Classical Music News of the Week, October 12, 2019

Holiday Cheer on Stage at VPAC Dec. 21-Jan. 3

This winter season, spend time with loved ones while enjoying uplifting, warm-hearted holiday entertainment courtesy of the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC). This year's Winter Holiday Series includes shows that will delight audiences of all ages featuring A Classical Christmas with the Boulder Philharmonic; Twas the Night Before Christmas; Judy Collins; Masters of Illusion; and Neil Berg's 50 Years of Rock & Roll. Tickets for each show are on sale now at the VPAC box office (970-845-8497; The VPAC is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village (68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, Colorado).

2019 VPAC Winter Holiday Series:
A Classical Christmas with the Boulder Philharmonic: Handel's Messiah
Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. | Starting at $54 Adults/ $20 Students

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"
Monday, Dec. 23 at 6:30 p.m. | $48

An Evening with Judy Collins: Holidays & Hits
Thursday, Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. | Starting at $67

Masters of Illusion – Believe the Impossible
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. | $88 Adults/$68 Children 12 & Under

Neil Berg's 50 Years of Rock and Roll
Friday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. | $68

For complete information, visit

--Ruthie Hamrick, Vail Valley Foundation, Vilar Performing Arts Center

Miller Theatre Presents Vocal Quartet New York Polyphony in Gothic Polyphony
Miller Theatre presents illustrious GRAMMY-nominated vocal quartet New York Polyphony in Gothic Polyphony on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 8pm at Church of St. Mary the Virgin, NYC.

The program begins at the dawn of the Renaissance, with selections of the Worcester Fragments. Rescued from the Reformation as recycled book-bindings, these Medieval gems show the mastery of the English style that would influence the next three centuries of composition, such as works by England's first great composer, John Dunstable, as well as John Pyamour, John Plummer, Thomas Byttering, and Leonel Power. The program culminates with music from the Golden Age of the Spanish Renaissance: selections from Francisco de Peñalosa's Missa 'L'homme arme and Sancta Maria, Pedro de Escobar's Stabat mater dolorosa, Francisco Guerrero's Antes que comáis a Dios, and Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla's Stabat mater dolorosa.

Church of St. Mary the Virgin
145 West 46th Street, New York, NY
Tickets: Starting at $30

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Schwalbe Artists in October
Oct. 12:
Meg Bragle
Crumb: Three Early Songs, for Voice and Piano
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Music
Philadelphia, PA

Oct. 13:
Alexander Dobson
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
Florentine Opera
Milwaukee, WI

Michael Schade
Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Oct. 17, 18, 19 & 20:
Nicholas McGegan
Shaw: The Listeners
Handel: Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
San Francisco, Palo Alto, Berkeley, CA

Oct. 19:
Diana Moore
Mendelssohn: Elijah
Hertfordshire Chorus
St. Albans Cathedral
St. Albans, England

Oct. 20, 21:
Anne Manson
Dvorák: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104
Saint-Saëns: La Nuit
Sibelius: Symphony No. 3
Aachen Symphony Orchestra

Oct. 20:
Sherezade Panthaki
Love and Revenge: The Baroque Diva
Virtuoso Opera arias by Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, Graupner, Clérambault, and more
Katonah, NY

Oct. 26:
Sherezade Panthaki
Brahms: Liebeslieder-Waltzer
Brahms: Nänie
Yale Choral Artists
New Haven, CT

Oct. 24:
Matthew Halls
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1
Muffat: Passacaglia from Sonata No. 5
Handel: Concerto grosso, Op. 3 No. 2
Walpurgis: Talestri, Overture
Von Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel: Erwin und Elmire, intermezzo
Haydn: Symphony No. 102
Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Reykjavík, Iceland

Oct. 25:
Michael Kelly
Guest Artist for PFund Foundation 2019 Moxie Awards
Minneapolis, MN

Oct. 25 & 27:
Michael Schade
Beethoven: Fidelio
L'Opera de Montreal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Oct. 26:
Daniel Taylor
"The Coronation of King George"
Theatre of Early Music
Bach Choir of Bethlehem
Bethlehem, PA

Oct. 26, 27:
Stephen Stubbs
Music by Isabella Leonarda
Pacific MusicWorks
Seattle, WA

Oct. 26 & 27:
Nicholas McGegan
Rameau: Music from Dardanus
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 19
Schubert: Overture from Der Häusliche Krieg
Schubert: Symphony No. 6
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles, CA

Oct. 28 & 29:
Diana Moore
Mahler: Rückert Lieder
Bremen Philharmoniker
Bremen, Germany

Oct. 31:
Doug Williams
Mozart: Don Giovanni, K. 527
Opera Atelier
Toronto, ON, Canada

--Schwalbe and Partners

ABS Exclusives 2020 Now Available
If you missed American Bach Soloists' wonderful "Sparkle Gala," we now offer the opportunity for you to attend our upcoming "ABS Exclusives" that were offered first to our Gala attendees.

