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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 6, 2003
Just about any encounter with the famed Vienna Philharmonic renews one's musical value system. The orchestra's visit to the Kennedy Center Monday and Tuesday nights, presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society, offered a fascinating demonstration of style and strength. You could actually see it in the body language; none of that listless sawing away so common in the orchestral world. Making the experience doubly intriguing was the presence of Nikolaus Harnoncourt on the podium.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 13, 2014
Lorin Maazel, an unusually brilliant conductor with an extraordinary mind, uncanny technique and an ability to sculpt performances of remarkable expressive beauty, died Sunday at the age of 84 in Virginia. A statement released by the Castleton Festival, which he and his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, founded at their expansive, idyllic country estate, attributed the cause of death to complications from pneumonia. Months ago, the brilliant conductor Lorin Maazel began canceling engagements around the world and relinquished his post as music director of the Munich Philharmonic.
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FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 22, 1995
Brahms, Symphonies Nos. 1-4, Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 3 and 10 and Haydn Variations, and Beethoven, "Coriolan Overture" and "Leonore No. 2" overture, performed by Wilhelm Furtwangler conducting the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, EMI Classics 5 65513 2; Bach, "St. Matthew Passion," performed by Furtwangler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with soloists Anton Dermota (Evangelist), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Jesus), Elisabeth Grummer (soprano soloist), Marga Hoffgen (contralto soloist)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2014
The year is not even a week old, and there's a contender for highlight of the 2014 music season in Baltimore. OK, maybe that's too premature and silly a statement. But if, like me, you feel there are few things more perfectly fashioned than a waltz by Johann Strauss and few things more satisfying than a stylish performance of same, then you'll find this weekend's Strauss-filled program by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's a very satisfying experience. Thanks to the popularity of the Vienna Philharmonic's globally broadcast New Year's Day Concert, lots of orchestras have tried cashing in on the idea of packaging music of the Waltz King and his peers at this time of year.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 25, 1996
Bruckner, Symphony No. 5, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Claudio Abbado conducting (Deutsche Grammophon 445 879-2).*Bruckner, Symphony No. 5, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic, Wilhelm Furtwangler conducting (EMI Classics 5 65750 2).*Bruckner, Symphony No. 6, performed by the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Gunter Wand conducting (BMG Classics 60361-2-RC).There's plenty of rubbish about the symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler and, according to one piece of nonsense, conductors who are successful interpreters of one composer are usually less successful with the other.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 18, 1998
The concertos of Brahms are among the piano's greatest challenges. The composer's just-concluded centennial was celebrated with a number of recordings that give listeners the chance to hear some of this century's great pianists compete against each other, and sometimes -- in cases when they recorded these pieces more than once -- against themselves.Few pianists were more closely associated with the music of Brahms than Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969). EMI has just reissued (in its References series)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 1, 2004
Americans can get as nationalistic as anyone else, but when it comes to music, they can also be amazingly adoptive. Every Fourth of July, for example, Americans salute their independence from Britain by cranking up the 1812 Overture, a composition by Tchaikovsky celebrating Napoleon's defeat in Russia. Go figure. And for several years now, Americans have demonstrated a keen interest in celebrating the New Year with light Viennese music. Thanks to the televised broadcasts of the enormously popular New Year's Day concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic, people all over the world have come to associate lilting waltz strains and bouncy polkas with the start of another calendar.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2014
The year is not even a week old, and there's a contender for highlight of the 2014 music season in Baltimore. OK, maybe that's too premature and silly a statement. But if, like me, you feel there are few things more perfectly fashioned than a waltz by Johann Strauss and few things more satisfying than a stylish performance of same, then you'll find this weekend's Strauss-filled program by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's a very satisfying experience. Thanks to the popularity of the Vienna Philharmonic's globally broadcast New Year's Day Concert, lots of orchestras have tried cashing in on the idea of packaging music of the Waltz King and his peers at this time of year.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 7, 2001
VIENNA -- If there is such a thing as a sacred concert hall, the Musikverein is surely one of the most hallowed. Home to the Vienna Philharmonic, which continues to set a sublime standard in the orchestral world, the ornate hall itself radiates history, tradition, style. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra honored those qualities in a pair of concerts that appeared to impress the discriminating Viennese public each night. No wonder. The ensemble, still on a high after its rock-solid performances in Paris and, especially, Berlin earlier in the week, once again offered impassioned, cohesive work under Yuri Temirkanov's dynamic direction.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 13, 2014
