Classical Music News of the Week, January 13, 2018

Announcing The Crypt Sessions, Season 3

Unison Media is excited to announce Season 3 of its acclaimed concert series The Crypt Sessions, featuring intimate classical music and opera performances in the remarkable Crypt chapel underneath the Church of the Intercession in Harlem. The season will begin February 1, 2018, with the Attacca Quartet performing Beethoven's extraordinary String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132.

Due to rapid sell-outs and long waiting lists, each new concert will be announced immediately after the one preceding it, first to the mailing list, then via The Crypt Sessions Web site ( and Facebook page.

Each Crypt Session will feature a pre-concert reception included in the ticket price, with a tasting of food and wine that is paired to the themes and moods of that evening's music, prepared by Ward 8 Events.

All proceeds from ticket sales of The Crypt Sessions are donated to the Church of the Intercession, where the crypt is located.

Listing Info:
The Crypt Sessions Presents: The Attacca Quartet
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132
February 1, 2018 | Wine & Food Tasting 7PM | Show 8PM
Tickets: $75, including Wine Tasting & hors d'oeuvres
For complete information, visit

About The Crypt Sessions:
The Crypt Sessions ( is a concert series presented and produced by Unison Media ( and curated by Andrew Ousley, located in the crypt chapel underneath the Church of the Intercession in Harlem, NY. The series features intimate performances by some of the world's top classical music and opera stars, with programs tailored to the crypt's extraordinary atmosphere and remarkable acoustic. A performance by Conrad Tao was chosen as one of The New York Times' Best Classical Music Performances of 2017.

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Steven Isserlis in PBO SESSIONS Jewish Songlines
"Jewish Songlines: An Exploration of Music and Heritage"
February 8, 2018 | 8 pm
Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA

Join Nicholas McGegan, renowned cellist Steven Isserlis, and members of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at the Contemporary Jewish Museum for a 90-minute exploration of Jewish music and heritage. The program will feature music from the 18th to the 20th centuries, including a Bach Prelude arranged by Ignaz (Isaac) Moscheles and Isserlis's own arrangement of Maurice Ravel's Deux mélodies hébraïques and Felix Mendelssohn's "Scherzo" from the Octet for Strings, Op. 20.

Steven Isserlis and Nicholas McGegan will engage in deep discussion about the impact of Jewish composers, illuminated by a multimedia presentation, as well as Steven's own Jewish heritage.

Get tickets now, as space is limited. General admission: $25. Save $5 with discount code: PBO18

Order by Phone Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm - (415) 295-1900, or on-line at

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale

92 Street Y February 2018 Concerts
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 8:00 pm
Art of the Guitar
92Y - Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC
Jorge Caballero, guitar
(92Y recital debut)

  Friday, February 16, 2018 at 9:00 pm
92Y – Buttenwieser Hall, NYC
Christoph Prégardien, tenor
Julius Drake, piano
(92Y recital debut)

Saturday, February 17, 2018, 8:00 pm
Distinguished Artists
92Y - Kaufmann Concert Hall, NYC
Emmanuel Pahud, flute
Alessio Bax, piano

Tickets are available at or 212-415-5500.

--Xi Wang, Kirshbaum Associates

Five Boroughs Music Festival Presents Lorelei Ensemble
On Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 p.m., Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF) presents the acclaimed all-female vocal group, Lorelei Ensemble in concert at Manhattan's Church of St. Luke in the Fields, NYC.

The program, entitled "Impermanence/Reconstructed," features works from the early-Renaissance through contemporary Eastern, Western and American sounds from across the ages including selected motets by Guillaume Du Fay and Torino Codex; David Lang's i want to live; selections from Scott Ordway's North Woods; Peter Gilbert's Tsukimi; Steve Reich's Know What Is Above You; selections from Joshua Bornfield's Reconstruction; Shawn Kirchner's Rose/Riddle Rainbows; Joshua Shank's Saro; Adam Jacob Simon's Joys Above His Power; and Moira Smiley's Utopia.

Program information:
Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Church of St. Luke in the Fields | 487 Hudson St. | New York, NY 10014
Lorelei Ensemble "Impermanence/Reconstructed"

Tickets: VIP Preferred Seating - $40.00, General Admission - $25.00

Please visit or email for more information.

--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts and Media

The Wallis Presents World Premiere of Ory Shihor's "Last Thoughts: Schubert's Final Works"
In the last few months of his short life, prolific Austrian composer Franz Schubert wrote some of the most miraculous music ever created. Now, acclaimed Los Angeles-based pianist Ory Shihor presents the story behind Schubert's last compositions in the world premiere of "Last Thoughts: Schubert's Final Works" at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 7:30pm.

