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!


Choral Review
March 19, 2011

The Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra elegantly paired searing orchestral music with well-etched singing in its performance of Verdi’s Requiem.

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Dance Review
March 19, 2011

The classic story ballet Coppélia comes home to the San Francisco Ballet, in a radiantly danced new production.

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Recital Review
March 18, 2011

The young Chinese pianist Di Wu makes a thrilling local debut, with fireworks aplenty, evoking memories of Martha Argerich.

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Choral Review
March 16, 2011

This week, Ragnar Bohlin and the S.F. Symphony Chorus met their ultimate challenge, performing Bach's B minor Mass, a towering landmark of all music. The result is a delightful surprise; an intimate, gentle, lyrical performance of this majestic expression of yearning for peace and the good of all humanity.

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CD Review
March 15, 2011

A new CD release of Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, is an often lovely, often puzzling performance — sometimes innocently affectionate, sometimes seeming to be making historical points in a way that aren't necessarily beneficial.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
March 13, 2011

In the Marin Symphony’s lively pops-cum-masterworks concert Sunday, Bay Area composer Nathaniel Stookey ran away with the show.

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Recital Review
March 12, 2011

I’m a curious cat, intrigued by unusual things, so I went to a double-bass recital as part of the Music at the Mission chamber music series. The lesson of the evening’s repertoire was that composers who write solo pieces for the double bass are apt to be slightly eccentric.

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CD Review
March 12, 2011

The latest release from the Bay Brass, an ensemble made up of some of the best musicians in the S.F. Symphony, Ballet, and Opera orchestras offers attractive compositions and more than belies prejudices often conjured up by brass ensembles, with excellent playing and first rate sonics.

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Recital Review
March 12, 2011

To prolonged high-pitched cheers and applause, Munich-born tenor Jonas Kaufmann, 41, strode onto the stage of Zellerbach Hall for his Bay Area debut, offering a unique instrument and experience; one of the most versatile, compelling, and vexing recitals in memory.

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Opera Review
March 12, 2011

Something special is happening at the Livermore Valley Opera, which has taken the care to stage Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with a cast that does the opera and the company proud.

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