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ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 1992 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC Karl Stark, Sam Wood and Dennis Romero contributed
Pierre Monteux had an enormous repertoire, but French scores and those by Stravinsky are more often associated with this eminent conductor than the music of Tchaikovsky. Now, a previously unreleased two-CD set of Tchaikovsky performances by Monteux and the London Symphony (Vanguard Classics OVC 8031/2 1/2) offers a welcome opportunity to experience the French conductor's unabashed lyricism and interpretive zeal. Monteux recorded Tchaikovsky's famous Symphony No. 5 with the Boston and Hamburg Symphonies, but the later London interpretation is especially fascinating for its high-level intensity and conviction.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 1986 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Friction, some slight abrasive edge, may be the quality that makes music stay in the memory and survive in the repertoire. At least, music that has no rough aesthetic edges at all seems to be at greater risk of leaving the memory and being dropped from the repertoire than less bland pieces. The theory is worth applying to Tchaikovsky's last opera, Yolanta. If ever there were music without an edge, or even a shadow, it is Yolanta. Difficult to stage because of its literary sweetness and unbroken chain of softly gleaming songs reflecting the opera's total lack of dramatic abrasions, the work probably works best on records.
NEWS
July 19, 1993 | by Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
Every Monday in July, this column features a detailed concertgoer's guide to the summer Philadelphia Orchestra concerts at the Mann Music Center. THIS WEEK'S CONDUCTORS: Mann artistic director Charles Dutoit will lead the Monday and Wednesday concerts, with Erich Kunzel, music director of the Cincinnati Pops, helming the annual pops concert on Thursday. TONIGHT MUSIC TO BE PLAYED: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 (1875). ABOUT THE MUSIC: The horn's opening measures and the leaping piano chords frame the famous pop-tune melody, played for a while then never heard again.
NEWS
January 18, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Under many circumstances, the Philadelphia Orchestra's St. Petersburg Festival might seem like a desperate attempt to coax music lovers out of their warm homes and into the Kimmel Center with programs that dip deep into Russian crowd-pleasing repertoire, such as a suite from The Nutcracker . Yet on Thursday, the first installment of this multiweek festival more than pulled its artistic weight, thanks to thoughtfully positioned Tchaikovsky and...
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 1995 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Orchestra flung Tchaikovsky into the teeth of the booming gale Monday, beginning its final week of outdoor concerts with thunder, lightning and cannon shots. Charles Dutoit conducted the showy program for the largest crowd of the season. Fireworks promised for after the 1812 Overture helped to swell the crowd past the 10,000 mark. The all-Tchaikovsky program was shaped to build to the climax of the overture, in which the finale was livened by Paul Burnett and his trained cannon.
NEWS
June 26, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Tchaikovsky was unstoppable at the Philadelphia Orchestra's return Tuesday to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in the annual 1812 Overture performance with fireworks, though the program was curtailed due to the violent thunderstorm that hit two hours before concert time. After an early-evening power failure, Peco restored the lights - lots of them, along with a trio of new video screens in the rear lawn - although only for a limited time, pending the rebooting necessary for repairs elsewhere in the area.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The less you see in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta , the more the opera has to offer - and not because the plot revolves around a blind-from-birth princess. So anybody disappointed at the semi-staged production at the Curtis Opera Theatre at Prince Music Theater this weekend should know that this lovely little opera has much to say beyond its immediate story. Although it came from the great period of Tchaikovsky's creativity that gave birth to Symphony No. 6, Iolanta tends to slip through the cracks.
NEWS
January 19, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra is holding a Tchaikovsky celebration - but how can you tell? The Russian composer figures heavily into every orchestra season, downtown and at the Mann. Still, it is always a good time to dust off forgotten items from the far corners of his catalogue, and the orchestra, in its three-week Tchaikovsky festival, responded by performing, well, none of them. This was presumably conceived as a chance to sell some tickets in a repertoire the ensemble plays very well.
NEWS
June 8, 1988 | By JOAN DEPAUL, Daily News Staff Writer
It's been almost a year since the Pennsylvania Ballet Company and the Milwaukee Ballet joined forces to create the Pennsylvania and Milwaukee Ballet. The combining of the two companies in March 1987 formalized a relationship that had existed for years. Tonight, with the production of "Swan Lake" at the Academy of Music, the two companies mark a sort of anniversary, the completion of their first year of marriage. For members of the company, it's been an unusual time. They are working under a 52-week contract, rather than the more common 30-40 weeks.
