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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-Saëns’ 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...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Plus: Edo de Waart continues to shine

Pianist Lang Lang is one of the brightest stars on the scene. His first appearance with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, nine years ago when he was a boyish 18 years old and just beginning his international career, was remarkable. Exuberant showmanship was rendered with titanic technique then. Lang has inevitably changed over the years, evidenced by his performance last week with MSO...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Classical Review

There are people who are simply born to perform. In front of an audience these crowd-pleasing individuals become what one can only guess is their liveliest and best selves. Despite what may be enormous talent, very few classical musicians have this quality. The members of Red Priest are among them...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Concert programming can be mysterious business. On paper last weekend’s Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert appeared to be a hodgepodge mix of American music. In practice it turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster with satisfying, accumulative effect. Aaron Copland’s El Salón México paints a wonderfully colorful picture of a Mexico City dance hall visited by the composer. My guess is that there was limited...