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
February 12, 2011

How many performances of the “Jupiter” Symphony does it take to turn on a light bulb above the head of attentive listeners? In the case of the Santa Rosa Symphony, it only takes one.

More »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
February 12, 2011

In a performance by a trimmed-down San Francisco Symphony on Saturday, it was hard not to get caught up in the invigorating presence of conductor Ton Koopman, who coaxed phrases out of his performers like a magician pulling handkerchiefs out of a hat.

More »
CD Review
February 8, 2011

Classical musicians don’t ordinarily record “albums” now; they record works. But Musica Pacifica’s Dancing in the Isles is an album.

More »
CD Review
February 8, 2011

Lyric tenor and composer Roland Hayes (1887-1977) may be the most important “Aframerican” (his term) classical singer of the 20th century that you don’t know about.

More »
CD Review
February 8, 2011

Our very own San Francisco Symphony have come up with an excellent performance of the most famous symphony of them all. This release is worth making some sublime noise about.

More »
Chamber Music Review
February 5, 2011

Paul Bowles, once described as “famous for not being famous,” was an allusive artist of elusive categorization. On Saturday, Nicole Paiement’s Blue Print project began its ninth season, with a intriguing focus on Bowles’ music.

More »
Opera Review
February 4, 2011

Many enthusiastic Gilbert & Sullivan fans are not familiar with The Yeomen of the Guard. And yet, when you finally get to this atypical, unusual work — currently presented by Lamplighters — there are great rewards to be found, including some of G&S' best music and most clever lyrics. 

More »
CD Review
January 31, 2011

When lauded strangeness becomes vastly public, it may herald a change of fashion. Such seem to be Simone Dinnerstein’s Bach interpretations, which bring elements of romanticism back into baroque performance practice. Bach: A Strange Beauty is will not disappoint her new-found fans, nor will it convince her detractors.

More »
Chamber Music Review
January 30, 2011

Stanford Lively Arts’ “Sundays With the St. Lawrence” series has become one of the more consistently rewarding events on the Bay Area music calendar. Stanford’s ensemble in residence since 1998 returned with a special guest to continue its ongoing exploration of the chamber repertoire.

More »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 30, 2011

A concert put on by the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony offered great variation in technical accomplishment — often very good — and it took on interest for the wider musical community with the appearance of Brian Thorsett and with the premiere of three songs by S.F. composer David Conte.

More »

Pages