NEWS
July 28, 2010 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra's annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts can't help but have a singular audience dynamic: Many came more to see than to hear Monday (even if they did more hearing than seeing), which was obvious from the many empty seats inside and crowded lawn outside. But rather than letting the concert become a less-than-vital waiting game for the climactic fireworks, conductor Rossen Milanov set the tone for gracious attentiveness in the audience of 7,800, even though what led up to the inevitable 1812 Overture wasn't all light-ish show pieces.
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NEWS
July 3, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
A 20-year-old Curtis Institute of Music student is the top winner of the venerable International Tchaikovsky Competition in the violin category. Yu-Chien "Benny" Tseng won the silver medal, second prize, in the Moscow competition, whose results were announced Wednesday. No gold award was given this year, which is not unusual. The Taipei-born violinist came to Curtis in 2008, and the following summer, at age 14, played Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center.
NEWS
June 26, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Tchaikovsky was unstoppable at the Philadelphia Orchestra's return Tuesday to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in the annual 1812 Overture performance with fireworks, though the program was curtailed due to the violent thunderstorm that hit two hours before concert time. After an early-evening power failure, Peco restored the lights - lots of them, along with a trio of new video screens in the rear lawn - although only for a limited time, pending the rebooting necessary for repairs elsewhere in the area.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 31, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
In a somewhat unconventional program, Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the Philadelphia Orchestra through the lighter side of Shostakovich - assuming there actually is one. Even when the composer seems to be kidding around, his music hints at something subversive, that the music means much more than it says, and what it says is always dangling out of reach. That's why you want to hear it again. The objects of curiosity Wednesday at the Kimmel Center were Shostakovich's seldom-heard Piano Concerto No. 2 and music for the film The Gadfly - paired with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 - creating a provocative conclusion to the St. Petersburg Festival that could have been less convincing had performances not been so purposeful.
NEWS
January 18, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Under many circumstances, the Philadelphia Orchestra's St. Petersburg Festival might seem like a desperate attempt to coax music lovers out of their warm homes and into the Kimmel Center with programs that dip deep into Russian crowd-pleasing repertoire, such as a suite from The Nutcracker . Yet on Thursday, the first installment of this multiweek festival more than pulled its artistic weight, thanks to thoughtfully positioned Tchaikovsky and...
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 8, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Hilary Hahn has been such a solid performer over the years that her cancellation of summer and fall concerts due to muscle strain seemed unthinkable. Sometimes, the more vague the cause, the scarier it is: Remember how Murray Perahia's years of physical problems began with a mere paper cut? Yet Monday's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert (which came roughly a month after Hahn resumed concertizing) showed her at full strength: She had to be, with Tchaikovsky's epic Piano Trio Op. 50 in a first-time collaboration with pianist Natalie Zhu (a longtime musical friend)
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The less you see in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta , the more the opera has to offer - and not because the plot revolves around a blind-from-birth princess. So anybody disappointed at the semi-staged production at the Curtis Opera Theatre at Prince Music Theater this weekend should know that this lovely little opera has much to say beyond its immediate story. Although it came from the great period of Tchaikovsky's creativity that gave birth to Symphony No. 6, Iolanta tends to slip through the cracks.
NEWS
May 25, 2014 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
ALL GOOD THINGS come to an end. The Wise Guys could cry about that, but they'd really rather sing. On Sunday, the Wise Guys - eight intellectually disabled adults who have been singing, dancing and rocking out almost as long as Aerosmith - will hold a farewell concert at the Cardinal Krol Center. Owned by the Philadelphia Archdiocese, it's a residential community in Springfield, Delaware County, where the Wise Guys live with more than 100 other men similarly impaired. The center is closing, the men to be dispersed to small group homes.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Sometimes a thank-you note just won't do. And so the Curtis Institute of Music dedicated Sunday night's Curtis Symphony Orchestra concert in Verizon Hall to Marguerite and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, whose philanthropic support of the school has eclipsed all before it. Having the orchestra do the honors was apt, since it was Gerry Lenfest, who is part-owner of the company that publishes The Inquirer and who is stepping down as board chair June 1, who...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 12, 2014 | By Daniel Webster, For The Inquirer
"Public intimacy" is social media's contribution to our oxymoronic life, but guitarists have grappled with the concept since the first one faced an audience. The instrument draws the heart into the fingertips, which bare the greatest intimacy in a whisper of sound. Place the guitar in front of an orchestra of 60, and logic - and intimacy - may vanish completely. Amplification has balanced those forces, particularly in recordings, and the guitar has gathered a bundle of concertos that revel in the sonorities of plucked strings, exuberant brass, and richly carpeted strings.
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