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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | March 13, 1995
In the second half of his recital yesterday afternoon at the Baltimore Museum of Art, pianist Mark Markham equaled a world record. His performance of Liszt's gargantuan, sprawling Sonata in B Minor took less than 26 minutes -- most take about a half-hour -- beat by a nose those of the young Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Rubinstein and equaled that of the redoubtable Martha Argerich.Markham's performance was not a flashy stunt but a profoundly musical return to the grand manner in which the B Minor Sonata used to be played.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2013
Longtime record collectors will have previous incarnations of releases in the 23-compact disc boxed set, "Leon Fleisher: The Complete Album Collection" from Sony Classical. Ultra-serious collectors, of course, will still have the original LPs from the 1950s and '60s weighing down shelves (artwork and liner notes from those vinyl days are reproduced here on the CD sleeves). But it's still great to have Fleisher's recorded legacy on the Columbia Masterworks/Epic and Sony Classical labels gathered in one tidy box. Make that treasure-trove.
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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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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | February 4, 2010
When Alfred Brendel, the revered Austrian pianist, gave his farewell performance in Vienna in 2008 after 60 years before the public, it was certainly the end of an era. But it may also have marked the beginning of one, since a likely heir to Brendel's artistic legacy is already here: Till Fellner. The 37-year-old Fellner, slated to make his Baltimore debut Saturday, is also Austrian. He studied with Brendel and, like that seasoned artist, devotes most of his attention to the likes of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | May 15, 1994
Rachmaninoff, Sonata No. 1 in D minor (opus 28) and Variations on a Theme of Chopin (opus 22), performed by pianist Boris Berezovsky (Teldec 4509-90890). Rachmaninoff, Sonata No. 1 in D minor (opus 28) and Thirteen Preludes (opus 32), performed by pianist Santiago Rodriguez (Elan CD 82244).This is an embarrassment of riches. For years Rachmaninoff's First Sonata has fared poorly on records and in the concert hall. The work is gigantic -- almost as long the Concerto No. 3 -- and horrendously difficult.
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By Stephen Wigler | April 18, 1993
Recital by Joseph Bykov includes rarely heard worksThe only work that most music lovers will know on Joseph Bykov's violin recital this afternoon will be Brahms' Sonata No. 2. Bykov, the assistant concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, is not only a very talented violinist; he also has a gift for investigating unusual and interesting repertory. His program at Westminster Hall at the University of Maryland Law School at 3 p.m., in which he will be accompanied by pianist Maribeth Gowen, will include Grieg's Sonata No. 2, Villa-Lobos' Sonata No. 1 and Nikolayev's Sonata in G Minor.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 22, 1999
The violin and piano recital of Midori and Robert McDonald Wednesday evening at Friedberg Hall at the Peabody Conservatory can be characterized simply as beautiful, big-hearted and brilliant.The last of these adjectives refers as much to the remarkable intelligence of the musicians as to their flabbergastingly high level of instrumental accomplishment.The sold-out recital, for which both artists donated their services to benefit the conservatory's piano scholarship fund, was cunningly planned.
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By Karen Keys | February 17, 2000
Enjoy two evenings of classical music. Members of the Peabody Preparatory Faculty will present a recital tonight that includes Dussek's "Sonata for Harp," performed by harpist Michaela Trnkova, and Poulenc's "Sonata," performed by David Drosinos and Bradley Permenter. The program will also feature work by Mozart, Claude Debussy, Astor Piazzola, Katherine Hoover and Jennifer Higdon. Return Saturday when Peabody Camerata, conducted by Gene Young, will perform Anton von Webern's "Five Pieces for Small Orchestra, Op. 10" and John Cage's "Suite for Toy Piano."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | January 30, 1992
The scherzo of Shostakovich's Cello Sonata is as fearsome as music for that instrument gets. Within the raucous, drunken, dance-of-death confines of this movement, the cellist must play a series of eerie harmonics in which the left hand moves up and down the fingerboard at something like the speed of light, while the bow arm must move just as quickly, hitting the treacherously positioned notes with just the right amount of pressure.In her cello recital last night in Friedberg Hall, Sharon Robinson sounded as if she were not in the least intimidated by this passage.
