Carmel Bach Festival 2018 — Heroic Symphony

What a great way to end the first week of Carmel Bach Festival 2018! We were observing a capacity audience and an exciting, varied program to send us on our way. In historical perspective, had this been forty years ago in 1978, when Dr. Sandor Salgo was Music Director, we would not have been hearing excerpts from Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town, Copland’s “Appalachian Spring ” and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. The last music ringing in our ears as we departed Sunset Center would more likely been one of the triumphant Brandenburg Concertos capping a program that might also have included works by Handel and Telemann. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Carmel Bach Festival, Orchestral


Carmel Bach Festival 2018 – “A Night at the Opera”

Tenor Thomas Cooley, Baritone John Brancy & Maestro Paul Goodwin

We had a lot of fun last night at the Tuesday Main Concert — “A Night at the Opera.” In the spirit of the Marx Brothers, there was some slapstick silliness, such as in scenes from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte  and Leonard Bernsten’s Trouble in Tahiti, but it was balanced by moments of more serious drama in arias from Beethoven’s Fidelio and Wagner’s Tannhaüser. Our affable host for the evening was David Gordon, whose perspective on all things vocal, choral and operatic is, as always, astonishing in its ability to enlighten and entertain us (and he had edited the super titles which made our opera experience all that more comprehensible and enjoyable). We also had an opportunity to hear the Festival Orchestra, directed by Maestro Paul Goodwin, the Festival Chorale and Chorus, and, most importantly, the vocal stars of the evening, sopranos Mhairi Lawson and Linda Lee Jones, mezzos Meg Bragle and Virginia Warnken Kelsey, baritones John Brancy, Jonathon Woody and Tim Krol. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Carmel Bach Festival, Opera, Orchestral


Carmel Bach Festival 2018 — Eight Seasons

On Monday, July 16, the Carmel music community enjoyed two beautiful and contrasting performances of the Four Seasons at Sunset Center in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The first half of the program was Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and the second half was Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Under the leadership of concertmaster and director Peter Hanson, members of the Festival Orchestra presented a fascinating and ultra-clear characterization of nature, elements and people. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Carmel Bach Festival, Orchestral, Strings


The Perils of Perfection: SF Symphony and Daniil Trifonov

 

Music by Sibelius and Rachmaninov provided the intense musical landscapes traversed by the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting, for the series June 21-24 at Davies Hall. The first half of the concert, devoted to the last two Sibelius symphonies, projected as consummate a sense of orchestral homogeneity and sumptuousness of tone as has been my privilege to experience. Guest pianist Daniil Trifonov joined the orchestra for a massive rendition of the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto, the much-familiar score’s here having received an idiosyncratic interpretation that makes us wonder what happens when a flawless technical command has nowhere to go than “other.” Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Concerto, Orchestral, Romantic Era


Rachmaninoff: Known and Unknown


A program of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s familiar and unfamiliar liturgical and concerted choral compositions provided the basis of a recital by the Slavyanka Chorus and assorted musicians, Saturday, June 9, at the First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto, Irina Shachneva, conductor. Slavyanka embodies a 40-member chorus established in 2000, the name’s having been taken from the old Russian version of Northern California’s Russian River. In 2010, Irina Shachneva founded the International Rachmaninoff Music Festival in Boston. Ms. Shachneva has since led performances of the Rachmaninoff Vespers at various venues, including Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory and St. Petersburg’s Glinka Capella. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Orchestral