Classical Music News of the Week, October 13, 2018

Nigel North at the House of the Redeemer Opens Tenth Salon/Sanctuary Season

Salon/Sanctuary opens its tenth season with two concerts in the exquisite 17th-century library of the House of the Redeemer. We look forward to seeing you at these paired events, which celebrate Francesco da Milano and Giulio Caccini, (called Il Romano), one composer who concluded the Renaissance and another who ignited the baroque.

A Decoration of Silence
The lute music of "il Divino" Francesco Canova da Milano (1497 – 1543)
Set in the 17th-century library of the House of the Redeemer, this recital by one of the world's leading lutenists transports the 21st century listener into a historical world of sensual delight.

Monday, November 5th, 8:00pm
The Library of the House of the Redeemer
7 East 95th Street, New York City

Tickets and information:

Giulio Il Romano
A Concert for Caccini (1551 – 1618)
Riccardo Pisani, tenor, with Ensemble Ricercare Antico

Thursday, November 9th, 8:00pm
The Library of the House of the Redeemer
7 East 95th Street, New York City

Tickets and information:

--Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

St. Charles Singers to Ignite "Candlelight Carols" Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 & 2
The St. Charles Singers have announced details of their 35th annual Candlelight Carols program, the holiday tradition which launched the choir's career in 1984.

The 2018 Christmas program, to be presented in St. Charles, Il., and Chicago, will feature world premieres of two seasonal songs written for the St. Charles Singers by Illinois composers, along with  "engaging arrangements of Christmas classics, some of them new to our repertoire," says Jeffrey Hunt, founder and music director of the professional chamber choir.
The mixed-voice choir of 30-plus singers will present "Candlelight Carols" at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 30, at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles; 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1, at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago; and 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, at Baker Church in St. Charles.

For complete information, visit

--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR

Join the H.I.P. Revolution at PBO Sessions November 8
You Say You Want a Revolution?

Sixty years ago a revolution began when a group of musicians rebelled against "mainstream" classical music and sparked the historically-informed performance (HIP) movement. They wanted to play on original instruments, in the performance style the composers intended, and give their audience an authentic experience. These rebels put Baroque music on the map and today more students than ever are choosing HIP.

From HIP's rebellious beginnings to today, come hear three recent Juilliard grads and their teachers (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra members) in this dynamic evening of discussion, history, and music. Audiences will hear these musicians "double down" on Vivaldi double concerti and experience music by Handel, Corelli and Geminiani—including the the most famous theme in musical history, La Follia.

For more information, visit

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

Five Boroughs Music Festival Presents Corónica: "An Empire of Silver and Gold"
Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF) and GEMAS (Gotham Early Music Scene / Americas Society) present Corónica, a collective of musicians from Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Argentina and the US, in "An Empire of Silver and Gold" on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 7:00pm at St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church.

Curated and led by Daniel Zuluaga, the program explores 18th-century vocal and instrumental pieces from Latin American manuscript sources, including works by Juan de Araujo, Andrés Flores, Joseph de Torres, & Juan Franzés Yribarren, and others. Zuluaga reconstructs musical archives from cathedrals in Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru, woven together to provide an overview of music in Colonial Latin America.

Additional 5BMF performances in the 2018-19 season include the return of baroque virtuosi, Les Délices, in a new program entitled "Songs Without Words" on February 23 & 24; the award-winning all female Aizuri Quartet on March 22; a collaboration with pianist Martin Katz and the Brooklyn Art Song Society in Hugo Wolf: The Complete Mörike-Lieder on April 28, May 3 and 4; and concludes with two special programs celebrating LGBT composers and librettists in collaboration with the New York Festival of Song and the LGBT Community Center ("The Center") on June 11 and 25.

For complete information, visit

--Will Albach, Morahan Arts and Media

Bach's Magnificat & Reena Esmail's This Love Between Us Performed Nov. 18
When Los Angeles composer Reena Esmail created This Love Between Us: Prayers for Unity, she envisioned it as a contemporary counterpoint to Bach's Magnificat, using the same Baroque instrumentation, but seeking new textures to convey a specific message. The two works will be performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, on Sunday, November 18 at 7 PM in Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert will feature 62 singers, orchestra, and soloists.

