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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 11, 1999
Two great artists from the same time and country always invite comparison. This is as true in music as other fields. Thus we compare (as well as pair) Bach and Handel, Mozart and Haydn, Wagner and Brahms, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, and tantalize ourselves with desert- island thoughts about which of the two we would take, if we could only have one.Such considerations were inspired this season by productions of the two greatest operas by Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky. In less than two months, there have been productions of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" (Washington Opera)
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By Sarah Hoover and Sarah Hoover,Special to The Sun | December 7, 2007
Candlelight Concerts presents the acclaimed Trio Solisti at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre in a program that includes Turina's Trio No. 2, Ravel's Piano Trio and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. All of Trio Solisti's members (violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Jon Klibonoff) enjoy prestigious solo careers with orchestras, music festivals and chamber groups throughout the United States. Together as Trio Solisti, they have been praised for their adventurous, passionate and technically brilliant performances.
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By Sarah Hoover and Sarah Hoover,Special to The Sun | December 7, 2007
Candlelight Concerts presents the acclaimed Trio Solisti at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre in a program that includes Turina's Trio No. 2, Ravel's Piano Trio and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. All of Trio Solisti's members (violinist Maria Bachmann, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Jon Klibonoff) enjoy prestigious solo careers with orchestras, music festivals and chamber groups throughout the United States. Together as Trio Solisti, they have been praised for their adventurous, passionate and technically brilliant performances.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | January 6, 2007
Judging by appearances, Brahms and Mussorgsky had a lot in common - beefy frames, long hair, full and scraggly beards, a fondness for the occasional (OK, in Mussorgsky's case, the perpetual) drink. But, musically, these contemporaneous composers were pretty much on separate planets. Brahms, a standard-bearer of German conservatism, brought to the standard structures - symphony, concerto, sonata, chamber works - a wealth of lyricism and refinement of technique. Mussorgsky, the Russian radical of his day, didn't bother with those old structures, focusing most of his energy on opera (a genre Brahms avoided)
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 22, 2002
The words "bleak" and "Russian history" tend to go together; "confusing" often gets added as well. When set to music, however, bleak, confusing Russian history can engage the senses in a mighty way. That's certainly the case with Khovanschina, Modest Mussorgsky's epic work about the bloody shift in politics and religion that prefaced Peter the Great's rise to power. It's hard to know who, if anyone, to root for as the work makes its way toward a gruesome version of Gotterdammerung. Ultimately, lines sung by a chorus of Muscovites in the first scene linger in the air after the final chord sounds: "Oh, Mother Russia, there is no peace for you; the oppressor is not the evil alien, but your own people."
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 23, 1999
The life and work of no great composer is as troubling as that of Modest Mussorgsky.That life ended horribly at age 42 because of alcoholism, a fate captured by Ilya Repin's portrait, painted the day before Mussorgsky died, showing the composer, wild-eyed and tousle-haired, in all his inebriate dissolution.The mess of Mussorgsky's life is complemented by the mess of his legacy -- brilliant masterpieces, left behind in an unfinished state somewhat resembling the haunted specter who gazes out despondently from Repin's portrait.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 17, 1997
I do not know how well or how much English the Russian conductor, Yuri Temirkanov, speaks. What I know for sure from Temirkanov's concert yesterday afternoon in Meyerhoff Hall is that the Baltimore Symphony obviously pays attention to what he does and that the results are terrific.Ravel's transcription of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" is a piece so familiar that we scarcely hear it anymore. What made Temirkanov's account of it electrifying was not the glittering virtuosity he drew from the orchestra or the scrupulousness with which he transmitted the subtle tonal contrasts of Ravel's orchestration.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 23, 2003
Music lovers with a bit of mileage on them remember the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande fondly from the palmy days of the "Long Playing Record" (LP) when, under the baton of its founding conductor Ernest Ansermet, the Swiss orchestra made numerous recordings for London Records. Still based in Geneva, the orchestra maintains a lower international profile these days. But, as was demonstrated Tuesday night at the Naval Academy's Alumni Hall, the Suisse Romande remains a formidable ensemble under the baton of its chief conductor and artistic director, Pinchas Steinberg.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | January 6, 2007
Judging by appearances, Brahms and Mussorgsky had a lot in common - beefy frames, long hair, full and scraggly beards, a fondness for the occasional (OK, in Mussorgsky's case, the perpetual) drink. But, musically, these contemporaneous composers were pretty much on separate planets. Brahms, a standard-bearer of German conservatism, brought to the standard structures - symphony, concerto, sonata, chamber works - a wealth of lyricism and refinement of technique. Mussorgsky, the Russian radical of his day, didn't bother with those old structures, focusing most of his energy on opera (a genre Brahms avoided)
FEATURES
By Judith Green and Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 12, 1997
To most people, art is something to look it. To choreographer Kimberly Mackin, it's something to do.In "Pictures at an Exhibition," which she has choreographed for the opening of Villa Julie College's art gallery off the lobby of its new theater, she was not at all interested in making a picture of a castle or a gnome or the great gates of Kiev, or any of the other images set to music by the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.She is interested in how art "moves": the way oil paint squeezes out of a tube; the way sculpture freezes movement in time; the way objects collide in an assemblage; the way clay feels in the hands of the potter.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 23, 2003
