Classical Music News of the Week, October 1, 2016

The Salon/Sanctuary Concerts 2016 - 2017 Season

The 2016 - 2017 Season: On the Margins
Joining the world-wide 500th anniversary commemorations of the creation in Venice of the world's first ghetto, Salon/Sanctuary Concerts' eighth season explores the musical worlds shaped by ancestors and descendents of exiles. From Esther to Shylock, from Troubadors to Dowland, we glimpse at fault lines of acceptance refracted through the prism of music.

A journey through time and a trip through venues, the season traverses a millennium of music and cultural history--from Ghetto to Cappella, from Opera House to Souk, from Salon to Sanctuary.

Friday, October 28th, 8:00pm
The Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium, 417 East 61st Street between 1st and York Avenues, NYC
Tickets $25/35/50/100
"On the Margins of the Opéra Comique: Jewish Composers, Covert Spaces, and the Legacy of the Wagnerian Suppression"
Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano
Kenneth Merrill, fortepiano

Wednesday, November 30th, 8pm
The Harvard Club of New York City, 35 West 44th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, NYC
"Mad Dog"
Hopkinson Smith performs a solo lute recital in support of Salon/Sanctuary Concerts
Works of Holborne, Byrd, and the great John Dowland, a Catholic exile from the Protestant court of Elizabeth I, form this program performed by "Living Legend" Hopkinson Smith, as a benefit event for Salon/Sanctuary Concerts.

Sunday, December 11th, 7:00pm
The Bernie Wohl Theater of Goddard Riverside Community Center
647 Columbus Avenue between 91st and 92nd Street, NYC
Tickets $20/35/50/100
"The Floor of Heaven: Scenes from a Merchant and Songs of his Venice"
Nicholas Tamagna, Countertenor
Christopher Morrongiello, Renaissance Lute
Deborah Houston, Director
Script and Dramaturgy by Erica Gould

Thursday, January 12th, 8:00pm
The Sanctuary of Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South, NYC
Tickets $25/35/100
"Of Meistersingers and Mizmorim: The Wandering Troubador, the Origins of Klezmer, and the Medieval Roots of Wagnerian Fantasy"
Corina Marti, recorders & clavisymbalum
Ivo Haun, tenor
Ayelet Karni, recorders
Christa Patton, harp

And continued concerts through May 2017.

For tickets and information, call 1 888 718 - 4253 or visit

--Jessica Gould, Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

Berkeley RADICAL Innovation Thematic Strand Launches with the Cullberg Ballet and Deborah Hay
Innovation, one of three season-long thematic strands of Cal Performances' Berkeley RADICAL initiative, launches with the Bay Area premiere of pioneering choreographer Deborah Hay's latest work, and culminates with a rare collaboration by two visionary next-generation dance-theater artists and their companies. Part retrospective, part celebration of trailblazing artistic discovery, the Innovation strand of the Cal Performances 2016/17 season tracks and joins a group of established innovators, some at key milestone birthdays, by exploring their ideas and gaining insights into novel directions in contemporary performance. Innovation places a focus on a selection of contemporary artists who have created major new ideas for the interdisciplinary performance stage.

Encompassing new commissions and a major restaging, Innovation will launch with Hay's large-scale, meditative Figure a Sea, performed by the ground-breaking Swedish company Cullberg Ballet. Two contemporary legends, Robert Wilson and Mikhail Baryshnikov, unite in a new creation, co-commissioned by Cal Performances—Letter to a Man, based on the diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky—in its West Coast premiere November 10–13, 2016. Steve Reich, at 80, presents fresh ideas with Ensemble Signal's American premiere performance of Runner, January 29, 2017, co-commissioned by Cal Performances. To celebrate John Adams' 70th birthday, the composer's 1980s collaboration with architect Frank O. Gehry and choreographer Lucinda Childs, Available Light, is revived in a Cal Performances co-commissioned restaging, February 3–4, 2017. In a forward-looking fusion of dance and theater, choreographer Crystal Pite and her company Kidd Pivot join with theater artist Jonathon Young and his Electric Company Theatre for Betroffenheit, March 10-11, 2017.

