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
 Bay Area Cabaret  Stephanie Blythe Toasts Kate Smith in Engaging Show
October 6, 2015

A cabaret evening of Kate Smith songs created by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe.

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Recital REVIEW
 Grace Cathedral Concerts  Bill Frisell, Not-So-Unplugged at Grace Cathedral
September 21, 2015
It was unadulterated Bill Frisell, as the guitarist played solo with only his effects pedals as occasional accompaniment. More about Grace Cathedral Concerts »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 Old First Concerts  The Thalea Quartet Makes a Case for Hindemith
September 21, 2015
The young string quartet, the first quartet-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, also performed early works by Webern and Beethoven. More about Old First Concerts »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 New Esterházy Quartet  The New Esterházy Quartet’s Bleak Beethoven
September 1, 2015
The ensemble’s interpretations of Beethoven’s late quartets at The Berkeley Hillside Club were too temperate. More about New Esterházy Quartet »
 Slavyanka Russian Chorus  Ringing in the 100th Anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s 'All-Night Vigil' with Slavyanka
August 25, 2015
The Bay Area Russian choral ensemble more than doubles in size for weekend performances of the timeless masterpiece. More about Slavyanka Russian Chorus »
 San Francisco Choral Society  A Spectacular Setting for Mozart’s Requiem
August 18, 2015
St. Ignatius Church, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay on Lone Mountain, was the perfect spot for the San Francisco Choral Society’s performance of the Mozart Requiem. More about San Francisco Choral Society »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 Music@Menlo  Pianist Wu Han’s Sonata in A Major Soars in Second Schubertiade
July 27, 2015
The event, part of Music@Menlo’s Summer Festival, wasn’t exactly like hanging out with Schubert and friends in a Viennese salon in the 1800s, but it was close. More about Music@Menlo »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 Alliance Française  Ensemble San Francisco Kicks Off French Music Festival With Panache
June 23, 2015
A trio (plus some friends) provided excitement in a party of French chamber music. More about Alliance Française »
Chamber Music REVIEW
 San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music  Vocallective and the Town Quartet Thrive at Legion of Honor
June 18, 2015
Nuances of the performance were lost to the unforgiving acoustics of the Rodin Gallery at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, but the musicians’ camaraderie shone through. More about San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music »
 Lieder Alive!  Lieder Alive! Discovers New Vigor in Classic Songs
June 17, 2015

New arrangements refresh Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder.

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