Home / Articles / By Rick Walters
{imgArticleTop}
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Classical Review

It had been a few months since Andreas Delfs was last on the podium at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. As he nears the end of his long tenure as music director, he has enduring affection and good will from the audience, obvious in the smiles and applause that greeted him. Beyond musical accomplishments, Delfs has been a good public...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Baroque opera needs an especially inventive director to relate to contemporary audiences. John La Bouchardičre presented a deeply witty staging of Handel's Semele at Florentine Opera last weekend, a run of three performances at the Pabst Theater. The production combined stylized period movement with video projection. The scenery, a recreation of designs by Giuseppe Di Iorio, became a vital part of the direction...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009

Classical Review

Present Music continued its exploration of untried classical concert venues last Saturday evening at Discovery World's Pilot House. A lovely space, with a panoramic view of the lake and shore, the carpeted room has little natural resonance. This did not matter much since the entire concert was amplified. Attendees also had the chance to tour museum exhibits before and after the concert, with a few music installations...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009

Classical Review

Few of us have ever encountered a lute quartet. The chance to remedy that void came last Saturday evening at Early Music Now in a concert held at Cathedral Church of All Saints on Juneau Avenue. The Venere Lute Quartet presented a varied program of 16th century original music for this instrumentation, and since the repertory is slight, also arrangements of music of the period. Despite the snow, there was a sizable audience of music...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009

Classical Review

Lukas Foss, composer and music director of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra 1981-86, died on Feb. 1 at the age of 86. By an odd coincidence of programming planned months ago, Foss' Ode for Orchestra was performed by MSO last weekend. It became a tribute to him. The Ode was composed in 1944 by the German-born Foss, who settled permanently in the United States in 1937. Originally conceived as a memorial for war dead, the music is understandably anguished and...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009
While watching a movie at the Oriental Theatre on Saturday evening my mind was adrift with what I had heard at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra the night before. With the film still rolling I left my stunned friends for Uihlein Hall, arriving in time for Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, conducted by Vasily Petrenko. I had to hear it again. A tall, blonde and boyishly handsome 32-year-old Russian, Petrenko is the young celebrity face of classical music in Europe...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009

Classical Review

Gilbert Varga, guest conductor of last weekend's Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concerts, is an impressive presence on the podium. He leads with supreme musicianship, care, insight, taste and style. Most important, he seems an able communicator to the orchestra. From memory Varga led Haydn's Symphony No. 73 ("La Chasse") with understanding of the composer's wit and playfulness. It was a thoughtful, tight, spontaneous performance. Varga's versatility...
Off the Cuff
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009
Last spring Frank Almond, concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, learned that a Stradivarius violin built in 1715, which some experts believed had disappeared, was in a bank vault in Milwaukee.The undisclosed owner offered Almond the opportunity to play it on long-term loan. “Strads,"...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009

Classical Review

Present Music explored yet another venue in two concerts last weekend at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, home to the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and other organizations. I caught the Saturday performance. The space, a multipurpose room with moveable seating and a wooden floor, has a clean, true sound with just the right amount of resonance. It may be the best place in Milwaukee for...
Classical Music/Dance
Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009
Symphony No. 9, one of the icons of Western art music, should have a sense of occasion about it. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performance last Saturday night fell short of that. The guest conductor, Lawrence Renes, obviously had a theory about the historical period of the piece, evidenced by a reduced string section and a smaller chorus than usual.