Classical Music News of the Week, April 20, 2019

ABS Season Ends and Summer Festival Begins

American Bach Soloists' 30th season will conclude with the remaining four Brandenburg Concertos, Nos. 2, 4, 5, and 6, each one featuring the renowned Bach specialists of ABS.

Friday, May 3, 2019 8:00 p.m.
St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere, CA

Saturday, May 4, 2019 8:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA

Sunday, May 5, 2019 4:00 p.m.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco, CA

Monday, May 6, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Davis Community Church, Davis, CA

The ABS annual Summer Festival & Academy,July 28 - August 11, is now expanded to include an additional weekend of performances, more free public events to bring you closer to the excitement that surrounds our annual Academy - now in its 10th year - along with stunning programs of absolutely sensational musical works, and ventures into new and imaginative territory.

Of course, the focus on major works from the Baroque is still at the core of our Summer Festival, voted "Best of the Bay" by SFCV readers. All-time favorites including Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Bach's Mass in B Minor will be presented with Handel's Utrecht Te Deum & Jubilate and Terpsicore, Lotti's "Mass for Three Choirs", Pergolesi's Stabat Mater (in an important newly researched version), Geminiani's imaginative and picturesque Enchanted Forest, and endearing concertos about frogs and crickets by Telemann.

Also new this summer: A "Coffee House Concert" featuring our amazing Academy musicians and "Bach Explorations" including "Bach to Bluegrass & Beyond" and "Bach Re-Imagined."

All Summer Festival events are at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street, San Francisco.

For complete information, visit https://americanbach.org/

--American Bach Soloists

"Dancing the Gods," World Music Institute's Indian Classical Dance Festival
Hailed as "among the most probing and serious" Indian classical dance festivals (DanceTabs), with "a record of attracting some truly godlike dancers" (The New York Times), the World Music Institute's annual "Dancing the Gods" festival returns for its eighth season. Audiences are offered spectacular shows, onstage slide lectures with storytelling, and chat & chai artist receptions.

Night One:
Kalanidhi Dance
Saturday, April 27, 2019
7:00 p.m. Lec-Dem by Rajika Puri: "What make an Indian dancer great?"
8:00 p.m. performance

Night Two:
Sujata Mohapatra & Musicians
Sunday, April 28, 2019
6:00 p.m. Lec-Dem by Rajika Puri: "What make an Indian dancer great?"
7:00 p.m. performance

For complete information, visit www.worldmusicinstitute.org

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Ébène Quartet Closes Princeton University Concerts' 125th Anniversary
Princeton University Concerts concludes its 125th anniversary season with fan favorites, the Ébène String Quartet ("Quatuor Ébène"), on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 8PM in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton, NJ. The ensemble--now with new violist Marie Chilemme as the first female member in the quartet's history--will perform quartets by Beethoven and Fauré.

At 7 p.m., ticketholders are invited for an announcement and presentation of this year's winner(s) of PUC's annual Creative Reactions Contest, a writing and visual arts contest that asks Princeton University students to respond to themes on this year's series.

Tickets are $10-$55, available by phone at 609-258-9220, in person two hours prior to the concert at the Richardson Auditorium Box Office, or online at princetonuniversityconcerts.org.

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Eighth Blackbird Presents DISSOLVE at Steppenwolf
Four-time Grammy Award winners Eighth Blackbird, moving music forward with innovative chamber music performance, showcases its six ensemble members with DISSOLVE, an evening featuring the musicians performing in smaller subsets that highlight their playful, intimate, and spirited versatility.

DISSOLVE is part of Steppenwolf's spring LookOut series and includes the following works:
Quimbombó (2010) by Angélica Negrón
Rot Blau (2009) by 2018–19 Rome Prize winner Jessie Marino
Four Rain Beggings Songs (2017), by Welsh composer Alex Mills
Madam Bellegarde (2018), composed and performed by flutist Nathalie Joachim
Less is More (2017) by Molly Joyce
Amygdala (2015) by Blackbird Creative Lab alumna Gemma Peacocke
Dissolve, O My Heart (2011), by Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mead Composer-in-Residence Missy Mazzoli

DISSOLVE takes place Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL.

Tickets are $35 general admission, $15 for students, available through Steppenwolf at 312-335-1650 or steppenwolf.org/lookout.

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

New Century Chamber Orchestra, May 9-12
New Century Chamber Orchestra's upcoming performances "American Masters" are May 9 through 12, featuring debut appearances by the Marcus Roberts Trio. Four performances will be given around the San Francisco Bay Area in Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Rafael.

Showcasing a variety of masterworks by American composers, New Century will share the stage with the trio in a selection of songs by George Gershwin arranged for Violin, Jazz Trio and Orchestra by Paul Bateman. Two additional Bateman arrangements are also featured including selections from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and Aaron Copland's Old American Folk Songs, with Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings completing the program.

