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ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Legend has it that a favorite drinking game of the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was to spend the evening prodigiously imbibing with friends, after which one of them would be abruptly shut into a closet for 15 minutes or so. Then, from the other side of the door, the closeted partyer was ordered to give the full names of the people with whom he had spent the evening. Just to see if he was too hammered to do so. Or had passed out. No wonder Sibelius never finished his Symphony No. 8 . But now, perhaps, others can. Sketches - some of them orchestrated - have been identified as probably being from the symphony that occupied him from 1927 until his death in 1957.
NEWS
October 5, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Shostakovich's 1943 Symphony No. 8 is one in a handful of works that fathom the trauma of the 20th century with a boldness and originality so fearless that it's not often performed around here. However compelling Symphony in C's performance was on Saturday in Rutgers University-Camden's Gordon Theater, it went far to explain why: Once the steep musical challenges are met, you're entering a World War II-era abyss that not everyone (players or audience) can or will inhabit. Full of gargantuan war-inspired orchestral effects that prompt a visceral response from any alert musician, the symphony also requires a kind of life experience that the conservatory-age Symphony in C musicians can't be expected to have.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though only nine minutes away from Philadelphia by train, Symphony in C's Rutgers-Camden home is truly in another state, which is why the prospect of hearing Gyorgy Ligeti's Violin Concerto on Saturday at the Gordon Theater felt vaguely perilous. This post-conservatory orchestra and its soloist Augustin Hadelich could be counted on to meet the music's considerable demands. But what about the suburban audience? The outset was not promising: After a new orchestra piece by Roger Zare titled Green Flash (winner of the orchestra's annual Young Composers Competition)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 2002 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Bruckner symphonies, taken as a whole, always sound to me like a man asking the same question over and over again his entire life, only slightly reshuffling the wording each time. A very long-winded man. But somehow, his Symphony No. 3 - all 55 minutes of it - flew by Thursday night under the spell of Wolfgang Sawallisch. Great Bruckner is a gift, one that few living conductors possess. Right now, there might be no better place on earth to hear the symphonist's work than at Broad and Spruce.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 1988 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra's biggest recording project has just been completed. The release, on EMI, encompasses Beethoven's nine symphonies, plus three of his overtures on six discs in a box. They represent performances and recordings between October 1985 and February 1988 and much more besides. They stand to Riccardo Muti as a summary of the transformation he has effected with this orchestra since he became music director in 1980. A Beethoven set may seem an unlikely choice for a conductor so deeply involved with Italian opera, but Muti has consistently presented himself as a man with wide enthusiasm and knowledge.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2004 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
When in the grip of an obsession with Gustav Mahler's symphonies, there comes a time when you need to visit the composer's grave. Communing with J.S. Bach would logically take place in a church in Leipzig. For Erik Satie, it's a cabaret in Montmartre. But Mahler was the first to admit that he never really belonged in Vienna or New York, whose musical lives he transformed. Given the preoccupation with death that haunts his 10 symphonies and dozens of songs - as a child, he wanted to grow up to be a martyr, and as an adult, he wrote the irregular rhythm of his diseased heart into his last completed symphony - all roads to his spirit lead to the cemetery.
NEWS
September 22, 1986 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
July 23, 1990 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Vincent d'Indy's reputation within French music circles is sometimes likened to Brahms' within the German. Why, then, are the prolific Frenchman's pleasurable scores so rarely played? Maybe we don't bother with him because American listeners, as Francophile composer Ned Rorem maintains, have been suckled on the thicker syrups of romance. Effervescence, as in the burbling Symphony on a French Mountain Air, doesn't stick to the bone. Whatever the reason, I have not lately heard (have you?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2002 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA at Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. 8 tonight. Tickets: $10-$68. Info: 215-893-1999. Conductor Carlos Kalmar finishes up his Mann week with two revered works from the center of the repertory. He's chosen the Symphony No. 2 by Jan Sibelius, the most familiar of seven by a composer with close ties to this orchestra. Its Finnish heart, full of long-spun melodies that erupt like flowers through wintry ice, and a triumphant finale, has made this symphony an audience favorite for a century.
NEWS
July 11, 1987 | By Andrew Stiller, Special to The Inquirer
St. Louis Symphony director Leonard Slatkin led the Philadelphia Orchestra in a stimulating program at the Mann Music Center yesterday evening, starting with the brief and entertaining Commedia by American composer William Bolcom. The appearance of such a work in summer programming is emblematic of the cautious rapprochement between composers and audiences now taking place after many decades of relative estrangement. That the truce is not perfect was signaled by the empty seats of those scared away by the name of a living composer on the program.
