Classical Music News of the Week, October 29, 2016

New York Premiere of Dreams of the Fallen, Honoring Veterans at Carnegie Hall, Nov 19

The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony Orchestra (PACS) will honor veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a large-scale gala concert at Carnegie Hall on November 19. The performance will feature the New York premiere of Dreams of the Fallen--the much-admired new work by award-winning composer Jake Runestad and the poet and United States Army veteran Brian Turner. The work probes the way veterans are forever psychologically changed by their experiences of war. The program concludes with a performance of Beethoven's uplifting Symphony No. 9.

PACS will be honoring the NYC Department of Veterans' Services, the newly created New York City agency that is dedicated to improving the lives of New York City veterans and their families. Marshaling the collective resources of the City of New York, DVS's objectives are to ensure that all veterans have permanent affordable housing and access to the support services needed to find and maintain their home; implement the VetsThriveNYC integrative health program to foster the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of veterans and their families; expand education and career opportunities for veterans through a rapidly growing network of City, public, private, and non-profit partners; and provide the human and technological infrastructure for veterans and their families to gain City-wide access to benefits, resources and care through a leading coordinated service network.

Dreams of the Fallen creates a haunting sonic landscape, as the music and poetry progress through the three stages of the soldier's experience: pre-deployment, overseas service and the return. The coupling with the Beethoven is key to the whole concert experience, says PACS Music Director David Bernard, "Jake Runestad's scarring view of the impact of war on our soldiers long after they leave the battlefield, followed by Beethoven's testament to universal brotherhood not only gives voice to soldiers' struggles, but also represents our aspiration for peace," said David Bernard. "Through this concert we hope to not only honor those who have served, but also honor what they have served for; a better tomorrow."

For Jake Runestad, the work underlines an important truth. "While we, the public, are familiar with epic stories of heroism and of intense loss, we hear very little about the 'afterwards' of the war experience," he says, "thousands of veterans struggle to assimilate back into everyday life after living through a traumatic wartime experience. We hear very little of the continued struggles that these soldiers face and so I hope to shine a light on their stories with this new musical work."

Led by David Bernard, the orchestra will be joined by the leading pianist Jeffrey Biegel, soprano Kristin Sampson, alto Edith Dowd, tenor Cameron Schutza and bass David Leigh. A vast chorus of 200 voices will be comprised of the vocal forces from the West Point Glee Club, New Amsterdam Singers and Young New Yorkers Chorus. Terrance McKnight, WQXR Evening Host, will host the event.

The concert takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 at the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. Tickets will be available for $18-$250 at CarnegieCharge (212-247-7800), at the Box Office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue), and at

--James Inverne Music Consultancy

Musica Viva NY Presents Bach-Focused Program, "Heroes and Dragons,"  December 4
Musica Viva NY--a chamber choir of thirty professionals and highly skilled volunteers dedicated to creating imaginative programs that offer joy, solace, renewal and inspiration in a busy world--presents "Heroes and Dragons: J.S. Bach and the Epic Cantata" on Sunday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m. at All Souls Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th Street), New York, NY 10075.

"Heroes and Dragons" features Musica Viva NY in Bach's four "Michaelmas" cantatas, illustrating a great battle in heaven and joined by the Aeolus Quartet and some of their musical colleagues. The "Cantata for the Feast of Saint Michael," "Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg" (One Sings with Joy Before the Battle), BWV 149, highlights Musica Viva NY soloists soprano Shabnam Abedi, mezzo-soprano Barbara Fusco, countertenor Andrew Troup, tenor Nathan Siler, and baritone Joseph Beutel. The other three cantatas on the program include "Es erhub sich ein Streit" (There Arose a War), BWV 19, "Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft" (Now is Come Salvation and Strength), BWV 50, and "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir" (Lord God, We All Praise You), BWV 19 with Musica Viva NY soloists soprano Devony Smith, alto Chloë Schaaf, tenor Nathan Silver, and bass-baritone Andrew Moore.

Also on the program is Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, performed by organist Renée Anne Louprette, and Knut Nystedt's "Immortal Bach"--his arrangement of Komm, Süßer Tod, BWV 478.

Tickets, priced at $30, are available by visiting or at the door on the evening of the concert.

For more information, visit

--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts and Media

The Sheen Center Announces Its Inaugural 2016 Fall Classical Series
The NoHo/East Village based Sheen Center for Thought and Culture is proud to announce their inaugural 2016 Fall Classical series made up of three unique concerts that run the gamut of classical chamber music.

Curated by Marc Kaplan of SubCulture, the opening concert on November 22 brings together Argentinian pianist Pablo Ziegler and pianist/host of NPR's From The Top Christopher O'Riley to perform a program from their new Steinway & Sons album Tango Nuevo. The second concert, December 13, honors the 150th birthday of Erik Satie with a multimedia performance featuring pianists Anthony de Mare, Simone Dinnerstein, Conrad Tao, and Adam Tendler along with Tony Award-nominated actor Lou Liberatore. A final January 12 concert, also curated by Kaplan, rounds out the season with a performance by the Parker Quartet and clarinetist Charles Neidich, playing chamber music by Mendelssohn and Brahms.

