Classical Music News of the Week, May 30, 2020

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Announces 2020-2021 Season

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has announced programming for its 2020-21 season with three concerts presented by the organization in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall and two concerts presented by the 92nd Street Y, as well as touring engagements throughout the United States. Orpheus collaborates this season with an innovative group of soloists including soprano Karen Slack, guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and pianist Fazil Say at Carnegie Hall, and Angela Hewitt and Christian Tetzlaff at 92Y, in addition to Alessio Bax on tour.

In announcing the 2020-21 season, Executive Director Alexander Scheirle expresses, "As the response to COVID-19 continues, we acknowledge that our concert schedule may change, and that our own lives are just as unpredictable. But we can make this promise: we'll be here when the concert halls open. We'll be here when the ushers start scanning tickets. We'll be here, ready with our music for healing, connecting, and celebrating. And we look forward to sharing that moment with our fans."

Ticket Information:
Subscriptions and flexible Orpheus Passes are available at orpheusnyc.org or by calling (212) 896-1704. Single tickets for Carnegie Hall concerts can be purchased at carnegiehall.org or by calling CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800, beginning mid-August. 92Y single tickets can be purchased at 92Y.org or by calling (212) 415-5500.

For more information about Orpheus, visit www.OrpheusNYC.org.

--Katlyn Morahan, Morahan Arts and Media

Conductor Donato Cabrera Announces May 24 Online Performance
Donato Cabrera, Music Director of the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic, announces new events to connect with audiences and communities during the ongoing period of isolation due to the coronavirus crisis. The California Symphony presents a special online presentation with Alexi Kenney and Cabrera and the Las Vegas Philharmonic announces weekly encore performances on Nevada Public Radio.

On Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 4pm PT, the California Symphony presents an online premiere featuring new recordings by violinist Alexi Kenney from his home in Palo Alto, plus interviews with Cabrera in San Francisco. Kenney's program features music by Piazzolla, Joe Hisaishi, Du Yun, Clara Schumann, Joni Mitchell, Schubert, Geminiani, Hildegard von Bingen, and J.S. Bach. This special presentation is available to those who donate to the California Symphony in any amount, as well as 2019/20 California Symphony subscribers and ticket holders. The performance link will be live after the premiere for encore listening through May 31, 2020. More information and how to donate is available at www.californiasymphony.org/shows/online-alexi-kenney.

The Las Vegas Philharmonic and Cabrera will be featured weekly on Nevada Public Radio through August 22, 2020. The LVP has partnered with Nevada Public Radio for the fifth consecutive year to broadcast a collection of memorable performances from the past five seasons plus two special broadcasts of music from the current 2019-20 season on Classical 89.7 FM Saturdays at 2pm, starting May 16. The broadcasts will also stream live online at www.knpr.org/classical-897-kcnv.

--Maggie Stapleton, Jensen Artists

Welcome to Mozaic Memories
Welcome to the first edition of Mozaic Memories, a series of video presentations looking back on great performances from the past. In this first edition our Music Director Scott Yoo looks back to July 2017 when he performed Ralph Vaughan Williams's Piano Quintet in C minor.

Though this is not a replacement for live performances, we want you to know that we are thinking of you and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Watch now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeA-WTCtbLo&feature=youtu.be&linkNum=1&campaignID=379243&patronID=1149543962&memberID=0f7e312e9448e6fed7cbc52ad891b3d9

--Festival Mozaic

SF Girls Chorus Announces Virtual Festival
San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) announces its first-ever virtual festival featuring SFGC's Premier Ensemble in four events to be live streamed online throughout the month of June.

The festival opens Friday, June 5 at 7:00 p.m. with a never-before-seen broadcast of the February 2020 program "Rightfully Ours," a fully-staged choral music and dance co-production with Berkeley Ballet Theater (BBT). The second live stream event will be presented on Saturday, June 13 at 12:00 p.m. and features Henry Purcell's complete "Dido and Aeneas," a co-production with Voices of Music and the San Francisco Early Music Society recorded live in June 2018 as part of the 2018 Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. The festival continues on Saturday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m. with "Songs from the Archipelago" and features a special live performance preview of a scene from "Tomorrow's Memories," an SFGC-commissioned choral-opera by American composer Matthew Welch. This performance replaces the previously scheduled June 16 Herbst Theatre performance now canceled due to the public health crisis.

