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
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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CD Review
November 2, 2010

This disc is a revelation. A revelation as much to initiates who think they know the beautiful, often ethereal choral music of Eric Whitacre, as to the millions who know him only from the YouTube Virtual Choir video of “Lux Aurumque,” and as to those who have yet to make his acquaintance.

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Chamber Music Review
October 30, 2010

What music do you expect to hear at a Halloween concert? The Santa Cruz Chamber Players lack the forces necessary for warhorses, so in their concert at Christ Lutheran they were forced to be creative. It made for a festive holiday occasion.

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Chamber Music Review
October 30, 2010

At 20th-anniversary concerts of Musica Pacifica offered performers who reach far beyond merely creating beautiful sounds: They truly create music by infusing the composers’ notes with energy and passion, and with the elusive-but-essential breath of life.

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Opera Review
October 30, 2010

Henry Purcell never wrote an opera titled The Witch of Endor, so the question arose as to what, exactly, Urban Opera would be performing over Halloween weekend. The answer turned out to be something equal in musical brilliance and theatrical flair to the company’s inaugural production.

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