Classical Music News of the Week, May 18, 2019

The Angel's Share Presents Purcell's Dido & Aeneas, June 4-8

Death of Classical and The Green-Wood Historic Fund will present a fully-staged production of Henry Purcell's Dido & Aeneas in the Catacombs of the Green-Wood Cemetery, with performances June 4, 5, 7 & 8. The run will launch the second season of their acclaimed The Angel's Share series, which continues through October.

Dido & Aeneas will be directed by Alek Shrader, and will incorporate spoken dialogue from Christopher Marlowe's play Dido, Queen of Carthage. The added speeches re-introduce the characters of King Iarbus and Dido's Sister Anna, among others, and serve to restore a sense of agency and purpose to the Queen and her decisions.

Daniela Mack will sing the role of Dido, with Paul La Rosa as Aeneas, Molly Quinn as Belinda, and Vanessa Cariddi as the Sorceress. Additional performers include Marc Molomot (Achates), Brooke Larimer (Anna), Alyssa Martin (Witch Crone), Erin Moll (Witch Maiden), Kannan Vasudevan (Misenus/Ilioneus), and Blake Burroughs (King Iarbas).

The performances will feature a Baroque string ensemble led from the harpsichord by Music Director Elliot Figg, with Jude Ziliak (Violin), Isabelle Seula Lee (Violin), Danika Paskvan (Viola), Anthony Albrecht (Cello), and Arnie Tanimoto (Viola da Gamba).

Each performance will begin with a pre-concert reception with food, drinks, and a whiskey tasting overlooking the Manhattan skyline and the New York Harbor at sunset. At dusk, guests will then follow a candle-lit pathway down to the Catacombs for the performance.

The Catacombs are one of the oldest structures in Green-Wood, a 478-acre National Historic Landmark (500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY). They were built in the 1850s, and are normally closed to the public. The series takes its name--The Angel's Share--from the distiller's term for whiskey that evaporates while maturing in the barrel, thus going to the angels.

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

SF Girls Chorus
The San Francisco Girls Chorus's season concludes performances "From East to West" on Saturday, June 8 in San Francisco and Sunday, June 9 in Berkeley.

Exploring texts from Eastern and Western poets and visionaries, SFGC will present two world premiere commissions including "The Love of Thousands" by Reena Esmail and "Three Parables" by Richard Danielpour. Persian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat and harpist Bridget Kibbey make their debuts with the ensemble in a program that also features works by Eric Banks, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Frank Ferko.

San Francisco Girls Chorus presents "From East to West"

Saturday, June 8, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco
Sunday, June 9, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Valérie Sainte-Agathe, conductor
Mahsa Vahdat, vocalist
Bridget Kibbey, harp

--Brendon Guy PR

American Bach Soloists: Thank You for Our First 30 Years
On behalf of Music Director Jeffrey Thomas and all of our amazing musicians, thank you for an incredible 30th season of performances. From last summer's Festival & Academy to this past weekend's four Brandenburg Concertos, and the multitude of concerts, special events, Messiah in Grace Cathedral, the "Solidarity Concert" with Notre Dame, and two new recordings in between, our 2018-2019 season was one for the record books. We couldn't have done any of this without you, our patrons and our family.

We are quickly refocusing our efforts on our 10th celebratory Festival & Academy, July 28-August 11, featuring works by Boismortier, Couperin, Geminiani, Handel, Lotti, Pergolesi, Telemann, Vivaldi, and of course our annual performances of Bach's Mass in B Minor. Details can be found at It's going to be an amazing 15 days of programs at San Francisco's Summer Bach Festival; purchase your tickets today.

--American Bach Soloists

Los Angeles Master Chorale to Open the 2019 Salzburg Festival
The prestigious honor of performing the opening concerts of the 2019 Salzburg Festival in Austria on July 20 and 21 will be one highlight of the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Spring/Summer tour of its acclaimed production of Orlando di Lasso's Lagrime di San Pietro directed by Peter Sellars. The tour will feature 21 Master Chorale singers conducted by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director.

