Classical Music Reviews

Every week, our professional critics attend concerts throughout the Bay Area to let you know what went well...and occasionally what didn't. Let their insights enrich your musical experiences, and feel free to share your own views!


Opera Review
May 20, 2011

What do Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (premiere 1689) and Manuel de Falla’s La Vida Breve (premiere 1913) have in common? West Bay Opera does not hesitate to mate such strange, albeit intimate operatic bedfellows.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 20, 2011

The Club Foot Orchestra seamlessly meshes music with film in a presentation of Fritz Lang's legendary silent movie Metropolis under a starry sky in Saratoga.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 19, 2011

The NCCO's premiere of featured composer Mark O'Connor's Elevations wasn't the concert highlight — the orchestra's rare ensemble unity made everything sound great.

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CD Review
May 17, 2011

Composer and performance artist Meredith Monk’s uncanny ability to express universal truths through highly evocative, elemental sounds has kept her in the forefront of contemporary music for over four decades. Her latest recording for ECM New Series, confirms that her work remains as vital as ever.

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Chamber Music Review
May 15, 2011

Jennifer Koh and Anssi Karttunen joined the brilliant Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg in piano trios, and duos, that knocked everybody’s socks off.

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Choral Review
May 15, 2011

In a program of difficult Bach cantatas, the singers of the Pacific Collegium — men and boys — came through impressively.

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Recital Review
May 15, 2011

Denis Matsuev continues to move audiences with his bravura and his sensitive keyboard style.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 14, 2011

Symphony Silicon Valley has fun with Stravinsky and a new work by Paquito d’Rivera, with Jon Nakamatsu and Jon Manasse as well-matched soloists.

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Chamber Music Review
May 14, 2011

An ingenious technical kinetic/musical work strives for profundity, but lacks the “wow” factor listeners might have expected.

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Chamber Music Review
May 13, 2011

This strong early-instrument ensemble not only excels in Mozart and Haydn, but also performs an entertaining quartet by the latter’s contemporary (and a near-unknown) John Wikmanson.

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