January 21, 2012 |
In an age that seems perpetually restless, where silence for some is an unnatural state of being, everyone deserves to experience the peace that arrived Thursday night in the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 . Nothing in the evening's beginning pointed to such a lovely destination. The recorded announcement reminded Verizon Hall patrons to silence their electronic pacifiers. Philadelphia Orchestra guest conductor Herbert Blomstedt mounted the podium, and a cushion of quiet gathered around him. In the split second before the downbeat, a Latin-beat cellphone ring broke the moment.
October 20, 2007 |
The rap on Osmo V?nsk?, the Finnish-born music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, is that he's great with Sibelius but not nearly as revelatory in other repertoire. It has always seemed like a specious charge, which made the conductor's Thursday night Philadelphia Orchestra appearance expectant with a chance to set the record straight. The Sibelius was indeed a knockout. And the Brahms, though a concerto, where one might expect the soloist to dominate, was full of V?nsk?'s oversized personality.
October 17, 2007 |
Behind great pianists, there's usually much more than just Steinway grands and the genius composers who wrote for them. In spare moments, when you'd think pianist Leif Ove Andsnes would be analyzing the great Brahms recordings of the past in preparation for this week's Philadelphia Orchestra concerts, he's rhapsodizing over music so distant from what he does as to be irrelevant to his career. And that's Bach's 200-plus cantatas - rarely heard vocal works meant for utilitarian use in church services almost 300 years ago. "It's such an unbelievable world, an inexhaustible world," he said the other morning in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton, where he's staying during his Thursday-through-Saturday concerts at the Kimmel Center.
January 19, 2006 |
Seldom do you encounter such a fair-haired orchestra - artistically, metaphysically and literally. Though star pianist Leif Ove Andsnes brought ticket buyers in the door of Verizon Hall on Tuesday, the far lesser known (and two-thirds blond) Norwegian Chamber Orchestra is mostly responsible for making the program a remarkable evening. Andsnes has made the group his touring and recording partner, especially as he becomes increasingly interested in going beyond the big-fisted repertoire on which he made his name.
April 3, 2005 |
With its 2005-06 season, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will show whether the Boston Symphony Orchestra's nascent relationship with James Levine is flowering or withering; why Leif Ove Andsnes has become one of the most opinion-dividing pianists of our time; and how you can commission a piece of music as a 250th birthday tribute to Mozart. For its fifth season, the Kimmel's classical slate includes five major orchestras, a string series that includes the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, a piano-recital series, a vocal series, and the return of the innovative Fresh Ink concerts.
May 4, 2004 |
Chances are quite good that when the Kimmel Center revealed it would be restoring the city's tradition of hosting visiting orchestras, almost no local orchestraphile started counting the days until the Tonhalle-Orchester Z?rich would arrive. The orchestra is not a newsmaker on the international scene the way the big ensembles of Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam are. And yet, in another important affirmation of its mission, the Kimmel Center proved smart by capturing Switzerland's oldest orchestra Sunday afternoon in the midst of a U.S. tour.
April 30, 2004 |
Four orchestras and four operas fill the weekend calendar, an overflow of goodies before the season begins to taper off. The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Christoph Eschenbach, plays its penultimate program with two works: Mahler's First Symphony and the Second Violin Concerto by Shostakovich. The violin soloist, Latvian-born Gidon Kremer, is a frequent, mercurial guest who has recorded the work (8 tonight and tomorrow night, Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets, $10-$84.
November 16, 2002 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra, until Thursday night, had somehow managed to avoid two major symphonic exhilarants: Finnish conductor Osmo V?nsk? and Nielsen's Symphony No. 3 in D minor. The symphony I can't hear again soon enough. The conductor, who becomes music director of the Minnesota Orchestra beginning next fall, I can't wait to hear again - but mostly because I've heard him enough with other orchestras to know what he's capable of. The Nielsen, for all of its sonic glories, was a bit of a mess.
January 29, 2002 |
Lucky for chamber-music musicians that violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes played to only 600 or so people Sunday at the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Known and sought after individually, Tetzlaff and Andsnes together gave such thoroughly considered performances of Beethoven, Schumann, Grieg and Bartok violin sonatas that others can't help suffering in comparison, especially similarly starry chamber-music configurations whose playing can reflect the busyness of their schedules.
January 24, 2002 |
The performance is outrageous in ways that it's supposed to be but rarely is. German violinist Christian Tetzlaff and Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes are playing the blues, reimagined in Maurice Ravel's 1927 Violin Sonata, as if the instruments have just emerged from a speakeasy at daybreak - belching, staggering and holding each other up like a silent-movie comedy team. That's typical. Individually, neither Tetzlaff nor Andsnes is musically demure, which is why they are two of the Philadelphia Orchestra's more exciting visiting soloists.