This Love Between Us: Prayers for Unity for chorus, orchestra, sitar, and tabla was premiered by Yale Schola Cantorum and Juilliard415 at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York City in March 2017 and called a "powerful piece of music" by Opera News magazine. The work juxtaposes words from the seven major religion traditions of India — Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Islam — to explore how they each approach the topics of unity and harmony. The title comes from the 15th-century Indian mystic saint-poet Kabir, who wrote, "This love between us cannot be annihilated," a phrase Esmail says she felt encapsulated the nature of unity, namely, love and friendship between people.

Sunday, November 18, 7 PM
6PM: ListenUp! Pre-concert talk with Grant Gershon, Reena Esmail, & KUSC's Alan Chapman in BP Hall.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Tickets are available now, starting from $39, by phone at 213-972-7282 or online at

--Jennifer Scott, Los Angeles Master Chorale

"Off to the Hunt" Oct. 19-22
American Bach Soloists will present Bach's wonderfully fun "Hunting Cantata." If you wonder why he wrote it, you might wonder if Bach himself was a fan of the hunt. We know that he frequently accompanied Prince Leopold (when Bach was working at the court of Cöthen) on all kinds of outdoor excursions. But the "Hunting Cantata" was written a decade earlier.

Friday October 19 2018 8:00 p.m.
St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere, CA

Saturday October 20 2018 8:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Sunday October 21 2018 4:00 p.m.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco, CA

Monday October 22 2018 7:00 p.m.
Davis Community Church, Davis, CA

For complete information, visit

--American Bach Soloists

WinterMezzo Is Just Around the Corner
The opening weekend of the 2018-2019 WinterMezzo Chamber Music Series is just around the corner! Don't delay - tickets are on sale now! Buy tickets online at or by calling our office at (805) 781-3009.

Festival Mozaic's internationally-renowned artists present chamber music concerts in spectacular venues on the California Central Coast in the fall and winter. This season, Music Director Scott Yoo and friends present two weekends of great works of chamber music and offers three sequential ways to connect to the music and the musicians. We encourage you to attend all events in each weekend, and experience the special connections to the composers, the musicians, and this beautiful place.

For complete information on the 2018-19 WinterMezzo Chamber Music Series, visit

--Festival Mosaic

Trio con Brio's 20th Anniversary Continues
The much-admired Trio con Brio Copenhagen continue their twentieth anniversary celebrations from October 7th with the launch of their latest North America tour, to include performances in Texas, Minneapolis, Utah, Oregon, Iowa and Vermont. This coincides with the release, on Orchid Classics, of volume two of the Trio's complete recorded cycle of the complete Beethoven trios. This follows volume one, released earlier this year to fabulous reviews including five stars in Diapason ("A delight.").

The Trio, in demand around the world, will follow this American tour with another in February 2019, after a tour of South Korea in December. This continues the success of last season's U.S. tour, which included an appearance at Lincoln Centre's 'Great Performances' series. The November tour will take in Brookings (OR), San Antonio (TX), Cedar Falls (IA), St Cloud (MN), Minneapolis/St Paul, Salt Lake City (UT) and Burlington (VT).

For more information, visit

--James Inverne Music Consultancy

Quartet 212 Replaces Simón Bolívar Quartet, Dec 2 at Princeton University Concerts
Due to an unfortunate combination of injury and recently escalated geopolitical circumstance, the Simón Bolívar String Quartet, (scheduled to perform at Princeton University Concerts on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 2PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall), is unable to perform as part of the Gustavo Dudamel: Artist-in-Residence series. Maestro Dudamel--making his Metropolitan Opera debut this season--has invited Quartet 212, an ensemble featuring principal members of the MET Orchestra, to replace them.

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Robert Trevino Named New Artist of the Month by Musical America
Shortly after his announcement as incoming Music Director of the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, the fast-rising American conductor Robert Trevino has been named Musical America's new artist of the month.

Trevino, who is also Chief Conductor of the Basque National Orchestra, has enjoyed a string of dramatic successes deputising with major institutions, from a Don Carlo at the Bolshoi (that one reviewer called the most exciting American debut in Russia "since Van Cliburn") to, recently, Mahler's Fifth Symphony with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra (standing in for an ailing Donald Runnicles) and Mahler's Third Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra (where he deputised at short notice for Daniel Harding).