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NEWS
April 24, 2016
Face(book)ing the Music. The San Francisco Symphony says it will become the first major symphony orchestra to stream on Facebook Live on Wednesday, when it performs the world premiere of Mason Bates' Auditorium. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts, with Bates performing on electronica - the piece samples the sounds of baroque instruments - at Davies Symphony Hall on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. California (11:15 p.m. East Coast) time. Information: www.facebook.com/sfsymphony . And while you're Facebooking your way around the classics, search for Kanye and Beethoven to hear the mashup created with the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation that comingles Kanye with the traditional symphony orchestra in a strangely compelling way. - Peter Dobrin Ancient Echoes.
NEWS
March 23, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Symphony in C leapt off the deep end at Gordon Theater at Rutgers University-Camden. It was an all-Beethoven program that might have been business as (fairly) usual for the Philadelphia Orchestra but that was formidable for this postgraduate young-artist orchestra and its guest pianist, Drew Petersen. The Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor") and Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica") are a lot of heroics for a Saturday night. Nobody seemed in over their head, but the concerto performance showed how valid access points to Beethoven can be somewhat shallow while still working on their own level.
NEWS
February 13, 2016 | By Caitlin McCabe, Staff Writer
After services at Temple Adath Israel have concluded, after its staff has long left for the night, the fluorescent lights in a back room of the Merion worship center flicker back to life. Inside the community room, on this Tuesday like so many others, an unlikely group of doctors, mothers, car mechanics, and lawyers gathers, keyboards, and cymbals, and violins in tow, and waits. Meanwhile, at a Bala Cynwyd Starbucks, music director Reuben Blundell thumbs through his sheet music one final time, scribbling last-minute notes in the margins.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2016 | By Matthew Westphal, For The Inquirer
CAMDEN - You don't hear concerts like this very often these days. The program that Symphony in C performed under music director Stilian Kirov on Saturday at Rutgers-Camden's Gordon Theater was the sort of thing you'd hear from the Boston Pops back in the 1970s but that major orchestras today tend to stay away from. That's too bad, because it made a satisfying evening. Starting things off was Rodion Shchedrin's Carmen Fantasy , a suite he adapted from the Bizet opera for a ballet starring his wife, the great Bolshoi star Maya Plisetskaya.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though the annual day-after-Thanksgiving Philadelphia Orchestra concert can often feel like a drowsy tryptophan performance, popular guest conductor Gianandrea Noseda unleashed a monster of a symphony that, though a century old, had its U.S. premiere Friday and Saturday at the Kimmel Center. Occupying the second half of the program, Alfredo Casella's barely known Symphony No. 2 (1909) isn't nearly as evolved as his Symphony No. 3 , but it makes a mighty sound, employing all manner of brass and percussion plus an organ finale that's meant to bring an audience to its feet, and did so Friday.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
January 25, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 14, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Having had some of his best successes with Tchaikovsky symphonies, conductor Rossen Milanov gave his Symphony in C ensemble a more complicated challenge on Saturday night: the Manfred Symphony , which stands apart from the composer's numbered works in that medium and, for all its grandeur, has a white-elephant reputation that may or may not be expungeable. Ambitious, imposing, and full of the literary underpinnings of Lord Byron's dramatic poem "Manfred," the symphony isn't first-rate Tchaikovsky, though it can sound like it when played with interventionist conviction.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2015 | By Monica Peters, For The Inquirer
They're back! Cirque de la Symphonie returns with the Philadelphia Orchestra, flying high in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall on Saturday and Sunday with aerial feats and acrobatics. The troupe will stage its choreographed, gravity-defying stunts above stage and audience, accompanied by the orchestra under Cristian Macelaru. Among the 14 musical numbers to be performed are "Balloon Sequence" and "Devil's Dance" from the movie The Witches of Eastwick, "Ritual Fire Dance" from El amor brujo, and the overture to Candide .   Philadelphia Orchestra with Cirque de la Symphonie, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. Tickets are $60 to $135.
NEWS
December 15, 2014 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
VINELAND, N.J. - You could call the Bay-Atlantic Symphony the unlikeliest of orchestras. Operating in deep South Jersey - amid some of most economically depressed and rural parts of the state - the symphony has served a range of audiences for three decades, even though it has no performance home base. The orchestra offers an ambitious calendar of 12 symphonic programs annually, performed by a cadre of musicians hired from throughout the Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore regions on a "per service" basis.
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