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Symphonic Dances

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By Kenneth Meltzer and Kenneth Meltzer,Special to The sun | May 27, 1994
Many famed instrumentalists have received guidance and inspiration from great singers. Pianist Vladimir Horowitz proudly admitted that he often listened to opera recordings for insights into performing the lyrical works of composers such as Chopin and Schumann. Few, however, can boast the direct vocal lineage of cellist Lynn Harrell, who appeared last night with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Dmitri Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto.Harrell is the son of famed American baritone Mack Harrell.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | August 2, 2008
The hottest hot-weather conductor in America right now is a Brit - Bramwell Tovey. He's a box-office magnet for the New York Philharmonic's Summertime Classics series, and he was just named principal guest conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's summer series at the Hollywood Bowl. On Thursday night, the 50-something Tovey made his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut as part of the Summernights 2008 festival, leading a one-performance-only Gershwin-Bernstein program before a sold-out house at the Music Center at Strathmore.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | November 5, 1993
Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances" begins softly, and almost immediately explodes into a crescendo. This music is so frequently performed that one tends to take the opening for granted. But when conductor Mariss Jansons and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic performed that one tends to take the opening for granted .But when conductor Marriss Jansons and the ST. Petersburg Philharmonic performed the piece Wednesday night at the Kennedy Center,it startled the ear.That burst by the orchestra's lower strings did not sound as if made by instruments; it was as if one of the biggest and darkest of Russian bassos -- someone on the order of a Feodor Chaliapin or an Alexander Kipnis -- had suddenly roared.
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By Pat Hook and Pat Hook,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 11, 1996
Exuding excitement, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra held its audience spellbound for the first set of concerts of Gisele Ben-Dor's last season on the podium.The program, performed Friday and Saturday at Maryland Hall for the Performing Arts in Annapolis, opened and closed with showpieces from Russian masters Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff. It was held together in the middle by Stanley Drucker, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic. Both soloist and conductor appeared sprightly, with plenty of bounce onstage.
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By Jonathan Palevsky and Jonathan Palevsky,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 23, 1996
Leonard Bernstein was a unique figure in American music. He has been dead for five years, and there's no sign that anyone will take his place.He achieved tremendous success in all three of his vocations: performer, composer and conductor. Bernstein was also able to impart his message through the medium of television and became America's musical media guru and national spokesman for the arts. Also, his scandalous exploits and colorful lifestyle allowed us mere mortals the delight of living vicariously through him.Today, we must evaluate Bernstein differently, as he is no longer able to be an advocate for his scores.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | August 2, 2008
The hottest hot-weather conductor in America right now is a Brit - Bramwell Tovey. He's a box-office magnet for the New York Philharmonic's Summertime Classics series, and he was just named principal guest conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's summer series at the Hollywood Bowl. On Thursday night, the 50-something Tovey made his Baltimore Symphony Orchestra debut as part of the Summernights 2008 festival, leading a one-performance-only Gershwin-Bernstein program before a sold-out house at the Music Center at Strathmore.
NEWS
By Pat Hook and Pat Hook,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 11, 1996
Exuding excitement, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra held its audience spellbound for the first set of concerts of Gisele Ben-Dor's last season on the podium.The program, performed Friday and Saturday at Maryland Hall for the Performing Arts in Annapolis, opened and closed with showpieces from Russian masters Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff. It was held together in the middle by Stanley Drucker, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic. Both soloist and conductor appeared sprightly, with plenty of bounce onstage.
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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July 5, 1992
Four of the BSO's six Summerfest concerts feature pianist Nelson Freire. All concerts, which will be conducted by David Zinman, take place at 7:30 p.m. in Meyerhoff Hall. After each concert there will be food available in the festival's outdoor plaza and live bands to provide music for those who wish to dance.July 9: Brahms' Symphony No. 4 and Piano Concerto No. 1.July 11: Brahms' Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 2.July 14: Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 3.July 16: Copland's "Danzon Cubano" and "Billy the Kid" and Rachmaninov's Concerto No. 2.July 23: Copland's "El Salon Mexico" and "Rodeo" and Rachmaninov's "Symphonic Dances."
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | November 12, 1993
"Why on earth didn't I know that one could write a violoncello concerto like this?" exclaimed Johannes Brahms after his first perusal of Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto. "If I had only known, I would have written one long ago!"Brahms was excited for good reason. Introduced in London in 1896, the great Dvorak B-minor quickly became the sine qua non of the cello repertoire.Imbued with lyricism and exuberance, it is, above all, a work that sings.In the hands of a master cellist, a performance of the Dvorak is one of music's great events.
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By Jonathan Palevsky and Jonathan Palevsky,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 23, 1996
Leonard Bernstein was a unique figure in American music. He has been dead for five years, and there's no sign that anyone will take his place.He achieved tremendous success in all three of his vocations: performer, composer and conductor. Bernstein was also able to impart his message through the medium of television and became America's musical media guru and national spokesman for the arts. Also, his scandalous exploits and colorful lifestyle allowed us mere mortals the delight of living vicariously through him.Today, we must evaluate Bernstein differently, as he is no longer able to be an advocate for his scores.
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.
FEATURES
By Kenneth Meltzer and Kenneth Meltzer,Special to The sun | May 27, 1994
Many famed instrumentalists have received guidance and inspiration from great singers. Pianist Vladimir Horowitz proudly admitted that he often listened to opera recordings for insights into performing the lyrical works of composers such as Chopin and Schumann. Few, however, can boast the direct vocal lineage of cellist Lynn Harrell, who appeared last night with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Dmitri Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto.Harrell is the son of famed American baritone Mack Harrell.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | November 5, 1993
Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances" begins softly, and almost immediately explodes into a crescendo. This music is so frequently performed that one tends to take the opening for granted. But when conductor Mariss Jansons and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic performed that one tends to take the opening for granted .But when conductor Marriss Jansons and the ST. Petersburg Philharmonic performed the piece Wednesday night at the Kennedy Center,it startled the ear.That burst by the orchestra's lower strings did not sound as if made by instruments; it was as if one of the biggest and darkest of Russian bassos -- someone on the order of a Feodor Chaliapin or an Alexander Kipnis -- had suddenly roared.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | January 30, 2003
Legendary monologist Ruth Draper's signature piece was a 1926 tour de force called The Italian Lesson. In this comic work, a society matron juggles conversations with servants and children, and deals with a variety of other interruptions, while she attempts to learn Italian. Beginning tomorrow, Rep Stage in Columbia will offer a double bill of Draper's spoken monologue (performed by Valerie Lash) followed by composer Lee Hoiby's opera version (performed by Deborah Kent). The combined production is titled The Italian Lesson and Other Divertissements.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | September 17, 1995
Sergei Rachmaninoff, "Caprice Bohemien," "Symphonic Dances," Preludes in C sharp minor and G minor (orchestrated by Lucien Caillet), performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sergiu Comissiona conducting (CBC Records SMCD5143)Because Sergiu Comissiona conducted Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances" so frequently during his years as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, it's fascinating to compare this Vancouver-Comissiona account with last year's Baltimore-Zinman version. The BSO version is slightly more brilliant because Baltimore's orchestra is slightly more virtuosic than the excellent Vancouver ensemble.
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