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!


Modern Classical REVIEW
 San Francisco Jazz  So Percussion Is So Entertaining At SFJAZZ
February 5, 2015

Ingratiating, swinging, but also refined and transparent, So Percussion were at the top of their game in their Bay Area concerts.

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Recital REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Polenzani Hits All the Right Notes in Berkeley Recital
February 3, 2015

Powerful American tenor Matthew Polenzani knocked a delightfully eccentric program out of the (First Congregational) Church in Berkeley Saturday night.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Del Sol String Quartet  Del Sol Quartet: Sounding Out
February 3, 2015

The Del Sol Quartet uses a new format to demystify and explore new music with an audience.

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Chamber Music REVIEW
 Empyrean Ensemble  Empyrean Ensemble Debuts Works By Melinda Wagner
February 3, 2015

The Empyrean Ensemble presented new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Melinda Wagner and UC Davis composers at the 2015 Music and Words Festival.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Goodwin and Teuscher Shine in SFS Debuts
February 3, 2015

Paul Goodwin's conducting debut with S.F. Symphony was welcome, if belated, while soprano Lydia Teuscher stole the show.

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Musical Theater REVIEW
 Lamplighters Music Theatre  Lamplighters' Candide Sparkles Even in Clunky Version
February 3, 2015

The Lamplighters Musical Theater production of Candide has a lot going for it, along with a few unavoidable flaws.

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Opera REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  American Bach Soloists and the Enduring Charm of <em>Acis and Galatea</em>
January 29, 2015

ABS did a terrific job with the most winning of Handel’s theater works, introducing a fine soprano in the process.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 National Symphony Orchestra  The Bewitching Mirages of Wolfgang Rihm
January 29, 2015

One of SFCV’s emerging writers takes you into the world of contemporary master Wolfgang Rihm in a premiere with the National Symphony Orchestra.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Oakland East Bay Symphony  Oakland East Bay Symphony Triumphs Twice Over
January 27, 2015

Meeting the challenge of Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony is a struggle for both orchestra and audience, but the OEBS made it look easy.

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Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Budapest Festival Orchestra's Action-Packed Brahms
January 27, 2015

Forget “autumnal”: The Budapest Festival Orchestra brought full-throated, heroic Brahms symphonies to Davies Symphony Hall.

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