May 10, 2012 |
Andras Schiff played the recital of his life on Tuesday, and in light of the lofty standard established by this 58-year-old pianist, that's saying a lot. But the 2½-hour recital of miniature works — the first half had 74 movements or pieces played without pause — was a lot to take in. Comfortable enjoyment wasn't in the game plan. While Schiff has long charmed his public with his teddy-bear presence and poetic, soft-spoken concerts of Bach, his Tuesday recital, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society at the Perelman Theater, interspersed Bach inventions among more assaultive peasant dances by Bartok and the brand-new Circus Dances by the contemporary Austrian composer Jorg Widmann.
March 19, 2012 |
YOU AIN'T heard nothing like "rockjazz" musician ELEW - the torrent of power and passion kicking out the jams tonight for the "Live from Loews" (hotel) monthly concert series. The press release bills it as an "intimate live performance. " Don't they know what they're really getting here? Standing/dancing at his Yamaha piano, with legs fanned out like a sumo wrestler and arms encrusted with metallic "vambrace" armor, the man truly attacks his keyboard. The left hand pounds bass lines with such fervor you'll never notice there's no drummer.
February 28, 2012 |
You'd think this town would finally be ready for Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. That infamous Philadelphia Orchestra concert version of the opera - it started with a well-populated Academy of Music and ended nearly empty - was long ago in 1986. But with far fewer tickets to sell, the Academy of Vocal Arts opened a five-performance run on Saturday with something seldom seen in its tiny Helen Corning Warden Theater - empty seats. Not a lot, but some. And this production is close to the real thing, not the shortened Impressions of Pelleas seen occasionally at the Curtis Institute.
January 10, 2012 |
If you missed the introductory speeches, the Ching-Yun Hu piano recital Saturday at the William Way Center seemed so at home as to be a typical occurrence rather than the first in a new series of fine arts events. The program, held in the grand reception era of the pre-Civil War building at 1315 Spruce St. that once housed the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia, was smart and ambitious. The full-house audience knew what it was hearing, and the demographics were fairly close to, say, an Astral Artists event, though with more same-sex couples, as one might expect at Philadelphia's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center.
December 25, 2011 |
Joseph Daniel Scarpello, 95, of Northeast Philadelphia, a distinguished World War II veteran and Philadelphia Recreation Department leader, died at home of natural causes Wednesday, Dec. 21. As a city official for 30 years, Mr. Scarpello ran some of the city's largest playgrounds and recreation centers, and he started annual summer trips for city youth to Dorney Park. During World War II, he was an officer and naval aviator aboard the cruiser San Jacinto in the Sea of Japan from April 1945 until the end of the war. One of his duties was flying dirigibles.
December 15, 2011 |
THELMA LEE Winston Sargent, a licensed practical nurse who worked in nursing homes and at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, a child prodigy who taught herself to play the piano, died Dec. 11 at the age of 91. Thelma's skill on the piano led her to provide the music for the morning assembly at the Darby Township public schools while still a child. She learned to play the piano by ear at the age of 5, and she played for and directed several church choirs in the Philadelphia area.
November 3, 2011
DEAR ABBY: I had to respond to the letter from "Discordant Family. " I agree with you that the children should not be forced to play piano. However, let me offer an alternative. Many young pianists quit because practicing is such a solitary chore. I'd recommend finding the kids a community music program they would enjoy. Perhaps their friends are involved with a chamber or duet group, or a music camp. Set the completion of the group project as a goal and allow them to move on (if they still want to)
October 21, 2011 |
Operation central for Design Milk, the popular blog covering cutting-edge, international modern design, is a combo laundry room and office in a midcentury ranch house in Cherry Hill. The washer and dryer take up at least as much real estate as the desk and computer where Jaime Derringer, Design Milk's founder, posts six times a day to satisfy her more than eight million readers a year. Derringer was employed in medical marketing and publishing for eight years, working on the blog nights and weekends for three years until 2009, when it became her full-time gig. These days Jaime is at least as preoccupied with the house surrounding what her husband, Jordan, calls her "multitasking room.
March 5, 2011 |
Andreas Haefliger is a master manipulator of time. Listeners, entranced by his phrasing, might not have noticed Thursday night that he slowed the music by nearly half at the end of the exposition in the first movement of Schubert's Piano Sonata in B-flat major (D. 960 ). Mozart and Liszt got similar treatment at his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Kimmel. The German-born pianist wants you to believe that what music has to say can be more divorced from regulated tempos than typically heard, and most of the time he convinced quite nicely.