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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MSO season finale: Mahler’s Third

Gustav Mahler said, “A symphony must be like the world—it must embrace everything.” This weekend, as grand finale to his first season as the Milwaukee Symphony’s new music director, Edo de Waart has chosen Mahler’s colossal Symphony No. 3. Once, when Mahler was 5, his father left him sitting on a tree stump in the Bavarian forest and told him to wait there until he returned...
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010

Classical Preview

The effect of location on a composer’s works cannot often be overstated. Witness the output of late-Renaissance composer Giovanni Gabrieli (1553-1612), who succeeded his uncle (and fellow composer) Andrea Gabrieli as music director of Venice’s St. Mark Cathedral in 1586. Therein, he purposely...
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009

Classical Review

When guest conductor Lawrence Renes was last at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra he led a questionable account of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Based on that, I did not know what to expect with his return to MSO last weekend to conduct Anton Bruckner’s...
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009

Classical Review

I continue to marvel at what I’m hearing at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In only four programs, plus some regional touring, since beginning as music director, Edo de Waart has fundamentally changed...
Friday, Sept. 4, 2009

September marks a new era for Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

If there's one thing that leads to the creation of a good orchestra, it's bad weather. For Edo de Waart, new maestro for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin's blustery...
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Classical Review

Of the top pianists touring the world playing recitals and concertos, Jean-Yves Thibaudet achieves something that is increasingly elusive in contemporary classical music. Instead of standard-issue mastery of the keyboard-no small accomplishment, however lacking in individuality it may be-he plays with distinctive sound and style. His return engagement last weekend with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was brilliant...
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...
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...
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...

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