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NEWS
February 6, 1987 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
The Seventh was the last of Mahler's symphonies to be played by the Philadelphia Orchestra in its surprisingly cautious approach to that repertoire. It appeared here for the first time in 1978, and when Klaus Tennstedt led it last night at the Academy of Music, it was only the third time it had been played here. The reasons for its rarity were the very reasons for the momentous impact it made last night. More than 90 minutes long, the piece seems to be made of thousands of fragments - themes that fade, recur and merge in the composer's private visions.
NEWS
August 1, 1986 | By Michael Kimmelman, Inquirer Music Critic
Last night's Philadelphia Orchestra performance at the Mann Music Center left me both dazzled and puzzled. The sixth and final movement of Mahler's immense Symphony No. 3 was given a reading under guest conductor Zubin Mehta of such intensity and passion, such subtlety, concentration and heartfelt drama, that I found myself literally breathless and even momentarily dazed at the end. This was orchestral playing of the very highest order, and...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 1996 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky said he finds German songs difficult, but in his debut Thursday with the Philadelphia Orchestra he sang a Mahler cycle in a way that suggested they are a deep part of his musical being. He sang Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in the first part of a Mahler program conducted by Myung-Whun Chung. The songs represent an intriguing choice for a debut, for they have none of the crowd-pleasing bravura of Verdi arias or the charm of other operatic pieces apt for baritone.
NEWS
November 25, 1989 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Friday afternoons at the Academy of Music can have a soporific effect, induced as much by tired audiences as by often-tired programming. Yesterday's offering of works by Mark Kopytman, Mahler and Richard Strauss, with their feverish passions and exuberant colors, countered any sluggishness in the post-holiday crowd. The Philadelphia Orchestra concert was conducted by Israeli Gary Bertini, who introduced the work of compatriots Kopytman and the folksinger Gila Bashari, who performed Kopytman's 1981 Memory.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2001 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Some of the most revelatory Mahler performances these days are coming from outside the usual Vienna-Amsterdam-New York Philharmonic loop. Conductors, from Manhattan School of Music's Glen Cortese to Los Angeles' Esa-Pekka Salonen, are taking harder looks at these scores, eschewing the encroaching suaveness of our times and finding more musical incident than ever. Add to them Orchestra 2001's James Freeman, who broke from his usual programs of living composers in favor of Symphony No. 4 by long-dead Mahler Wednesday at the Trinity Center for Urban Life.
NEWS
March 6, 2016
Summer Music. It's March - in other words, not too early to be thinking about Marlboro Music, the musicians' retreat in Vermont. The cloistered gathering is less a programmed festival than a chance to overhear what about 80 resident artists have been working on. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida is director, and this year's composer-in-residence is Sofia Gubaidulina. You never know what artists and repertoire will appear on concerts, but that's part of the experience. This year, there are 12 concerts between July 16 and Aug. 14. Information: 215-569-4690 or www.marlboromusic.org . - Peter Dobrin A thousand voices sing.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2005 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
The Philadelphia Orchestra offers two diverse programs in the next few days, both musical signatures of inspired lives. Mahler often said that a symphony should encompass an entire world. His Ninth Symphony is a universe, filled with exaltation as well as bitterness, as his vast accomplishments would only be fully appreciated in the future. Christoph Eschenbach will be on the podium leading us through Mahler's moving, emotional journey of the soul (2 p.m. today and 8 p.m. tomorrow, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets, $10-$75, 215-893-1999)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The world is impossible to imagine without Mahler's Symphony No. 4 , though its well-deserved ubiquity didn't stop Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia from indulging in amiably quixotic time travel back to when Mahler approved a parlor-size reduction, perhaps because options for hearing the large-orchestra version were limited. The 12-musician version - not counting the conductor or vocal soloists in the final movement - was made by Arnold Schoenberg's student Erwin Stein for strings, winds, percussion, piano, and harmonium - in a program that included a 14-string version of Schoenberg's challenging Verklarte Nacht . The concert was pleasing and never embarrassing (as the Mahler could have been)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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 )
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NEWS
March 13, 2016
Special live broadcast: 2-4 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): More than 400 singers and Philadelphia Orchestra musicians fill the stage and the Conductor's Circle, as Yannick Nézet-Séguin marshals these tremendous forces in a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, "Symphony of a Thousand. "
NEWS
March 13, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Always mighty, often amazing, the Mahler Symphony No. 8 unfolded Thursday with somewhat less than the supposed thousand musicians for whom the piece was ideally conceived. But you wouldn't have wanted more than the Philadelphia Orchestra's 420 singers and instrumentalists, who made as much sound as the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall could hold. The first of four sold-out performances that promised to be (and were) the season's highlight, the event commemorated the 100th anniversary of the orchestra's U.S. premiere of the Mahler 8th under Leopold Stokowski.