Lorin Maazel, an unusually brilliant conductor with an extraordinary mind, uncanny technique and an ability to sculpt performances of remarkable expressive beauty, died Sunday at the age of 84 in Virginia. A statement released by the Castleton Festival, which he and his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, founded at their expansive, idyllic country estate, attributed the cause of death to complications from pneumonia. Months ago, the brilliant conductor Lorin Maazel began canceling engagements around the world and relinquished his post as music director of the Munich Philharmonic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 1, 2004
Americans can get as nationalistic as anyone else, but when it comes to music, they can also be amazingly adoptive. Every Fourth of July, for example, Americans salute their independence from Britain by cranking up the 1812 Overture, a composition by Tchaikovsky celebrating Napoleon's defeat in Russia. Go figure. And for several years now, Americans have demonstrated a keen interest in celebrating the New Year with light Viennese music. Thanks to the televised broadcasts of the enormously popular New Year's Day concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic, people all over the world have come to associate lilting waltz strains and bouncy polkas with the start of another calendar.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 6, 2003
Just about any encounter with the famed Vienna Philharmonic renews one's musical value system. The orchestra's visit to the Kennedy Center Monday and Tuesday nights, presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society, offered a fascinating demonstration of style and strength. You could actually see it in the body language; none of that listless sawing away so common in the orchestral world. Making the experience doubly intriguing was the presence of Nikolaus Harnoncourt on the podium.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 7, 2001
VIENNA -- If there is such a thing as a sacred concert hall, the Musikverein is surely one of the most hallowed. Home to the Vienna Philharmonic, which continues to set a sublime standard in the orchestral world, the ornate hall itself radiates history, tradition, style. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra honored those qualities in a pair of concerts that appeared to impress the discriminating Viennese public each night. No wonder. The ensemble, still on a high after its rock-solid performances in Paris and, especially, Berlin earlier in the week, once again offered impassioned, cohesive work under Yuri Temirkanov's dynamic direction.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 18, 1998
The concertos of Brahms are among the piano's greatest challenges. The composer's just-concluded centennial was celebrated with a number of recordings that give listeners the chance to hear some of this century's great pianists compete against each other, and sometimes -- in cases when they recorded these pieces more than once -- against themselves.Few pianists were more closely associated with the music of Brahms than Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969). EMI has just reissued (in its References series)
NEWS
By Tracy Wilkinson and Tracy Wilkinson,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 8, 1997
VIENNA, Austria -- The men of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra play a music they say is unique. It is a sound of distinctly full brass and velvety strings, with masterfully balanced rests and fortes, a sound shaped by Brahms and Mahler, a sound -- some musicians say -- that only this all-male, all-white orchestra can make.The claims of some members that the exclusionary policies of the philharmonic give the ensemble its greatness have created a furor -- one quieted but not resolved when the orchestra voted last week to admit women for the first time in its 155-year history.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | August 25, 1996
Bruckner, Symphony No. 5, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Claudio Abbado conducting (Deutsche Grammophon 445 879-2).*Bruckner, Symphony No. 5, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic, Wilhelm Furtwangler conducting (EMI Classics 5 65750 2).*Bruckner, Symphony No. 6, performed by the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Gunter Wand conducting (BMG Classics 60361-2-RC).There's plenty of rubbish about the symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler and, according to one piece of nonsense, conductors who are successful interpreters of one composer are usually less successful with the other.
NEWS
By Tracy Wilkinson and Tracy Wilkinson,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 8, 1997
VIENNA, Austria -- The men of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra play a music they say is unique. It is a sound of distinctly full brass and velvety strings, with masterfully balanced rests and fortes, a sound shaped by Brahms and Mahler, a sound -- some musicians say -- that only this all-male, all-white orchestra can make.The claims of some members that the exclusionary policies of the philharmonic give the ensemble its greatness have created a furor -- one quieted but not resolved when the orchestra voted last week to admit women for the first time in its 155-year history.
FEATURES
By John Guinn and John Guinn,Knight-Ridder News Service | December 13, 1994
British maestro John Eliot Gardiner found a dictionary that defines the word "conductor" as "a current passed from one sphere to another."While that definition comes from physics, Mr. Gardiner maintains it's an apt way to characterize the person who stands in front of an orchestra and, through various bodily gyrations, gets that orchestra to produce musical sounds.Mr. Gardiner makes his observation in "The Art of Conducting: Great Conductors of the Past," a splendid video just released on the Teldec label.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 22, 1995
Brahms, Symphonies Nos. 1-4, Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 3 and 10 and Haydn Variations, and Beethoven, "Coriolan Overture" and "Leonore No. 2" overture, performed by Wilhelm Furtwangler conducting the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, EMI Classics 5 65513 2; Bach, "St. Matthew Passion," performed by Furtwangler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with soloists Anton Dermota (Evangelist), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Jesus), Elisabeth Grummer (soprano soloist), Marga Hoffgen (contralto soloist)
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