The 2019 Salzburg Festival, the internationally-renowned performing arts festival known for presenting daring and historically important classical music and opera productions, runs July 20 through August 31. The Los Angeles Master Chorale's performances of Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St. Peter) will mark the choir and Gershon's debut at the Festival. Peter Sellars--who made his debut in 1992 with Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise--will also direct a new production of Mozart's Indomeneo at this year's Festival.

"An American choir being invited to perform the opening concerts at the Salzburg Festival is a capital-letter Big Deal," says Grant Gershon. "It is extremely gratifying to see that this production, created with such heart by Peter Sellars with our amazing singers, is being recognized worldwide as offering audiences something truly special. We continue to be honored and humbled by the places Orlando di Lasso's music is taking us."

For more information, visit

--Jennifer Scott, LA Master Chorale

Vocal Resolutions: "Balancing Bubbles"
YPC's third annual Vocal Resolutions concert is highlighted by the world premiere of  "So Much on My Soul," a YPC commission from 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid. The concert, in partnership with Newfoundland's Shallaway Youth Choir on the theme of "balance," features guest artist Mantra Percussion.

Tickets on sale now at $15- $25

For more information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

Moab Music Festival - The Ultimate Chamber Music Experience
It's almost here... the magnificent, magical, musical Moab Music Festival -- from August 26th through September 12 -- invites you to experience the ultimate chamber music festival nestled in the embrace of "nature's concert hall" in Moab, UT.

Season At-A-Glance

Westwater Musical Raft trip
Monday, August 26-Wednesday, August 28
Colorado River
Music from Argentina & Venezuela

Grotto Concert I
Thursday, August 29, Noon
Colorado River Wilderness Grotto
Johannes Brahms: Zwei Gesänge , Op.91
Robert Schumann: Märchenbilder , Op. 113
J.S Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, B-flat major, BWV 1051
Kenji Bunch: Mindoka
Clarice & Sergio Assad: TBD

Home from War
Friday, August 30, pre-concert 6pm (Entry included with ticket)
Concert: 7pm
Star Hall
Charles Ives: Tom Sails Away
Ivor Novelo: Keep The Home Fires Burning
Gustav Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Claude Debussy: Noël des enfants , L 139
Francis Poulenc: Priez pour paix , FP 95
Sergei Rachmaninov: Spring Waters
York Bowen: Fantasia for 4 violas, Op. 41, No. 1
Gustav Holst: Jupiter
Marc Blitzstein: The Cradle Will Rock
Kurt Weill: Schickelgruber
Leonard Bernstein: So Pretty
Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
Pete Seeger: Where Have All The Flowers Gone

Music Hike I: Classical Strings
Saturday, August 31, 8am
Wilderness Area
Kaija Saariaho: Nocturne for solo violin
Kenji Bunch: Apocryphal Dances (string quartet) 
J.S Bach: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
Zoltán Kodály: Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7                 

Naturalist guides from Canyonlands Field Institute will guide the hike.

Tango Meets Joropo (Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet)
Saturday, August 31, 6pm
Red Cliffs Lodge
Program to be announced from the stage.

Music Hike II: I Love the Viola
Sunday, September 1, 8am
Wilderness Area
Gerald Busby: Viola
Jessica Meyer: Only A Beginning
Daniel Sabzghabaei: TBD
Johannes Brahms: String Quintet Op.111     
Naturalist guides from Canyonlands Field Institute will guide the hike.

Viva Brazil
Sunday, September 1, 6pm
Red Cliffs Lodge
Program to be announced from the stage.

Rocky Mountain Power Family Concert
Monday, September 2, 2pm
Old City Park
Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet
Kim Hawkey & The Elvanelle Band
Kara Dugan, mezzo-soprano; Peter Dugan, piano
Charles Yang, violin; Clancy Newman, cello; Michael Thurber, bass;
Marco Granados, flute; Leo Granados, vocals, percussion;
Carlos Capacho, cuatro
Program to be announced from the stage.
Sponsor: Rocky Mountain Power

Ranch Benefit Concert
Married with Music
Tuesday, September 3, 5:30pm
Program to be announced from the stage.

