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 20, 2010

In the second season the New Century Chamber Orchestra continues to move forward with imaginative programs. Their recent round of concerts was in many ways a testament to the adaptability of great music in the hands of imaginative musicians.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 20, 2010

In an ambitious, godsend of a program from Michael Morgan’s Oakland East Bay Symphony, not even the great Santana and Narada Michael Walden could transcend the acoustics of the historic Paramount Theatre.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 19, 2010

The Peninsula Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Symphonic Chorus can reliably be depended on to present an engaging holiday concert. This year’s was particularly interdisciplinary, offering instrumental works that had no explicit connection to the season but that proved to be cheerfully appropriate nonetheless.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 17, 2010

It’s always a pleasure to watch a singer make her way from aspiring talent to full-fledged artist — and to witness her finding her comfort zone in a vast sea of repertoire. This week’s S.F. Symphony program, featuring soprano Elza van den Heever as soloist was a beguiling case in point.

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CD Review
November 16, 2010

A very special recording from Jake Heggie features works that address love and loss with beauty and care, assembling one of the finest collections of American singers ever to grace a contemporary song collection.

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Chamber Music Review
November 13, 2010

The Del Sol Quartet performs an often mesmerizing always amplified program of new works that ends on an electrifying note.

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Opera Review
November 13, 2010

With a first-rate cast, world class conductor, and superb period instrument orchestra, the El Cerrito–based company reinvented as Berkeley West Edge Opera has taken another major step forward into the future with Xerxes.

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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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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 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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