Cohen, Handel & Haydn Society bring fresh life, bracing vitality to Handel’s “Messiah”
Boston Classical Review
by Jonathan Blumhofer
1w ago
Jonathan Cohen led the Handel & Haydn Society in its 170th performance of Handel’s Messiah Friday night at Symphony Hall. Photo: Robert Torres The Handel & Haydn Society wasted no time getting into the spirit of this year’s extra-long Christmas season, returning to Symphony Hall on Friday night for their annual traversal of George Frederic Handel’s oratorio, Messiah. Handel’s 1742 opus is no stranger either to H&H or Boston: the ensemble has presented the score regularly since 1854. Yet there was nothing rote or stuffy about this latest assaying, the group’s 170th. Rather, on Fri ..read more
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November 24
Boston Classical Review
by Jonathan Blumhofer
1w ago
Boston Symphony Orchestra Earl Lee, conductor Steven Banks, saxophonist Franck: Le Chasseur maudit Tomasi: Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 1:30 p.m. Symphony Hall bso.org Boston Artists Ensemble Fanny Mendelssohn: String Quartet in E-flat Schumann: String Quartet No. 1 Brahms: String Sextet No. 2 8 p.m. Hamilton Hall, Salem bostonartistsensemble.org Handel & Haydn Society Jonathan Cohen, conductor Joélle Harvey, soprano John Holiday, countertenor Stuart Jackson, tenor José Coca Loza, bass-baritone Handel: Messiah 8 p.m. Symphony Hall November 25 Handel ..read more
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Zander leads the Boston Philharmonic in an evening of big works and intense emotion
Boston Classical Review
by Lawrence A. Johnson
2w ago
Benjamin Hochman performed Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Benjamin Zander conducting the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra Friday night at Symphony Hall. Photo: Hilary Scott The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra was back at Symphony Hall Friday night. The dense program focused on mid-20th century music all about men who were really going through it: Britten’s Peter Grimes, beset by society and driven to madness; Bartók, recovering from and ultimately succumbing to leukemia; and Shostakovich in yet another face-off against Stalin.  Conductor Benjamin Zander, in his pre-concert talk, spoke ab ..read more
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Schiff delivers the world—and first-class pianism—in epic Celebrity Series recital
Boston Classical Review
by Jonathan Blumhofer
3w ago
Sir Andras Schiff performed Friday night at Jordan Hall for the Celebrity Series. As far as Gustav Mahler was concerned, a symphony should be just like the world, embracing everything. On Friday, Sir András Schiff applied that principle to the piano recital, marking his return to the Celebrity Series with an epic, 150-minute-long concert at Jordan Hall. True, the affair wasn’t quite all-encompassing. Its selections were entirely canonic, some quite familiar. Chronologically, the program spanned little more than a century—but one that ended nearly two-hundred years ago. Yet for expressive dep ..read more
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Kavakos’s impassioned Berg highlights BSO program led by Lintu
Boston Classical Review
by Jonathan Blumhofer
3w ago
Leonidas Kavakos performed Berg’s Violin Concerto with Hannu Lintu conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra Thursday night at Symphony Hall. Photo: Hilary Scott “The people who you think are radicals might really be conservatives,” the composer Morton Feldman once offered. “The people who you think are conservative might really be radical.” In the event, Feldman was talking about the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. But his sentiment seemed to apply equally well to the works  by Peter Lieberson, Alban Berg, and Robert Schumann that the Boston Symphony Orchestra featured Thursday night. I ..read more
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Boston Phil Youth Orchestra tackles cornerstone works with rich tone and heartening spirit
Boston Classical Review
by Lawrence A. Johnson
1M ago
Banjamin Zander led the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Sunday afternoon in Symphony Hall. Photo: Hilary Scott In classical music these days, it seems the only thing that separates the top-flight professional groups from youth ensembles is, well, youth. Training is now so effective that many young musicians have professional-level technical chops. What they lack is simply time—the accumulation of years and personal and musical experiences that add nuance, subtlety, and deeper expression to their playing. The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra demonstrated this in their season-opening co ..read more
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Mallwitz strikes sparks with BSO in impressive American debut
Boston Classical Review
by Jonathan Blumhofer
1M ago
Joana Mallwitz conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra Thursday night in music of Schubert, Tchaikovsky and Kodaly. Photo: Hilary Scott As a rule, Germans don’t do American-style hyperbole. So perhaps the billboards recently up in Berlin declaring conductor Joana Mallwitz “the next big thing” were meant more as statements of settled fact than as breathless advertising slogans. It sure seems that way following the 37-year-old’s American debut leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra Thursday night at Symphony Hall. To be sure, the evening’s survey of pieces by Zoltán Kodály, Tchaikovsky, and Sch ..read more
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Zander, BPO off at a gallop for 45th season
Boston Classical Review
by Lawrence A. Johnson
1M ago
Guy Braunstein performed Elgar’s Violin Concerto with Benjamin Zander and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra Friday night at Symphony Hall. Photo: Hilary Scott At the start of their 45th season, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra shows no signs of slowing down in their proverbial middle age. Benjamin Zander, their founder and sole conductor all these years, is as spry and passionate as ever at age 85 on the podium. Friday night’s concert saw the ensemble in fine form at Symphony Hall with a program that highlighted the BPO’s strengths, sticking firmly in the realm of lyricism and romanticism w ..read more
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Lewis delivers probing and charismatic Beethoven with Nelsons, BSO
Boston Classical Review
by Jonathan Blumhofer
1M ago
Paul Lewis performed Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra Thursday night. Photo: Robert Torres What’s a Boston Symphony Orchestra season that doesn’t feature a Beethoven piano concerto? Not this one. Or, for that matter, any of the ten in which Andris Nelsons has been the ensemble’s music director: this repertoire is central to the conductor. But all five concerti in succession? That’s rarer, though it’s been done six times before in the BSO’s history. Nelsons helmed the most recent of those undertakings, with pianist Paul Lewis at Tang ..read more
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Pianist Kanneh-Mason inaugurates new Groton venue for the Celebrity Series
Boston Classical Review
by Jonathan Blumhofer
1M ago
Isata Kanneh-Mason opened the Celebrity Series classical season at the new Groton Hill Music Center Friday night. Friday was a night of firsts for the Celebrity Series. It was, for one, the start of the organization’s 2023-24 classical music season. The occasion also inaugurated the institution’s relationship with the new Groton Hill Music Center. Meadow Hall, where yesterday’s recital was presented, is a find: bright, airy, with excellent sight lines and comfortable seating (not to mention abundant free parking), the space is considerably more intimate than Jordan Hall and aesthetically mor ..read more
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