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Slow Movement

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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | April 17, 1991
Why it is hard even for some professionals to enjoy the masterpieces of Schoenberg more than 50 years after they were written is difficult to answer. Last evening in the Baltimore Museum of Art the Cleveland String Quartet gave a performance of the composer's String Quartet No. 4 (1936) and it was hard to disagree with the assessment of Sam DiBonaventura, in an insightful program note, that this quartet was beautifully worked out and even romantic in its outlook.All one had to do was listen to the opening of the second movement with its intersecting melodies in the second violin and viola to understand that this was music that could only be played by -- indeed was conceived for -- the string quartet.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Valerie Finholm and Valerie Finholm,Hartford Courant | August 22, 2004
Carl Honore calls it his bedtime-story epiphany. Four years ago, while waiting in line at an airport to catch a flight home to London, the foreign correspondent was on his cell phone chatting with his editor while skimming a newspaper when an article caught his eye: "The One-Minute Bedtime Story." As the frazzled father of a 2-year-old, Honore's first thought was "Eureka!" The next thought was: "Have I gone completely insane?" Upon his return home, he decided to investigate the pace of life and the prospects for slowing down.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | May 9, 1994
That the cellist Carter Brey and the pianist Christopher O'Riley enjoy playing chamber music together was much in evidence at their recital Saturday night at Howard Community College in the Candlelight Concert Society Series. Although each man enjoys a busy solo career, their interpretations displayed a good deal of thought and care.The program got off to a less than ideal start with Stravinsky's "Suite Italienne," a transcription from "Pul- cinella" that the composer made for cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and that is more often heard in Samuel Dushkin's arrangement for violin and piano.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 17, 1997
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's current Summer MusicFest continues to shape up as one of the best in several years.Under Pinchas Zukerman's leadership, there has been an increased emphasis on chamber music; and with each program -- last night's was the third -- the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall audience seems to be growing.The big work on the chamber music portion of last night's all-Beethoven program was the Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat (Op. 16). This work may not be the masterpiece that its predecessor in the same key by Mozart is.But the performance by guest pianist Jon Kimura Parker and the orchestra's principal woodwinds -- oboist Joseph Turner, clarinetist Steven Barta, bassoonist Phillip Kolker and hornist David Bakkegard -- tempted a listener to reconsider the conventional wisdom about the Mozart's superiority.
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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 Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 24, 1998
Sometimes a familiar piece surprises the listener with details that have never been noticed before. Such was the case last night in Meyerhoff Hall when Tamaki Kawakubo played the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony and guest conductor Hans Graf.The California-born Kawakubo is only 17, and her youth made her individual approach to the concerto's first movement all the more remarkable. Even in an era when musicians appear to be playing ever more slowly, her tempos sounded unusually spacious.
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By David Donovan and David Donovan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 26, 1995
Thanks to the electrifying solo efforts of percussionist Evelyn Glennie, the Tuesday night debut of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at Meyerhoff Hall will go down as one of the highlights of this young season.Ms. Glennie played in three of the five works on the program. From the second she appeared on stage the orchestra and the audience were captivated by her stellar personality -- even before she played one note. She started her part of the program with her own transcription of Vivaldi's "Concerto in C Major for Vibraphone," and the phrasing and tone coloration was simply magical.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | July 21, 1993
The slow movement of Mozart's Concerto No. 18 in B flat (K.456) is an extraordinary affair: a set of variations in G minor that are colored with the most delicate of emotions, a kind of gentle melancholy that much resembles Barbarina's aria in "The Marriage of Figaro."In his concert last night with the Baltimore Symphony and music director David Zinman in Meyerhoff Hall, pianist Christian Zacharias performed that movement about as beautifully as one can, with a subtlety of inflection and imaginative dynamic shading that brought to mind a superb soprano.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 27, 1996
If David Zinman were not to renew his contract as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's music director in two years, Mario Venzago would be a good bet as the leading candidate to replace him.Venzago, who conducted last night's BSO Summer MusicFest Mozart-Schubert-Beethoven program in Meyerhoff Hall, is the orchestra's unofficial principal guest conductor. He is leading all but one of the orchestra's summer concerts in Meyerhoff Hall and he will return this fall to conduct an unprecedented three subscription concerts.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | April 19, 1993
The excellence of yesterday's violin and piano recital by Joseph Bykov and Maribeth Gowen in Westminster Hall was partly the excellence of the performers themselves -- Bykov's sweet, focused tone and the reliability and sensitivity of his partner -- and partly the fact that they brought these qualities to bear on such interesting repertory.When had anyone in the audience -- except perhaps for a Russian emigre violinist or two -- heard of, much less heard, Leonid Nikolayev's Sonata in G Minor?
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