Classical Music News of the Week, November 3, 2013

The National Philharmonic Presents Verdi’s Requiem at Music Center at Strathmore

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth, the National Philharmonic Chorale andRequiem on Saturday, November 23 at 8 pm at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD  20852.
Orchestra, led by Artistic Director Stan Engebretson, will present the composer’s powerful and timeless

In addition to the nearly 200 voice all-volunteer chorale, the concert will feature soloists Arianna Zukerman (soprano); Margaret Mezzacappa (mezzo-soprano);  William Davenport (tenor);  and Kevin Deas (bass).

For a composition that fell out of the regular repertory not long after its premier in 1874 until almost 30 year later, Verdi’s Requiem has since become one of the most frequently performed and easily recognizable works in classical music. Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813–1901) was born the son of a village grocer/innkeeper in the tiny village of Roncole, but he died as one of the world’s most celebrated opera composers. The first performance of the Requiem took place in 1874 at St. Mark’s Church in Milan and three days later a second performance at La Scala Opera House was played to a capacity crowd met with exuberance and enthusiasm. The Requiem was a sensation and was played not long after in a number of European venues.

The Verdi Requiem has a history of famous performances, including what has been called “The Defiant Requiem,” performed at the Terezin concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Czechoslavakia during World War II. In a Nazi propaganda effort, a film was made to show how “humanely” the Jews were being treated. Equipped with only one score, 150 inmates gave 16 performances of the Requiem to “sing to the Nazis what we cannot say to them.” Although they had experienced the depth of human degradation, many singers wrote that the music was life-affirming and gave them a reason to fight for their survival. Their performances symbolized resistance and defiance. More recently, the Requiem has been staged in performances where the four soloists were symbolic of varied life and death situations: The Fukishima nuclear disaster, the imprisonment of a Turkish writer and an aid worker in Africa.

For more information, visit

--Deborah Birnbaum, National Philharmonic

Grammy-Nominated Bandleader, Composer, and Saxophonist Joshua Redman and His Quartet Come to Zellerbach Hall Saturday, November 16 at 8 P.M.
A pre-performance talk with jazz specialist Jesse “Chuy” Varela will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach

Homegrown Joshua Redman brings his internationally celebrated sound to Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, California, on Saturday, November 16, at 8:00 p.m. Redman's new album, Walking Shadows, which features an orchestral ensemble and was produced by his friend and frequent collaborator Brad Mehldau, has received high praise: “This is a CD to relish” (Audiophile Audition). Redman’s quartet will perform selections from the album with other works from his repertoire and several of his own compositions. Alongside Redman will be pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. “This U.S. maestro has contemporary saxophone covered. He can do screams, honks, and circular-breathing arpeggios with the best of them” (Evening Standard).

A pre-performance talk will be given by Jesse "Chuy" Varela, music director of KCSM 91.1 jazz radio. This talk is free to event ticketholders and is designed to enrich concert goers’ experience.

Award-winning saxophonist Joshua Redman was born in Berkeley, California, and is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman.  He began playing the saxophone at age 10 but never seriously pursued his passion for music until he was 22. He has toured extensively and recorded with such distinguished musicians as Chick Corea, B.B. King, Yo-Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, the Rolling Stones, and Stevie Wonder, among others.  He has recorded more than ten albums as a leader, including the 2007 Grammy-nominated Back East and the 2005 Grammy-nominated Momentum; his albums have garnered top honors in critics’ and readers’ polls of DownBeat, JazzTimes, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. From 2000–2006 Redman was the Artistic Director of SFJAZZ.  He was also a member of the SFJAZZ Collective, an ensemble distinguished both by the creativity of its members and a primary emphasis on composition.

Aaron Goldberg started playing the piano at age seven and pursued jazz at age 17.  He has won numerous awards and performed, toured, and recorded with a diverse spectrum of artists ranging from Guillermo Klein to Terry Gibbs and Buddy DeFranco. He began touring with Redman’s band in 1998. Bassist Reuben Rogers was raised in the Virgin Islands and exposed to a variety of music that included calypso, reggae, gospel and jazz. He began with the clarinet, experimented with the piano, drums, and guitar, yet at the tender age of 14 found his true passion in the bass. He has worked with jazz artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton, and Dianne Reeves. Rogers’ peers continue to influence and enrich his musical style and direction. He has toured extensively around the world, and has recorded more than 70 CDs. Growing up on a rich diet of 1970s soul music, drummer Gregory Hutchinson was from an early age musically inspired by both of his parents.  He studied at the Manhattan School of Music under Justin DiCiocco and took lessons with Marvin “Smitty” Smith and Kenny Washington.  He has worked with such legendary leaders as Betty Carter and Joe Henderson and performs and records in a variety of situations.

Ticket information:
Tickets for Joshua Redman on Saturday, November 16 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 to $56.00.  Tickets are available through the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to charge by phone; at; and at the door.  Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. For more information about discounts, go to or call (510) 642-9988.

