October 31, 1986 |
Itzhak Perlman may be redefining the recital, or at least reshaping it to fit an obvious response to his repertoire choices. The violinist and pianist Samuel Sanders played last night at the Academy of Music, offering an open-ended program to allow them to choose works apt for the last quarter of the program. The works they chose were romantic pop hits - Kreisler transcriptions, Saint-Saens - encorelike works to lighten a program that hardly seemed heavy to begin with. It may be that a free-form program acknowledges Perlman's supremacy in the romantic repertoire.
February 28, 1986 |
Mahler's Symphony No. 5 might come closer to the composer's dream of a world expression than any of the other purely instrumental symphonies. Its long arch of duration, its richness in events and intricate detail make its reach seem global and its aspirations infinite. Those qualities also make it among the most vulnerable to mundane performance problems. The Philadelphia Orchestra played the work last night at the Academy of Music in the last of three series conducted by Erich Leinsdorf.
January 6, 1987
Listening recently to Maestro Riccardo Muti's advice on radio "to listen to the music, not the story, in the mind's eye" gave me pause. Ever since childhood I have listened to music such as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and fantasized stories. Mr. Muti's advice is the reverse of my own, but then I have been listening only for six decades. I say, what is essential is that music be a character builder. If anyone has national prejudices, they will die once one loves composers such as Britain's Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughn Williams; France's Charles Camille Saint-Saens and Georges Bizet; Germans, Austrians and Hungarians like Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Strauss; Ireland's Victor Herbert, and Italy's Ottorino Respighi - to name a few. The Adagio for Strings of West Chester's Samuel Barber tugs at the heartstrings as much as Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich's 5th Symphony.
May 12, 2013 |
By the time he was 18, Adrian Younge had had enough of hip-hop. It was 1997, and Younge, who will perform at the Blockley in West Philadelphia Sunday night with his band Venice Dawn backing Wu Tang Clan rapper Ghostface Killah, was already growing weary of modern music. "There was a time when hip-hop was a little more novel, unique, and groundbreaking," remembers the 34-year-old producer and songwriter, who is the name-above-the-title force behind two of 2013's most compelling albums.
June 8, 2001 |
Imagine going to the Academy of Music to look as well as to hear. For those of us who are aurally centered and left with nothing to do during the current siesta on the classical-music concert scene, this could easily happen amid the Pennsylvania Ballet's current encounter with one of the cornerstones of symphonic literature, Mendelssohn's great music for Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. What an attractive concept, to pair dancers with Mendelssohn's atmospheric orchestration and animated, elfin rhythms.
October 5, 2004
RE THE KICKOFF of the Bruce Springsteen-led musical tour to raise money for the Kerry campaign: This is where I draw the line. I always considered music free of political influence - with this tour that is no longer true. I wouldn't pay to go to a concert to raise money for a candidate, be it Kerry, Bush or Nader. "The Boss" and the rest of his talented cohorts should be ashamed of lowering themselves into political fund raising. It's bad enough with all the TV rhetoric and support groups firing salvos - now some of my favorite musicians have hit a new low. Stick to music and leave the political agendas to the politicians.
March 24, 1986 |
"Interdisciplinary arts" may be an illogical term, for anyone involved in an art form cannot separate his from all others. Poetry implies musical structures; sculpture may take its subject from literary themes and musical forms; music evokes visual images, theatrical movement, color and the sound of poetry. All of which made the concert yesterday at the Academy of Natural Sciences seem a little nervous in its stress on music and poetry and paintings of the sound of whales. Isn't most poetry music and vice versa?
October 7, 1987 |
Vincent Persichetti lived in Philadelphia but taught in New York, so memories of the composer, pianist and teacher differ a little, city by city. Philadelphians may recall him trimming trees around his house in Fairmount Park, taking a pleasure in his cutting instrument that was almost as great as his pleasure in the piano. He was accessible, every musician's confidant and supporter, and he came to be an emblem of the city's cultural standing. New York's memories were of a master teacher and generous colleague, and they were expressed Monday in a concert and tribute at the Juilliard School, where Persichetti taught from 1947 until his death in August.
October 16, 1998 |
"Music often inspires me to great thoughts. I feel an intense longing to paint as I listen to it," the great artist Eugene Delacroix once wrote. Delacroix's painterly obsessions are on view through January in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's exhibition "Delacroix: The Late Work. " Available, too, at the museum many weekends during the show are concerts offering insights into some of the great romantic's musical passions. A series of concerts is scheduled for several Fridays, including tonight at 7 in the Van Pelt Auditorium.
May 23, 1990 |
It took less than a minute for world-music mix masters 3 Mustaphas 3 to convert Tuesday night's patient capacity crowd at the Barbary into a throng of dancing partygoers. The almost-instantaneous mass mood swing at the first of two shows came after an hour delay due to a power outage. Shortly after taking the stage with the wandering folk melodies of "Valle E Gajdes," the six-piece band's understated but incessant rhythms began working their magic - transforming those who were motionless into masters of merengue, forcing those navigating the crowd to move in sync with the music.