American Masters
May 9-12, 2019
Daniel Hope, Concertmaster
Marcus Roberts Trio

Open Rehearsal
Wednesday, May 8, 10 a.m., Trinity St. Peter's Church, San Francisco

Performances
Thursday, May 9, 2019, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church of Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Friday, May 10, 2019, 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Saturday, May 11, 2019, 7:30 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA
Sunday, May 12, 2019, 3:00 p.m., Osher Marin JCC, San Rafael, CA

For more information, visit https://www.ncco.org/

--Brenden Guy PR

Hola and Bonjour! IDAGIO is now available in Spanish and French
IDAGIO, the leading streaming service for classical music, is enhancing its app experience for iOS users. In addition to English and German, the app will now be available to classical music enthusiasts in French and Spanish. Mobile devices are the main source of music consumption at IDAGIO with over 80 percent of playback coming from iOS devices. The localisation of the app with additional languages is an essential step in improving the user experience for IDAGIO subscribers.

"Classical music acts as a universal language for connecting people all over the world" says Christoph Lange, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of IDAGIO, "By adding more languages to the IDAGIO apps, we make it convenient for French and Spanish speaking listeners to experience the world of classical music and be part of IDAGIO's growing global community."

IDAGIO is the leading streaming service for classical music. Crafted in Berlin by a world-class team of over 80 passionate experts in music, technology, business and design, IDAGIO offers a search tailor-made for classical music, a catalogue of over 2 million licensed tracks, and exclusive recordings and playlists – all available in CD-quality sound (FLAC). Each artist, orchestra and ensemble has a clear profile displaying albums and recorded works including filters like composer, conductor, soloists and more. IDAGIO has subscribers in over 180 countries and the app has been downloaded more than one million times worldwide.

For more information, visit https://www.idagio.com

--Birgit Gehring, IDAGIO

La Jolla Music Society Announces SummerFest 2019
The La Jolla Music Society, which celebrates its 50th anniversary season this year, has announced the complete programming for its 34th SummerFest under the new musical direction of globally-renowned pianist Inon Barnatan. With its enormously varied concert offerings ranging from interdisciplinary collaborations to chamber arrangements of the orchestral canon and newly commissioned works to French Baroque, the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest carries on its tradition of world-class concert offerings, uniting a stellar roster of resident soloists, composers, ensembles, and artistic fellows in the San Diego area for the month of August.

The scope of each concert at La Jolla Music Society SummerFest 2019 encompasses meticulously designed programming, drawing from a vast range of centuries, artistic styles, and thematic ideas. This season examines the idea of transformation and the complexity of its various meanings. Delving into the multitude of settings in which artistic transformation occurs, Barnatan's programming explores this common thread through a variety of practical, historical, artistic, musical, and conceptual relationships.

Subscriptions will be available beginning Friday, April 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM.
Single tickets will be available beginning Monday, June 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM.

For complete information, visit La Jolla Music Society at https://ljms.org/

--Kirshbaum Associates

Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Launch Artistic Partnership
Leif Ove Andsnes became the Mahler Chamber Orchestra's first Artistic Partner during the Beethoven Journey, a four-year project (2012 – 2015) which took the artists across the globe for over 70 live performances and resulted in award-winning recordings of the complete Beethoven piano concertos on Sony Classical. This spring they reunite for a second Artistic Partnership which sees the launch of a new four year project (2019 – 2022), Mozart Momentum 1785/1786, dedicated to the music of Mozart.

With Mozart Momentum 1785/1786, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Leif Ove Andsnes embark on an exploration of two especially remarkable years in the history of classical music. In 1785 and 1786, Mozart wrote a series of masterpieces reinventing the nature of the piano concerto. In this period, he began to re-examine the roles of the soloist and orchestra, thus developing aspects of communication and dialogue between the two entities in a way that had not been done before.

For more information, visit https://mozart-momentum.com/

--Mahler Chamber Orchestra

University Musical Society announces 2019-20 Season
The University Musical Society (UMS, University of Michigan) announces its 141st season, which runs from September 2019 through April 2020. One of the most acclaimed and innovative performing art presenters in the nation and a 2014 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, UMS will continue to showcase time-honored ensembles and artists alongside a diverse lineup of young performers who push the boundaries of their art forms in new directions. In addition to presenting world-class performances, UMS is also committed to creating unique and engaging ways for audiences to connect with the artists on stage through a robust offering of education and community engagement activities.

"UMS's 2019-20 season was conceived with an eye toward both the familiar and the disruptive, the traditional and the uncommon, and the emotional and the provocative--sometimes even within a single work or performance," says UMS president Matthew VanBesien. "We're thrilled to present another dynamic lineup of experiences that honors our 141-year history of presenting classic works while also taking risks that surprise audiences in new and innovative ways."

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma returns to UMS in the 2019-20 season after collaborating with the organization to host a Day of Action in Flint this past February. This time, he comes to Hill Auditorium for a trio performance with pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos on Tuesday, March 3 at 7:30 pm. The all-star ensemble will perform a program of Beethoven piano trios. This special concert is not included on a UMS subscription series, but is available to 2019-20 subscribers for purchase as an add-on throughout the subscription period. Individual tickets for this performance will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 7.

Tickets to individual events will go on sale to the general public online, in person, and by phone on Wednesday, August 7; UMS donors of $250+ may purchase beginning Wednesday, July 24. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets beginning Monday, July 15. To be added to the mailing list, please contact the UMS Ticket Office at 734.764.2538 or visit ums.org. UMS also has an e-mail list that provides up-to-date information about all UMS events; sign-up information is available on the Web site.

For complete information, visit ums.org.

--Ann Killion, Bucklesweet

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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

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to classicalcandor@gmail.com.

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to classicalcandor@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa