September 25, 2010 |
Perfection is an admirable goal but not the best possible friend to the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto , which had the star spot - thanks to superstar violinist Joshua Bell - in the Philadelphia Orchestra's opening subscription concert Friday afternoon at nearly full Verizon Hall. The concerto's impeccable sense of through line has each idea flowing out of the last, almost as a series of inevitabilities rather than a succession of events. Surprise is hard to come by. Where Mozart created musical worlds complete unto themselves - worlds with endlessly unfolding perspective - Mendelssohn can seem emotionally circumscribed with a balance of form and content that inhibits the latter.
October 15, 2011 |
Let's not be too concerned that listeners seemed to stay away in droves from the Thursday concert/gala opening of the Philadelphia Orchestra's 112th season. Such events are crucial for fund-raising and community visibility, but the real opening was the Prokofiev/Sibelius/Beethoven program Friday afternoon at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall, which was three-quarters full and populated by listeners inclined to give the orchestra a whooping, hollering hero's welcome. The orchestra's playing was excellent and guest violinist Julian Rachlin went beyond even that.
May 8, 2015 |
At what point does music become more of a tourist experience than art? Philadelphia Orchestra conductor in residence Cristian Macelaru walked all over such not-so-fine lines on Thursday at the Kimmel Center in a winningly idiosyncratic program bookended by two travelogues in sound from his native Romania - with folk elements cleaned and polished to a high gloss. Such music - Ligeti's Romanian Concerto and Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody Op. 11 No. 1 - can be a point of pride or a source of embarrassment to those who know the less-mediated roots of it all. But Macelaru had a whale of a time, also using these crowd-pleasing pieces for a more serious examination of great composers on the cusp of greatness with Dvorák's Violin Concerto featuring Sarah Chang, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 . Nothing trivial about that.
July 17, 2000 |
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd and Parkside Avenues. Tickets: $22-$57, $8 for lawn tickets. Info: 215-893-1999. Arias from the opera and Broadway, followed by evenings of Beethoven and Russian gems, make up the Mann schedule in this next-to-last week of Orchestra programs. Miguel Harth-Bedoya makes his Mann debut tonight, and David Robertson returns to take over Wednesday and Thursday. Monday Conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya: This busy Peruvian-born Curtis graduate will soon add the music directorship of Fort Worth Symphony to that of the Eugene (Ore.
September 3, 2014 |
Symphony orchestras draw great cachet from their geographical homes: Any group with Vienna, Berlin, or Amsterdam in its name is going to command immediate attention from audiences, even if those cities' third-tier orchestras would be lucky to match Scranton's Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. So can an orchestra from Turkey, Iceland, or Lapland hope to be noticed at the world's busiest orchestra festival, the summertime BBC Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall? Actually, it can. One of this year's Proms winners seems to be the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra.
July 22, 1991 |
Every Monday through July, we provide a detailed guide to help you better enjoy the summer music at the Mann Music Center. THIS WEEK AT THE MANN: Music director Charles Dutoit continues on the podium for the first two concerts this week, followed Thursday by Zdenek Macal. TONIGHT PIECE TO BE PLAYED: Samuel Barber: Essay No. 1. ABOUT THE MUSIC: This elegaic work was composed by West Chester resident Barber (1910-1981) for Arturo Toscanini in 1938. Its wistful mood builds to a central brass declaration, then a brief light-hearted section before its final mysterious pages.
January 18, 1986 |
When the Philadelphia Orchestra yesterday played its second premiere within a month, it was affirming a new era in its musical orientation. And, since this was the second new violin concerto within a month, it was claiming a position in the history of American music. The new work is Richard Wernick's Violin Concerto, and it brought to the Academy of Music stage violinist Gregory Fulkerson in his local debut. Riccardo Muti conducted. Where the December concerto - by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski - had been a spacious lyrical revision of the 19th-century violin elegy, the January concerto is a broadly imagined redefinition of the concerto form.
November 4, 2000 |
Contemporary music champions can seem like the perpetual whiners of the classical music set: Every failure is followed by thickets of "if onlys" that exonerate the music of any misdeeds. But on evidence of Richard Danielpour's Violin Concerto heard in its local premiere by the Philadelphia Orchestra on Thursday, they're right. Though not Danielpour's most consistent work, the concerto shows how a sympathetic convergence of composer, performers and circumstances can make new music readily programmable with Mozart's Don Giovanni overture and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.
November 24, 1990 |
Hamilton Harty's name is mostly known now as the hyphenated partner of Handel's in performances of a popular suite from The Water Music. He was much more than that - conductor, essayist and stalwart composer of music that expressed his Irish birth and robust musical psychology. His name has not been frequently placed in Philadelphia Orchestra programs, but last night concertmaster Norman Carol played the first local performance of Harty's Violin Concerto in the Academy of Music program conducted by James DePreist.
January 17, 1986 |
Composer Richard Wernick's Violin Concerto may have been his creation alone during the year of its composition, but as of last weekend it was ready for adoption by conductor Riccardo Muti and violinist Gregory Fulkerson. "I feel like the odd man out," he chuckled, "with the two of them working on it. " The world premiere of the commissioned work, featuring Fulkerson's debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, is scheduled for today at 2 p.m. and tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. at the Academy, with another performance Tuesday evening at Carnegie Hall in New York.