October 4, 2015 |
So the Rachmaninoff concerto recordings continue with the Philadelphia Orchestra after all. With the wildfire acclaim for the orchestra's collaboration with pianist Daniil Trifonov in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (just released on Deutsche Grammophon), a follow-up this week with the same forces and same composer's Piano Concerto No. 4 seemed planned, with four concerts to record Thursday through Sunday at the Kimmel Center. When questioned, the recording company was vague.
September 27, 2015 |
Everyone in the Philadelphia Orchestra could assume, even before collaborating with pianist Daniil Trifonov, that he was much more than your typical hot competition winner. When he recorded Rachmaninoff with the orchestra in March in Philadelphia, it was under costly studio conditions, unusual for any major recording company working in America. The Deutsche Grammophon production was made from scratch, not in concert - rare since the CD heyday of the 1990s. Trifonov, 24, played Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with relentless tenacity, take after take, hour after hour, never letting the tension go slack, according to musicians present.
September 22, 2015 |
Yet another charming, youthful conductor has arrived on classical music's doorstep. The 31-year-old Bulgarian Stilian Kirov, fresh from the associate conductorship of the Seattle Symphony, has promptly filled the void left by Symphony in C's departing longtime music director, Rossen Milanov. Kirov's debut concert Saturday at the Gordon Theater at Rutgers-Camden raised a lot of questions that will be answered only in future concerts, but one thing was clear: He is maintaining the orchestra's high standard of playing.
August 16, 2015 |
A paradox, perhaps, but it's a significant marker of individualism that every time Alexandre Moutouzkine appears, he sounds like a slightly different pianist. The basic character of his playing morphed even in a single recital, Thursday night, part of the Philadelphia Young Pianists' Academy (PYPA). Many listeners came to know Moutouzkine through his affiliation with Astral Artists, for which he devised in 2011 an unusually inventive live transcription of Stravinsky's The Firebird as the sound track to the animated short Who Stole the Mona Lisa?
June 8, 2015 |
LONDON - The Philadelphia Orchestra's Europe 2015 tour can't be just about long ovations, great reviews, and full houses, because few if any tours are going to have those consistently. In Amsterdam on Thursday, Nico Muhly's new Mixed Messages got a chilly reception. In Berlin on May 26, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin "whirled about but clarified nothing" in Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 , according to Ulrich Amling in Der Tagesspiegel. And at London's Royal Festival Hall on Friday, the first of two concerts there was only 60 percent full.
May 20, 2015 |
No commemorative speeches. No plaques. No tear jerking. Artistic director David Hayes barely announced the encore at the farewell concert of the Philadelphia Singers, going out of business after 43 years, but let the occasion speak with music, the best performance coming last - Rachmaninoff's Vespers , the "Rejoice O Virgin" section. Maybe Hayes was focusing his energy, having survived last week's Amtrak derailment in reportedly functional though bruised form, which had him walking on and off stage with care.
May 16, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's dress-to-kill program on its soon-to-start European tour was previewed Wednesday at Verizon Hall in what was also the close of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's third season as music director. The show illustrated his way of taking smart, middling chances and drawing the best from those around him. The world premiere of Nico Muhly's Mixed Messages showed the composer, in his first wholly new piece for the orchestra, eager to wow the audience with all the resources the orchestra offers.
January 25, 2015 |
Yannick Nézet-Séguin celebrated his 1,500th concert since his 1994 debut with a Philadelphia Orchestra performance that was beyond what audiences have come to expect from him in his three years as music director. "Beyond" didn't always mean "distinguished," but it did in the dominant work on the Thursday concert, Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 : Though not for those who prefer lean, straightforward Rachmaninoff, the performance's fusion of passion, insight, great playing and Philadelphia sound fused into something that easily deserved the rock-star reception from the Kimmel Center audience, in the second week of the St. Petersburg Festival.
January 22, 2015 |
Only recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, soprano Sarah Shafer has the luxury of a sympathetic local following for a voice that hasn't evolved to the point that it can keep up with her musical appetite. The recital Shafer chose for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society on Tuesday at the American Philosophical Society was the sort that singers dream about delivering, with six song groups in four languages and all from different musical generations. Encompassing that had her pushing her voice in ways that sometimes sacrificed tone, diction, and pitch accuracy.