Compared to other forms of music-making, classical music is noted for keeping to the original score rather than arranging works anew for each performer. Leonard Bernstein once even suggested that “exact music” would be a better name. Yet there is a place for arrangements in our field, and one of those places was the First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto on Friday, where the New Century Chamber Orchestra gave a concert of Bach and Mussorgsky ... with a difference.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s opening concert of its 2009-2010 season, “Apotheosis of the Dance,” was an exercise in transcending the traditionally defined eras of musical history. In an exuberant performance of symphonic works by Haydn and Beethoven Saturday at Berkeley’s First Congregational Church, this Baroque orchestra gave a quintessentially romantic performance of some mainstays of the classical repertory: passionate and full-bodied, with a strikingly lush sound and unrelenting energy.
A small crowd gathers at the corner of Folsom and 23rd streets in San Francisco Thursday night, waiting to be let into Classical Revolution’s chamber music performance at the Red Poppy Art House. A man passing by recognizes the signs of an event and stops to ask someone in the crowd what’s going on. They talk at length, but no luck; the man leaves.
The Seattle Opera’s Siegfried performed heroically on Wednesday, fighting the lingering effects of an illness more challenging than Fafner the dragon. Stig Andersen’s strategy worked. His holding back or “soldiering” through Siegfried Act 1’s sword-forging allowed him to end stronger in the finale scene, the awakening of Brünnhilde. Good thing he toughed it out.
“Feeling ... for the inevitable ... direction ... of my life!” Anyone who attended the “Music: Next Generation” concert at Old First Church on Friday night probably has these words etched in their mind. The quasi-minimalist, quasi-jazzy, quasi-rock, genre-defying mix of styles showed listeners the inevitable direction of music, as well: an explosion in many different directions.