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David Bratman

David Bratman is a librarian who lives with his lawfully wedded soprano and a wall full of symphony recordings.

Articles by this Author

Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
September 25, 2010

The Redwood Symphony celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday, opening its season with a potpourri of pleasing music at Cañada College in Redwood City. Eric Kujawsky, who founded the orchestra and has been its music director for all 25 years, conducted the occasion.

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Festival Review
July 27, 2010

After two centuries of an increasing reputation as a “Land Without Music,” whose homegrown composers weren’t considered worth importing by disapproving Germans, England suddenly flowered with a blossom of great composers starting around the turn of the 20th century. A garland of works by three of these masters formed “The English Voice,” the second of this year’s [email protected] chamber music festival main concert programs.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 29, 2010

A concert by Cadenza, the former Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra, is like taking a drink from a mountain spring: cool, clear, and refreshing — though more refreshing, in truth, than thirst-quenching. Saturday’s concert at Holy Cross Church lasted just over an hour, intermission included. When it ended, soon after 9 p.m., twilight had not quite finished fading.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 15, 2010

Cello concertos are where you find them. Visiting soloist Gary Hoffman found two excellent short pieces that work well in that role, though they aren’t called concertos, to play with Symphony Silicon Valley, under guest conductor Gregory Vajda, at San José’s California Theatre on Saturday.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 5, 2010

From almost the moment that guest conductor Christoph Eschenbach struck up Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 with the San Francisco Symphony last Wednesday, it was clear that this was going to be a Brahms of the bright colors. It was set against a lovely recent French work by Marc-André Dalbavie.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
May 1, 2010

The St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra finished off its first season on Saturday, at its namesake church in Redwood City, by highlighting four of its own players as soloists in two rare double concertos, and matching those with two brief standards of the orchestral repertory.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
April 24, 2010

Eric Kujawsky, music director of the Redwood Symphony, likes sometimes to lead his volunteer musicians into the thorny thickets of Eastern European modernism. This time, on Saturday at the Cañada College Theatre in Redwood City, nobody got seriously lost.

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Chamber Music Review
March 13, 2010

Saturday’s Music at the Mission chamber music concert, at Old Mission San Jose in Fremont, bore the title “Music in the Time of Turmoil: From Conflict to Redemption.” It featured a quartet for the end of time, and another quartet from after the end of time. It was a solid, meaty chamber music concert: not heavy or overlong, just full of provocative 20th-century compositions related to war or inspired by it.

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Chamber Music Review
March 3, 2010

With pianist Peter Serkin as its guest artist, the Orion String Quartet brought a pantheon of composers to its Stanford Lively Arts concert on Wednesday at Dinkelspiel Auditorium: Bach. Beethoven. Brahms. ... And Leon Kirchner.

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Choral Review
February 17, 2010

There wasn’t any doubt which piece on their San Francisco Performances program that the King’s Singers had really come to Herbst Theatre to perform on Wednesday. It was the premiere of Tres mitos de mi tierra (Three myths of my land), by Berkeley-native composer Gabriela Lena Frank.

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Chamber Music Review
February 13, 2010

Music-lovers in the South Bay had their calendars marked. The Takács Quartet came to San José’s Le Petit Trianon on Saturday, as part of the concert series of the San José Chamber Music Society. It was, I believe, the first time this distinguished ensemble had performed down here in eight years, since before violist Geraldine Walther joined the group.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
February 5, 2010

The San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas paid a mammoth tribute to two American composers, Charles Ives and Henry Brant, last week. Friday’s performance of A Concord Symphony, music by Ives as orchestrated by Brant, was a landmark in local performances of 20th-century music.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
January 10, 2010

Sunday was string quartet night at the San José Chamber Orchestra’s concert, conducted by Barbara Day Turner, at Le Petit Trianon in its namesake city. The Cypress String Quartet played as guest soloists in the premiere of Pablo Furman’s Paso del Fuego, and the SJCO ceded the entire stage to the Cypress foursome for the first half of the concert, which consisted of Beethoven’s Quartet in F, Op. 135.

But before we get to the Beethoven, let me tell you about the premieres: two of them.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 20, 2009

Tired of the usual run of jolly Christmas choral music? A nearly full house on Friday in Stanford’s spacious Memorial Church welcomed in their holiday season with a Requiem. And not just any Requiem. What the Stanford Symphonic Chorus and Peninsula Symphony Orchestra had gathered to perform under the baton of Stephen M. Sano, the Chorus’ director, was a new performing edition of the Missa pro defunctis by Antonín (alias Anton, alias Antoine) Reicha.

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Choral Review
November 15, 2009

Some ensembles offering contemporary choral music specialize in the extreme “listener-friendly” end of the spectrum. Not so the San Francisco chamber chorus called Volti, which is interested in something more challenging, both to perform and to listen to. Sunday in Palo Alto’s All Saints’ Episcopal Church, a small, round, concrete bunker of modernist architecture that was extra dark (the fluorescent lights were off, because they buzz), Volti performed a well-rounded program of small, dark, concretely modern works of music.

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Chamber Music Review
November 12, 2009

What makes Henry Cowell such a fun composer to listen to is that you never know what he’ll do next. A whole bunch of the tricks up his sleeve were on display at a mash-up concert of his chamber music on Thursday, the first and more adventurous of two concerts last week sponsored by Other Minds. 

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Chamber Music Review
November 7, 2009

Nearly 20 years after his death, the name of Leonard Bernstein still carries magic among musicians and audiences, enough to ensure a full house Saturday at Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Auditorium for “A Portrait of Leonard Bernstein.”

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
October 24, 2009

Cadenza is a well-known term in classical music, and now it’s also the name of a local orchestra. The 14-member string ensemble formerly known as the Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra has changed its name in hopes of establishing a more distinctive moniker, and gave its first concert Saturday under the new name at Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
October 10, 2009

The Mid-Peninsula is home to a number of dedicated amateur orchestras. Some local patrons felt there was, nevertheless, room for a chamber orchestra made up of local professionals — and now there is one. The St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra, named for its hall, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Redwood City, gave its first concert Saturday. Artistic Director Paul Schrage conducted the performance. On the program were two classical period symphonies: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op.

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Upcoming Concert
October 7, 2009
The former Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra is kicking off its first season under a new name with two energetic and attractive modern works for strings and trumpet: Arthur Honegger’s Symphony No. 2 and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, the latter with pianist Brenda Tom. Peteris Vasks’ solemn Cantabile for strings rounds out the intriguing program from these fine performers. Maya Barsacq conducts. More »

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