House Benefit Concert
Wednesday, September 4, 5:30pm
Private Residence

Grotto Concert II: All Bach Concert
Thursday, September 5, 12pm
Colorado River Wilderness Grotto
J.S. Bach:
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major , BWV 1047
Inventions (arr. Thurber)
Cantata BWV 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Cantata BWV 56: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen
Fantasia in C Major, Wq. 59/6
Rondo in C minor, Wq. 59/4     

Hotel Cabaret: Kim Hawkey & the Elvanelle Band
Thursday, September 6, 8pm
HooDoo Moab

A Paris Revue
Friday, September 6 , 7pm
Star Hall
Erik Satie: Sports et divertissements
Francis Poulenc: Flute Sonata, FP164
Jean Francaix: String Trio
Darius Milhaud: Scaramouche for Two Pianos
Bohuslav Martinu: La revue de cuisine , H.161

Music Hike III: Music for Wind Instruments
Saturday, September 7, 8am
Wilderness Area
Claude Debussy: Syrinx
Villa-Lobos: Duo for oboe and bassoon, W535
John Rojak: Rock
Bohuslav Martinu: Madrigals for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, H. 266
Toru Takemitsu: Paths
Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzona no. 4
Giovanni Palestrina: Ricercar del primo tuono
Andrea Gabrieli: Ricercar del duodecimo tuono
Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzona no. 1 La Spiritata 

Naturalist guides from Canyonlands Field Institute will guide the hike.

Open Rehearsal
Saturday, September 7, 1pm
Star Hall
String Sextet No.2, Op. 36, in G Major
Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115 

Bix and Friends: A Celebration of Jazz-Age Genius
Saturday, September 7, 6pm
Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa

Music Hike IV: Brahms in the Desert
Sunday, September 8, 8am
Wilderness Area
String Sextet No.2, Op. 36, in G Major
Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115

Naturalist guides from Canyonlands Field Institute will guide the hike.

A Soldier's Tale
Sunday, September 8, 7pm
Grand County High School
Grotto Concert III
Monday, September 9, 12pm
Colorado River Wilderness Grotto
W.A Mozart: Sonata for piano 4-hands in C major, KV 521
Franz Schubert: Violin Sonatina in A minor, No. 2, D. 385
Clancy Newman: Trance Music
Gustav Mahler: Rückert Lieder                         

Cataract Canyon Musical Raft Trip
Monday, September 9-Thursday, September 12
Colorado River
Each day's unique, intimate concerts may include beautiful classical chamber music as well as exuberant traditional and Celtic music and original compositions.

For complete information, visit

--Dworkin & Company

Other Minds Concludes Festival 24
Other Minds concludes Festival 24 with two June performances at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco.

On Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 8:00 p.m., a large-scale commissioned work by Oakland-based composer Brian Baumbusch, entitled "The Pressure," will receive its world premiere featuring the composer's own Lightbulb Ensemble, San Francisco-based Friction Quartet, two organists, four singers, and narrator.

On Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., Other Minds will present its second showcase of music by Franco-Russian microtonal composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky. A program of the composer's selected piano works will be highlighted by three U.S. premieres including Cosmos, op. 28 for four pianos and two solo piano works, Three Pieces for Piano, op. 3 and Étude sur le carré magique sonore, op. 40.

Tickets range in price from $28 to $55 and can be purchased online at or by calling 415.978.2700. $30 student tickets are available with a valid student ID.

For further information on Other Minds, please visit

--Brenden Guy PR

NYFOS Revives Its Hit Program "Manning the Canon: Songs of Gay Life"
New York Festival of Song--the group that "charms audiences with programs that combine meticulous research with an infectious strain of vocal hedonism" (The New York Times)--joins forces with Five Boroughs Music Festival to present "Manning the Canon: Songs of Gay Life" at The LGBT Community Center (The Center), NYC, on Tuesday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. A preview performances takes place Saturday, June 22 at 8:00 p.m. in Orient, NY.

This musical portrait of life, love and loss in the world of gay men returns after its celebrated 2010 premiere, which garnered a rave review in The New York Times.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
LGBT Community Center
208 West 13th Street between 7th Ave and Greenwich Ave, NYC

Tickets: $15 students / $25 general / $50 preferred seating

For more information, visit

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology
The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) today announces its selection as the first ever ensemble-in-residence by the Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T) program. As a continuation of the ICE's previous partnership with Nokia Bell Labs, the residency will further the Ensemble's commitment to the exploration and redefinition of how music is made and experienced. The Ensemble's inaugural performance as ensemble-in-residence happens on Sunday, May 19 at 4pm in New York City's Times Square, part of NYCxDESIGN 2019. The free program will feature award-winning Icelandic composer and frequent Ensemble collaborator Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Fields.

