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.


Feature Article
July 31, 2012

The musical baton is passed from Beijing to London in a gala concert featuring the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, and star percussionist Li Biao.

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Feature Article
July 31, 2012

Two rarely staged works, by Szymanowski and Rossini, add luster to Santa Fe Opera’s superb season.

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Feature Article
July 30, 2012

Arlene Sagan, music director emeritus of the 180-plus voice Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, passed away at age 84.

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Free Classical Music Download

Israeli Chamber Project : Opus 1

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The Israeli Chamber Project brings together some of today’s most distinguished young Israeli musicians for chamber music concerts and educational and outreach programs both in Israel and abroad. Comprised of a dynamic ensemble comprising of strings, winds, harp and piano, the Israeli Chamber Project has quickly made a name for itself through its musicianship and creative programming. Appearances in the U.S. include a Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Morrison Artists Series in San Francisco, and the group has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today.

Azica Records
Azica Records is offering the track "Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano - Final" from Opus 1 for SFCV readers to download and enjoy.

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Israeli Chamber Project: Opus 1
Feature Article
July 30, 2012

You’ll laugh, or maybe you’ll cry, at some of the hoariest of jokes about music and musicians.

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Feature Article
July 24, 2012

Through an innovative collaboration, composer Laura Karpman and the Cabrillo Festival have found a way to tell important stories in a multimedia presentation.

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This Week's Free Classical Music Download

Schubert Lieder on Record

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In his tragically short life, the Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828) wrote over 600 songs and effectively established the German lied as a new art form in the 19th century.

When Schubert Lieder on Record (1898–1952) was first released as an 8 LP set in 1982, the compiler Keith Hardwick explained that it was his intention to examine how Schubert lieder was performed in the days before Schwarzkopf, Fischer-Dieskau, Beethoven, and Baker, and so he sought out examples of the earliest recordings. Fred Gaisberg, Gramophone’s recording engineer, began making flat-disc 78rpm records in London in August 1898. Initially he chose material of a popular nature, but in Oct. of that year the contralto Edith Clegg recorded Schubert’s Ave Maria, which opens CD 1. Hardwick finished his program at the end of the 78rpm era, and the results of his labours are contained on the first six CDs in this set.

The records are presented in roughly chronological order of recording, a pattern also followed in the later part of the set. In the days of 78s, many of the singers restricted themselves to a very small selection of the most popular songs, so this affords the opportunity to compare different interpretations of the same composition.

CDs 7 to 16 contain a program of Schubert lieder performed by a wide range of singers from 1952 to the present day. In selecting the artists and recordings for these CDs, every effort has been made to cover as many different songs as possible. The result is that the first six CDs contain 93 songs sung by 64 singers in a total of 128 performances; the remainder of the set presents 30 singers in a total of more than 200 performances. CD 7 is devoted entirely to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing some of Schubert’s most substantial although rarely performed ballads. The next six CDs contain mixed programs by a starry collection of singers, including a complete Winterreise by Thomas Hampson, which forms a link to the bonus CD, a penetratingly informative discussion by Thomas Hampson entitled: Schubert’s Journey – An Exploration with Thomas Hampson.

Sung texts and translations are included on the final enhanced CD 17.

EMI Classics is offering the track "Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau & Karl Engel - Schubert - Auf der Donau" from Schubert Lieder on Record for SFCV readers to download and enjoy.

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Schubert Lieder on Record
Feature Article
July 20, 2012

London’s always a great place to be for the arts, but right now it’s dressed to the nines.

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