--Rusty Barnes, Cal Performances

The Met: Live in HD Will Transmit Tosca Live to Movie Theaters Worldwide on Saturday, November 9 at 12:55 P.M. ET
Patricia Racette Stars as the Diva Heroine of Puccini’s Tosca; Roberto Alagna sings the role of Cavaradossi, Tosca’s lover; and George Gagnidze reprises his acclaimed portrayal of the wicked Scarpia.

The November 9 matinee of Tosca, starring Patricia Racette, Roberto Alagna, and George Gagnidze, will be transmitted live as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 1,950 theaters in 64 countries around the world. Thirteen million tickets have been sold to opera lovers worldwide.

Patricia Racette reprises her acclaimed performance of one of the most famous roles in opera, the heroine of Puccini’s Tosca, at the Met this season. Racette sings the role beginning October 29, opposite Roberto Alagna as Cavaradossi and George Gagnidze as Scarpia. Sondra Radvanovsky takes the role on December 11, singing with Marcello Giordani as Cavaradossi and Gagnidze as Scarpia. Two Italian conductors, Riccardo Frizza and Marco Armiliato, lead this season’s performances of Puccini’s famous tragedy.

The October 29 opening performance of Tosca will also be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performances on November 5 and 13 and December 23 and 28. The October 29 and December 23 performances will be streamed live on the Met’s Web site, And the December 28 matinee at 12:30 p.m. will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

For more information on this season’s performances of Tosca, please visit the Met’s Web site at

--Schuman Associates

UC Chamber Chorus &  University Chorus
Music by Thomson, Whitacre, Tavener, world premiere by Brantley, and the Duruflé Requiem.

The UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus and University Chorus present an evening of soulful choral music sponsored by the Department of Music. Proceeds from the concert will support the Chamber Chorus' Carnegie Hall Tour this Spring.

Sunday, November 10, 7:30pm, First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way (at Dana), Berkeley, CA.

UC Chamber Chorus, Marika Kuzma, director
University Chorus, Li-Wen Monk, guest director
Selections by Randall Thompson; Eric Whitacre; Paul Brantley - Psalm 89, Part I (world premiere);  Tavener - Funeral Canticle (Bay Area premiere); Duruflé - Requiem; Jonathan Dimmock, guest organist.

Tickets available at the door or online at : $16 general/$12 seniors & non-UCB students/$5 UCB students (student ID required)

--Masis Parunyan, UC Chamber Chorus

The Classical Music Industry Comes to Montreal: A First Conference in America
The classical music international conference IAMA Montreal 2013 will be held from November 6th to 9th in Quebec’s bustling metropolis. The International Artist Managers' Association (IAMA), renowned for its conference held annually in Europe, is branching out to North America for its first-ever large-scale networking event this side of the pond, organized in collaboration with CINARS (International Exchange for the Performing Arts) and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM).

IAMA Montreal 2013 aims at redefining and enhancing the profile of classical music in North America, while creating business, partnership and co-production opportunities. Under the banner Dynamics of Discovery, close to 300 classical music professionals, hailing from more than twenty countries, will assemble to take part in panels, concerts, tours and networking activities.

The event will kick off on November 6th with the Ice Breaker cocktail presented in collaboration with the British Council. The cocktail will be followed by a concert by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), conducted by Maestro Kent Nagano, presenting Schubert's Rosamunde with the OSM Chamber Choir at the Maison Symphonique. Maestro Nagano, Music Director of the OSM, will also be featured in a presentation called Connecting in a New World during the event.

On the program:
The conference will offer several panels which will focus on the changes that are currently taking place in the world of music: the effects of globalization and new technologies on the creation and the promotion of music, the emergence of specialized media providing a counterpoint to the decline of traditional media, as well as the visual enhancement of music, which is occurring with increased frequency. Several professionals from here and abroad will debate these hot topics, including Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO, OPERA America; Romana Jaroff, Senior Vice-President, IMG Artists/Carnegie Hall Tower; Huang Ruo, Composer and Conductor; Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director, Soundstreams; Jing Zhu, Deputy General Manager, Beijing Forbidden City Theatre; John Terauds, Journalist,; Daniel Hathaway, Founder,; Edouard Getaz, Producer and General Manager, Giants are Small; Véronique Lacroix, Artistic Director, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+); and many more.

As well, the delegates will have the opportunity to visit several of the institutions responsible for Montreal’s international reputation as a cultural hub: the Maison Symphonique, the Salle Bourgie at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and McGill University's Schulich School of Music. Finally, on top of a selection of concerts offered in the evenings in various venues around town, there will be showcases for Young Artists and Canadian Composers, which will spotlight Belgian violinist Marc Bouchkov and the Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, as well as on the works of Philippe Leroux, Ana Sokolovic', Marie Pelletier and Alice Ping Yee Ho, performed by Ensemble Transmission and Janice Jackson.

