September 15, 2000 |
The variety of organizations presenting chamber music is a strong point of the Philadelphia classical music scene. Series starting this weekend include the Trinity Center for Urban Life and the Gershman Y. Trinity Center is presenting an evensong concert at 6 tonight, featuring Patricia Stasis Winter, soprano; Marcus Kurz, clarinet; and David Shunskis, piano, in Schubert's Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock, D. 965); and Kurz and Shunskis in Poulenc's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano.
March 24, 2009 |
Jos? Franch-Ballester is one of those musicians whose technique is something of a straw man. Yes, it's impressive that the clarinetist can glide through a series of notes so fast that they blur. But in Piazzolla's Oblivion, the second encore of Sunday afternoon's concert at the Trinity Center for Urban Life, the technique was only as good as the expressive thing it served, and it was very good. Piazzolla's effortlessly sexy work was just the thing to end the recital of Brahms, Prokofiev, Poulenc, and a fantasy on themes of Rigoletto.
November 23, 1999 |
New life - a musical one - has risen from the ashes of the 1994 fire that nearly destroyed Trinity Memorial Church. The refurbished Trinity Center for Urban Life, not far from Rittenhouse Square, has a 20-concert series of its own, and has become a popular venue for several established ensembles. The "Early Music at Trinity" series opened its second season Sunday afternoon with Donna Fournier, whose short, fleet fingers moved across her viola da gamba to produce soft thuds and long soaring notes.
June 5, 2012 |
During the course of its regular concert season, Dolce Suono Ensemble jumps off the high dive often enough that when these intrepid musicians take it easy, you're a little relieved for their sake — while resting assured that your own ears won't fall off from overuse. So it was in the Sunday concert at Trinity Center with particularly songful pieces by Mozart and Schubert, three of the pieces arranged for flute, cello, and piano accompaniment by no less than composer Steven Stucky.
February 27, 2007 |
Koji Attwood's 10 minutes of great substance arrived like a bolt of genius Sunday afternoon in a program otherwise offering fluff. It was high-quality fluff, to be sure - Rossini, Respighi and Martucci. But when Attwood, the pianist who has been taken under the wing of Astral Artistic Services, played three Scarlatti keyboard sonatas, everything else on the program shrank in stature. The pieces themselves (K. 11 in C minor, K. 101 in A major and K. 27 in B minor) are marvels of virtuosity, a quality realized elegantly by Attwood.
September 10, 2012
If one purpose of the Philly Fringe is to try out iffy ideas under low-pressure, low-budget circumstances, then the update of Verdi's Falstaff that opened Saturday night came with plenty of lessons in operatic viability. Produced by Poor Richard's Opera, Verdi's high-traffic work about drunken, deluded Falstaff attempting to woo women in his declining years was reconceived by director Siddhartha Misra in modern dress, meaning that character expositions were enhanced by slide projections of Facebook profiles and the love duets consisted of two parties singing their text messages to each other.
May 19, 2015 |
Piffaro, Philadelphia's Renaissance wind band, celebrated a big anniversary this weekend. Not its own 30th (that's next season), but the 500th birthday of perhaps the most influential composer you've never heard of: Cipriano de Rore, the first to deliberately shape his music to the meaning and rhythm of the text being sung rather than using the words mostly as pegs for constructions of notes. With that change in emphasis, Rore transformed vocal music and made possible the birth of opera in the following century.
January 29, 2002 |
Philadelphians have heard Nicolas Kendall grow up, first as a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, and now as a violinist who seems clearly poised for a substantial career. He's playing under the wing of Astral Artistic Services, the local group that helps major young talent find more major exposure, and at the same time is winning some important attention, such as a recent first prize from the prestigious Young Concert Artists. Sunday afternoon at the Trinity Center, in Schubert's Sonatina in D major for Violin and Piano, it was clear what all of these important barometers of talent sense in Kendall.
September 27, 2005 |
Just because Astral Artistic Services sometimes seems too good to be true doesn't grant it immunity from fallibility. In its high-concept season opener with the Haddonfield Chamber Orchestra at Trinity Center for Urban Life on Sunday, this service organization for young artists programmed oddly matched talents that moved the concert into some fairly dysfunctional digressions. The theme was the four seasons. Astral's Ayano Ninomiya may be the rare violinist with the right kind of fire in her belly for Vivaldi's overexposed The Four Seasons.
October 6, 2013 |
Spain was under Islamic rule for seven centuries until 1492, when its Christian leaders forced their Abrahamic cousins to convert or flee the country. Yet, more than 500 years later, Iberian culture still bears a profoundly Islamic and Arab influence. Nowhere is that more evident than in the southern region of Andalusia, which touches North Africa via the Strait of Gibraltar. The region's most famous modern poet, Federico García Lorca (1898-1936), infused his verses with a musical language both Spanish and Arabic.