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.
April 30, 2013 |
Building a symphonic pops program around James Bond film music is fraught with danger, though not in ways thrill-seeking Bond fans might like. Though the John Barry scores to the earlier Bond films could not be more iconic, they also have the dimension of a Hollywood-studio set: Aside from the theme songs, the music introduces the action with a quick, arresting impression and stands back while the film takes care of the rest. So Michael Krajewski, music director-designate of Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, was right to stray from the central concept in his "Bond and Beyond" concert Saturday afternoon at the Kimmel Center.
December 9, 2012
Film New this week: Starlet (*** out of four stars) A young actress working in the porn biz befriends an elderly, isolated woman in this low-key, low-budget indie - a small, nicely observed film with surprising depth. - Steven Rea Music The Who Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend took the band's most inspired rock opera, 1973's Quadrophenia, stripped away its chatty narrative, and let Townshend's most brutal, poignant songs of youth's wrongs and longings breathe with defiant, if aged, effervescence.
November 3, 2012 |
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.
September 24, 2012 |
Was the thunder coming from inside the Gordon Theater on the Rutgers Camden campus or outside amid Saturday night's torrential rain? Both places. Pianist Di Wu, whom Philadelphia audiences know well from her years at the Curtis Institute and Astral Artists, played Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Symphony in C in a performance with a shameless taste for musical gestures of tidal wave proportions. Music director Rossen Milanov seemed to challenge her with big-boned phrasing that asked, "Can you top this?"
February 28, 2012 |
Max Raabe is having a most thrilling week. The dapper gentleman responsible for bringing the sounds of German cabaret, dance, and film music of the 1920s and 1930s to stages the world over just played his first show in Dallas. "Growing up in Germany, the only picture I have of this city was through '80s American television shows such as Dallas and Dynasty ," he says with a laugh. Days before the Texas gig, Raabe and his stalwart Palast Orchester played in Los Angeles, where they were greeted backstage by Mel Brooks, the legendary film director whose 1968 comedy classic The Producers featured the outrageously offensive German-themed tune "Springtime for Hitler.
September 24, 2010 |
WHAT DOES little Austin, Texas, have that Philadelphia needs? Until now, a festival celebrating (mostly local) music and alternative films, in the vein of Austin's acclaimed South By Southwest (SXSW). But this weekend, that's changing, as the first Philadelphia Film and Music Festival , going by the equally catchy abbreviation Philly F/M, percolates in numerous locations in Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Manayunk, Old City, University City and along South Street, delivering almost 300 bands (indie, heavy rock, Americana and hip-hop predominate)
September 16, 2010 |
J ERRY SEINFELD and Bette Midler will headline the Nov. 13 opening gala of the National Museum of American Jewish History in its new home on Independence Mall. Ticketing information will be released soon on nmajh.org. "Real Housewives of New Jersey" reg- ular Kim Granatell took in Lady Gaga's concert last night at the Wells Fargo Center with 14-year-old Garrett Snider , grandson of Comcast-Spectacor boss Ed Snider , who befriended Kim G. over the summer. Country rocker Bo Bice , former "American Idol" runner-up, stopped at Food Tek (555 City Ave.)
December 30, 2007 |
It's hard to think of a grimmer, gorier year at the movies. And I'm not talking about the documentaries from Iraq, such as the profoundly unsettling No End in Sight. Nor do I mean the earnest but flawed war-zone dramas A Mighty Heart, The Bubble, In the Valley of Elah, The Kite Runner, Redacted, Rendition, and The Situation. And I'm certainly not talking about the over-hyped hack-'em-ups Grindhouse, Hostel 2 and Saw IV. I'm talking about musicals (Tim Burton's operatic bloodbath, Sweeney Todd)