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By Stephen Wigler | April 24, 1997
When she was 10, Midori was an extraordinary child prodigy; now that that she is 25, she is something even more extraordinary -- one of the world's most thoughtful and provocative musicians. The great violinist visits D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington Saturday for an interesting program of works in which she will be partnered by her favorite collaborator, the superb pianist Robert McDonald.The program includes two favorite works, Franck's ever-popular Sonata in A and Mozart's Sonata in F (K.376)
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By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | February 4, 2010
When Alfred Brendel, the revered Austrian pianist, gave his farewell performance in Vienna in 2008 after 60 years before the public, it was certainly the end of an era. But it may also have marked the beginning of one, since a likely heir to Brendel's artistic legacy is already here: Till Fellner. The 37-year-old Fellner, slated to make his Baltimore debut Saturday, is also Austrian. He studied with Brendel and, like that seasoned artist, devotes most of his attention to the likes of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN REPORTER | May 2, 2008
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Laurel Park trainer Tim Salzman watched in blissful solitude as his filly Bsharpsonata got her bath. "We're not media stars," Salzman said. "We've done everything we can do. We had won four straight going into the Grade I Ashland Stakes and we were the fourth choice. Eight Belles wins four straight and she's Derby-bound." Kentucky Derby Tomorrow, Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky., 6:04 p.m. post, chs. 11, 4
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By Sarah Hoover and Sarah Hoover,Special to the Sun | September 21, 2007
Fall may mean back to school and football games for county residents, but it also heralds kickoff time for the many groups that constitute Columbia's vibrant cultural life. One of the finest of these organizations, Sundays at Three, celebrates the opening of its 2007- 2008 performance season with a 3 p.m. recital Sunday by acclaimed pianist Brian Ganz. Since 1996, Sundays at Three has offered some of the area's best chamber music in Christ Episcopal Church's superb acoustics. High-caliber performances of both familiar masterpieces as well as new works are always followed by the opportunity to meet the artists.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | January 30, 2007
Lynn Harrell begged the audience's indulgence for his fashion slip-up Sunday night at Shriver Hall. The cellist, a little distracted by the birth of a son a few days earlier in Houston, forgot to pack the black shoes that were to go with his suit. Given how compellingly Harrell played, it wouldn't have mattered a bit had he forgotten his pants, too. It's always rewarding to hear this man make music. There is an openness and honesty in the way he communicates what is on the page of score and, more significantly, what's underneath.
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By Sarah Hoover and Sarah Hoover,special to the sun | January 26, 2007
The notion of fantasy doesn't play very well these days. We live in a culture that values the immediate, the here-and-now: Confessing to a rich fantasy life smacks of escapism. It is tantamount to a denial of reality. We prefer to call our fairy tales "reality shows," casting our imaginative riffs as "real" people in "real" situations. But go back to the 19th century, and the inner life of the imagination holds much greater sway. An example of imagination's cultural prestige is the prevalence of the musical fantasy (also called a fantasia, Fantasie, or fantaisie)
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | September 14, 2006
Four years ago this month, an affable 17-year-old high school student from Boston stepped in front of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for the first time, an unexpected sub for an indisposed big-name violinist. He left a decidedly favorable impression. This weekend, Stefan Jackiw, now all of 21, returns to Baltimore to open the Shriver Hall Concert Series. He's likely to find a very friendly crowd. Since his BSO debut in 2002, he has developed a good fan base around here, including members of the orchestra.
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By Tim Smith | April 15, 2001
Lang Lang. Works by Haydn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Balakirev, Rachmaninoff. (Telarc CD-80524) This sit-up-and-take-notice recital disc, recorded live at Tanglewood's Seiji Ozawa Hall, makes plain why there's such a buzz about the 18-year-old pianist named Lang Lang. He has built much of his reputation on large-scale, virtuoso repertoire, and Rachmaninoff's Sonata No. 2 certainly gives him plenty of opportunity to show that side of his talent. But the opening Haydn sonata has even more to say about Lang Lang's ability and continued promise.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | September 19, 1994
Reviewers attend many concerts because they must. There are a few that they review simply because they want to hear them. Richard Goode's all-Beethoven program yesterday at Howard Community College, the opening recital in the Candlelight Series, falls into the latter category.Living in Baltimore -- where Goode makes annual appearances in the Candlelight and appears frequently in the Shriver Hall series -- gives ample opportunity to hear this splendid musician-pianist. But there is nothing new to say about him.He remains one of the most dependable Beethoven interpreters.
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By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 10, 2006
It's hard to explain true, transcendent artistry, to identify its roots or define its parameters, but I think I know when I hear it. And I heard it more than once during the weekend-long Piano Celebration presented by the Shriver Hall Concert Series. The festival, crammed with performances and lectures, was created to give the 40th anniversary of the series, Baltimore's finest importer of classical music talent, an extra charge. The result could not have been more galvanic. The artistic peaks came in two events, both of them historic, at least locally - the first two-hand recital in Baltimore by the almost legendary Leon Fleisher since the 1960s, when use of his right hand was hindered by focal dystonia; and the Baltimore debut of Krystian Zimerman, ranked by many among the world's greatest pianists for the past three decades.
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