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Copland

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ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2000 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Unintentional, perhaps, was the way in which Orchestra 2001 paid tribute to Aaron Copland Wednesday night. They set out to honor the 100th anniversary of the American icon's birth - coming Nov. 14 - with a sturdy performance of the 13-instrument version of Appalachian Spring. But even before they could get to it, Richard Danielpour's First Light for chamber orchestra announced its debt to Copland through conciliatory, even loving, gestures. Danielpour, who teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and is riding a wave of popularity at the moment, also knit into the 1988 work considerable violence heightened by the snug acoustics of the Trinity Center for Urban Life - percussion violence, mostly, that was jarring.
NEWS
September 28, 2009 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
If it were your job to find a new friend for classical music - say, someone from the pop-culture side of the fence who could bring in more friends - Alec Baldwin might not be your first pick. The actor seems to be in a good place now, what with a second shiny statue for his work on 30 Rock. And yet something about him - his recurrent bad-boy routine perhaps? - makes him an unlikely hero in the service of a delicate, perpetually fretting artform. But classical music has a way of picking its acolytes, as Baldwin found out. One minute, he's listening to Charles Dutoit lead the Philadelphia Orchestra in Carnegie Hall; the next he's standing in front of an orchestra himself.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 1996 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Programming an entire evening of folk song, as the Philadelphia Singers did last night at Holy Trinity Church, is certainly casting a wide net. It's hard to think of a composer in the last 200 years who hasn't tangled with folk song at some point. The 30-member group and its director, David Hayes, found examples from England, France, Germany and America - all melodious, many familiar, most of fairly high quality. Nearly everyone can hum some folk song. Who hasn't heard, for example, "Simple Gifts," which Copland used in his Five Old American Songs?
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
A sweet-tempered program of old favorites? That's what the Curtis Chamber Orchestra appeared to have in store for its Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert on Friday. But the program was actually a musical minefield - pieces much loved on recordings but rarely slotted comfortably into concerts with limited rehearsal. Surely, Copland's Appalachian Spring couldn't fall into that category, could it? Yes - the suite that was played at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater was in the original orchestration for 13 instruments, created when the composer was still calling the piece Ballet for Martha (as in Graham)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Classical warhorse repertoire needs to be programmed with the utmost care so as not to wind up in the glue factory - Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("New World") being a case in point. Though hardly the composer's best (that distinction falls to Symphony No. 7 ), the second-movement tune made it the victim of its own product placement in any number of commercials and films. Will we ever hear it with fresh ears? The Philadelphia Orchestra's guest conductor, Marin Alsop, gave the piece an optimum platform Thursday at the Kimmel Center by placing it alongside its grandchildren.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Only recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, soprano Sarah Shafer has the luxury of a sympathetic local following for a voice that hasn't evolved to the point that it can keep up with her musical appetite. The recital Shafer chose for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society on Tuesday at the American Philosophical Society was the sort that singers dream about delivering, with six song groups in four languages and all from different musical generations. Encompassing that had her pushing her voice in ways that sometimes sacrificed tone, diction, and pitch accuracy.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 1994 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In giving Toby Olson's novel Dorit in Lesbos another life as an opera, it might have been possible to turn Dorit into a hysterical melodrama on the order of Elektra. The story, a look into the tangled relationships people make for themselves, is rife with powerful conflict. But Paul Epstein's music for the chamber opera, performed Friday by Temple University Opera Theater, went a long way in determining an emotional tone that was surely unsettling, yet never raised its voice above gentleness.
NEWS
March 14, 1992 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
It does no good to mourn for a program not played, but the Philadelphia Orchestra, scrambling to substitute for a convalescing Wolfgang Sawallisch, replaced his intriguing program with a conventional one. Before he had to cancel because of surgery, music director-designate Sawallisch had planned the orchestra's first performances ever of Beethoven's Prometheus ballet and what would have been his first public thoughts about Copland's music....
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Dance wends its way through the four pieces on the Philadelphia Orchestra's present program led by Giancarlo Guerrero - bolero, the Charleston, and Martha Graham. No actual dancers appear, but movement and stories are left behind - as in an elegant reading of Appalachian Spring , the 1945 version of the piece Copland first called Ballet for Martha . Thursday night in Verizon Hall, the winds (flutist David Cramer, oboist Peter Smith, clarinetist Ricardo Morales) were vehicles of sincerity and simplicity.