For more information about the Fall season please visit:

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Sonus Inenarrabilis: Nine Live Plays the Music of John Clark
Some music just won't be pigeonholed, including the collection of compositions presented in Sonus Inenarrabilis. To do justice to this adventurous and haunting melding of diverse influences, you have to apply the immortal Duke Ellington's highest compliment: "It's beyond category."

Sonus Inenarrabilis: Nine Live Plays the Music of John Clark
November 22nd 7:00pm
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3, 196 Allen Street, NYC
$10 plus 2-drink minimum

For more information, visit

--Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Ray Chen Leads New Century, November 10-13
New Century continues its 2016-2017 season November 10-13 with debut performances by Australian/Taiwanese violinist Ray Chen. Marking only his third appearance in the Bay Area, Chen leads New Century as guest concertmaster and soloist in a program that features Mozart's Divertimento in F major and Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, alongside Elgar's Introduction and Allegro and Britten's Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge.

Winner of both the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin (2008) competitions, Ray Chen has appeared as soloist with some of the world's leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic, National Symphony and the Orchestre National de France. In 2011, he made his Bay Area debut as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and returned in 2014 to perform in recital at San Francisco Performances. Most recently, he made his debut appearance with the BBC Symphony at the BBC Proms in July 2016 with "sensational style" (The Times, UK) in a performance of Bruch's Violin Concerto that was "rich, impossibly smooth and shimmering with passion" (Express, UK). Chen is the first classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli. His online presence has generated a huge following of a younger generation of classical music fans through the use of multiple social media platforms, further strengthening his goal of expanding the reach of classical music to a much wider and more diverse audience.

"Ray Chen Leads" will be given on four evenings in different locations around the Bay Area: Thursday, November 10 at 8 p.m., Berkeley City Club, Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, Saturday, November 12 at 8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, San Francisco and Sunday, November 13 at 5 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael. New Century offers an Open Rehearsal Wednesday, November 9 at 10 a.m., Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall "C," San Francisco for a price of only $15. The Open Rehearsal will offer a sneak preview of the concert repertoire while allowing audiences to experience the musical democracy of a rehearsal without a conductor.

For more information, visit

--Brenden Guy, New Century Chamber Orchestra

The Attacca Quartet Presents "Recently Added"
The Attacca Quartet are excited to announce "Recently Added," a new series exploring the string quartet works of contemporary composers. Each year, the Attacca will select three living composers they feel have made significant contributions to the repertoire, and will celebrate their work by performing their complete string quartets.

Season one will take place at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY, featuring the music of Caroline Shaw on December 11 at 5PM, Michael Ippolito on February 19 at 8PM, and John Adams, whose complete works the group recorded for their acclaimed Fellow Traveler album, on April 2 at 3PM.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

The "Queen of Baroque Violin" Returns to Lead PBO's November Program
In the last year, Rachel Podger has won the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award for Vivaldi's L'Estro Armonico. She's been dubbed the "queen of the Baroque violin" by The Sunday Times. And she has won the Gramophone Classical Music Award's Baroque instrumental category for her recording of Biber Rosary Sonatas on Channel Classics.

Rachel is clearly on the world's "A List" of truly great Baroque violinists and we are fortunate to have her join us in November to lead the orchestra for our Vivaldi and Bach program, which also includes works by Tartini and Veracini.

Rachel and the Orchestra will perform a variety of violin concertos exploring different Baroque era styles and forms, and she will lead the Orchestra in the first orchestral suite written by J.S. Bach. This concert will be a veritable feast of Baroque violin, led by a true master.

Dates & Tickets"
Wednesday November 2 @ 7: 30 PM
First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA

Thursday November 3 @ 7:30 PM
Added venue: Livermore Performing Arts Center, Livermore, CA

Friday November 4 @ 8:00 PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Saturday November 5 @ 8:00 PM
New venue: Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley Campus, Berkeley, CA
Currently at capacity

Sunday November 6 @ 4:00 PM
New venue: Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, CA

For information, visit

--Dianne Provenzano, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Francisco Núñez Invites You to Six World Premieres 
Join us next week to see the esteemed Young People's Chorus of New York City perform the following and other world premieres from six of today's most distinguished composers.

Inspired by a fourth century Eastern Proclamation chant, Charles Wourinen links the music of the past to a vision of a rich musical future. Described as a "maximalist," Wourinen's music is lyrical, luxuriant, expressive, and strikingly dramatic. This new work is characterized by powerful harmonies and elegant craftsmanship, supported by accompanists Jon Holden (piano), Sam Jones (trumpet), and Dave Nelson (trombone).

From "As soft as a porpoise, As strong as a gale" to "As gentle as caring, And as sad as adieu," the transcendent Young People's Chorus of New York City will take you on a musical tour of 176 similies from Norton Juster's poem A Surfeit of Similes set to music composed by Robert Xavier Rodríguez, accompanied by Jon Holden (piano).

November 4: National Sawdust
November 6: Merkin Concert Hall

For more information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of NYC

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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