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
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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dance Review
January 29, 2011

Giselle might have seemed merely an ordinary start to the San Francisco Ballet’s 78th season were it not for the sharply contrasting talents of two of the world’s most interesting ballerinas: Yuan Yuan Tan and Sarah Van Patten.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 28, 2011

An S.F. Symphony program that looked uncannily symmetrical, concerts that began and ended with the best known works of each of the composers, offered rich and gratifying music and an orchestra under David Robertson’s baton in sweet accord.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 27, 2011

Michael Morgan and the Oakland Symphony and Chorus blessed concertgoers at the Paramount Theatre with a taste of heaven — an earnest and wonderfully played performance of Brahms’German Requiem.

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Chamber Music Review
January 26, 2011

A concert of small pleasures from the Vertavo Quartet combined a collection of tentative works that came off as quietly riveting. 

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CD Review
January 25, 2011

Circus Maximus is a scream, an impressive piece of workmanship, if a debatable work for the ages. In its latest incarnation as a high-definition Blu-ray disk, it’s a first-class device for showing off your latest surround-sound system.

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