Dan Leeson is a retired businessman, a former member of the now defunct San Jose Symphony, and a historical musicologist with some 50 publications in major journals and four books on Mozart, including the novel The Mozart Forgeries.
Articles by this Author
At the February 25 San Francisco Symphony matinee, Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt led the orchestra in two polar opposite symphonic masterpieces. Both works received the high-polish performances you expect from a world-class orchestra and their juxtaposition turned out to be brilliant programming.
On the surface, Friday’s program for a concert at Palo Alto’s First Lutheran Church looked peculiar. The concert consisted of four works, all with the same instrumentation — two violins, one viola, two cellos — all written by the same late-18th- and early-19th-century composer; one who is not perceived as being among the hot shots of classical chamber music.
On Friday, the remarkable duo of clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu gave a sensational recital of works that covered the period from the first half of the 19th century to a celebratory composition written for the centennial of Benny Goodman’s birth, which occurs this year.
Following what I had expected to be the preconcert lecture for the [email protected] evening presentation of "Midsummer Night Dreams," I found myself listening to an extravagant performance of the Dvořák Terzetto in C Major, followed by a breathtaking presentation of Brahms' Clarinet Trio in A Minor. After that explosion of sound, energy, and undisguised romance, I stumbled dizzily to another venue for the program that I was there to review.
The second of four programs designed to celebrate the 10th anniversary season of the Ives Quartet had, as its theme, "With an American Voice." Terrific idea. Imaginative programming! The players, Bettina Mussumeli and Susan Freier, violins, Jodi Levitz, viola, and Stephen Harrison, cello, are a unified force that shows some brilliant playing. While the program, presented at St.
The beautifully restored California Theatre in San José — thanks to the generosity of David Packard — was the site for Symphony Silicon Valley’s fourth of eight programs in its 2008-2009 season. Sunday's was a brilliantly performed program, but one of such mixed styles, content, and format as to raise eyebrows.
Sunday night, San José's Le Petit Trianon welcomed the San José Chamber Orchestra in a concert refreshingly titled "Ah, Youth!" The program consisted of music both composed and played by youthful talent, and it traveled a bumpy road from the 14-year-old Felix Mendelssohn to the unrelenting dissonances of the 29-year-old Harlan Otter. Soloists were Graham Nelson, a competent cellist at only 14, and David Do, an equally capable violinist aged 16, both of whom are mature and seriously involved in their performances.