The virtual festival concludes on Friday, June 26 at 7:00 a.m. with a re-broadcast by Medici TV of SFGC's February 2018 Carnegie Hall debut performance with Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble featuring the composer's groundbreaking 1970 work "Music with Changing Parts." All virtual events will be streamed on SFGC's YouTube Channel.

For more information, visit http://www.sfgirlschorus.org

--Brenden Guy PR

What's Streaming: Classical (Week of June 1-7)
Monday, June 1 as of 12:00 p.m. ET
Pop Up Pipa with Wu Man: Episode 7: Basel Rajoub
Wednesday, June 3 as of 12:00 p.m. ET:
Pop Up Pipa with Wu Man: Episode 8: Raphaël Jouan
Saturday, June 6 at 12:00 p.m. ET:
Pop Up Pipa with Wu Man: Episode 8: Lee Knight
https://www.facebook.com/WuManPipa/

Monday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. PT:
Pre-broadcast talk with Shai Wosner, Christopher Cerrone, and Phoenix Symphony Music Director Tito Muñoz
https://kbaq.org/

Tuesday, June 2 as of 1:00 p.m. PT:
James Conlon discusses Beaumarchais and The Ghosts of Versailles on LA Opera James Conlon at Home podcast
https://soundcloud.com/laopera

Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET:
James Conlon conducts Puccini's Tosca in Metropolitan Opera Live in HD Encore Broadcast
https://www.metopera.org/

Friday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. CT:
Minnesota Orchestra's Sound Check: Episode 4 with special guests Kathy Kienzle (Principal Harp) and Michael Gast (Principal Horn)
https://minnesotaorchestra.org/tickets/calendar/eventdetail/1724/-/mpr-broadcast-vaenskae-conducts-paulus-mass

Friday, June 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET:
New World Symphony's NWS Fellows: Live from our Living Room
https://www.facebook.com/NewWorldSymphony/

Saturday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET:
Jennifer Koh's Alone Together series continues with new works by Du Yun, Shayna Dunkelman, George Lewis, and Lester St Louis
(re-scheduled from May 30)
https://www.facebook.com/jenniferkohviolin/

--Shuman Associates

Young People's Chorus of NYC Presents "Forward Together"
On Thursday, June 11, at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) the Young People's Chorus of New York City under the direction of Artistic Director/Founder Francisco J. Núñez will present a digital spring concert, "Forward Together." Driven by its commitment to meet where the children are and move forward together to create an authentic and artistic expression, YPC's annual spring concert will proceed as a special digital viewing event that features favorite works from the season, plus several world premieres.

You will find the concert here: https://ypc.org/

--Young People's Chorus of NYC

Orli Shaham's MidWeek Mozart
This week pianist Orli Shaham brings us the second movement of Sonata No.16 in C Major, K. 545 with her MidWeek Mozart. Available to stream for free beginning Wednesday, May 27.

Visit https://orlishahammozart.com/

--Gail Wein, Classical Music Communications

Tabea Debus Receives CAG's Innovation Award
Concert Artists Guild has a long history of supporting innovative artists and is excited to continue this tradition with the Richard S. Weinert Award for Innovation in Classical Music. Open to CAG roster artists and alumni, this $5,000 award is given annually to an artist or ensemble with an outstanding proposal for a distinctive project. CAG is indebted to President Emeritus Richard S. Weinert for his service to CAG since 2000 and is proud to offer this award in honor of him.

The 2020 award will go to Tabea Debus (recorder), a 2019 CAG Competition laureate, to launch the creation of an interactive animated-story-game for children. The animated game will be used in live and online educational settings to introduce contemporary classical works through reflexive storytelling, encouraging interaction between new music, narrative decision-making, and music education.