Music lovers with a bit of mileage on them remember the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande fondly from the palmy days of the "Long Playing Record" (LP) when, under the baton of its founding conductor Ernest Ansermet, the Swiss orchestra made numerous recordings for London Records. Still based in Geneva, the orchestra maintains a lower international profile these days. But, as was demonstrated Tuesday night at the Naval Academy's Alumni Hall, the Suisse Romande remains a formidable ensemble under the baton of its chief conductor and artistic director, Pinchas Steinberg.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 7, 2002
Judging from the results of Friday evening's Spring Gala Concert presented by the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, conductor David Choo is presiding over a flexible and expressive ensemble. Taking center stage at this Maryland Hall program of works by Saint-Saens, Grieg, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky was the string section, which delivered eloquent, emotionally engaged playing in challenging repertoire. The flutes, oboes, clarinets and trumpets among the players, ages 8 to 18, acquitted themselves well in music notable for its diversity.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | February 22, 2002
The words "bleak" and "Russian history" tend to go together; "confusing" often gets added as well. When set to music, however, bleak, confusing Russian history can engage the senses in a mighty way. That's certainly the case with Khovanschina, Modest Mussorgsky's epic work about the bloody shift in politics and religion that prefaced Peter the Great's rise to power. It's hard to know who, if anyone, to root for as the work makes its way toward a gruesome version of Gotterdammerung. Ultimately, lines sung by a chorus of Muscovites in the first scene linger in the air after the final chord sounds: "Oh, Mother Russia, there is no peace for you; the oppressor is not the evil alien, but your own people."
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 15, 2001
Dance, theater, painting and sculpture exist to create actual physical images for their viewers. But in music, as in old-time radio, it's up to listeners to create those images for themselves. The power of musical imagery will be on display for youngsters and their parents Sunday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts when the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra presents a pair of family concerts, at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. During this program of musical selections inspired by the animal kingdom, a wonderfully funny zookeeper will arrive searching for Elmer, the runaway elephant.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 28, 1999
I heard the Columbia Orchestra for the first time Saturday evening when the ensemble opened its 22nd season -- its first under music director Jason Love -- with Verdi's overture to "Nabucco," Beethoven's First Piano Concerto, and the Ravel orchestration of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." The overwhelming impression is that Columbia hired the right guy. Love has the musicians playing not only with verve and passion, but with the awareness to enter into the emotional core of the works they perform.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 21, 1999
What do an old castle, an ox cart, unhatched chicks, a bustling French marketplace, two Jewish people, and a grand design for a never-built czarist monument have in common?Classical music aficionados can answer that one easily.These are just some of the scenes captured in the paintings and drawings of Russian artist Victor Hartmann -- images that would inspire the artist's friend Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)to compose the most famous museum stroll in the history of music.Linked by a catchy "Promenade" theme that depicts an art-lover determinedly on the move, Mussorgsky's suite of 10 piano pieces inspired by Hartmann's art became "Pictures at an Exhibition," a work still considered one of the great romantic showpieces composed for the keyboard.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 7, 2002
Judging from the results of Friday evening's Spring Gala Concert presented by the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, conductor David Choo is presiding over a flexible and expressive ensemble. Taking center stage at this Maryland Hall program of works by Saint-Saens, Grieg, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky was the string section, which delivered eloquent, emotionally engaged playing in challenging repertoire. The flutes, oboes, clarinets and trumpets among the players, ages 8 to 18, acquitted themselves well in music notable for its diversity.
FEATURES
By Peter M. Krask and Peter M. Krask,Special to The Evening Sun | November 26, 1990
DURING AN AFTERNOON of chamber music presented yesterday by the Concert Artists of Baltimore at the Walters Art Gallery, two songs by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky managed to steal the show. This came as a surprise because the program, entitled "The French-Russian Connection," was focused on music for piano and strings.Derek Anthony, bass, sang Mussorgsky's "The Song of the Flea" and "The Field Marshall" with flair and power. His richly resonant voice was well-matched to their darkly colored accompaniment, dramatically played by CAB director Edward Polochick.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 11, 1999
Two great artists from the same time and country always invite comparison. This is as true in music as other fields. Thus we compare (as well as pair) Bach and Handel, Mozart and Haydn, Wagner and Brahms, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, and tantalize ourselves with desert- island thoughts about which of the two we would take, if we could only have one.Such considerations were inspired this season by productions of the two greatest operas by Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky. In less than two months, there have been productions of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" (Washington Opera)
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 23, 1999
The life and work of no great composer is as troubling as that of Modest Mussorgsky.That life ended horribly at age 42 because of alcoholism, a fate captured by Ilya Repin's portrait, painted the day before Mussorgsky died, showing the composer, wild-eyed and tousle-haired, in all his inebriate dissolution.The mess of Mussorgsky's life is complemented by the mess of his legacy -- brilliant masterpieces, left behind in an unfinished state somewhat resembling the haunted specter who gazes out despondently from Repin's portrait.
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