With words by master musical storyteller Hershey Felder, Shihor's program includes the two of three final piano sonatas created by Schubert, who bridged the worlds of Classical and Romantic music in the early nineteenth century.

Single tickets are now available for $25 – $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

--Sarah Jarvis, The Wallis

Women's Rights Explored in New Oratorio by Van Nuys High School Students
"Hear Our Voice: A Woman's Journey," a timely new oratorio written by Van Nuys High School students for the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Voices Within Oratorio Project, will be premiered by students and members of the Master Chorale on Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17 at the school's auditorium. The Friday performance will be for fellow students. The Saturday performance at 1 PM is presented as a free community concert and is open to the public.

Friday, February 16, 1:00 PM
Van Nuys High School student performance

Saturday, February 17, 1:00 PM
Community performance – free and open to the public

Van Nuys High School Auditorium
6535 Cedros Ave, Van Nuys, CA 914

--Jennifer Scott, LA Master Chorale

Huydts World Premiere on Orion's 25th Season's Third Program
As a special tribute for its 25th anniversary, The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, performs a world premiere on the season's third program, "Old Meets New," featuring guest violist Stephen Boe.

Performances take place March 4 at First Baptist Church of Geneva-Chapelstreet Church, Geneva, Illinois; March 7 at the PianoForte Studios in downtown Chicago, Illinois, joined by a Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras quintet; and March 11 at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, Illinois.

Single tickets are $26, $23 for seniors and $10 for students; admission is free for children 12 and younger. A four-ticket flexible subscription provides a 10 percent savings on full-priced tickets.

For tickets or more information, call 630-628-9591 or visit

--Jill Chukerman, The Orion Ensemble

The Genius of Bach's Passions
American Bach Soloists' interpretation of the St. John Passion
February 23 - 26 2018
Belvedere, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Davis, CA

The two monumental Passion settings that survive from the pen of J.S. Bach (the St. John Passion, BWV 245, and the St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244) are universally acknowledged as the pinnacle of perfection in the genre. For some listeners, the musical beauty of these works alone sets them far above all similar compositions. Others are inspired by the unsurpassed dramatic impact Bach's music lends to the already intensely emotional texts of the Evangelists' accounts. Bach's St. John Passion sets not only chapters 18 and 19 from the fourth Gospel, but also contains two interpolations from the Gospel Gccording to St. Matthew, a relatively small number of aria texts, and a series of carefully chosen stanzas from the rich genre of Bach's chorales.

Friday February 23rd 8:00 pm
St. Stephen's Church
3 Bay View Avenue, Belvedere, CA 94920

Saturday February 24th 8:00 pm
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Sunday February 25th 4:00 pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
1111 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Monday February 26th 7:00 pm
Davis Community Church
412 C Street, Davis, CA 95616

For tickets and information, call 800-595-4TIX (-4849) or visit

--American Bach Soloists

The Wallis and the Arturo Sandoval Institute Present the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Weekend
The program features four nights of extraordinary music celebrating both the legendary trumpeter and emerging jazz artists.

Thursday, January 25 through Sunday, January 28, 2018.

The Wallis will be the place for jazz lovers this month when the performing arts center, in conjunction with the Arturo Sandoval Institute, present a special four-night musical celebration curated by the dynamic American jazz legend Arturo Sandoval from Thursday, January 25 through Sunday, January 28.

Sandoval shines a spotlight on his legacy, as well as up-and-coming musicians, in an exciting jazz series featuring a Master Class, sponsored by the Arturo Sandoval Institute; two extraordinary nights of emerging jazz artists, whom Sandoval proudly calls the "Young Lions;" and an unforgettable concert of his own with special guests.

Single tickets are now available for $20 – $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

--Sarah Jarvis, The Wallis

The Chelsea Symphony Performs Lemmon, Saint-Saëns, Colina, and Sibelius
The Chelsea Symphony, featured in the Golden Globe-winning Amazon Originals show "Mozart in the Jungle," announces the continuation of its 2017/18 season, entitled "Sea Change," with concerts on January 26 and 27 featuring a World Premiere by Eric Lemmon, Camille Saint-Saëns's Violin Concerto No. 3 featuring violinist Deborah Nixon (1/26 only), the World Premiere of Michael Colina's Isles of Shoals featuring flutist Michelle Stockman (1/27 only), and Jean Sibelius's Symphony No. 5.

Friday, January 26th at 8:30 PM
Saturday, January 27th at 7:30 PM
St. Paul's Church, 315 West 22nd Street, NYC
Conducted by Reuben Blundell, and Mark Seto

For complete information, visit

--Elizabeth Holub, Chelsea Symphony

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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