NEWS
September 16, 2001 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
In an emotional roller-coasting event, the Philadelphia Orchestra's memorial concert scheduled for tonight will include the Fanfare for the Common Man of Copland, the funereal Adagio for Strings by Barber, and the ever-inspirational Pat Croce leading "America the Beautiful. " These works, among others, were chosen as balm for a nation grieving for the estimated 5,000 victims who are dead or missing after last week's terrorist attacks. Proceeds from the concert, whose time has been changed to 7 p.m., will go to the American Red Cross and the Twin Towers Emergency Fund, a drive established by Philadelphia's Police and Fire commissioners and the police and firefighters' unions to benefit families of New York emergency workers who died.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Only recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, soprano Sarah Shafer has the luxury of a sympathetic local following for a voice that hasn't evolved to the point that it can keep up with her musical appetite. The recital Shafer chose for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society on Tuesday at the American Philosophical Society was the sort that singers dream about delivering, with six song groups in four languages and all from different musical generations. Encompassing that had her pushing her voice in ways that sometimes sacrificed tone, diction, and pitch accuracy.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
A sweet-tempered program of old favorites? That's what the Curtis Chamber Orchestra appeared to have in store for its Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert on Friday. But the program was actually a musical minefield - pieces much loved on recordings but rarely slotted comfortably into concerts with limited rehearsal. Surely, Copland's Appalachian Spring couldn't fall into that category, could it? Yes - the suite that was played at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater was in the original orchestration for 13 instruments, created when the composer was still calling the piece Ballet for Martha (as in Graham)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Dance wends its way through the four pieces on the Philadelphia Orchestra's present program led by Giancarlo Guerrero - bolero, the Charleston, and Martha Graham. No actual dancers appear, but movement and stories are left behind - as in an elegant reading of Appalachian Spring , the 1945 version of the piece Copland first called Ballet for Martha . Thursday night in Verizon Hall, the winds (flutist David Cramer, oboist Peter Smith, clarinetist Ricardo Morales) were vehicles of sincerity and simplicity.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Classical warhorse repertoire needs to be programmed with the utmost care so as not to wind up in the glue factory - Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("New World") being a case in point. Though hardly the composer's best (that distinction falls to Symphony No. 7 ), the second-movement tune made it the victim of its own product placement in any number of commercials and films. Will we ever hear it with fresh ears? The Philadelphia Orchestra's guest conductor, Marin Alsop, gave the piece an optimum platform Thursday at the Kimmel Center by placing it alongside its grandchildren.
NEWS
September 28, 2009 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
If it were your job to find a new friend for classical music - say, someone from the pop-culture side of the fence who could bring in more friends - Alec Baldwin might not be your first pick. The actor seems to be in a good place now, what with a second shiny statue for his work on 30 Rock. And yet something about him - his recurrent bad-boy routine perhaps? - makes him an unlikely hero in the service of a delicate, perpetually fretting artform. But classical music has a way of picking its acolytes, as Baldwin found out. One minute, he's listening to Charles Dutoit lead the Philadelphia Orchestra in Carnegie Hall; the next he's standing in front of an orchestra himself.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Violinists - even at their most classical - like to call themselves fiddlers. But such persons at the Curtis Institute of Music are about to see what fiddling truly means, with somebody who learned it from backwoods, Deep South musicians with roots extending back to the Civil War. The instigator is composer/violinist Mark O'Connor, best known for Appalachia Waltz and Appalachian Journey, his best-selling albums with Yo-Yo Ma, and for a kind of...
NEWS
January 26, 2007 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
If ever Philadelphia had its own Center for Contemporary Music, it was the Academy of Music in 1916. And in 1932, 1972 and 1857. More and more in recent decades, the Academy has taken on a reputation as the city's chief preserve of comfortable tradition. But in almost every season since the building opened 150 years ago, the Academy was a place to go to hear (mostly) European and American scores while the ink was still wet. A museum of antique sound it was not - not until very recently.
NEWS
January 11, 2006 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Life in our polyglot, postmodern society is inevitably bewildering at times, but not when people and art from distant historic corners collide - with uniquely illuminating effects. In a typical Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia concert, for example, you'd put up with Carl Maria von Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 2 as a lightweight vehicle for an underserved solo instrument. Also, you'd work mightily to hear anything fresh in Aaron Copland's overexposed Appalachian Spring. Put the two together, as did guest conductor Jahja Ling Monday at the Kimmel Center, and dialogue ensues.
NEWS
September 16, 2001 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
In an emotional roller-coasting event, the Philadelphia Orchestra's memorial concert scheduled for tonight will include the Fanfare for the Common Man of Copland, the funereal Adagio for Strings by Barber, and the ever-inspirational Pat Croce leading "America the Beautiful. " These works, among others, were chosen as balm for a nation grieving for the estimated 5,000 victims who are dead or missing after last week's terrorist attacks. Proceeds from the concert, whose time has been changed to 7 p.m., will go to the American Red Cross and the Twin Towers Emergency Fund, a drive established by Philadelphia's Police and Fire commissioners and the police and firefighters' unions to benefit families of New York emergency workers who died.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2000 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
"Aaron Copland: The Rough Stuff" might have been a suitable title for the concert presented Thursday by clarinetist Todd Palmer and the Borromeo Quartet, had it come about a year ago. But in these waning days of the centennial year of Copland's birth, a heading more sympathetic, even dramatic is in order. Maybe "Copland's Molten Core"? That's how much any attentive listener's view of the seemingly approachable but much-misunderstood composer could have changed upon hearing the many retrospectives of his music in concert and on disc over the last year.
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