Classical Music News of the Week, April 28, 2018

Moab Music Festival 26th Season

The American spirit runs through the canyons in Moab during the 26th annual Moab Music Festival (MMF) from August 27 – September 13, 2018.

"Music in Concert with the Landscape" comes to life with performances set in spectacular outdoor venues along the Colorado River, in the charming and historic Star Hall, in private indoor salons, and surprise outdoor settings, all with the world-class Moab Music Festival musicians as a guide. Patrons will experience musical hikes, rafting adventures, intimate gatherings, and virtuoso performances, all surrounded by the sky, the Colorado River, and the ruggedly stunning red rock desert of southeast Utah--a backdrop for the musical ride of a lifetime. "The combination of music set against the canyonlands background is, in a word, stirring." (Denver Magazine 5280) Come, sit, be still, and hear your inner voice echoed in the striking sandstone canyons.

Grotto Concert I
Thursday, August 30, Noon
Colorado River Wilderness Grotto

Opening Night: New Americans
Friday, August 31, 7 pm
Star Hall

Music Hike I
Saturday, September 1, 8 am
Wilderness Area

Open Rehearsal
Saturday, September 1, 2 pm
Star Hall

Red Cliffs Lodge
Saturday, September 1, 6 pm

Music Hike II: Nature in the Wilderness
Sunday, September 2, 8 am
Wilderness Area

Time for Three
Sunday, September 2, 6pm
Red Cliffs Lodge

Rocky Mountain Power Family Picnic Concert
Monday, September 3, 2 pm
Old City Park

Ranch Benefit Concert
Married with Music
Tuesday, September 4, 5:30 pm

House Benefit Concert
Wednesday, September 5, 5:30 pm
Private Residence

Grotto Concert II
Thursday, September 6, 12pm
Colorado River Wilderness Grotto

We Are Women: A Bernstein Cabaret
Friday, September 7, 7 pm
Star Hall

Music Hike III: Jay's Eye View
Saturday, September 8, 8am
Wilderness Area

New World Assembly: Scotland meets Québec & Appalachia
Saturday, September 8, 6pm
Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa

Music Hike IV: Fiddlers on the Rock
Sunday, September 9, 8am
Wilderness Area

Closing Night: Coming to America
Sunday, September 9, 7 pm
Star Hall

Grotto Concert III
Monday, September 10, 12pm
Colorado River Wilderness Grotto

For complete information about the Festival or to purchase tickets for the 24th Annual Moab Music Festival, telephone the Box Office at (435) 259-7003; visit the Festival Office at 58 East 300 South, Moab, UT 84532; or visit

--Elizabeth Dworkin, Dworkin & Company

Gargoyle Ensemble and St. Charles Singers' "Transfigured Shakespeare"
The Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble and St. Charles Singers will headline a concert titled "Transfigured Shakespeare" at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11, 2018, at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles, Illinois.

Highlights will include the world premiere of a brass-and-organ arrangement of trail-blazing composer Arnold Schoenberg's sublime, late-Romantic tone poem "Transfigured Night" and the second-ever performance of Peter Meechan's "Love Songs (Shakespeare)" for brass quintet, organ, choir, and narrator.

The concert, presented by the Fox Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and open to the public, will be the first collaboration between the Chicago Gargoyle ensemble and the St. Charles Singers.

Single tickets for "Transfigured Shakespeare" are $20 adult general admission, $15 seniors, and free for those 18 and younger. Tickets are available at and at the door. For additional information, call the Chicago Gargoyle ensemble's Rodney Holmes at (708) 975-0055.

More information at

--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR

Washington Performing Arts (D.C.) Announces 18/19 Season
Washington Performing Arts has just announced its 52nd annual season, comprising 40 events across six venues in the Greater D.C. region. Furthering the defining "Everybody in, nobody out" philosophy of the organization's founder, Patrick Hayes, the season embraces both diversity and innovation on many levels: presenting an expansive range of artistic styles and genres; representing the traditions of many cultures, including the artistic riches to be found in D.C. itself; commissioning and premiering new works; presenting dream projects of many of today's most prominent artists; nurturing the careers of emerging artists; and uniting main stage concert programming with robust education and community initiatives through artist residencies and both new and long-term institutional partnerships.

