October 18, 1991 |
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.
February 13, 2014 |
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.
March 13, 2003 |
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.
May 13, 1987 |
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.
March 30, 1997 |
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.
January 24, 1998 |
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.
March 16, 2000 |
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.
June 25, 2014 |
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.
May 15, 1992 |
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.
July 22, 1992 |
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.