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Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

MSO visits Wagner’s classic

If Die Walküre weren’t the centerpiece of Wagner’s great four-part cycle, “The Ring of the Nibelung,” it would still hold its own. One of the world’s great operas, Die Walküre is unsurpassed for the lyrical tenderness imbedded within an eloquent musical fabric that underscores Wagner’s conception of redemption through the healing power of love. As the second of the “Ring” cycle, Walküre departs from the...
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

MSO concert features Mozart, Ives and Cedarburg’s Gordon

Guest conductor James Gaffigan kicks off the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s 2011 schedule with a concert comprising two very different symphonies and a contemporary concerto. Though Wolfgang Mozart (1756-91) composed music throughout his all-too-brief life, the prominent benchmarks increased as time progressed. This is certainly true of the quarter-century during which...
Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

Upcoming concerts include Philomusica String Quartet, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

With their next concert, the Philomusica String Quartet—newest resident faculty ensemble at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music—begins a multi-year canvassing of all the quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Appropriately enough, they start more or less at the beginning...
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra opens its season with Beethoven’s Ninth

At the conclusion of a world premiere performance of a new work on May 7, 1824, in Vienna’s Hoftheater, the composer stood silently facing away from the audience as they applauded and cheered. It was the greatest public success of his career. In one of the most poignant accounts of his final years, Ludwig van Beethoven...
Monday, Aug. 30, 2010
Milwaukee classical music fans are blessed to have so many options available to them, as this smattering of highlights from the new music season makes crystal clear. The Fine Arts Quartet opens its season with a classical masterpiece and two 20th-century works...
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...
Monday, June 7, 2010

Classical Preview

The summer pops concert is a staple of American orchestras, and as summer also means the anniversary of the founding of the United States, these concerts are almost always given a patriotic theme. With the musical framework pretty much set due to these expectations, the challenge is to be different somehow...
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...
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, 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...

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