Classical Music News of the Week, October 28, 2017

Music Institute and Dance Chicago Present "Duke It Out!" Nutcracker December 9

Classical, jazz and dance combine when the Music Institute of Chicago collaborates with Dance Chicago to present a family concert, "Duke It Out!," Saturday, December 9 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Illinois.

This Nutcracker performance, curated by Dance Chicago, pairs the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite, performed by Axiom Brass and Music Institute Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca. Featured ensembles in past years have included Forum Jazz Dance Theatre, Moscow Ballet's children's cast, The Kate Jablonski Statement, Tapman Productions, Visceral Dance Chicago, Wheatland Dance Theater, and other companies and choreographers participating in Dance Chicago.

"Duke It Out!" takes place Saturday, December 9 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois.

Tickets are $7 general admission, available at or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. For more information, visit

--Jill Chukerman, Music Institute of Chicago

Violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock Leads PBO in Vivaldi Program
Hear the Guarneri sing as violin legend Elizabeth Blumenstock returns to the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra November 8-12 to lead a vivacious program, postmarked Venice---music by Venetians and by those who visited the popular city. Hear virtuosic concerti for oboes paired with solo turns for violin, a concerto by Tartini and Vivaldi's seasonal "Autumn" from The Four Seasons performed on Elizabeth's 1660 Andrea Guarneri violin.

Vivaldi: "l'Autunno" in F major, RV 293 from Le quattro stagioni
Locatelli: Introduzione Teatrale Op. 4, No. 5 in D major
Pisendel: Concerto for Violin and Two Oboes in G minor
Veracini: Sarabande "Appoggiato" from Overture No. 4 in F major
Handel: Overture to Agrippina in G minor, HWV 6
Albinoni: Concerto for Oboe in D minor, Op. 9, No. 2
Tartini: Concerto for Violin in A major, D. 91
Campra: Le Carnaval de Venice (selections)

Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin and leader

Wednesday November 8 @ 7:30 PM
First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA

Friday November 10 @ 8:00 PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Saturday November 11 @ 8:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Sunday November 12 @ 4:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

For complete information, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Buy One, Get One Free to See Juilliard415 with PBO at the de Young Museum
Buy One Ticket, Get One Free!
See Nic lead Juilliard415 at the de Young, Oct. 29

Witness the future of historically-informed performance as Nicholas McGegan leads the talented student musicians of the Juilliard415 ensemble in a side-by-side concert with the Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players. Hear works by Telemann, Rameau, Gluck, Avison, and others inspired by the music, culture, and people of Baroque France, Spain, Scotland, the Ottoman Empire, Persia, and China in this musical excursion.

Join us for this inspiring program at the Koret Auditorium at the de Young Museum, San Francisco on Sunday, October 29 at 4pm. Come to the museum early to enjoy free access to the dynamic exhibit in Wilsey Court, the Café and Terrace with sculpture garden, and the Hamon Observation Tower on the 9th floor with 360 degree views of the city. Tickets to other museum exhibits can be purchased on site.

For more information, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Green Music Center Upcoming Events
Sat, Oct 28: The Miró Quartet with Jeffrey Kahane, piano
Sun, Oct 29: Creature Features
Sun, Oct 29: Alexi Kenney, violin
Tue, Oct 31: Phantoms and Fugues: "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"
Thu, Nov 2: Jewish Music Series: Richard Neil Kaplan
Fri, Nov 3:Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev, conductor, Denis Matsuev, piano

Green Music Center at Sonoma State University

--Green Music Center

SOLI's First Annual Contemporary Music Open Mic Night
Have you been toiling away at your instrument, waiting for your moment to shine? Are you a fan of modern music? Well, then, your opportunity is now, as Texas Public Radio and SOLI Chamber Ensemble team up to present the first annual SOLI Contemporary Music Open Mic Night at Jazz TX.

Monday, November 6: 7:30PM @ JAZZ TX
312 Pearl Parkway, Bld. #6 Suite #6001, San Antonio, TX 78215

For more information, visit

--SOLI Chamber Ensemble

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra's October in Asia and Europe
October was a particularly busy month for the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, but also just as fulfilling. After seven concerts in just under two weeks in Tokyo, Kawasaki, Kyoto, Seoul and Beijing as the core of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, we had two brief days of rest before continuing onwards to Paris for the first part of our extensive European tour with pianist Yuja Wang.

This past weekend, we made our debut in the prestigious Fondation Louis Vuitton with two concerts: while Yuja directed us from the piano for works by Beethoven and Chopin, our concertmaster Matthew Truscott led us in performances of Mozart's Overture to Don Giovanni and Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite. This tradition of performing chamber orchestra repertoire under the leadership of our concertmaster is an especially important one to us, and we are very glad that there will be many more opportunities for us to do so in the upcoming months and years.

In a few short days, we reunite with Yuja for the second part of our tour. This time, it will take us to Finland, France, Germany, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands – we would be delighted to see you on one of the stops along the way!

For more information about the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, visit

--Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Don't Miss Festival Mozaic's Next WinterMezzo Weekend
WinterMezzo II: February 23 - 25, 2018
French composers in the 20th century reinvented melody through impressionism and neo-classicism. The melodic works of Gabriel Fauré, Jean Cras and Albert Roussel were written when jazz sounds from the United States had crossed the pond. Rounding out this imaginative and evocative program is a jazz riff on the baroque style by living composer Noam Elkies.

Learn: Notable Encounter Insight
Friday February 23, 2018 5:30 p.m. $25
One hour program Performance + Speaking
Noam Elkies: E Sonata for flute and keyboard in E minor, op. 40
Alice Dade, Flute & John Novacek, Piano
Gabriel Faure: Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, op. 45
Scott Yoo, Violin, Jessica Chang, Viola, Jonah Kim, cello & John Novacek, piano
Mission San Luis Obispo Parish Hall, San Luis Obispo, CA

Dine: Notable Encounter Dinner
Saturday February 24, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. $135
Dinner, Performance + Speaking
Jean Emile Paul Cras: Suite en Duo
Alice Dade, Flute & Meredith Clark, Harp
Albert Roussel: Serenade, op. 30
Alice Dade, flute; Scott Yoo, violin; Jessica Chang, viola; Jonah Kim, cello; Meredith Clark, harp
Park Ballroom, Paso Robles, CA

Listen: Music Française Concert
Sunday February 25, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. $35-$65
Hear all the works performed in full.
Cuesta College Cultural and Performing Arts Center

For more information, visit

--Festival Mozaic

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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 ofThe $ensible Soundmagazine 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