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!


Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 6, 2011

A young conductor bears all the markings of a major career, evident in her outing with the Napa Valley Symphony and the Cypress Quartet.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 6, 2011

A Marin audience hails a fine Mahler performance and Kenji Bunch’s pleasurable new piano concerto.

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Youth Ensembles/Student Performances Review
November 6, 2011

Wonderful playing by a youth orchestra, highlighted by an assured performance from a young teen soloist, induces happy thoughts about their future careers.

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Opera Review
November 6, 2011

With fine direction and good conducting, this Carmen has the basic pieces in place, though it’s not studded with singing stars.

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Choral Review
November 6, 2011

A fine choral ensemble invites its audience to think about loved ones who have died, and sings about deliverance and rest.

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Early Music/Baroque Review
November 5, 2011

A Chicago string band, despite its credible playing, comes up a bit short on forces and programming choices.

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CD Review
November 3, 2011

Jon Mendle has already made a name for himself in guitarist circles. His first solo recording makes an exhilarating sweep through the music of J.S. Bach’s friends and sons.

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Recital Review
November 2, 2011

Playing a dual role once common in classical recitals, Marc-André Hamelin scored a double triumph.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
November 2, 2011

Comfortable on the podium, commanding yet avuncular, Semyon Bychkov led substantial performances of two Richard Strauss works and Robert Schumann’s Second symphony Wednesday night at Davies Symphony Hall.

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Dance Review
November 1, 2011

Merce Cunningham requested that his dance company disband after his death. On their final appearance at Stanford Lively Arts, the troupe performs his last work beautifully.

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