Classical Music and Opera

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

March 6, 2019 | By | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 well […]



Review: LA Phil plays Brahms chamber music

February 20, 2019 | By | 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 | 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 | 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. […]



‘The Notebooks of Alexander Skryabin’ from Oxford University Press

February 15, 2019 | By | Category: Books and Lectures, Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

Alexander Scriabin’s music was, arguably, the catalyst that set in motion Sergei Rachmaninoff’s career as a touring pianist. Synthesizing elements from Chopin and Russian music with uniquely personal spiritual beliefs, his art captivated audiences, as well as fellow musicians. Yet after his untimely death in 1915 at the age of 43, his music would come […]



LACO Performs the Music of Juan Pablo Contreras

February 12, 2019 | By | Category: Classical Music and Opera, Featured Articles

The popular notion which finds that Western classical music is so much “dead white men’s music” is a typical, if dutifully ignorant one which is held not only by people otherwise unaware of the genre, but even by some of its professional practitioners. In fact, even in Beethoven’s time non-white peoples living in Europe and […]



Review: Jacaranda Music performs Mahler

February 6, 2019 | By | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Admirers and detractors of Gustav Mahler can often agree at least on one thing: The man had a rare gift for effective orchestration. From the groaning solo contrabass in the First Symphony, to the “bird of death” in the Resurrection, to the disintegrating chamber-like textures of his Ninth and Tenth Symphonies, Mahler’s virtuosic exploitation of […]