This conference was made possible thanks to the support of our institutional partners: Heritage Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, the Ministère des Relations Internationales, de la Francophonie et du Commerce extérieur and the Secrétariat de la région métropolitaine of the Quebec government, the SODEC (Société de développement des entreprises culturelles), the Ville de Montreal and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.

Registration is still open.
For the complete program:

--Shira Gilbert PR

American Symphony Orchestra to Present Elliott Carter: An American Original
A tribute to the trailblazing composer, a year after his death, at Carnegie Hall, November 17, 2013.

A year after his death at age 103, the American Symphony Orchestra pays tribute to Elliott Carter, a life-long New Yorker, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and one of the greatest composers of the second half of the 20th century. This mini-retrospective including six of the finest orchestral works by the prolific American composer, who published more than 50 of his works after the age of 90, reveals the range and extent of Carter’s inventive genius and provides a rare chance to hear an all-Elliott Carter program, in the presence of members of the Carter family.

Maestro Leon Botstein shares the stories behind the music in a lively 30-minute Conductor’s Notes Q&A at 1pm in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Free for all ticket holders.

Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 2pm

Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage), 57th Street and 7th Avenue, New York City

An all-Elliott Carter program
Clarinet Concerto
Sound Fields
Warble for Lilac-Time
Concerto for Orchestra

American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein
Anthony McGill, clarinet
Mary Mackenzie, soprano
Teresa Buchholz, mezzo-soprano

$25 / $35 / $50 and subscriptions are available at and by phone at 212-868-9276.Tickets are also available at, at the Carnegie box office, or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. The Conductor’s Notes Q&A at 1pm in Stern Auditorium is free with concert ticket.

--James Inverne, Inverne Price Music

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Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer

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 Jon 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.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For more than 20 years I was the editor of The $ensible Sound magazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simpleminded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me -- point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.

For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, I should probably point out that I do a LOT of music listening and employ a variety of means to do so in a variety of environments, as I would imagine many music lovers also do. Starting at the more grandiose end of the scale, the system in which I do my most serious listening comprises an Arcam CDS50 CSD/SACD CD player, Goldpoint SA4 Passive Preamp, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE loudspeakers. I also do a lot of listening while driving in my 2016 Acura RDX with its nice-sounding ELS Studio sound system through which I play CDs (the ones I especially like I rip to the Acura's hard drive so that I can listen to them whenever I want) or stream music through the system using my cell phone. For more casual listening at home when I am not in my listening room, I often stream music through the phone into a Vizio soundbar system that has remarkably nice sound for such a diminutive physical presence. And finally, at the least grandiose end of the scale, I have an Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker for those occasions where I am somewhere by myself without a sound system but in desperate need of a musical fix. I just can't imagine life without music and I am humbly grateful for the technology that enables us to enjoy it in so many wonderful ways.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst

I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.

Visitors that view my technical papers on this site may wonder why they appear here, rather than on a site that features audio equipment reviews. My reason is that I tried the latter, and prefer to publish for people who actually want to listen to music; not to equipment. My focus is in describing what's technically beneficial to assure that the sound of the system will accurately replicate the source input signal (i. e. exhibit high accuracy) without inordinate cost and complexity. Conversely, most of the audiophiles of today strive to achieve sound that's euphonic, i.e. be personally satisfying. In essence, audiophiles seek sound that's consistent with their desire; the music is simply a test signal.

William (Bill) Heck, Contributing Reviewer

Among my early childhood memories are those of listening to my mother playing records (some even 78 rpm ones!) of both classical music and jazz tunes. I suppose that her love of music was transmitted genetically, and my interest was sustained by years of playing in rock bands – until I realized that this was no way to make a living. The interest in classical music was rekindled in grad school when the university FM station serving as background music for studying happened to play the Brahms First Symphony. As the work came to an end, it struck me forcibly that this was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, and from that point on, I never looked back. This revelation was to the detriment of my studies, as I subsequently spent way too much time simply listening, but music has remained a significant part of my life. These days, although I still can tell a trumpet from a bassoon and a quarter note from a treble clef, I have to admit that I remain a nonexpert. But I do love music in general and classical music in particular, and I enjoy sharing both information and opinions about it.

The audiophile bug bit about the same time that I returned to that classical music. I’ve gone through plenty of equipment, brands from Audio Research to Yamaha, and the best of it has opened new audio insights. Along the way, I reviewed components, and occasionally recordings, for The $ensible Sound magazine. Recently I’ve rebuilt--I prefer to say reinvigorated--my audio system, with a Sangean FM HD tuner and (for the moment) an ancient Toshiba multi-format disk player serving as a transport, both feeding a NAD C 658 streaming preamp/DAC, which in turn connects to a Legacy Powerbloc2 amplifier driving my trusty Waveform Mach Solo speakers, supplemented by a Hsu Research ULS 15 Mk II subwoofer.

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. --John J. Puccio

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa