News » Reviews 2010-2011
“In Wilhelm Weitsch’s well-known painting of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, the eldest son of Johann Sebastian seems far distant from the cantorial world of his father.
In Wilhelm Weitsch’s well-known painting of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, the eldest son of Johann Sebastian seems far distant from the cantorial world of his father.
“Although François Couperin won his reputation as an esteemed composer at the ostentatious and vainglorious court of Versailles, under the patronage of Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’, his work is often surprisingly discreet and intimate.
“No cuts, not a single one, nearly four hours of non-stop arias, and its only hit tune happens within the first five minutes.
“Handel’s oratorio Saul was the first dramatic oratorio that he wrote with a strong libretto.
Charles Jennens compilation, based on biblical sources, created a powerful structure which enabled Handel to create a work which became the first of his English music dramas.
“Chalice Consort observed the week of All Saints Day by singing a Requiem at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, Sunday in San Francisco. Musical Director Davitt Moroney invited the audience to think, as the Requiem unfolded, about the lives of people they knew who have died.
“One of the great things about the San Francisco Early Music Society’s concert series is that it gives exposure to emerging ensembles and new collaborations. On Saturday at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, I heard the Baroque Band, a Chicago string ensemble formed in 2007 by violinist Garry Clarke.
“Luciano Pavarotti died in September 2007, just short of his 72nd birthday and only a few years after his last performance at the Metropolitan Opera, in Tosca.
“Arion Baroque Orchestra opens its 31st season and enter the new room Bourgie this weekend with a program-Rameau Rebel entrusted to Christophe Rousset and given three times. Contrary to what is suggested in the advertisement, the renowned French harpsichordist appears only as a conductor. …“
“We’re honoring the work of Harry Christophers – conductor, singer, and founder of The Sixteen. Plus, highlights from EMA’s Young Performer’s Festival and more …
On this episode, Anna Pranger looks at“Chasing Goldberg” by Fred Lerdahl and“Variation on Variation with Variation” by Ralf Gothoni all performed by Lara Downes on the CD 13 Ways of looking at the Goldberg (modern piano).
“The Los Angeles Opera Company’s charmingly understated new production of Così fan tutte will please your eyes and delight your ears, but its story might grieve your romantic soul.
“The haughty beauties that are the ancient colleges of Cambridge were definitely feeling the heat this past weekend, and not even the cooling streams of the Cam and its tributaries could assuage the heat of an Indian summer in the Fens of Eastern England.
“We opened our 2011-12 season this week with Artistic Director Harry Bicket at Wigmore Hall with two performances of a programme featuring music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi and Venturini. Scarlatti and Handel were sung by renowned tenor Ian Bostridge, while Mr Venturini, despite his name, turned out to have come from the Low Countries, only adding to the interest surrounding his unfamiliar Sonata in G minor, a piece that particularly attracted the attention of Geoff Brown in The Times -
“Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra inaugurated its 31st season with works of the Classical period. I heard them on Saturday night in Berkeley’s First Congregational Church.
“"Sacabuche" is Spanish for "sackbut," which is the Renaissance version of the trombone, a featured instrument in this 17-performer group, their program entitled, Matteo Ricci: His Map and Music. A famous Italian cartographer, Ricci journeyed to China and in 1602 completed a map of the world, including the Americas, while residing in Beijing.
“It wasn't clear which of the two debutants would upstage the other on Tuesday at the Wigmore Hall, where every inch of the stage was crammed with winged fortepianos.
“The final weekend of the Indianapolis Early Music Festival (IEMF) featured one evening of music by an up-and-coming group and one evening of Chinese and Italian music.
“With the Carmel Bach Festival's new music director in charge, Bach himself has risen from the grave of encrusted tradition. Under Paul Goodwin's lead, last Sunday's performance of the St. John Passion, reclaimed the festival's namesake as Western music's greatest architect.
“The Indianapolis Early Music Festival kicked off June 24, but this intrepid blogger was unable to attend that first weekend, so I bring you a summary from the second weekend of the festival.
“Garsington Opera — in its superb new home on the Wormsley estate in rural Oxfordshire — has yet again confirmed the merit of its decision to promote Vivaldi’s long-ignored operas.
“From a specialty occasion, a meeting of minds and interests and instruments for a week every two years, its classes and performances culminating in the sometimes casual staging of a forgotten opera from an obscure corner of the repertory, cast with singers soon to become Early Music A-listers (Suzie LeBlanc, Karina Gauvin), …
“A capacity crowd at the Wigmore Hall eagerly awaited the arrival of Andreas Scholl and Tamar Halperin on the platform on Tuesday evening.
“Before a single track has been heard, Jordi Savall’s The Forgotten Kingdom impresses with its scale: a three-CD set packaged in a lavish, bound book that contains fifty dense pages of English commentary by nine different authors; adding the multiple translations, beautiful illustrations, and song texts, the book itself luxuriantly sprawls over 500 pages.
“With the days growing longer, the flowers (theoretically) blooming, and the year ending in an odd number, it can all mean only one thing: the Boston Early Music Festival is on its way.