Classical Music News of the Week: August 7, 2011

Most Beloved Tenor Andrea Bocelli Gifts New York City With a Once in a Lifetime Musical Event
Free concert with the New York Philharmonic at Central Park's Great Lawn, Thursday, September 15.  Free ticket distribution announced.

Internationally acclaimed tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform a free concert on Central Park's Great Lawn, Thursday, September 15 with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by its music director Alan Gilbert, as a special gift to New York City. This spectacular evening, sure to be a once in a lifetime musical event will be recorded in high definition by THIRTEEN for WNET for national PBS broadcast on GREAT PERFORMANCES in late fall. Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park will also be released on CD and DVD by Sugar/Decca this November.

Free ticket distribution will begin at 9AM, Thursday, August 4. Tickets are required for admittance to this event and can be picked up in person at the following locations: Borough of Brooklyn: Brooklyn Academy Of Music, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Borough of the Bronx: Paradise Theatre, 2413 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10468. Borough of Manhattan: Best Buy Theater, 1515 Broadway, 44th & Broadway, New York, NY 10036. Borough of Queens: Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, NY 11368. Borough of Staten Island: St. George Theatre, 35 Hyatt St., Staten Island, NY 10301.

Limit four tickets per household while supplies last. For more ticket information, please log onto BocelliCentralPark.com.

Bocelli is widely regarded as the most popular Italian tenor in the world with more than 70 million albums sold.  He will present a varied repertoire including his best known and loved songs that have become fan favorites. Andrea will also be joined by special guest artists to make it a truly memorable evening.  Barilla is the main sponsor of the concert event

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said "This free concert will be a memorable cultural moment for the thousands of New Yorkers and visitors that will watch the event live in the park, and many, many more through the broadcast by WNET." New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said "I join the Mayor and all New Yorkers in thanking Andrea Bocelli and all involved in making a beautiful autumn evening full of splendor and world-class music possible, in one of the most cherished outdoor places in New York City!"

Andrea Bocelli comments, "I cannot help but smile when thinking about the upcoming concert in Central Park. It was my father's dream, and my father was right, because my artistic path would have been entirely different without the strong and sincere embrace of this extraordinary city where everything is possible, even when it seems impossible."

--Olga Makrias, Universal Music

Violist Eliesha Nelson & Pianist Glen Inanga Make Strong Case for Varvara Gaigerova, Alexander Winkler & Paul Juon
Retired Adminstrative Law Judge Bill Zick writes a companion site to AfriClassical.com, and offers fascinating glimpses into the work of, as he says at his blog, "African heritage in classical music," where you can "meet 52 black composer and musicians, take a black history quiz, and hear over 100 audio samples." You can find out more about Mr. Zick and Africlassical music at  http://africlassical.blogspot.com/2011/07/violist-eliesha-nelson-pianist-glen.html and http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/index.html.

--JJP

Avie Records Unveils Releases for 2011-12
September
The voice is common to Avie's three September releases. This month sees the arrival on Avie of rising star American tenor Nicholas Phan with Winter Words, a collection of songs by Benjamin Britten.
Massed male voices, from boy soprano to bass baritone, combine to create a glorious sound on Treasures of Christ Church. Rounding out Avie's September releases is a vivid, live recording of Schoenberg's chamber arrangement of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, by Manchester Camerata conducted by Douglas Boyd and joined by mezzo-soprano Jane Irwin and tenor Peter Wedd.

October and November
The Cleveland-based baroque orchestra Apollo's Fire, under founder and director Jeannette Sorrell, can be counted on for creative programming. The group's October release, Vivaldi & Friends, returns the group to its baroque roots. October also sees the commercial debut release by Korean-born, New York City-resident pianist Joyce Yang, the youngest ever medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005, and winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2010. A second solo piano recording in October comes from South African-born, London-resident Daniel-Ben Pienaar. Manchester Camerata returns in October with two offerings: One is the penultimate release in the orchestra's acclaimed Beethoven cycle featuring Symphonies Nos. 6 "Pastoral" and 8 under Douglas Boyd. Three other British orchestras figure into Avie's November releases: the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic for Made in Britain; Andrew Parrott leads the Taverner Consort and Players, the ensemble he founded in 1973, in the first recording of his own reconstruction of J. S. Bach's Trauer-Music: Music to Mourn Prince Leopold. Finally, ringing in the season is Rejoice: A Christmas Celebration by Northern Sinfonia conducted by Simon Halsey and joined by the amassed Newcastle-based choirs Northern Sinfonia Chorus, the youth choir Quay Voices, and Quay Lads and Lasses.

2012
Avie will continue to champion the works of Austrian émigré composer Hans Gál, with American conductor Kenneth Woods returning this spring with the Stratford-upon-Avon-based Orchestra of the Swan in the world-premiere recording of Gál's Fourth Symphony. Also in the spring, Avie plans its 10th release with leading Vivaldi interpreter Adrian Chandler and his period-instrument orchestra La Serenissima.

Music Institute of Chicago Chorale Celebrates its 25th Season in 2011-12
Auditions 8/30–31; Three Concert Season December, March, June
The Music Institute of Chicago announces the 25th season of its community chorus, the Music Institute of Chicago Chorale, featuring three concerts in 2011-12 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.

"A Celebration of Britten" Sunday, December 18, 3 p.m.: Including Britten's popular Ceremony of Carols and Hymns to Saint Cecilia
"A Choral Festival" Saturday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.: Featuring music for multiple choirs and brass including music by Gabrieli and Schütz
"25 Great Years" Sunday, June 10, 3 p.m.: Highlighting audience favorites from the Chorale's history

Daniel Wallenberg, conductor of the Chorale since 1987, noted, "Although our Chorale is Evanston-based, participants come from as far south as Chicago and far north as Zion and everything in between. Several members have been in the Chorale for more than 15 years, and a few have been members since its inception in 1986."

Tickets to concerts by the Music Institute of Chicago Chorale are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for students and are available at 847-905-1500, ext. 108, or at musicinst.org.

Auditions for the season take place Tuesday and Wednesday, August 30 and 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston. To schedule an audition, call 847.905.1500 ext. 100 or email Andrea Musolf at amusolf@musicinst.org.

--Melanne Mueller

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John J. Puccio

John J. Puccio

About the Author

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to pucciojj@gmail.com.

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to pucciojj@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa