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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 25, 1995
Pianists who perform Beethoven's Concerto No. 1 in C Major usually fall into two groups: those who play the familiar, shorter cadenza and those who choose the longer, more difficult third cadenza written almost 15 years after the concerto's 1795 premiere. Short-and-early cadenza folks (Fleisher, Argerich, Gilels and Lupu) almost invariably place the concerto in a classical, almost Mozartean context; long-and-late ones (Richter, Michelangeli, Pollini) usually justify their choice with large-scale, dramatic performances that suggest the C Major concerto's Romantic progeny.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 10, 2004
The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra has been using its 2003/2004 concert season as a public auditioning process for music director candidates. The final finalist stepped onto the podium this week. Ron Spigelman hails from Australia, though it was hard to pick up even a trace of an accent in his remarks to the audience Wednesday night at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium. It was, however, very easy to discern his enthusiasm and eager-to-please manner, which was reflected not only in his introductions to the works on the program, but the program itself.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC | September 18, 1999
Here's hoping that Peter Roesel gives an encore at this morning's Baltimore Symphony Casual Concert.He surely should have played one last night in Meyerhoff Hall -- after a jaw-dropping performance of Prokofiev's Second Concerto with the orchestra and guest conductor Gunther Herbig.His second concerto (1909) was Prokofiev's answer to Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto of three years earlier. Prokofiev was influenced by, and competitive with, his older contemporary.Even though it is 10 minutes shorter than Rachmaninoff's Third, Prokofiev's Second bristles with even greater difficulties.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 28, 2003
Music filled with enormous struggle and angst provided the sobering focal point of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra's long, but never tiring, concert Saturday in Friedberg Hall. Tears of Eros, a study in ominous sound and motion composed this year by Peabody alum Jason Anthony Allen, opened the program. Thickly orchestrated chords churn their way slowly through underlined emotions before reaching a fade-out tinged with sad resignation. The music is surely written, if not always distinctively; it loses its tensile quality after a while, with atmosphere superseding thematic or expressive activity.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | March 11, 1995
Just as he was reaching mastery and leaving behind the Brahmsian conservatism of his youth, the composer Richard Strauss fell under the spell of of Richard Wagner and the $H so-called "music of the future." So infatuated with Wagnerism was Strauss that the young composer acquired the sobriquet of "Richard II."This came to mind Friday evening in Meyerhoff Hall when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Gunther Herbig presented a program that coupled the recent (1993) Violin Concerto of Christopher Rouse with Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 3. Many great composers receive homage in Rouse's eclectic-but-brilliant music -- but none more than Bruckner, whose great adagios inspired Rouse's remarkable Symphony No. 1 (1988)
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 4, 1995
After a seven-week absence that began after the first week of the season, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director David Zinman returned to Meyerhoff Hall last night to conduct the BSO in an all-Russian program. After an atmospheric and delicately colored performance of Borodin's program-opening "In the Steppes of Central Asia," Zinman went on to demonstrate one of the strengths that sets him apart.That strength is the much-underappreciated art of accompanying a soloist. Pianist Jeffrey Kahane's beautiful performance of Rachmaninov's First Concerto owed a significant debt to Zinman's considerate and sensitive accompaniment.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | June 10, 1995
Last night's Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert in Meyerhoff Hall showed how well the torch has been passed from one generation to the next.The conductor, making his first appearance as a guest with the BSO, was Michael Stern, the son of the famed violinist Isaac Stern. The soloist was violinist Pamela Frank, the daughter of pianists Claude Frank and Lillian Kallir.Although Stern got his start as associate conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra, he has made his career in Europe, primarily in Switzerland and France.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 10, 2004
The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra has been using its 2003/2004 concert season as a public auditioning process for music director candidates. The final finalist stepped onto the podium this week. Ron Spigelman hails from Australia, though it was hard to pick up even a trace of an accent in his remarks to the audience Wednesday night at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium. It was, however, very easy to discern his enthusiasm and eager-to-please manner, which was reflected not only in his introductions to the works on the program, but the program itself.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | July 23, 1993
It must be daunting to conduct Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony. It's one of the most often performed, recorded and broadcast pieces in the symphonic repertory. All of us who listen to classical music -- even many of us who don't think we do -- walk around with it in our heads. That is why when many conductors lead this piece there is often a wooden quality to the interpretation, a sense of conducting by the numbers.But when David Zinman conducts Mozart he seems as comfortable as a fish in water.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 4, 1997
Nearly everyone has had this experience. You're listening to a man of unquestionable taste and intelligence talk about something important to both of you. He says exactly the things you believe in, he speaks eloquently, and his expressions of emotion are tailored perfectly to both the subject and occasion. There's only one problem: You don't believe a word he's saying.That's how I reacted in Meyerhoff Hall last night to pianist Garrick Ohlsson's performance of Rachmaninov's Concerto No. 3 in D Minor with the Baltimore Symphony and guest conductor Hans Graf.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 27, 2002
Before he had to grapple with the fierceness of fate and the demoralizing effects of deafness, Beethoven produced some of his most supremely optimistic, uplifting music. Before he had to endure the condemnation of Soviet cultural czars and the debilitating effects of a bad fall, Prokofiev did the same. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's latest program offers an arresting look at both cases. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 combines martial bravado, tender reflection and downright cocky humor.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC | September 18, 1999
Here's hoping that Peter Roesel gives an encore at this morning's Baltimore Symphony Casual Concert.He surely should have played one last night in Meyerhoff Hall -- after a jaw-dropping performance of Prokofiev's Second Concerto with the orchestra and guest conductor Gunther Herbig.His second concerto (1909) was Prokofiev's answer to Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto of three years earlier. Prokofiev was influenced by, and competitive with, his older contemporary.Even though it is 10 minutes shorter than Rachmaninoff's Third, Prokofiev's Second bristles with even greater difficulties.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 6, 1997
Nearly everyone has had this experience. You're listening to a man of unquestionable taste and intelligence talk about something important to both of you. He says exactly the things you believe in, he speaks eloquently, and his expressions of emotion are tailored perfectly to both the subject and occasion. There's only one problem: You don't believe a word he's saying.That's how I reacted in Meyerhoff Hall last [Saturday] night to pianist Garrick Ohlsson's performance of Rachmaninov's Concerto No. 3 in D Minor with the Baltimore Symphony and guest conductor Hans Graf.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 8, 1996
Baltimore Symphony music director David Zinman occasionally gets to work with pianists who share his ideas about Beethoven's symphonic music. But it was not until last night in Meyerhoff Hall that one got to hear what might happen if this conductor worked with a like-minded violinist.The violinist was Christian Tetzlaff, and the performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto that resulted was as wonderful as it was refreshing. As Zinman has, the young German violinist has clearly been influenced by recent scholarship about performance practice in the classical era. He used less vibrato than one customarily hears in performances of this music; he used less of the bow; and his tempos were brisk.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 25, 1995
Pianists who perform Beethoven's Concerto No. 1 in C Major usually fall into two groups: those who play the familiar, shorter cadenza and those who choose the longer, more difficult third cadenza written almost 15 years after the concerto's 1795 premiere. Short-and-early cadenza folks (Fleisher, Argerich, Gilels and Lupu) almost invariably place the concerto in a classical, almost Mozartean context; long-and-late ones (Richter, Michelangeli, Pollini) usually justify their choice with large-scale, dramatic performances that suggest the C Major concerto's Romantic progeny.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 10, 1995
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra had never performed Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 until last night. And BSO music director David Zinman, who became interested in Shostakovich only a few years back, had never before conducted this greatest (and perhaps most difficult) of the Russian's symphonic works.One may thus be forgiven for having attended the performance with an attitude that might be described as both charitable and expecting disaster. What a surprise, therefore, to report that the performance was, if not exactly a triumph, close enough to it. Since he conducted the Sixth Symphony two seasons back, Zinman has clearly acquired a new appreciation and understanding of Shostakovich.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 8, 1996
Baltimore Symphony music director David Zinman occasionally gets to work with pianists who share his ideas about Beethoven's symphonic music. But it was not until last night in Meyerhoff Hall that one got to hear what might happen if this conductor worked with a like-minded violinist.The violinist was Christian Tetzlaff, and the performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto that resulted was as wonderful as it was refreshing. As Zinman has, the young German violinist has clearly been influenced by recent scholarship about performance practice in the classical era. He used less vibrato than one customarily hears in performances of this music; he used less of the bow; and his tempos were brisk.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 4, 1995
After a seven-week absence that began after the first week of the season, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director David Zinman returned to Meyerhoff Hall last night to conduct the BSO in an all-Russian program. After an atmospheric and delicately colored performance of Borodin's program-opening "In the Steppes of Central Asia," Zinman went on to demonstrate one of the strengths that sets him apart.That strength is the much-underappreciated art of accompanying a soloist. Pianist Jeffrey Kahane's beautiful performance of Rachmaninov's First Concerto owed a significant debt to Zinman's considerate and sensitive accompaniment.
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