Music Articles

Every week, our writers take an in‐depth look at an artist, program or topic of interest to us. Spend some time with this week's classical music feature, or scroll through the extensive SFCV archive for insights in many music topics.


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Seattle Symphony: <em>Holiday Classics</em>

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Seattle Symphony’s first holiday album embraces works composed specifically for Christmas. Music Director Gerard Schwarz asked two composers, the Symphony’s Composer in Residence Samuel Jones and Seattle Symphony Principal Oboe Ben Hausmann, to “make the music their own” by scoring several of the pieces to retain the simplicity of these well-known Christmas and concert works. Schwarz also arranged and edited several of the pieces.

Naxos RecordsNaxos Classics is offering the track "Gesu Bambino (arr. Ben Hausmann)" from Seattle Symphony: Holiday Classics for SFCV readers to download and enjoy.

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Seattle Symphony: <em>Holiday Classics</em>
News Report
December 3, 2012

The San Francisco Opera's 2013-2014 season celebrates Wagner and Verdi bicentennials, and much more.

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Kids & Families Feature
November 29, 2012
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Feature Article
November 27, 2012

In the “new economy,” young musicians are finding their way, despite an uncertain job market, declining concert attendance, and other discouragements. Here are some of their stories, along with the perspective of an older generation.

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News Report
November 26, 2012

The Lincoln Theater in Yountville will again produce live entertainment in the fall 2013 season. But questions about its artistic mission and funding are far from answered.

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This Week's Free Classical Music Download

Rossini: <em>Complete Overtures V1</em>

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Rossini's gift for comic and tragic forms was matched by an equal appreciation for characterization, qualities that are always evident in his overtures. La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is perhaps the most famous, but in Otello he reveals his more complex turns of phrase. The overture for Elisabetta, Regina d’Inghilterra was used again a year later by Rossini for Il barbiere di Siviglia. These recordings feature the Prague Philharmonic Choir and Prague Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Christian Benda. This is the first of four discs of the complete Rossini Overtures.

Naxos RecordsNaxos Classics is offering the track "Sinfonia in D - Al Conventello" from Rossini: Complete Overtures V1 for SFCV readers to download and enjoy.

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Rossini: <em>Complete Overtures V1</em>
Season Preview
November 21, 2012

From innovative fare to traditional-carol sing-alongs, sacred music, and dance, the Bay Area brims with concerts celebrating the holidays.

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Free Classical Music Download

Mahler: <em>Symphony No.1</em>

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The opening movement of Symphony No. 1, is filled with sounds that Mahler recalled from childhood, depicting “Nature’s awakening from the long sleep of winter” and followed by a scherzo and trio based on a Ländler. The slow movement funeral march is based on the children’s song Frère Jacques. Marin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in this recording and also is the Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

Naxos RecordsNaxos Classics is offering the track "Titan: Kräftig bewegt" from Mahler: Symphony No.1 for SFCV readers to download and enjoy.

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Mahler: Symphony No.1
Kids & Families Feature
November 15, 2012
More "Kids Around the Bay"

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Berlioz: <em>Symphonie Fantastique</em>

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Symphonie Fantastique was composed while Hector Berlioz was suffering an intense and unreciprocated passion for the Irish actress Harriet Smithson. Its autobiographical tale describes a young musician’s opium-poisoned nightmares of jealous despair following the murder of his beloved. Berlioz wrote a second movement cornet solo into a subsequent revision of the score, here included as an optional extra. This recording is conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Naxos RecordsNaxos Classics is offering the track "Un bal. Valse: Allegro non troppo" from Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique for SFCV readers to download and enjoy.

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Berlioz: <em>Symphonie Fantastique</em>

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