Category Archives: Music

San Francisco Symphony Plays Haydn, Sibelius, and Beethoven

Tweet On Thursday evening, September 15, the  San Francisco  Symphony played Haydn’s Symphony # 69 for the first time in it’s long history. Its Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas conducted. The orchestra played the short work with a lush sound better suited to the symphonic works of the succeeding century. The concluding movement marked presto…


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Joshua Bell Opens Lubbock Symphony Orchestra Season

Tweet I don’t usually write about the Lubbock Symphony as I am too close to the orchestra to be objective, but this show was too good to pass without comment. Joshua Bell was the soloist in the opening the LSO’s 2016-17 season; its 70th. He played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in the second half of…


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Finale 9 – Mahler Symphony #8

Tweet Mahler’s 8th symphony was composed in a blaze of inspiration during his Summer vacation in 1906 at Maiernigg in southern Austria. Mahler made his living conducting. Composition was only possible in the summer. The hut in which Mahler wrote the symphony is above the title. This huge and complex work took less than 8…


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Santa Fe Chamber Music Season Opens

Tweet The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival opened its 2016 on Sunday July 17 with three works. First was the semi-obligatory nod to a living composer, in this instance the festival’s music director – Mark Neikrug. He played the piano accompanying clarinetist Todd Levy his Kaleidoscope for Clarinet & Piano. Neikrug  wrote Kaleidoscope in 1980. Levy is…


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Shostakovich Violin Concerto #2 and Symphony # 7

Tweet Disc 6 of Valery Gergiev’s Shostakovich cycle contains the 2nd Violin Concerto and the Leningrad Symphony (#7). It was recorded in performance in February of 2014. The soloist was Alena Baeva. The violin concerto, written and first performed in 1967, was the last concerto composed by Shostakovich. It was dedicated, as was the 1st,…


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Shostakovich Violin Concerto #1 and Symphony #11

Tweet Disc 8 of the Shostakovich series, conducted by Valery Gergiev, mentioned in my last post contains the performance of the above music recorded at the Salle Pleyel on February 18, 2014. The soloist is the the great Russian violinist Vadim Repin. The first violin concerto (opus 77) was written in 1947-8. It was dedicated to David…


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Shostakovich Complete Symphonies and Concertos

Tweet Arthaus Musik has released an 8 disc DVD set of all the Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos. Valery Gergiev, perhaps the best conductor of the Russian master now active, leads soloists and the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra and chorus in performances recorded at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. These recording were made in 2013/14. I just…


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Bolshoi Ballet: Taming of the Shrew

Tweet The Bolshoi Ballet’s production of The Taming of the Shrew was telecast in HD at theaters around the world this afternoon. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s least politically correct play (at least for now) The Taming of the Shrew, the choreography was by Jean-Christophe Maillot. The dancing was set to about 25 pieces by Dmitri…


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Not All Schubert Program Closes 2015 Santa Fe Chamber Music Series

Tweet The 2015 Santa Fe Chamber Music series closed this evening at the Lensic Theater with what was supposed to be an all Schubert program. But alas the best laid plans of mice and musicians often go astray. Violinist William Preucil was indisposed which caused the program to be altered. “Indisposed” in the music business…


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Shostakovich – Michelangelo Suite

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kW3Mr_TpVc

Tweet Michelangelo (1475-1564), in addition to dominating renaissance art, wrote more than 300 sonnets and madrigals. Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) set 11 of the sonnets to music shortly before he died. The Michelangelo Suite was originally written for bass and piano (op 145). Shostakovich then orchestrated the songs (op 145a) making the piece even more powerful…


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