Home / Tag: Beethoven
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
When listening to classical music, acoustics and where you sit in the hall are almost as important as the performance itself. At the Sunday afternoon Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert I was seated in row J on the main floor, about eight or nine rows closer than my regular seats. That doesn’t seem like much, but the difference was enormous. Further back in the hall the sound...
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009

Classical Review

Beethoven's 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. One would expect a scaled-back performance stressing tight transparency based on this...
Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009

Tonight @ the Marcus Center - 8 p.m.

As part of a program billed as “Breaking Through to Joy,” the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with four vocal soloists, will perform Beethoven's Ninth, one of the composers most beloved compositions, followed by the Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in B-Flat Major, K. 191 by W.A. Mozart (1756-91). This is a work Mozart composed when he was 18 years old for an instrument that had only recently been developed. The soloist for this work will be Theodore Soluri. Conducting tonight’s 8 p.m. performance at the Marcus Center...
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Classical Preview

Fate was kind to us in that a singular genius such as Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) was in the right place and time to so enrich the world of music. His composing career fits into three musical periods.
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

(Amadeus Press), by John Bell Young

Concert pianist and critic John Bell Young sets out to describe and explain Beethoven's nine symphonies with minimal technical jargon. His Guided Tour largely succeeds. Young offers solid summations of the structure, emotional content and intellectual background of each symphony. He also touches on subjects as various as Beethoven's celebrity status, the role of conductors in interpreting the score, the political backdrop . . .
Friday, June 20, 2008

Classical Preview

PianoArts of Wisconsin has come a long way in the eight years since its first competition. With the 2008 National Biennial Piano Competition and Music Festival running this week June 20-24 in the Milwaukee area, PianoArts has attracted some serious young talent. The 10 finalists hail from six states, including homelands of China, Singapore and Japan to compete for over $18,000 in prize money including scholarships. But as stiff as the competition is to make the Top Ten, so are the requirements, which this year include raising the contestants’ ages to 15-19 to allow for college students to compete. In addition, the Competition’s three finalists will perform . . .
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Classical Review

There aren’t many real stars among instrumentalists in classical music today. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is at the top of the list. In a gala performance with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last Wednesday night Ma portrayed Cervantes’ demented hero in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote as convincingly as any dramatized version. We expect beautiful tone and masterful phrasing from Ma. I wasn’t prepared for his depth of humanity in this piece and overwhelming musical acting, portraying the character’s swoons, groans and palpable longing. The Don’s aching idealism ended with a heartbreaking death scene from Ma.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Classical Review

Classical music is as much about acoustics and a sympathetic atmosphere as it is about literature and performance. I recently attended a Vienna Philharmonic concert in the famous Musikverein, a marvel of a Viennese concert hall. The warmth and intimacy of that great space leaves most modern halls, such as our Uihlein Hall, feeling vast and cold. What would our very good Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra—and its anonymous and coughing audience in the spacious dark—become in a better space? The sudden burst of spring weather matched the theme of the MSO concert last weekend. Andreas Delfs led Beethoven Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”), which began with restraint in its first movement, certainly pastoral in spirit
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Classical Preview

Composers do not live in a vacuum and thus cannot help but be influenced to some degree by their surroundings and even by the works of other composers. Indeed, some composers have deliberately sought out their cohorts to refresh their thinking or find a new approach. New York-born composer John Corigliano’s (b. 1938) music emphasizes musical architecture, color and dramatic effects, and though steeped in the post-Romantic aesthetic nevertheless shows the influence of the Minimalist and Serialist schools as well. The next Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert opens with Corigliano’s Fantasia on an Ostinato (1986), a work he based on the Allegretto of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 (1811).

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