Berkeley RADICAL: This performance is part of Cal Performances' Berkeley RADICAL Innovation thematic strand, which follows a group of artistic trailblazers, some celebrating key milestones, who continually ask us to perceive, think, and understand in new ways. More information at

Tickets: Prices range from $30–$86 (subject to change).

--Louisa Spier, Cal Performances

Rubinstein Prize-Winner Pianist Boris Giltburg Gives NY Solo Recital Debut at Carnegie
Silver-prize and audience-prize winner at the 2011 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, critically acclaimed pianist Boris Giltburg gives his New York solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on October 27 with an all-Russian program, presented by the American Friends of the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society. The program includes works by Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Scriabin, as well as Giltburg's own piano arrangement of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in C minor.

Boris Giltburg's recently released Rachmaninov CD on Naxos was selected as BBC Music Magazine's Instrumental Choice for August, as well as Gramophone's Recording of the Month in June. Gramophone wrote: "This vision will place him among the truly memorable Rachmaninov interpreters, an elect including Moiseiwitsch, Horowitz, Kappel, Richter and Cliburn. His originality stems from a convergence of heart and mind, served by immaculate technique and motivated by a deep and abiding love for one of the 20th century's greatest composer-pianists."

Admission: $25-$50
Tickets on sale at, CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, and at the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, NYC.

For more information on the artist, visit

--Katharine Boone, Kirshbaum Associates

The World's First Virtual Reality Episodic Horror Opera, "The Parksville Murders"
Opera on Tap is proud to announce its most innovative project yet: an episodic horror opera created for Virtual Reality, entitled The Parksville Murders. The piece, featuring music by Kamala Sankaram and libretto by Jerre Dye, directed by Cari Ann Shim Sham, is being produced by Shim Sham, Opera On Tap's Anne Hiatt, and former Blue Man Group creative director Todd Perlmutter, in collaboration with leading virtual reality production company Light Sail VR.

Watch the VR trailer here:

Inspired by the genre-bending horror classics from Cronenberg, Lynch and others, The Parksville Murders places viewers in a dimly-lit kill room in the Catskills, NY, standing amidst a group of mysterious, hooded "watchers" as they gaze upon two terrified young women, one paralyzed, lying in a bathtub full of dead leaves.

The episode will be released in late January 2017, though there will be a special preview exhibit for RSVP guests on October 27, 7-10PM at the DUMBO Archway, in collaboration with the DUMBO Business Improvement District. The evening will feature an exclusive preview exhibit with VR viewing of the full episode, as well as live music from bands, including composer Kamala Sankaram's ensemble Bombay Rickey, and refreshments.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

ACME Performs with Blonde Redhead, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Thereminist Carolina Eyck, and More
The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) embarks on a busy month of concerts on October 6 at Le Poisson Rouge in New York with Nordic Noir, a concert featuring music by Danish composers Frans Bak, Ejnar Kanding and MBD73. ACME will tour with Blonde Redhead from October 9-14, performing the band's album Misery is a Butterfly in its entirety, before joining Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for a tour supporting his recent Deutsche Grammophon album Orphée from October 16-23. Upon returning to New York, ACME performs with German thereminist and composer Carolina Eyck in the world premiere of her Fantasias for theremin and string quartet. ACME and Eyck's recording of the Fantasias will be released by Butterscotch Records on October 14.

October 6 at 7pm: "Nordic Noir" at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., NYC

October 9-14: "Misery is a Butterfly Tour" with Blonde Redhead

October 16-23: "Orphée Album Tour" with Jóhann Jóhannsson

November 4 at 7:30pm: "Fantasias for Theremin & String Quartet" with Carolina Eyck (World Premiere, Album Release) at Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 West 37th St., NYC

--Christina Jensen, Jensen Artists

PBO + Beethoven = Brilliant
What do you get when America's leading period-instrument orchestra performs Beethoven? We say, "brilliance!" Join Nic McGegan and the Orchestra at our All Beethoven concerts taking place October 15-22 throughout the Bay Area.

