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 Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 11, 2010

The San Francisco Symphony last week tried to attract a younger audience, with a populist bent. While I applaud the idea, the success lay in increased ticket sales, not in delivery of a pleasing aesthetic experience.

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Opera Review
November 11, 2010

When a veteran soprano, lauded for her lyrico-spinto portrayals, takes over as Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at San Francisco Opera, hopes are high for a late-season triumph.

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Opera Review
November 10, 2010

The Makropulos Case, Janáček’s penultimate opera and the last production of the San Francisco Opera's fall season, is a roaring triumph in nearly all ways, starting with a stunning performance by Karita Mattila in her role debut as Marty.

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Chamber Music Review
November 7, 2010

Twice, in Sunday’s all-star-name evening of string trio music at Davies Symphony Hall, the center held.

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Chamber Music Review
November 7, 2010

The French Ensemble Zellig focuses on innovation and experimentation and is fully at ease traveling through time and musical styles. In its West Coast debut on Sunday night it was a breath of fresh air.

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Chamber Music Review
November 7, 2010

The traditional Japanese art remains wedded to folk custom, but with a distinctive New World edge.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 6, 2010

The Santa Rosa Symphony consists of about six dozen talented musicians, but during its performance Saturday, piano soloist Valentina Lisitsa stole the show. This 30-something, blonde, steely-fingered Ukrainian-American has technical virtuosity to easily match any pianist of her generation, and her musicality is out of this world.

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Chamber Music Review
November 5, 2010

When Melody of China and Asian Improv Arts teamed up for “Shanghai Stories,” a concert of jazz and Chinese classical and folk music, exoticism brought a lacquered newness to familiar pleasures.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 5, 2010

In the hands of Philharmonia Baroque, expert interpreters and a seasoned period-instrument orchestra, it becomes apparent why 18th-century audiences were hungry for orchestral repertoire by the bucket load.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 3, 2010

You have probably heard Carl Orff's Carmina Burana before. If you're like me, you've heard it many times. Even so, I have never heard it the way the S.F. Symphony played it on Wednesday.

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