November 22, 2015 |
Among the things I've discovered at the orchestra over the years is that a good way to engage your seat mate is to say that the next piece is about a man punished by strapping him naked to the back of a horse and sending him through the countryside. Fortunately, on Thursday night, this was actually the case. It might be surprising, but Franz Liszt's Mazeppa , inspired by the Victor Hugo poem, ends happily, which the Philadelphia Orchestra did, too, performing the tone poem for the first time since 1983.
February 28, 2014 |
Leonidas Kavakos is a marvel of exactitude. There's a Leonardo da Vinci-like quality to his playing, as if you could plot mathematically how every micro move accounts for his elegance and efficiency. In this extraordinary violinist, artist and master technician coexist in polished communion. If a listener Tuesday night had to strain a bit to hear that which is human, it was understandable. In his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Kimmel Center of four Beethoven sonatas, Kavakos was sometimes a cool customer.
January 18, 2013
ON STAGES Child's play Jennifer Childs' brilliant one-woman show, "Why I'm Scared of Dance," is funny and touching, without being sentimental. She originally performed it at 1812 Productions, the all-comedy theater company that she helped found. Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, through Jan. 27, $22-33, 215-654-0200, act2.org. Wyatt's earth "The Daily Show" lost a heavy-hitter when Wyatt Cenac left last year. Check out his stand-up. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., 8 p.m. Friday, $20, 215-922-6888, thetroc.com.
November 9, 2011 |
Artistry as extreme as Leonidas Kavakos' can be exhausting. Admirably, the Greek violinist has risen to the top of his profession in tandem with artistic evolution that few artists experience over a lifetime, much less a dozen years. In 2000, he was including light Fritz Kreisler pieces in the thick of his programs. At his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Kimmel Center on Monday, his program stretched over 21/2 hours with brooding performances of ruminative works by Prokofiev and Lera Auerbach that left you wondering if late Shostakovich could brighten things up a bit. Even having heard Kavakos on a near daily basis during the Philadelphia Orchestra's 2009 tour, I had trouble recognizing what I heard and saw Monday.
November 20, 2010 |
Philadelphia's Unintentional Bartok Festival - an accidental convergence of significant Bartok performances over the last week - had a gratifying climax on Thursday by the Philadelphia Orchestra: Guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos programmed the popular Concerto for Orchestra only days after Midori made the Violin Sonata No. 1 more lucid than I could ever have hoped, and the Juilliard Quartet brought decades of authority to the ...
February 10, 2009 |
If ever the Philadelphia Orchestra had the impetus to transcend its own excellence, it's the current tour of the Canary Islands and Europe. But if ever circumstances worked against that. . . . Even in the acoustically superb Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid last week, the orchestra had experienced so many successive days of traveling and playing - sometimes in halls with a built-in defeat factor - that lost ground wasn't made up immediately. Would audiences for these last Iberian dates of the tour know the difference?
March 17, 2007 |
If violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist P?ter Nagy didn't quite reach a plateau of revelation Thursday night in Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 10 in G major, they made up for it in a million ways great and small elsewhere during their Perelman Theater program. Kavakos is a spectacular artist. His name is familiar here for playing the concertos of Berg, Beethoven and the rare Schumann. But recitals are tough - longer and more stylistically varied than concerto work, and microscopic in the attention they beam on a personality.
January 23, 2003 |
German composer Robert Schumann bridged the classical and romantic periods, and Wolfgang Sawallisch celebrates that urgent friction in this second of five Philadelphia Orchestra season programs of Schumann's music. He's selected the Third Symphony, depicting Schumann's beloved Rhine River, and the very rarely heard Violin Concerto (featuring soloist Leonidas Kavakos), with Weber's bubbly "Die Freischutz" Overture as a curtain-raiser. The Greek-born Kavakos dazzled in his first outing, and it's a delight to see this young master as a regular guest.
June 29, 2002 |
Normally at this time of year, the Philadelphia Orchestra has long cleared out of Center City, having ended its regular season in early May and already spent three weeks breezing through concert halls in Buenos Aires, Tokyo or Ames. But scheduling issues, including a late opening of the Kimmel Center, kept the orchestra at home this spring, extending its downtown season well into this month. Orchestra leaders also bet that demand to hear the new concert hall would be sufficient to add a three-concert coda, which came in the form of the "Absolutely Mozart" festival that opened Thursday night.
September 28, 2000 |
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conducting; Leonidas Kavakos, violinist. 8 p.m. Thursday and Tuesday, 2 p.m. Friday at Academy of Music. Tickets: $18-60. Info: 215-893-1999. Those who were fortunate enough to hear Greek-born violinist Leonidas Kavakos play the Tchaikovsky Concerto with brilliance at the Mann two seasons ago have eagerly anticipated his Academy debut. He'll be playing another repertory standard, the beloved Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, with Maestro Sawallisch also leading Schubert's Third Symphony and Mozart's deeply moving Symphony No. 40. "For me, the Mendelssohn is romantic Mozart," explained Kavakos, "music so flawlessly right that I can imagine he just took a pen and wrote it right down just like Mozart.