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Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010

Classical Review

The year 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of two major composers: Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann. Perhaps because both are heard so regularly, there were not enormous celebrations. It was good to ponder these two 19th-century giants at a Frankly Music concert last week at the...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010

Classical Review

British sensuality seems like an oxymoron. Nevertheless, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (1910) is just that, an example of Edwardian passion for a topic always dear to English hearts: the inescapable ocean that surrounds the British Isles, and its resonating, philosophical metaphors of endless journey toward the ever-changing...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

Classical Review

Honesty and fairness are my aims as a critic. For the first time in more than 12 years at it, I feel I must admit that I cannot find objectivity in reviewing Frank Almond’s performance of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Samuel Barber with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last weekend...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Nov. 22, 2010
When I think through all the Skylight Opera productions I have seen there over the last 25 years, Gilbert & Sullivan are the high points. H.M.S. Pinafore, which opened last weekend, handsomely adds luster to the G&S tradition at Skylight. Peter Dean Beck’s bi-level ship deck set is gorgeous, rich with wood...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

Classical Review

Bass players rarely become renowned soloists. Edgar Meyer is the exception, performing his own compositions as well as the small body of music by other composers for the instrument. Meyer’s longstanding appeal goes beyond out-of-the-ordinary curiosity. His artistry was happily...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

Also: Chamber Music Milwaukee turns to film

The Saturday evening concert at the Zelazo Center by the London ensemble Fretwork was historical in the truest sense. The program mixed old and new in an engrossing theme: The World Encompassed – Sir Francis Drake. The six-player viol group commissioned composer Orlando Gough to write music...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010

Classical Review

As much as we appreciate the established top classical performers in town, it is good to see a new, young professional player who, by talent and ability, earns a place in their company. Ilana Setapen is in her second season as associate concertmaster at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She presented a Sunday afternoon recital at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, presented by Civic Music Association...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010

Classical Review

The Basilica of St. Josaphat is one of the few public places in Milwaukee that conjures the city’s soul, past and present. Awe-inspiring as it is, performances in the Basilica are chancy, to say the least. Unaccompanied choral music works best there, particularly of music intended to be heard in cathedral acoustics...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010

Classical Review

Talent does not come any bigger than that possessed by pianist Joyce Yang. She grew up in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the United States at a young age to study at Juilliard. At 19 she won the silver medal at the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and has since established an international career. Edo de Waart is one of her champions, performing with her not only with...
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...