December 15, 1992 |
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.
July 27, 1986 |
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.
July 19, 1993 |
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.
January 18, 2015 |
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...
July 19, 1995 |
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.
June 26, 2015 |
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.
October 12, 2014 |
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.
January 19, 2014 |
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.
June 8, 1988 |
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.
July 28, 2010 |
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.