Classical Music and Opera

Review: Salonen conducts Stravinsky

April 15, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

On Saturday night, Esa-Pekka Salonen returned (did he ever really leave?) to Southern California to conduct his old band in three works by Stravinsky: Funeral Song, Agon and The Rite of Spring.
In fact, Salonen is in town for several weeks conducting the LA Phil. Over two weeks, he will conduct all Stravinsky programs. On Saturday, [...]



Review: Pacific Opera Project’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ at the Aratani Theatre

April 9, 2019 | By Julie Riggott | Category: Classical Music and Opera

The libretto for Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is in Italian, but the characters are American and Japanese. What if, Pacific Opera Project asked, we rewrote this opera in English and Japanese? Sounds amazing, right? … Well, it is!
On April 6, Pacific Opera Project and its inspired artistic director Josh Shaw premiered an English and Japanese “Madama [...]



Review: Cameron Carpenter plays Bach at Disney Hall

April 8, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

On Sunday night the American organist Cameron Carpenter wowed and dazzled what one organ series subscriber called the largest crowd she had ever seen for an organ recital in Walt Disney Concert Hall. Carpenter obviously has a following.
Carpenter most recently played in WDCH this past November when he performed the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra [...]



Review: Mozart’s ‘The Clemency of Titus’ at LA Opera

March 6, 2019 | By Julie Riggott | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Though commissioned to celebrate the coronation of Leopold II in Prague in 1791, and based on Titus Flavius Vespasianus who became emperor of Rome in 79 A.D., Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” speaks to our current state of affairs. The opera champions a merciful ruler who demonstrates love and forgiveness for a young patrician (and [...]



Review: Dudamel Conducts Mahler’s Ninth

March 6, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera

This past weekend, Gustavo Dudamel undertook the Herculean task of conducting Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in D major four times! It was Herculean not only because the running time for the symphony is approximately 90 minutes, but also because of the immense physical, intellectual and emotional demands on the conductor, not to mention the [...]



Review: Pianist Dang Thai Son Performs at Cal State Fullerton

March 4, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

One doesn’t often get the chance to hear a performance by a First Prize winner and Gold Medalist of the International Chopin Piano Competition, but that chance occurred Friday night at Meng Concert Hall in the Clayes Performing Arts Center at California State University Fullerton with a performance by Dang Thai Son, who earned the [...]



CD Reviews: Mahler, Elgar, Copland, Busoni, Shostakovich, Lipatti

March 4, 2019 | By Nestor Castiglione | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding) [Harmonia Mundi] – British conductor Daniel Harding ventures into the second installment of what promises to be a new integral cycle of the composer’s symphonies. Listening to it one can only ask: why? The Harmonia Mundi production is excellent, with great sense of space, as [...]



Review: LA Phil plays Brahms chamber music

February 20, 2019 | By Henry Schlinger | Category: Classical Music and Opera

When desert island music is mentioned to us mere mortals, we think of music we’d like to hear. But not so for the musicians of the LA Phil who performed a concert of Brahms chamber music on Feb. 19. According to LA Phil violinist Mitch Newman, the three works on the program — the Piano [...]



Pacific Opera Project starts 2019 with ‘The Magic Flute’

February 20, 2019 | By Julie Riggott | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Pacific Opera Project opens its 2019 season with Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” as you’ve never seen it before — set in classic video games from the early 1980s — in a return to the El Portal Theatre. Performances take place on March 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10, including two Sunday matinees. The “super” production [...]



Review: LACO performs Tchaikovsky, Dohnányi and Contreras

February 19, 2019 | By Nestor Castiglione | Category: Classical Music and Opera

A Russian in Italy, a Hungarian in Florida and a Mexican in California. The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s latest program in its In Focus series, which was held Feb. 15 at The Huntington Gardens’ Rothenberg Hall, explored the works of three globe-trotting composers whose travels (and lives) led them wandering far from their native lands.
Tchaikovsky’s [...]