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!


CD Review
January 18, 2011

A new performance can make you re-imagine a piece you thought you'd known cold: Two new discs, by the Pavel Haas and Artemis Quartets, remind me of that. And what the two groups share is extraordinary technical crispness coupled with tenderness and intelligence; the ability to refresh and renew.

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Recital Review
January 18, 2011

In a delightful recital Tuesday night, Lang Lang — probably the best pianist around, and once likened to Elvis in stature — presented a different pianist, who was also subtle, self-effacing, while exhibiting the highest level of artistry.

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Chamber Music Review
January 16, 2011

In [email protected]'s latest concert in this year’s winter series, festivals co-director and pianist Wu Han, Alessio Bax, and Anne-Marie McDermott performed fairly indulgent music from the turn of the 20th century, all of it written for two pianos.

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Chamber Music Review
January 15, 2011

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet brought charisma and virtuosity to a program of mostly Renaissance music (bookended by 19th-century opera arrangements and leavened by a modern classic) at a recital presented on Saturday.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 15, 2011

There's a powerful magnetism about a great professional countertenor, a singer who exhibits both fantastic vocal range and crystalline purity of tone. David Daniels has built an impressive career as a countertenor, with luscious tone and careful craftsmanship among his assets, as demonstrated in Philharmonia Baroque’s lively program on Saturday.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 13, 2011

Music truly is the international language. Case in point at the San Francisco Symphony: A French conductor leads an American orchestra in an all-Russian program — and it all sounds amazingly authentic, and mostly excellent.

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CD Review
January 11, 2011

It’s not often that we get to hear such a large body of new music, developed over a long time, by one composer and played by a single ensemble. No one could listen to Lisa Bielawa's two-CD set and not marvel.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 9, 2011

The San José Chamber Orchestra celebrated Johann Sebastian Bach on Sunday and the evening began with a bang.

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Chamber Music Review
January 8, 2011

The New Esterházy Quartet's performance — the third iteration of the ensemble’s “Dedicated to Haydn” series — demonstrated camaraderie, marked above all by exceptional unity of purpose and total commitment to the group's interpretive schemes.

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Choral Review
January 8, 2011

Escaping from “lake-effect” snow and winter, the venerable Cornell Glee Club brought a warm mixture of Romantic-inflected music to its Bay Area concerts.

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