"ABS Exclusives" are opportunities for patrons to meet, greet, and hear ABS musicians and ABS Academy alumni in up-close-and-personal house concert events. Limited to 25 seats or less on each date, "ABS Exclusives" include a concert, hors d'oeuvres, and plenty of wine. Following the concert, audience members have an opportunity to visit with the musicians on a one-on-one basis.

Hélène Brunet, soprano & Steven Bailey, piano
Sunday January 19 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

"Into the Woods"
Sunday February 23 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

Jesse Blumberg, baritone & Steven Bailey, piano
Sunday March 22 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

Tekla Cunningham, violin & Corey Jamason, harpsichord
Sunday May 3 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

"Baroque in the Backyard" with Tatiana & Friends
Sunday June 7 2020 - 2:00 p.m.

For complete information and tickets, visit and

--American Bach Soloists

SOLI's 2019-2020 Season Blooms Open with a World Premiere
Our 2019-2020 season blooms open with the World Premiere of a new work from San Antonio-raised composer Yvonne Freckmann for SOLI and field recordings.

SOLI has a long-time relationship with Yvonne. We first met her as a student at Trinity University of both SOLI's pianist Carolyn True and clarinetist Stephanie Key. She then became our first intern (studying in the 'school of SOLI' in Yvonne's words) before receiving a Fulbright award to continue her piano and composition studies in Holland. Now living and composing in Europe, Yvonne is a true success story in which SOLI takes great pride in playing a part. Her new work will incorporate field recordings gathered throughout San Antonio and Lytle, Texas, electronics, and SOLI's core ensemble. Yvonne will also be featured as guest performer for a work for live cactus (yes, cactus) and electronics, called Land of the Living by composer Steven Snowden

Also on the program Elliott Cole's arrangement of Bloom, Robert Ceely's Synoecy for solo clarinet and tape, and Mason Bates' exciting Red River, chronicling the long journey of the mighty Colorado River.

For complete information, visit

--SOLI Chamber Ensemble

PBO Mozart's Musings with Guest Conductor Jeannette Sorrell
Grammy award-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell makes her debut with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale in November.

Sorell and PBO present an enchanting Mozartian voyage, featuring works spanning Mozart's life from childhood to prime. Paired with a beautiful suite from Mozart's then-popular contemporary and rarely-heard today, André Grétry, the music is immersed in Mozart's sound world. PBO's own Gonzalo X. Ruiz, one of America's most sought-after woodwind soloists, will star in Mozart's Concerto for Oboe.

For further information, visit

--Stephanie Li, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

Sing with New York City
Sing with us at the second annual Young People's Chorus Big Sing!

Saturday, October 19 at 3:00 p.m.
Gerald W. Lynch Theater, 524 W 59th St, New York, NY 10019.

The YPC Big Sing, our second annual community singalong, is less than two weeks away! Join Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez and Associate Director Elizabeth Núñez, along with special guests a cappella quartet Midtown and musical renegade Nick Demeris, in a program of Broadway, pop, and folk favorites.

Tickets on sale now at $15 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under.

For more information, visit

--Young People's Chorus of New York City

ROCO's November 2019 Concerts Feature a Newly Commisioned Piece
ROCO's 2019-20 season "Coming of Age" continues with two concerts in November. ROCO's concertmaster, Scott St. John, continues the "Unchambered" series with Morsels on November 2 at MATCH, in a program he has curated including string quartets by Haydn, Mozart, Dvorák, and more, as well as a premiere from composer Rob Maggio.

"Hope for Beauty," the second program of ROCO's In Concert series at Houston's Church of St. John the Divine on November 16, will be conducted by Alaistair Wills. The concert will center around the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe's I Too Bleed, and Hope for Beauty, a musical tribute to Alma Rose, Gustav Mahler's niece and conductor of the women's orchestra at Auschwitz. Adolphe's piece, which was commissioned by ROCO in conjunction with the reopening of the Holocaust Museum Houston, is a testament to the enduring power of music, and how it can offer hope and beauty even in the worst of circumstances. The program will also include Edwar Elgar's Sospiri, op. 70, Giya Kancheli's A Little Daneliade, and El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla.

For complete 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

Contact Information

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa