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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 Gyrgy 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-Sans’ 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...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Plus: Prometheus Trio ends season on strong note

For whatever reason, some landmark works are rarely programmed. Such is the case with Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, heard last weekend at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, last performed here in 1991. Using Psalm texts in Latin, the composer gave unusual symphonic structure to a three-movement piece for chorus and orchestra...