Classical Music News of the Week, December 1, 2018

Princeton University Glee Club Presents: "Out of the Deep"

"Out of the Deep: Russian Choral Music and the Basso Profundo." Sunday, December 9 at 3PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

The Princeton University Glee Club has invited leading oktavists Vladimir Miller (Russia), Adrian Peacock (United Kingdom) and Glenn Miller (United States), to come together in an unprecedented gathering--the first time that three such legends of the basso profundo voice from the western and eastern traditions have combined in concert, in the United States.

The student singers of the Princeton University Glee Club have spent the current semester learning about the Moscow Synodal tradition, mastering the challenges of the 'church slavonic' language, and preparing repertoire by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Kastalsky, Chesnokov, Gretchaninoff, and Golovanov. In the first week of December, the three guest vocalists will arrive in Princeton for a week of intensive work with Princeton University students, in which they will lead rehearsals on December 3, 5, 7 and 8. During these rehearsals they will teach members of the Princeton University Glee Club to sing the Church Slavonic language, how to intone Znamenny and Kievan chant, and how to infuse Synodal repertoire with the rich vocal colors it needs to sound authentic. This work will culminate in a collaborative concert staged by the Glee Club, and featuring the three guest oktavists on Sunday, December 9 at 3PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton, NJ.

Tickets: $15 general and $5 students, available at music.princeton.edu; by calling Princeton University Ticketing at 609-258-9220; or in person two hours prior to the concert at the Richardson
Auditorium Box Office.

For more information, visit https://music.princeton.edu/events/out-deep-basso-profundo

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

The Chelsea Symphony's December 7 Holiday Concert
The Chelsea Symphony, featured in the hit Amazon show Mozart in the Jungle, continues its 2018/19 season, entitled "Resolution," with a holiday concert on December 7 featuring actress and musician Annie Golden, known for her role in Orange is the New Black, as the guest narrator for the orchestra's own special version of The Night Before Christmas by composer Aaron Dai. This concert is conducted by Reuben Blundell, Mark Seto, and Nell Flanders and will be presented at St. Paul's Church, 315 West 22nd Street, NYC.

The holiday concert also includes selections from Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck, the Christmas Overture by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." As is the tradition, "Sleigh Ride" will be conducted by the winner of the previous year's silent auction, Ray Cerabone.

Clarinetist Erik Jönsson performs as featured soloist on Paul Ben-Haim's Pastorale Variée for clarinet, harp, and string orchestra, clarinetist Christine Todd performs the Adagio movement from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A Major, and violinists Nicholas Pappone and E. J. Lee, violist Elizabeth Holub, and cellist Talia Dicker join forces for the string quartet part to Edward Elgar's Introduction and Allegro.

The Chelsea Symphony, conducted by Reuben Blundell, Mark Seto, Nell Flanders, and special guest Ray Cerabone
Friday, December 7 at 8:00 PM
St. Paul's Church (315 West 22nd Street), New York, NY

Premium unassigned seating in special reserved areas are $25 on Eventbrite.
Limited day-of tickets available at the door for a suggested donation of $20.

For more information, visit https://chelseasymphony.org/

--Elizabeth Holub, Chelsea Symphony

Viennese Pivot with Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the PBO, Feb 6-10
Come away to Vienna in the dawning decades of the 19th century, as late fruits of Classicism ripen alongside early blossoms of Romanticism. Violin virtuoso and impresario Franz Clement has composed a violin concerto that will inspire Beethoven to pen one of his own for Clement the next year. Guest soloist Rachel Barton Pine was the first in the world to record the Clement Violin Concerto, and will reprise her deeply-researched performance with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in a perfect match of historically-informed sensibilities. Delicious works by Mozart and Schubert round out the program.

Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Clement: Violin Concerto in D major
Schubert: Symphony No. 6 in C major

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Rachel Barton Pine, violin

Wednesday February 6, 2019 @ 7:30 pm | First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Friday February 8, 2019 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Saturday February 9, 2019 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA
Sunday February 10, 2019 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Special E-mail Offer:
50% Off Tickets to Viennese Pivot!
https://philharmonia.org/2018-2019-season/viennese-pivot/
Use Discount Code: ROMANTIC

For more information, visit https://philharmonia.org/2018-2019-season/viennese-pivot/

--Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale

Indonesia in the National Cathedral - How the Gamelan Changed Classical Music
Gamelan has by far been the non-Western musical genre that has most impacted the Western classical music tradition. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral, conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez and PostClassical Ensemble (PCE) will take listeners on a survey of gamelan, the traditional percussive ensemble music of Indonesia, in "CULTURAL FUSION: The Gamelan Experience."

The concert explores the gamelan's influence on classical music across 120 years, beginning with the 1889 Paris Exposition (World's Fair), where Claude Debussy first experienced the allure of Indonesian music and dance—an introduction that transformed Western music via Debussy and countless other composers. From there, PCE explores other celebrated composers who have incorporated the sound and spirit of gamelan into their work—from Maurice Ravel, François Poulenc, and Olivier Messiaen, to the trailblazing Colin McPhee (the first Western composer to lead an ethnomusicological study of Bali), and Bill Alves and Lou Harrison. Tickets and information are available at www.postclassical.com.

A gamelan is a collection of primarily percussive instruments played by multiple performers at once. Audiences will simultaneously hear a tapestry of metallophones, xylophones, gongs, and voice, as well as bowed and plucked strings. Indonesia boasts two different styles of gamelan, both of which can be heard during "CULTURAL FUSION: The Gamelan Experience." During intermission, audience members can approach the gamelan up-close and enjoy informal demonstrations from the musicians.

The immersive concert will transform the Washington National Cathedral with dancers, archival films, and more. Both a Javanese and Balinese gamelan and accompanying musicians will be assembled in the middle of the Cathedral's nave, with the audience seated around them for a 360-degree viewing experience.

For complete information and tickets, visit https://www.gilordonez.com/performances/2018-2019-season/cultural-fusion-the-gamelan-experience/

--Mike Fila, Bucklesweet

Oberlin Conservatory Performs at Carnegie Hall, Dizzy's Coca-Cola
For the first time since 2013, musicians from the prestigious Oberlin College Conservatory of Music come to New York in January 2019 performing diverse concerts in two of the city's most celebrated venues.  Representing not only the exemplary standard of young artists who study at Oberlin, but the extensive range of opportunities offered to them while studying, these performances include both instrumentalists and vocalists in classical, contemporary, and jazz repertoire ranging from Debussy to 29-year-old Oberlin faculty composer Elizabeth Ogonek. These concerts include the debut of Oberlin's new jazz ensemble initiated by jazz legend Sonny Rollins, made possible by a substantial gift to the conservatory from Mr. Rollins himself, and a large-scale performance with the full Oberlin Orchestra and Choir at Carnegie Hall.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 7:30PM
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola - Jazz at Lincoln Center
Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble (performance debut)

Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 8:00PM
Carnegie Hall - Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
Oberlin College Choir
Gregory Ristow, conductor

Tour website: https://www.oberlin.edu/oberlin-in-nyc

--Hannah Goldshlack-Wolf, Kirshbaum Associates

Ermonela Jaho Returns to Covent Garden
Winner of the 2016 International Opera Readers Award, Ermonela Jaho became a firm favourite with London audiences following her moving portrayal of Suor Angelica in Puccini's Il trittico staged at Covent Garden in 2016. As the London Evening Standard wrote, her performance was "as glorious as ever, investing the character of the traumatised nun with the same combination of gleaming tone and expressive intensity." The following season saw her Cio-Cio San, hailed by The Independent "as the best Madama Butterfly London has seen in years".

Following a one-off concert performance in the autumn at the Royal Festival Hall as Anna in Le Willis--Puccini's first stage work heard for the first time in 120 years in its original one-act version--Jaho returns to Covent Garden in the New Year to sing the role that at the age of 14 made her fall in love with opera--Violetta in Verdi's ever-green La traviata.

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
January 14, 17, 21, 23, 26 & 30, 2019

--Moe Faulkner, Macbeth Media 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