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!


CD Review
July 12, 2011

Did Hollywood success spoil Erich Korngold? Not according to a new CD of his must-hear symphony, with its lush Romanticism.

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CD Review
July 5, 2011

Christopher Theofanidis’ First Symphony is engaging and emotional, and will give sound systems a good workout.

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Chamber Music Review
June 30, 2011

An eclectic musical evening showed lines blurring between classical, academic, popular, live, and electronic.

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CD Review
June 28, 2011

Northern Sinfonia is the first to cut a disc with Hans Gál’s First Symphony: at turns wry, yearning, jesting, or ceaselessly melodic. It’s paired with a “cute and perky” Schubert symphony.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
June 23, 2011

A season ending performance of the challenging Missa Solemnis offers an evening of individual beauties interspersed and some disjointed moments.

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DVD Review
June 22, 2011

A documentary cracks open a window on “sacred monster” Carlos Kleiber, that eccentric, passionate, and difficult conductor.

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CD Review
June 21, 2011

Andrew Davis’ CD, with goosed-up sonics, journeys to Holst’s overexplored Planets and also contains two less-known works inspired by Morocco and Japan.

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Opera Review
June 19, 2011

Francesca Zambello’s powerful and explicitly feminist Ring Cycle is a magnificent achievement for her and the entire S.F. Opera organization.

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Festival Review
June 18, 2011

George Crumb and Peter Sellars' creation for Dawn Upshaw — The Winds of Destiny — offers a deeply affecting experience, one that inhabits your being long after the music stops.

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Choral Review
June 17, 2011

Though they sing for love, members of the International Orange Chorale are masters of their craft, as shown by their luminous concert of Scandinavian music.

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