For more information, visit http://www.concertartists.org/

--Timothy Mar, Concert Artists Guild

Pianist Igor Levit to Give 20-Hour, Live-streamed Performance
To raise awareness for the plight of artists worldwide amidst the coronavirus pandemic, pianist and 2018 Gilmore Artist Igor Levit gives a 20-hour, live-streamed, marathon performance transcending geographical borders and time zones. On Saturday, May 30 at 8:00 a.m. ET, from the b-sharp Studio in Berlin, he performs one of music history's longest compositions, Erik Satie's Vexations, which lasts approximately 20 hours. To support this project, Mr. Levit draws upon the $300,000 awarded to him two years ago as a Gilmore Artist.

Watch here: youtu.be/zqQS_HTunCY
For more information, visit igor-levit.com

--Shuman Associates

Catch Schwalbe Artists Online
Boston Baroque
Boston Baroque Live kicked off with Handel's Agrippina with bass-baritone Douglas Williams and will release full-length opera productions and concerts of choral and orchestral works, all accessible at baroque.boston/live

Alana Youssefian, Violin
Bach's Chaconne from Trinity Wall Street Candlelight Baroque series. Watch at Comfort at One: https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/1872661/uiconf_id/29880861/entry_id/1_hu2ci7xy/embed/dynamic

Vivaldi's Concerto in D Major RV 212 "St. Antonio" from House of Time, September 2019 Violinfest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l21_9KKy1Pg&feature=youtu.be

Fontana's Sonata Seconda with Voices of Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kkpqJkYmms&feature=youtu.be

Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in E Minor, RV 273 with Ars Lyrica Houston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcoC5GX_xHQ&feature=youtu.be

Paul Agnew, Musical Co-Director
Les Arts Florissants 2020 Festival de Printemps (Spring Festival): Virtual Vivaldi: https://www.arts-florissants.com/main/en_GB/home-page/news/nbsp-lsquo-les-arts-florissants-d-eacute-partement-de-la-vend-eacute-e-rsquo-nbsp-festival-de-printe.html

Monteverdi's L'Orfeo in harmonia mundi Concert Halls at Home series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYUGVnfwDcE&feature=youtu.be

Baroque Odyssey concert at Philharmonie de Paris with the students of The Juilliard School: https://live.philharmoniedeparis.fr/concert/1106247/odyssee-baroque-les-arts-florissants-william-christie-paul.html?jwsource=cl

Thomas Cooley, Tenor
"Waft her, Angels, through the skies" from Handel's Jephtha with Voices of Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M4rS8v_3lk&feature=youtu.be

Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Orkest van de Achttiende Eeuw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT2at6FQSCQ&feature=youtu.be&t=3430

Laurence Cummings, Music Director
Laurence Cummings directs the Orquestra Barroca Casa da Musica and soloists in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=241222900528622

Dominique Labelle and Meg Bragle
Pergolesi's Stabat Mater is featured as one of Voices of Music's Fundraiser videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-FKk_J91LU&feature=youtu.be

Marc Molomot, Tenor
Title role in Rameau's Pygmalion. Watch full performance at On Site Opera Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj4ZMzrvI9w&feature=youtu.be

Nicholas McGegan, Music Director
#PBOReflects — weekly series of archival releases brought to you by Nic McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: https://philharmonia.org/pboreflects/

Sherezade Panthaki, Soprano
Sherezade sings some of her favorite 17th-century English songs by Dowland and Purcell while accompanying herself on the piano in Maine Public Radio's Tiny Screen concert: https://www.mainepublic.org/post/sherezade-panthaki-tiny-screen-concert

Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone
First up in Opera Atelier's Together/Apart - a virtual showcase of music and dance featuring 14 of the company's longstanding and audience-favourite artists from around the globe. Watch on Opera Atelier's website: https://www.operaatelier.com/season-and-tickets/2020-2021-season/together-apart-opera-atelier

--Schwalbe and Partners

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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

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