June 13, 2015 |
Muriel Boushell Graham, 90, formerly of Pennsauken, a pianist for Haddonfield Plays and Players productions in the 1970s and 1980s, died at her home in Simpsonville, S.C., on Wednesday, March 4. A memorial service has been set for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 13, at St. Peter's Church, 1 Hartford Rd., Medford. Mrs. Graham was known most recently as the pianist at Inn Philadelphia, a piano bar on Camac Street between Spruce and Locust Streets in Center City, where she worked from the late 1990s to 2005, when she moved to South Carolina, daughter Michelle Dilger said.
May 5, 2015 |
When you walk into a museum and find that your favorite Schieles and Munchs have all been rearranged to a particular configuration, you might wonder what the point is. Pianist Shai Wosner was a musical curator Friday night, but an inscrutable one, never explaining why he assembled the first half of his stunningly beautiful Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital debut by interspersing Schubert impromptus with Chopin impromptus. Do they share more than a name? Actually, it was a gift that Wosner was mum about motivation, giving his American Philosophical Society listeners license for imagination, and before long, you wondered whether the point wasn't about these two composers but a triangulation to a third.
May 4, 2015
Shelby Lynne I Can't Imagine (Rounder ***) Shelby Lynne was already a veteran when she won the Best New Artist Grammy for 1999's I Am Shelby Lynne. But the deserved acclaim for that album, which last year was reissued in a deluxe edition, did not translate into long-term mainstream success, and Lynne has settled into a career as an outsider. I Can't Imagine, her 13th album (not including a Christmas collection), is another in a string of earthy, forceful roots records.
April 24, 2015 |
The artistic solidity on which Richard Goode made his name has given way to encroaching adventurousness over the years, though the limitations of that were intermittently apparent at his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital Tuesday at the Kimmel Center. The program was a typical Goode cross section: Unjustly neglected Mozart ( Adagio in B minor ), the core repertoire of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in F-sharp major Op. 78 , ongoing explorations of Debussy, and a relatively new acquaintance with Schumann's Humoreske . Though the Beethoven seemed a little tired in this outing, Debussy's Children's Corner showed what has made Goode an eminent pianist.
April 21, 2015 |
Both sets by Vijay Iyer at Swarthmore College's Lang Performing Arts Center on Saturday started the same way: the pianist rang gentle, chiming tones, establishing a mood of quiet contemplation and close listening. From there, the two halves of the evening went in completely different directions. The first, featuring Iyer as part the trio Tirtha, combined Indian classical music with Western jazz harmonies and rock-infused electric guitar; the second showcased the telepathic adventurousness of Iyer's long-running ensemble.
April 19, 2015 |
Even the greatest artists have performances in which all the right things happen but the core experience just isn't there. The surprise with soprano Dorothea Röschmann is how that can happen from piece to piece, not just in her Wednesday recital with pianist Mitsuko Uchida, but in past recordings. Anticipation ran high for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Kimmel Center; two such notable artists collaborate infrequently. And in the Perelman Theater, they were heard in one of the more intimate auditoriums this side of London's Wigmore Hall on this duo's six-concert tour.
April 3, 2015 |
Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin has done greatly scintillating things in many corners of the piano repertoire. But is he a great pianist? That notion somehow seemed not on the table until his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital on Tuesday night when he played Schubert's Piano Sonata in B-flat at the Kimmel Center in ways that, at every turn, were utterly distinctive to him and rendered in a manner that could only have been cultivated over...
March 27, 2015 |
Say the name "Liberace" and a dozen smiling images - each campier than the one before - pop into view, all fabulous, rhinestone-encrusted, fur-lined, and sprinkled with stardust. When he was part of the entertainment landscape from the 1950s through the 1980s on television or stage, Liberace's keyboard repertoire was one of showy pop/classical sides and willowy, winking conversational asides. And he was beloved, particularly by women, his sexuality rarely questioned (he won libel suits against Britain's Daily Mirror and Confidential magazine in the mid-'50s when they implied he was homosexual)
February 22, 2015 |
Lars Vogt was well on his way to making a significant solo recital debut Wednesday at the American Philosophical Society when Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 32 Op. 111 started coming unraveled. Problems began in the dense, first-movement exposition, when a memory lapse set in, one Vogt covered skillfully, but starting a spiral that eventually forced him to start over and leave the stage to grab the printed music. Also unfortunate: the piano's music stand had been removed, making page turns awkward.
February 11, 2015 |
There was no Schubert, no Hugo Wolf. By starting with Beethoven and wending a pleasant path through Liszt, Satie and Frank Bridge, tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake surveyed the lieder road less traveled. Not one of the composers on Friday night's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital in the Perelman would become best known for the genre; Liszt conquered the piano, Ravel the orchestra, and Beethoven, well, almost everything. And yet, what gems. Adelaide, Op. 46 , is a relatively early Beethoven work of great sophistication, an energetic burst of yearning in which the singer sees and hears his love object and nature as one. So, too, the performers.