Hear Harvard professor Robert Levin interpret the Concerto for Fortepiano No. 3 then experience our take on Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral."

Come experience these masterworks the way Beethoven intended them to be heard - with all the richness and color that period instruments reveal when passionately played by gifted musicians who love what they do.

If you're coming, be sure to arrive 45 minutes early to hear the pre-concert talk. Washington Post Classical Music Critic Anne Midgette will give the talk at our San Francisco concert on October 21.

Saturday October 15 @ 7: 30 PM
Weill Hall at Green Music Center, Rohnert Park

Sunday October 16 @ 4:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Wednesday October 19 @ 7:30 PM
Bing Concert Hall, Palo Alto

Friday October 21 @ 8:00 PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco

Saturday October 22 @ 8:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley

For more information, visit

--Dianne Provenzano, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Tribute to British Choral Music Presented by National Philharmonic at Strathmore
The National Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra bring alive majestic cathedral music in Strathmore's concert hall, on Saturday, November 5 at 8 pm. Coronation music found in the great British choral tradition, including Handel's famous "Zadok the Priest," will be featured in this concert for choir, brass and organ and led by National Philharmonic Chorale Music Director Stan Engebretson. The evening will include the world premiere "Of Radiance and Light," a commissioned work composed by the young, dynamic Maryland composer Alistair Coleman.

Coleman's "Of Radiance and Light," commissioned by the National Philharmonic, charts a journey from darkness to enlightenment, which is embodied structurally and symbolically through several devices in both the text and the music. The text, compiled by the composer himself, consists of verses from several psalms that are woven together to create a linear narrative representing this journey toward wisdom. Musically, the texture undergoes a transformation from dense and somber sonorities toward greater clarity and exhilaration of feeling, punctuated by introspective and meditative passages. An interesting textual device is the recurrence of the line "Arise, shine; for thy light is come" (Isaiah, 60), coupled with a variety of harmonic tones to represent the many sentiments that this sentence can evoke.

A free pre-concert lecture will be offered at 6:45 pm on Saturday, November 5 in the concert hall at the Music Center at Strathmore. To purchase tickets to National Philharmonic's Music From the Cathedral concert, please visit or call the Strathmore Ticket Office at (301) 581-5100. Tickets start from $19. Kids 7-17 are FREE through the ALL KIDS, ALL FREE, ALL THE TIME program . ALL KIDS tickets must be purchased in person or by phone.

--Deborah Birnbaum, National Philharmonic

NYC Celebrates Israel Philharmonic's 80th Anniversary
Rochelle and David A. Hirsch, Linda and Michael G. Jesselson, and Ruth and Theodore N. Mirvis, along with host Paula Zahn, are proud to announce this year's Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) New York Gala will be held on Tuesday, November 15 at the The Plaza Hotel--in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

The benefit committee is comprised of prominent New York business and philanthropic leaders including Rita and Charles Bronfman, Sara and Charles Fabrikant, Arlene and Morris Goldfarb, Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert, Lauren and John Veronis, and Elaine and James Wolfensohn (amongst others).

This celebratory occasion will include a cocktail party and chamber music concert with members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) and guest violinist Julian Rachlin, followed by dinner. Rachlin, a dynamic violinist and praised conductor, has performed and toured extensively with the IPO. The evening's program of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence, performed by a dazzling string sextet, will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to hear Tchaikovsky's most ambitious chamber work in an intimate setting.

American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 4507, New York, NY 10168

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates

McGegan 30 Years Guest Conducting the St. Louis Symphony
All-Mozart Program:
Symphony No. 31, K. 297, "Paris"
Violin Concerto No. 1, K. 207
Serenade No. 9, K. 320, "Posthorn"
Jennifer Koh, violin

October 7 & 8, 2016

--Schwalbe and Partners

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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 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.
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 simple-minded, 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 Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio StreamLine preamplifier, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer. 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 LG G7 ThinQ cell phone, which features surprisingly sophisticated audio circuitry. 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.

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