Read the Musical America new artist of the month article here:

--James Inverne Music Consultancy

Beijing Meets Banjo: Abigail Washburn & Wu Fei in New Concert Series
Princeton University Concerts is thrilled to launch a brand new concert series, "Crossroads," with banjo virtuoso Abigail Washburn and Chinese guzheng rockstar Wu Fei in a program titled "Beijing Meets Banjo."

The duo will launch their visit with a free Public Talk at the Princeton Public Library, moderated by Princeton University Professor Dan Trueman, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 7PM. The following afternoon, they will participate in PUC's second Live Music Meditation of the season at 12:30PM, an event that is also free and unticketed. The visit culminates at 7:30PM with a concert of musical storytelling that crosses continents to find commonalities.

For complete information, visit

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Wine, Dinner, Conversation and an Interactive Concert with Mosaic Festival Artists
Join us for the first WinterMezzo Notable Encounter Dinner of the season at the historic Park Ballroom in Paso Robles. You'll mingle with friends new and old, including the Festival's visiting musicians, as you sip wines from SummerWood Winery and enjoy delectable bites by Chef Jeffery Scott. Then you'll be seated for a gourmet three-course meal inspired by the fall season, complete with wine pairings. View the full dinner menu by clicking here.

As you are enjoying your dessert and coffee, Scott Yoo and the artists will take you on a one-tour behind two selections from this weekend's repertoire: Rossini's playful duet for cello and bass and Dvorak's second string quintet. The artists will share insights into the composer's life, the historical context of the works, and what to listen for, giving you a richer understanding of the music.

Thursday, October 25 | 5:30 PM
Park Ballroom, Paso Robles, CA
Information and tickets:

--Marketing, Festival Mosaic

Savage Winter Is Coming
In this fiercely contemporary re-imagining of Wilhelm Müller's poetry cycle Die Winterreise, composer Douglas J. Cuomo and director Jonathan Moore transform Müller's lovelorn winter wanderer into a demon-haunted everyman. The "radiant, communicative tenor" (Opera News) Tony Boutté assumes the existential mantle, giving a searing, intense performance as a man desperate for atonement, while electric guitar (Cuomo), trumpet (Frank London), keyboards (conductor Alan Johnson), and electronics—infused with acid jazz and a punk energy--narrate his delirious fever dream.

October 19
Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston
Houston, TX

AOP and Pittsburgh Opera present
New York Premiere
November 7 - 10
BAM Next Wave Festival
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

--American Opera Projects

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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 Jon 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 simpleminded, 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 Arcam CDS50 CSD/SACD CD player, Goldpoint SA4 Passive Preamp, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE loudspeakers. 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 cell phone. 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.

William (Bill) Heck, Contributing Reviewer

Among my early childhood memories are those of listening to my mother playing records (some even 78 rpm ones!) of both classical music and jazz tunes. I suppose that her love of music was transmitted genetically, and my interest was sustained by years of playing in rock bands – until I realized that this was no way to make a living. The interest in classical music was rekindled in grad school when the university FM station serving as background music for studying happened to play the Brahms First Symphony. As the work came to an end, it struck me forcibly that this was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, and from that point on, I never looked back. This revelation was to the detriment of my studies, as I subsequently spent way too much time simply listening, but music has remained a significant part of my life. These days, although I still can tell a trumpet from a bassoon and a quarter note from a treble clef, I have to admit that I remain a nonexpert. But I do love music in general and classical music in particular, and I enjoy sharing both information and opinions about it.

The audiophile bug bit about the same time that I returned to that classical music. I’ve gone through plenty of equipment, brands from Audio Research to Yamaha, and the best of it has opened new audio insights. Along the way, I reviewed components, and occasionally recordings, for The $ensible Sound magazine. Recently I’ve rebuilt--I prefer to say reinvigorated--my audio system, with a Sangean FM HD tuner and (for the moment) an ancient Toshiba multi-format disk player serving as a transport, both feeding a NAD C 658 streaming preamp/DAC, which in turn connects to a Legacy Powerbloc2 amplifier driving my trusty Waveform Mach Solo speakers, supplemented by a Hsu Research ULS 15 Mk II subwoofer.

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