Category Archives: Music

Why is Beethoven Greater Than Reicha?

Tweet I recently attended a performance of one of Antonin Reicha’s wind quintets – there are 24 of them. The number of the one I heard was not given. It was a competent work devoid of genius. Reicha (1770-1836) was born the same year as Beethoven and went to the same high school. They became…


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Colorado Springs Philharmonic Opens Season

Tweet The CSP opened its 2018-19 season this evening (Sept 15) under the direction of its music director Josep Caballé-Domenech. The Pikes Peak Center was full of an enthusiastic audience that had two out of three pieces to be enthusiastic about. The first was Rossini’s overture to L’Italiana in Algeri. The Philharmonic’s Catalan maestro lead…


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Strauss Sonata in B min and Alkan

Tweet Richard Strauss (1864-1949) needs little introduction here. One of opera’s great composers, his career lasted from the last two decades of the the 19th century until the middle of the 20th. He was, along with Monteverdi, Handel, and Mozart, equally adept at instrumental and non-operatic vocal music as he was at opera. All the…


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Stars of America Ballet in Santa Fe

Tweet Daniel Ulbricht is a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. He is also the founder and director of Stars of American Ballet a touring ensemble “devoted to presenting high caliber dance performances, as well as education and outreach programs.” The company which had performed in Portugal earlier in the week presented two…


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Stravinsky, Dohnány, and Schubert in the Afternoon

Tweet The Santa Fe Music Festival gave a short concert starting at noon today. The first piece was Stravinsky’s Octet for Winds. An ensemble conducted by Lawrence Foster gave a lively reading of the 1923 score. Listening to Stravinsky after The Rite of Spring is like reading Euclid for his entertainment value. I have at…


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Schubert and Tchaikovsky in Santa Fe

Tweet Schubert was not touched by God; he was embraced by Him as was no other composer. This recital by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival started with his youthful string trio, the only one he wrote. This work is obviously not in the same class as his late chamber music masterpieces like the final…


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Benjamin Bernheim

Tweet Benjamin Bernheim is a young French tenor who was raised in Geneva and trained at the Lausanne Conservatory. He joined the Young Artists Program at the Zurich Opera and recently has made Debuts in London, Milan, and Chicago. He has a beautiful lyric tenor that seems ideal for the great French tenor roles –…


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Tutto Verdi – The Requiem

Tweet Verdi’s towering Requiem Mass was written to mark the first anniversary of the death of Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) who was one of Verdi’s two cultural heroes of 19th century Italian art; the other was Rossini. First performed in the church of San Marco, it was repeated a few days later at La Scala. Verdi…


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Shostakovich Symphony #4 – Gergiev

Tweet Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony is unlike any of his other 14 works in this genre. To begin with, it calls for about 125 musicians. The demands on the players are extraordinary. Though it has only three movements, it typically takes more than an hour to perform. It was written in 1936 and was scheduled to…


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Maestros and Their Music – Book review

Tweet Subtitled The Art and Alchemy of Conducting, John Mauceri has written an illuminating book which is more about the art and craft of leading an orchestra than it is about alchemy. Maestro Mauceri has had a distinguished career which has taken him to many of the world’s top orchestras and opera houses. Among the…


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