In 2018, the International Contemporary Ensemble and Nokia Bell Labs E.A.T. established a collaborative relationship to explore how music enables shared emotions, expressions, and empathic communication. As centuries of musical modes of expression deepen technological thought, new technology inspires parallel innovation in music, and Nokia Bell Labs and the International Contemporary Ensemble form a symbiotic relationship dedicated to exploring the visceral and emotional language of music. Over the course of a year, the Nokia Bell Labs E.A.T. program has explored which aspects of music offer special modes of communicative expression, and how those modes might be integrated in technological user interfaces.

For more information, visit

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Le Grand Chœur du Centre-Sud: Free Concert By and For the Community
On June 7, Voies culturelles des faubourgs will present the very first edition of a great citizen concert, Le Grand Choeur du Centre-Sud. This unifying event will begin outside at Espace Pierre-Bourgault (corner of Plessis and Ontario), Monreal, and will end with a grand concert at Sacré-Coeur Church.

This great collective work, directed by André Pappathomas, composer, musician and winner of the 2017 artist award in the community, will bring together a hundred choristers from the Centre-Sud community. The choir will be accompanied by soloists, musicians and the great organ of the Sacré-Coeur Church.

Le Grand Choeur du Centre-Sud is more than just a choir concert, it's a community and artistic project that aims to break isolation and put the community back at the heart of our lives. "Through this inclusive event, we want to promote social cohesion and generate pride and joy in taking part in a common project," says Claudine Khelil, general coordinator of Voies culturelles des faubourgs.

For more information, visit

--France Gaignard PR

Free Memorial Day Screening of "They Shall Not Grow Old" in Beaver Creek
Experience history as you've never see it with a free community Memorial Day screening of 'They Shall Not Grow Old' at Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek, Colorado on May 27th

The First World War ended 100 years ago. Today, an extraordinary new documentary tells the story of the Great War — directly from the people who experienced it. Produced and directed by three-time Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy), "They Shall Not Grow Old" is an incredible feat of storytelling and cinematography. Using state-of-the-art technology, the filmmakers took original footage from WWI and audio interviews with soldiers and transformed the past into the present, resulting in an astonishing, 3D documentary.

The groundbreaking computer restoration technology creates a moving real-to-life depiction of the WWI, in restored, vivid colorizing and retiming of the film frames, in order to honor those who fought and more accurately depict this historical moment in world history.

"Peter Jackson has taken a mass of World War I archival clips from Britain's Imperial War Museum and fashioned it into a brisk, absorbing and moving experience," praised The New York Times.

The Vilar Performing Arts Center will present a free community screening of "They Shall Not Grow Old" for Memorial Day on Monday, May 27 at 4 p.m. Attendees can reserve tickets in advance by calling the VPAC box office at 970-845-8497 or visiting The VPAC is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village (68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, Colorado).

--Ruthie Hamrick, Vilar Performing Arts Center

The Angel's Share Presents "Epilogues and Epitaphs"
The Angel's Share continues its second season June 24-26, with fast-rising Baroque violinist Augusta McKay Lodge leading her ensemble Voyage Sonique and countertenor Daniel Moody. The group will perform a program entitled "Epilogues and Epitaphs," an extended meditation on death and rememberance that features chamber works and arias by Rebel, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, Dowland and more.

Most people wouldn't  equate "historically-informed Baroque chamber music" with "soul-blasting, face-melting hot sauce fire"... at least not until they hear Augusta McKay Lodge. She and her ensemble Voyage Sonique, plus singer Molly Netted, will perform a program of Baroque chamber works and arias, centering around musical monuments and remembrances by Rebel, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, Dowland and more.

"Epilogues and Epitaphs"
June 24, 25, & 26
7:30 - 10:30 PM
Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

For more information, visit

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

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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