"Through their work and creative choices, artists have always captured and conveyed the spirit of our time," said Jenny Bilfield, President & CEO of Washington Performing Arts. "Our goal has long been to provide them with a platform to do their best, most resonant work. We were drawn to programs and collaborations that are gutsy and unusual, and to projects where humanist topics are probed with tenderness and insight. We invite our audiences to join us with open ears, minds, and hearts."

Among the events:
Several Washington Performing Arts commissions, including Jimmy López's oratorio Dreamer with libretto by Nilo Cruz; works by Andreia Pinto Correia and Gity Razaz for Yevgeny Kutik's "Music from the Suitcase" program; and works on Lara Downes's new program "Holes in the Sky" with special guest Rhiannon Giddens.
The D.C. debut of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim.
Yo-Yo Ma performing Bach's complete Cello Suites in the spectacular Washington National Cathedral.
Kronos Quartet with a program of works by composers from the seven predominantly Muslim countries affected by the 2017 "travel ban."

Subscriptions go on sale to the general public Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. at, by phone at (202) 785-9727, and in person at the Washington Performing Arts Ticket Office, located at 1400 K Street NW, Suite 500. A series of advance sales periods for Friends (annual donors) begins Wednesday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m. A complete listing of 2018/19 season artists and events will be available online as of April 24 at

For complete information and a chronological calender list of events, visit

--Caroline Heaney, Bucklesweet

Sheku Kanneh-Mason to Perform at Royal Wedding
One of the brightest stars in classical music, teenage cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has been announced as one of the musicians at the Wedding Service of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle next month.

19-year-old cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason won BBC Young Musician 2016, made his BBC Proms debut the following year, and released his debut album, 'Inspiration', earlier this year. Sheku is a student at the Royal Academy of Music and combines his studies there with a busy international concert career. He is passionate about making classical music accessible to all and is Junior Ambassador for the music education charity London Music Masters. Last June, Prince Harry saw Sheku play at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason says: "I'm so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding. I was bowled over when Ms Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes! What a privilege to be able to play the cello at such a wonderful event. I can't wait!"

--Julia Casey, Universal Music

Royal Wedding Ceremony To Be Recorded and Released on Decca Records
When Prince Harry marries Ms. Meghan Markle next month, the Royal Wedding Ceremony will be recorded live and released on Decca Records within hours of the service ending. Decca, one of Britain's most historic record labels, will have the privilege of capturing the entire service.

The official recording of the Wedding Service, to be held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19, will be available to listen to at home that same day, then released into retail stores around the world from May 25.

Musicians confirmed to perform at the wedding ceremony include British cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason, Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, The Choir of St George's Chapel and Christian gospel group The Kingdom Choir. The Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, will be made up of musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia. State Trumpeters are drawn from all ranks of the Band of the Household Cavalry, and will provide ceremonial support during the Service at St George's Chapel. The music will be under the direction of James Vivian, Director of Music, St George's Chapel.

Find out more at

--Julia Casey, Universal Music

Bach's Brilliant Orchestral Suites
American Bach Soloists will perform all four of Bach's Orchestral Suites for the first time on one program.

ABS Music Director Jeffrey Thomas will lead the American Bach Soloists in performances of all four of Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suites (BWV 1066-1069) May 11-14 in Belvedere, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Davis, California. The works presented in these concerts are full of exuberant sonority and captivating melody and display the virtuosity of ABS's famous roster of "the best American specialists in early Music" (The Washington Post). These extremely popular pieces are intensely infused with the spirit of dance, expressing joy and felicity.

For tickets and information, visit

--American Bach Soloists

New Century Presents Philip Glass Premiere
New Century Chamber Orchestra's upcoming performances "Philip Glass Premiere" May 17 through 20, featuring pianist Simone Dinnerstein and Guest Concertmaster Zachary DePue. Four performances will be given around the Bay Area in Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and San Rafael, California.

New Century Chamber Orchestra concludes its 2017-2018 season with the West Coast Premiere of Philip Glass's Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring Simone Dinnerstein. Appearing as piano soloist, Dinnerstein will perform this work alongside Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G minor. Indianapolis Symphony concertmaster Zachary DePue serves as Guest Concertmaster in a program that also features works by Henry Purcell (arr. Britten), Bryce Dessner, and Francesco Geminiani.

For complete information, visit

--Brenden Guy Public Relations

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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