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Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011

Classical Review

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson is one of the most accomplished and lasting veterans on the concerto circuit. I don’t recall how often I have heard him play over the years, but surely several to many times. His big guy virility at the keyboard and aesthetic grasp have always been impressive. Considering all this, it was surprising that his performance...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010
Messiah, Handel’s evergreen oratorio, has become a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra tradition each December. Large audiences attended five performances last week at three venues. I heard the Friday evening performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, the most acoustically pleasing choice. Christian Knapp returned as conductor...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010

Classical Review

The year 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of two major composers: Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann. Perhaps because both are heard so regularly, there were not enormous celebrations. It was good to ponder these two 19th-century giants at a Frankly Music concert last week at the...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010

Classical Review

British sensuality seems like an oxymoron. Nevertheless, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (1910) is just that, an example of Edwardian passion for a topic always dear to English hearts: the inescapable ocean that surrounds the British Isles, and its resonating, philosophical metaphors of endless journey toward the ever-changing...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

Classical Review

Honesty and fairness are my aims as a critic. For the first time in more than 12 years at it, I feel I must admit that I cannot find objectivity in reviewing Frank Almond’s performance of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Samuel Barber with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra last weekend...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Nov. 22, 2010
When I think through all the Skylight Opera productions I have seen there over the last 25 years, Gilbert & Sullivan are the high points. H.M.S. Pinafore, which opened last weekend, handsomely adds luster to the G&S tradition at Skylight. Peter Dean Beck’s bi-level ship deck set is gorgeous, rich with wood...
Classical Music/Dance
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

Classical Review

Bass players rarely become renowned soloists. Edgar Meyer is the exception, performing his own compositions as well as the small body of music by other composers for the instrument. Meyer’s longstanding appeal goes beyond out-of-the-ordinary curiosity. His artistry was happily...
Classical Music/Dance
Monday, Nov. 8, 2010

Also: Chamber Music Milwaukee turns to film

The Saturday evening concert at the Zelazo Center by the London ensemble Fretwork was historical in the truest sense. The program mixed old and new in an engrossing theme: The World Encompassed – Sir Francis Drake. The six-player viol group commissioned composer Orlando Gough to write music...
Classical Music/Dance
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010

Classical Review

As much as we appreciate the established top classical performers in town, it is good to see a new, young professional player who, by talent and ability, earns a place in their company. Ilana Setapen is in her second season as associate concertmaster at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She presented a Sunday afternoon recital at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, presented by Civic Music Association...