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Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010

MSO, Early Music Now add to embarrassment of riches

The greatness of Gustav Mahler’s eccentric Symphony No. 7 lies in its mysteries. Almost entirely built in very brief episodes, the music does not accumulate in a grand statement typical of the composer. Even veteran concertgoers can be left baffled by it. This is territory for only the most experienced conductor. In a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performance last Saturday evening Edo de Waart was the...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010
Wisconsin’s largest arts organization by far, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, began a new season last Friday night with a concert that showed more a promise for the future than a highly polished present. The orchestra sounded as if it needed more rehearsal to gel and find its stride of last spring. The program...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010
Present Music (PM) has settled into Turner Hall Ballroom, the idiosyncratic Downtown landmark. Saturday night’s concert, which launched a new season, marked the last appearance of retiring pianist Phillip Bush, a longtime ensemble member. The Piano Concerto by GyŲrgy Ligeti, with the largest PM chamber orchestra ever assembled, is very difficult music...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Classical Review

Present Music has explored more performing venues than any other classical group in town. Last Friday evening two performances took place at a nightclub, The Wherehouse, in the harbor area, at the end of National Avenue. Though unlikely, the space is a favorable one. The rectangular room with a very high ceiling and wooden floor (typically for dancing) rendered surprisingly good sound...
Classical Music/Dance
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Classical Review

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra classical season ended magnificently with the high-minded idealism of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. On Sunday afternoon, at the conclusion of this 95-minute profound statement of nature and love, I was slayed, limp and spent. It was a fitting finale to a season that began with Edo de Waart conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 5...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Plus: De Waart finds unusual remedy for coughing

Last Friday at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, maestro Edo de Waart reached the limit of his audience coughing tolerance. Between movements of Saint-SaŽns’ Symphony No. 3, de Waart startled all by making an impromptu plea of silence to the coughers. Though there was little quiet music after this highly unusual speech, I heard no coughing...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Classical Review

A bare stage is an odd and misguided trend at Florentine Opera. There was almost nothing to see in a Tosca production earlier in the season. Last weekend Rigoletto was more of the same. The audience saw a back gray wall made of large squares (some missing), a stairway, a platform and vast space that...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, May 17, 2010

Classical Review

Acoustics are the endless mystery of classical music. Last week I heard a Frankly Music performance in the Dawes Studio Theater at the Sharon Wilson Center. The sound was wonderfully warm, vibrant and clear. In fact, while listening I wondered if this was the best space for chamber music in the area. But in brief chats with the musicians...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, May 10, 2010

Classical Review

The well-attended Present Music (PM) concert last Saturday evening at Turner Hall was a trip to the Middle East, with music by an Israeli composer, an American composer with Turkish ties, and an American-Iraqi. If only peace talks were this civilized and artful. Betty Olivero’s Six Yiddish Songs and Dances...

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