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!

Recital REVIEW
 Steinway Society  Liszt Blitz From Khatia Buniatishvili
April 13, 2014

Georgian-born Khatia Buniatishvili’s deeply felt musicality proves right for Liszt and Ravel, but is a bit off for a Chopin sonata.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Berkeley Symphony   Chambered Pleasures With the Berkeley Symphony
April 13, 2014

The stars were aligned in Piedmont for the fifth and concluding program of the Berkeley Symphony’s season chamber series.

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 Voices of Music  Voicing Lamentations
April 13, 2014

In praise of Scarlatti, the estimable Voices of Music lament impressively.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
   Terry Riley to the Max
April 12, 2014

The “Minimalist Jukebox,” a grand exploration of minimalism, is spinning Los Angeles itself. Two days belonged to the man who started it all: Terry Riley.

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Festival REVIEW
 Switchboard Music Festival  Pick a Genre, Play it Loud
April 12, 2014

Switch-ups mark the annual Switchboard Music Festival, with genres from all over the map (and then some) and a lot of radical playing going on.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Blomstedt: Insight and Mastery Mesmerize
April 9, 2014

When he is back in town to solidify his position as the Symphony’s Conductor Laureate, Herbert Blomstedt conducts the repertoire he loves, and that San Francisco audiences most love to hear from him.

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Recital REVIEW
 San Francisco Performances  Guitarist Manuel Barrueco: Master of Fusion
April 6, 2014

Effortlessly parsing Apollonian and Dionysiac aesthetics, Manuel Barrueco’s guitar enlivens arrangements of works by Bach and Scarlatti.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 San Francisco Conservatory of Music  Conrad Susa: A Composer Transforms Even Time
April 5, 2014

A composer’s passing is considered with thoughts of the voice and spirit living on, an idea that was pervasive at the memorial concert for the late Conrad Susa, presented by the S.F. Conservatory of Music.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 San Jose Chamber Music Society  Auryn Quartet: Austere and Lively Beethoven
April 5, 2014

German’s Auryn Quartet (now in its fourth decade of prominence) plays Beethoven to a fare-thee-well in San José.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Philharmonia Baroque's Vivaldi Extravaganza
April 4, 2014

Vivaldi’s vocal whirlwinds are as nothing to the massed forces of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorus as they mount the extravagant oratorio Judith triumphans.

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