NEWS
March 6, 2016
Summer Music. It's March - in other words, not too early to be thinking about Marlboro Music, the musicians' retreat in Vermont. The cloistered gathering is less a programmed festival than a chance to overhear what about 80 resident artists have been working on. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida is director, and this year's composer-in-residence is Sofia Gubaidulina. You never know what artists and repertoire will appear on concerts, but that's part of the experience. This year, there are 12 concerts between July 16 and Aug. 14. Information: 215-569-4690 or www.marlboromusic.org . - Peter Dobrin A thousand voices sing.
NEWS
February 14, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Completion without finality is the curious fate of the Mozart Requiem . Left unfinished at the composer's deathbed, this touchstone choral work has been the ultimate unfinished masterpiece - which hasn't stopped many from trying, over the centuries. The latest completion, by Gregory Spears, is also among the boldest. It will be performed Thursday at St. Clement's Church by Seraphic Fire, the Florida-based choral group. "It doesn't pretend to be what it can never be. We will only get Mozart's music from Mozart," says Seraphic Fire artistic director Patrick Dupre Quigley.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2016 | Peter Dobrin, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
For classical music geeks growing up in the post-'60s artistic tumult (at least, for one geek for whom I can personally vouch), grappling with the avant-garde meant hour after hour replaying the same LP: Berio's Sinfonia . Born of the progress and discord of the late 1960s, the Sinfonia was as much a journey inward — how does one test intellectual curiosity? — as an abrasive inquiry into where we were as a society. Where were we then, and where are we today? And what do music students make of it now?
NEWS
March 29, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
After the bold individualism in his Philadelphia Orchestra program last weekend, conductor Gianandrea Noseda's Mahler Symphony No. 5 Thursday night arrived with high expectations. Audiences come to this piece loaded for bear, spiritually speaking. Its "Adagietto" is nothing if not classical music's great inspirational altarpiece. Noseda, though, was doggedly earthbound (his eyes often score-bound). His was a rather objective view. He passed over chances for wrenching moments of transition in the first movement, and led the "Adagietto" with momentum held in higher esteem than spiritualism.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The world is impossible to imagine without Mahler's Symphony No. 4 , though its well-deserved ubiquity didn't stop Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia from indulging in amiably quixotic time travel back to when Mahler approved a parlor-size reduction, perhaps because options for hearing the large-orchestra version were limited. The 12-musician version - not counting the conductor or vocal soloists in the final movement - was made by Arnold Schoenberg's student Erwin Stein for strings, winds, percussion, piano, and harmonium - in a program that included a 14-string version of Schoenberg's challenging Verklarte Nacht . The concert was pleasing and never embarrassing (as the Mahler could have been)
NEWS
November 2, 2014 | By Daniel Webster, For The Inquirer
Unless he had monitored his audience's vital signs just before the end of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 , Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin could hardly have predicted the emotional fever that greeted the final ecstatic chords at the Kimmel Center on Thursday. The sense of release at the end of 90 minutes of Mahler's incremental structuring almost guarantees a momentous response, but this performance made its effect on emotional terms as well as on orchestral virtuosity.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
When H. John Henry was a boy in Erie, Pa., his family owned an ice-cream shop. "My father made all the ice cream, and it was all great," the Camden resident, 80, recalls. "One day I'd have some vanilla, and the next day, maybe I'd have some maple walnut. That's kind of what my life has been. A taste of this, a taste of that. " That's not the half of it. Henry graduated from Penn, served in the Air Force, and sold Bibles door-to-door before becoming active in downtown Camden's artsy community of the late 1960s.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
After Mahler, Jewish composers never turned back. In earlier times, from Mendelssohn's symphonic rigor to Offenbach's comic lyricism, Jewish composers had little sense of collective identity. But the arrival of folk and ethnic music as a basis for large-scale classical works in Mahler's time allowed a new kind of voice. It was readily identifiable in numerous guises on Sunday at Network for New Music's concert "Songs of Promise. " Jewish American composers - Richard Wernick, Daniel Asia, George Rochberg, Shulamit Ran, and Philip Maneval offered music as eager to challenge as it was to communicate.
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