May 24, 1999 |
For Russian composers in this end of the century, the piano has been the voice of rage. The virtuosic wonders of the earlier, great Russian piano school laid the basis for these furies that have expressed some of the emptiness of the Soviet promise. David Finko's Sonata No. 2 is part of this late-century outcry. The work was heard in its local premiere Saturday in Marcantonio Barone's recital at Woodmere Art Museum. Finko, who emigrated from the Soviet Union 20 years ago, wrote the work in 1998 for Barone's recital in Carnegie Hall.
February 10, 1996 |
Neurologist Oliver Sacks' musings on people with unusual brain functions have provided fertile ground for artists. There's the Robin Williams movie Awakenings, the opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and last year's Peter Brook play, The Man Who . . . . Now dancer Karen Bamonte weighs in with Border Prodigies, a multimedia meditation on the phenomenon of idiots savants, inspired by the Sacks magazine article "Prodigies. " This new work, which premiered Thursday at Old City Stage Works, has wit, invention and charm but is weighed down at times with Bamonte's compulsion to tell all. Bamonte begins by telling of watching a movie when the film fell off the sprocket of the projector and the screen went white.
March 14, 1998 |
Though Chris Aiken, of Aiken & Young, says he relies on music for his dance and is remarked on for his musicality, he opened their Next Move festival stint at the Harold Prince Theater last night in silence. His piece, called Solo Improvisation, starts in a twilight atmosphere, and shows us the body of a feral dancer of lightning-quick movement. Even as he insinuates his torso into curves, his legs begin to spin in the opposite direction. Flung down at him from the catwalk above, a harsh floodlight swings crazily over his head.
January 24, 1998 |
The guitar finds sustenance in the deep European past and a cosmospolitan present. It is the present that interests Jason Vieaux, the 24-year-old who played a recital last night at Swarthmore College's Lang Concert Hall. His program included a premiere and a work new to this audience and recent music from England and Latin America. In this original mix of works, he demonstrated immaculate clarity, finding much of the drama in his playing through the subtle play of colors created in generally understated dynamics.
July 14, 1990 |
How do you know when you're benefiting from the hard work of exercise? Here are some tips to help measure your progress: You're covering the same distance on your walks, runs, bike rides in less time. You don't have to stop and rest as often as when you began. Your resting heart rate and recovery heart rate (measured two minutes after you cool down after an aerobic workout) are lower than they were. Exercise is no longer a chore; you look forward to working out. You have more energy and less tension and you sleep better.
March 6, 1992 |
Because of illness, two players announced for the Music from Marlboro program were replaced Wednesday, but whether that affected the quality of the program at the Port of History Museum is impossible to say. Their replacements fit into the spirited ensembles to add their own luster to readings of three big pieces. Pianist Stephanie Brown performed in the Dvorak Quartet in E flat (Op. 87), in place of Igor Ardasev, and violinist Hiroko Yajima took the place of Lucy Stoltzman in all three pieces, Beethoven's String Quintet in C (Op. 29)
March 15, 2001 |
Japanese post-Butoh dancers Uno Man and Kazco Takemoto, joined by Maka Kawano, gave an unparalleled performance - astounding in concept, movement and perverse levity - to a packed audience Tuesday night at the Community Education Center. Kudos to Group Motion's Manfred Fischbeck, who stepped in to present them when he learned they were looking for a Philadelphia concert on their current tour. With them, East and West not only meet but also marry, forming a new territory to be explored from multiple approaches.
October 2, 2004 |
With the most impressive Philadelphia Orchestra conducting debut I've heard in a decade, Czech conductor Jir? Belohl?vek Thursday night breathed much-needed exhilaration and purpose into this season's little nod to Dvor?k. I say little nod because the orchestra is recognizing the centenary of the composer's death with the obscure Symphony No. 7, the absolutely-never-heard Symphony No. 8, and the really-going-out-on-a-limb No. 9. OK, that's the last of the sarcasm on a subject that deserves a sober address - specifically, the failure of this season's Dvor?k programs to offer enough new thoughts on the composer, through unusual repertoire, to lift them from a marketing concept to an artistic endeavor.
December 7, 2008 |
There are some heated conversations under way in the progressive blogosphere debating why Barack Obama has so far appointed few progressives to his cabinet. It's worth checking them out. I think that we progressives need to be as clear-eyed, tough and pragmatic about Obama as he is about us. Obama is a centrist at a time when centrism means energy independence and green jobs and universal health care and massive economic-stimulus programs and government intervention in the economy.
May 5, 1989 |
There at the end of the recipe for your favorite stew it says, "Remove from heat, adjust seasonings and serve. " Suppose, just once, you took it straight off the stove to the table without fixing the seasonings? That's what pianist Malcolm Frager talked the Philadelphia Orchestra into doing with Robert Schumann's A-minor Piano Concerto last night at the Academy of Music. Schumann, you see, had tacked two new movements onto an existing one-movement piece to make a concerto of it. Seventeen days later he tinkered a bit with the opening movement to bring the piano forward and make the concerto less top-heavy.