Home / Tag: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Baroque opera needs an especially inventive director to relate to contemporary audiences. John La Bouchardière 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...
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

Classical Preview

The next Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert program contains two rather substantial works by Czech composers and a smaller one by an American. Normally larger pieces outweigh the smaller works on concert programs, but this time the small, opening piece has taken on a sad and unexpected meaning. This is the Ode for Orchestra by Lukas Foss, the Berlin-born pianist...
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,"...
Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

Classical Preview

Composers often find inspiration for the concertos they write from the instrumentalists they befriend. Witness the four horn concertos of Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791), which are impossible to envision without his close friendship with horn player Joseph Leutgeb (1732-1811). Contemporary press reports concerning Leutgeb's artistry attest to a great and innovative talent-attributes Mozart explored fully in these concertos wherein solo passages...
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

Glamour Galore

The 44th annual Symphony Style show at the Milwaukee Art Museum was top-notch as always, with sponsorships aplenty and fashion galore. The Symphony Style book, featuring Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra history and glam photos, was highlighted by Dan Bishop’s stark cover photo of the birthday-suited Andrew Stoll...
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Classical Review

Some classical soloists are distinctive in their idiosyncrasies. Violinist Gil Shaham, who performed with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last weekend, rarely plays to the audience. Rather, he turns to the musicians around him, but primarily to the conductor. You feel as if you are eavesdropping on a collaborative pleasure taking place onstage. Shaham played the Brahms Violin Concerto with an intense, large and colorful tone. He jumped in with both feet to attack formidable challenges and was wonderfully successful, from incisive drama to lyrical spin. Was humidity a factor in his not quite perfect tuning Friday evening?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Classical Review

The automatic, meaningless standing ovation has been out of control in the U.S. for years. Does it come from the American need to overstate everything? Maybe it indicates a lack of standards. It is refreshing to attend performances in Germany and Austria, where knowledgeable audiences applaud appreciatively at length, but never stand up. I am accustomed to being the only one sitting during applause, and am familiar with the resulting looks I get. It is a ridiculous situation. A good performance does not merit a “standing O.”
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Classical Review

I have thought about violinist Hilary Hahn more than any other musician who works the concerto circuit. She has played here often, nearly every season for many years now, returning last weekend to play with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. I certainly am intrigued by her phenomenal technique and the clarity of her musicality. Beyond that, she has a mystery about her that I find both fascinating and frustrating. I never feel as if I know her when she leaves the stage. At 28 this formerly waifish prodigy now understandably wants to be seen as a young woman. One only needed to look at her concert dress, black and decidedly adult, with a plunging neckline, to get the message. Hahn played the iconic Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, which she is performing with several orchestras through the coming fall . . .
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Classical Preview

“Fate blessed him when he was baptized with the perfect name—Felix,” said Robert Schumann when describing fellow composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47). Mendelssohn grew up in the midst of wealth and calm, and to a great extent his music reflects a Romantic spirit, but also great emotional tranquility. Few think him innovative, yet to a large degree Mendelssohn is to be credited with saving the piano concerto from being snuffed out. By 1830, composers like Hummel, Thalberg and Moscheles had brought the piano concerto to something of an artistic dead end, but Mendelssohn, sensing the crisis, drafted his own such effort in 1831, managing therein to breathe new life into a moribund musical genre.
Friday, May 23, 2008

Tonight @ the Marcus Center - 8 p.m.

When Johann Sebastian Bach set himself to work on a new composition, it was normally just a matter of days, at most a week or two, before it was finished. Such was certainly not the case with his Mass in B Minor, BWV 232. The fourth part (Sanctus) dates from 1724; the first two parts (Kyrie and Gloria) were completed . . .

0|9