May 6, 2013 |
A concert or a sports victory? The Philadelphia Orchestra performance on Friday felt like the latter at the close of the Mahler Symphony No. 1 , with each of the principal players being cheered like Olympic gold-medal winners, the biggest applause being reserved for music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Though Bach's St. Matthew Passion was his greatest artistic feat so far this season, this Mahler concert was perhaps Nézet-Séguin's biggest audience success - in a symphony that can more or less play itself, but is hardly fail-safe.
November 12, 2012 |
Above all else, she makes a beautiful sound. Some singers are willing to forgo sound quality to put emotion behind a text. But in her Friday-night recital for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society at the Perelman Theater, mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink swathed story after story in an unfailingly civilized tone. Argentinean with Slovenian roots, Fink has the twin virtues of richness and clarity. Often it was impossible to separate her polish from that of her pianist, Anthony Spiri. In the fourth in a set of Schumann songs on texts by Nikolaus Lenau, "The Herdsgirl," Fink's sound was nearly indistinguishable from Spiri's right hand, so neatly matched were they in pitch and color.
April 24, 2012 |
Many a demographic is super-served throughout the year on the Philadelphia film festival calendar. Cineastes with particular interests are catered to by the Latin American, Jewish, Terror, Gay & Lesbian, Science, Asian American and Animation film festivals, among others, not to mention the overarching Philadelphia Film Festival, which will take place in October this year. Add another group of movie buffs to the list: music fans. Starting this week, the inaugural XPN Music Film Festival will take place in University City, with 20 movies screening, mostly at the Annenberg Center on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
March 16, 2012 |
Morris Goldman, 93, formerly of West Mount Airy, a cofounder of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, died Saturday, Feb. 11, of respiratory failure at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. Former Inquirer music critic Daniel Webster described the society in a 1996 report as "one of the city's noncommercial treasures. " Mr. Goldman's son, Robert, said in an interview that his father "had an abiding love of classical music," though he had no formal training after high school.
November 17, 2011 |
As the 19th century hurried to a close, European composers seemed driven to fill its last years with song. Angelika Kirchschlager underlined that point in her recital Tuesday with pianist Warren Jones at the Perelman Theater. Almost their entire program was drawn from those closing years in songs by Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Mahler, and Reynaldo Hahn that showed both a cohesive tradition and energized prospects for change. Tracing such intangibles is not the strength of many singers, but with this mezzo-soprano each song seemed important in itself and also as a pylon marking some intricate shift in an imposing stylistic continuum.
June 21, 2011 |
Whether or not there's a free lunch in America, free Mahler is all over the place these days. Though the posthumous popularity of the early-20th-century symphonist Gustav Mahler seemed to be peaking 10 years ago, recognition of his music is, if anything, accelerating in this, the centenary of his death. Those who have never investigated Medici TV ( www.medici.tv ) are more likely to do so now that the online video-streaming network is offering a Mahler symphony cycle free to the end of June, showing the Orchestre de Paris under Christoph Eschenbach in thrilling form.
May 13, 2011 |
Quoting Gustav Mahler is not a wholesome activity for composers, if only because you can't give his music a cameo appearance and expect to move on. You want to hear the entire Mahler piece being quoted. The memory more than lingers. But quoting was inevitable at Wednesday's "Mahler100/Schoenberg60" concert by Mimi Stillman's Dolce Suono Ensemble in three of the five new works commissioned for the occasion. Most were songs, ostensibly, but with ambitions - and a sense of drama from the star soloist, bass Eric Owens, that often suggested operatic scenes for chamber ensemble and voice.
April 16, 2011 |
Once the Philadelphia Orchestra players finished their preperformance leaflet excursion into the Thursday-night Kimmel Center audience to protest Saturday's looming bankruptcy vote, certain realities set in: These subscription concerts may be the last by the pre-Chapter 11 version of this ensemble. If so, at least they are led by longtime guest David Zinman, a model of solidity bound to leave sweet memories. Typical of Zinman programs, the feel-good second half (Mahler's Symphony No. 4 )
October 31, 2010 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's music-director-to-be walked out on stage Friday night with a microphone instead of a baton, drawing a partial standing ovation before his first beat. "Wait and see if you still like me after the concert," Yannick Nézet-Séguin said. It was a charming rejoinder, but there was really never any doubt. In his third program with the orchestra - and his first since being named music director beginning in 2012 - the 35-year-old Montrealer showed his new public what it might expect from the Nézet-Séguin era. He turned in assured, if not revelatory, interpretations of Haydn and Mahler.
June 18, 2010 |
OTTAWA - Since he's neither tall nor old, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin jokes that he sometimes feels like a kid trying to tame 100 lions onstage. On Wednesday at the National Arts Centre here, the Philadelphia Orchestra's new music director-designate had nearly 500 such musical beasts for Mahler's Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand") positioned in balconies, in boxes, and onstage, with an adoring audience that included Canada's governor-general (the surrogate for the queen of England)