November 8, 2012 |
For the time being, Elliott Carter, who died Monday in New York, will be known as the composer who worked the longest. Well into his 104th year, he composed intricately and conscientiously, each piece seeming to be all that it could be, with little decline in inspiration. Of course. He frankly didn't know what else to do with himself. "I don't walk well. My eyesight is peculiar. But I don't feel as though I'm an old person in the way I think," the hearty, genial composer said in a 2003 interview with The Inquirer.
April 9, 2010 |
Though Astral Artists encourages young classical musicians to carry all of the traditional torches, the annual "Rising Stars" concert with Symphony in C on Wednesday at the Kimmel Center was predominantly music that had everybody on unfamiliar ground. And the performances showed how young musicians are uniquely positioned to lavish the time and attention needed to rehabilitate lightweight Jacques Ibert, as well as to wrestle with Aaron Jay Kernis. Though one of the most substantial works by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Kernis (also Astral's composer-in-residence)
October 27, 2009 |
The more that Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are rescued from big-orchestra performances, the more singular they seem. Their lack of standardized instrumentation, brilliant use of form, explosions of individual virtuosity and the unlikely alliances among instruments make them orchestral concertos with a never-before-and-never-again quality. The truth, however, is that Bach synthesized old ideas more than he created new ones. And Tempesta di Mare's season-long cycle of the Brandenburg Concertos revealed how these works hardly appeared out of nowhere, and have antecedents in places you'd think to look (though not all that hard)
March 23, 2003 |
Charles White first laid eyes on the work of Cuban composer Alejandro Garcia Caturla in 1989 while paging through stacks of orchestral music at the Free Library of Philadelphia. White knew nothing about Caturla, but the audacious compositions he saw left him breathless - so much so that he decided to find out everything he could about the composer's life and music. Then, he decided to write a book. Last month, his biography, Alejandro Garcia Caturla: A Cuban Composer in the Twentieth Century, was published by Scarecrow Press.
July 3, 2002 |
Conductor JoAnn Falletta makes her second Philadelphia Orchestra podium appearance this week, giving the downbeat at Friday's 8 p.m. Mann Center for the Performing Arts concert. Her soloist is the young star cellist Han-Na Chang, who will solo in two works: Faure's plaintive Elegy and the Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto No. 1. The Concerto is in three movements, but seems like one long, flowing entity, with the cello singing a glorious, intimate song in the middle section. Falletta has programmed two orchestral works to show off her baton prowess.
February 24, 2001 |
A friend from Helsinki writes: "I wonder how Vladimir Ashkenazy can conduct perfectly enjoyable concerts with absolutely no conducting technique whatsoever!" That's been Ashkenazy's reputation ever since the revered pianist took up conducting about 20 years ago. Now what about that? Only the orchestra players following his baton can say for sure. And what met the ears Thursday in Ashkenazy's all-French program with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music wasn't as tidy as similar enterprises involving Charles Dutoit.
February 21, 1999
0n Feb. 17, the Philadelphia Orchestra announced an all-20th-century lineup of offerings for its 100th season. It's a bold and invigorating step. But some music lovers used to other centuries may be asking, "So what's to like?" We, therefore, asked Simon Woods, artistic administrator of the orchestra, to give us a list of 20th-century works. His list features 12 works, "all of which," Woods says, "appear in our season and figure as works on which posterity has accorded classic status.
February 8, 1991 |
The title of Henri Dutilleux's Tout un monde lointain . . . signals its poetic impulse (Baudelaire) but does not tell you it is a cello concerto. Mstivslav Rostropovich commissioned it, and gave its premiere performance in 1970; he has also recorded it. Otherwise, the concerto has not enjoyed the recognition of a few of this master's orchestral works. Lynn Harrell gives its Philadelphia premiere this afternoon, performing with Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra. "Dutilleux was intoxicated with the poetry of Baudelaire," said Harrell, adding that the poet believed the cello an ideal bridge between the music of words and the music of sound.
September 26, 1986 |
Philadelphia's two orchestras perform in the next few days, giving four opportunities to visit the Academy of Music. Riccardo Muti gives audiences - and the Philadelphia Orchestra musicians - a preview of the upcoming concert opera production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" by programming the familiar overture this weekend, along with music by Bernstein and Bizet. Saving a little rehearsal time for that offering will result in few complaints, considering the work's popularity and power.
September 22, 1986 |
Given the admiring friendship of Mozart and Haydn, it seemed reasonable for the Mozart Society to open its season last night with a concert of Haydn's music at the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany. The chamber orchestra, conducted by Davis Jerome, played the alpha and (almost) omega of Haydn's orchestral works, the Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 102. By playing works composed 35 years apart, Jerome underlined the steady growth in means that marked Haydn's long career. That first symphony was rather square and formal, but it contained, in its older style, the seeds of the mature work.