
Philadelphia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit conducting French program, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pianist. At Academy of Music, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Tuesday evenings. Tickets: $17.50-$57.50. Info: 215-893-1999. Jean-Yves Thibaudet is surely the hippest pianist on the classical music scene. Though he's grown out of his red-sock period, the striking Frenchman is courageous enough to have added two recent discs of music by jazz legends Bill Evans and Duke Ellington to his catalog of 20 CDs, and a new Chopin disc with some pieces played on the composer's last piano.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
When odd-pop icon Ben Folds opens the Philadelphia Orchestra's season at the Mann Music Center on Tuesday with his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra , the 47-year-old keyboardist will do what he's done best since releasing the goofy "Underground" in the late '90s: Confound audience expectation. First, he has to get his teeth fixed. "Man, it's not by choice," says Folds, sitting in a dentist's office in Nashville where he's currently recording his concerto. "I've been in the chair all year.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 1992 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Mauro Giuliani, the guitar virtuoso who was a contemporary of Beethoven's, wrote some 200 pieces for his instrument, including three concertos. The third in A Major is fairly well-known - but not in its original version, says Robert Trent, who will perform it with the Newtown Chamber Orchestra on Saturday evening. What you usually hear when the Giuliani concerto is performed is a version that eliminates the woodwinds from its chamber orchestra accompaniment. "Some guitarists have felt the concerto was too long, or didn't want to bother with the winds making problems of balance," says Trent, who teaches at Trenton State University and the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, adding that a large orchestra can drown the quiet-natured instrument.
NEWS
July 22, 1992 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
With a self-deprecation typical of the man, Brahms once described his second piano concerto as a "tiny little concerto . . . " Artists are usually the last to accurately assess their work, but what a misstatement. There's nothing tiny about the Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83 - a long and mighty, powerfully intimate and tranquil work. Wending through its challenges - and distinctly varied changes of mood - is not a task for anyone less than a virtuoso. And yet you'd be surprised at how many big-time pianists stride across this score as if it were a Wild West bronco rather than a Kentucky thoroughbred.
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NEWS
April 17, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Alternative musical universes aren't the stock and trade of the Philadelphia Orchestra, but that's what audiences were invited into Friday at the Kimmel Center in a concert with two new concertos. They were nothing radical, but they hardly represented the status quo. The audience seemed perfectly comfortable with it all, partly because the performances under music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin were shipshape, partly because the pieces were hugely engaging, even at their least conventional.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
WASHINGTON - Derogatory jokes about the viola are probably waiting to be made over the fact that Jennifer Higdon's concerto for that instrument sat for five years on a waiting list before arriving at its premiere Saturday at the Library of Congress. In truth, the Philadelphia composer was keen to give the ordinarily brooding instrument a levity other viola concertos lack, but first she had to finish her opera Cold Mountain . The concerto, written for violist and Curtis Institute president Roberto Diaz and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, is ultimately concerned with getting down to essentials, yielding distinctive, under-the-surface strength.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra has a rather plastic idea of the concert format these days. On Wednesday night, that meant a hybrid of the talk-and-play concerts it has done under various names over the last two decades, plus offering the LiveNote app that allows the audience to follow real-time program notes on mobile devices. The start time was earlier than usual (6:30 p.m.), and tickets a flat $45 for an intermission-less concert of about 75 minutes. It would be hard to say the format struck a chord with ticket buyers, given the audience in the low hundreds that turned out in Verizon Hall.
NEWS
November 11, 2014 | By Daniel Webster, For The Inquirer
China's global economic expansion has been slow to include a matching rise in cultural institutions among its exports, but Friday brought a major step toward changing that when a youthful orchestra from Beijing played an internationally televised concert at the Kimmel Center. The concert by the NCPA Orchestra had special resonance here, because the Philadelphia Orchestra played in 1973 in a nation that had once put its musicians in coal mines and closed universities and conservatories but was cautiously peering over its cultural wall.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
When odd-pop icon Ben Folds opens the Philadelphia Orchestra's season at the Mann Music Center on Tuesday with his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra , the 47-year-old keyboardist will do what he's done best since releasing the goofy "Underground" in the late '90s: Confound audience expectation. First, he has to get his teeth fixed. "Man, it's not by choice," says Folds, sitting in a dentist's office in Nashville where he's currently recording his concerto. "I've been in the chair all year.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
In the Beethoven Violin Concerto on Thursday night, you could pick out strands of soloist Nikolaj Znaider's musical DNA - the sweetness of Fritz Kreisler, the muscularity of Zino Francescatti, and his own exquisite wisdom for setting off the poetic against the prosaic. The Beethoven with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Stéphane Denève was a singular experience. But the Bach encore without them represented a kind of transfiguration, of the piece and the listener. The "Sarabande" from the D Minor Partita can come off as a lesson in harmony, especially in a hall as large as Verizon.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Any harp concerto - especially one by a composer whose life has been devoted to creating music designed to please rather than disturb ("The Windmills of Your Mind," The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ) - isn't going to be imposing, and maybe not all that deep. The question, at the world premiere of Michel Legrand's Harp Concerto , was how much that matters. The Monday performance at the Kimmel Center by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia - not attended by the 81-year-old composer, who fell ill before getting to town - depended much on the musical charisma of its dedicatee, harpist Catherine Michel, at least in the first movement.
NEWS
February 10, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
During a fanciful moment in one of Michel Legrand's movies, Catherine Deneuve and her celluloid sister bounce up from the dinner table and declare that they're going to write a concerto. And then, in this scene from The Young Girls of Rochefort , they sit at the piano and do exactly that. Need one ask Legrand if his new Harp Concerto , which the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia premieres Sunday, was anywhere near that easy? "Nothing is easy. Anytime I've had to do anything, I've had to work," said the 81-year-old author of some 200 film and TV scores.
NEWS
November 3, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Empty seats - not a huge number but more than usual for this season - were to be expected at the Philadelphia Commissions concerts at Verizon Hall. Though this city hosts substantial festivals of John Cage and Morton Feldman, more mainstream audiences didn't break down the Kimmel Center doors Thursday for the Philadelphia Orchestra's three new concertos featured in this week's concerts, even though Tan Dun's piece was a multimedia crowd-pleaser and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducted Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances with such a compelling Russian accent that it, alone, was worth the concert.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
With three video screens, the full Philadelphia Orchestra, and harp soloist Elizabeth Hainen to keep track of in Verizon Hall, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin might need a GPS to know where to turn next. The occasion is Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Symphony for Micro Films, Harp and Orchestra , by Chinese composer Tan Dun. Besides documenting a 1,000-year-old language that women sing only to one another in remote parts of China, the piece is also "a kind of art installation," says the Oscar-winning composer of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon , "because my screen is also a Chinese scroll painting.
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