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!


Chamber Music Review
December 3, 2010

Excitement was high on Friday when the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts presented the San Francisco recital debut of Meng Su and Yameng Wang at the Green Room.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
December 2, 2010

Supercharged love ... That’s what Music Director Joana Carneiro programmed in two works for the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. But it was the sultry presence, superb expressiveness, and fine singing of mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway that really heated up the sea of love to bubbly.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
December 2, 2010

In a S.F. Symphony performance of John Adams' El Niño, conducted by the composer, revealed itself to be an oratorio for the turn of the new century in a concert of warm Christmas music that was, rightfully, warmly received.

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Opera Review
December 1, 2010

At one of the finest Adler Showcases in recent memory, Sheri Greenawald and Mark Morash had the wisdom to frame each vocal set with powerhouse performances. In doing so, they set the tone for "The Future Is Now," letting their singers proclaim loud and clear that the Adler opera apprentice program is one of the world’s best.

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CD Review
November 30, 2010

A new CD from the New Century Chamber Orchestra is designed around Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen, and bracketed with Barber, Mahler, and live recordings. Music Director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and her orchestra have every right to be proud of it.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 26, 2010

Johannes Brahms and Alban Berg, great Viennese masters, make a good pairing, and San Francisco Symphony brought them together for its Thanksgiving week concerts. The well-thought-out and well-executed program never quite caught fire.

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CD Review
November 23, 2010

To celebrate the season, American Bach Soloists has remastered the American Bach Choir’s lovely 2002 Christmas CD, What Sweeter Music. The sweet purity of the female voices, the lovely clarity of the acoustic, and a careful selection whose tunes emphasize celebration over all else are self-recommending.

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CD Review
November 23, 2010

A new CD from the Turtle Island Quartet featuring eight songs by the late rock legend Jimi Hendrix may have some applauding the cross-over effort. Others are likely to come away less than satisfied, if not outright irritated.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 20, 2010

In an ambitious, godsend of a program from Michael Morgan’s Oakland East Bay Symphony, not even the great Santana and Narada Michael Walden could transcend the acoustics of the historic Paramount Theatre.

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Recital Review
November 20, 2010

It’s probably a good thing that Bryn Terfel stopped singing at the end of his recital Saturday night at Zellerbach Hall. Had he kept going, the audience would still be there, cheering for more.

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