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 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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Chamber Music Review
January 23, 2011

The Miró Quartet offered more than a chance to test a theory on "late style" on Sunday in Burlingame, played divergent works with the utmost dedication and coordination, enveloping without overwhelming the intimate space of Kohl Mansion’s hall.

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Recital Review
January 22, 2011

Marc Teicholz of the San Francisco Conservatory gave an exquisitely sensitive and skillful recital there on Saturday, featuring new transcriptions, music associated with Segovia, and extraordinary contemporary compositions.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 21, 2011

Led by guest conductor Marek Janowski, the all-Beethoven program at Davies Symphony Hall proceeded in a entirely unexpected order, yet one with exceptional verve and focus, and results that were both bracing and a little disorienting.

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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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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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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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