Classical Music Buzz > The Classical Beat
The Classical Beat
Anne Midgette takes the measure of the classical music scene.
1263 Entries

I was sadly disappointed by Vadim Repin’s recitalon Friday night, as I said in today’s paper.

Stephen Brookes, however, enjoyed the Folger Consort’s spotlight on Francesca Caccini, “the most interesting composer you’ve never heard of.”(Unless, of course, you happen to have heard of her.)

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For fans of music(al) theater, there are two performances of note in the DC area this weekend.

Still in its maiden season, the Repertory Opera Theater of Washington is offering “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci” in Alexandria, this weekend and next. Joan Reinthaler thought that the company’s “Don Giovanni” last fall was very strong.

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Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music festival in May, started last year, seems to be introducing some vitality and a much-needed reinfusion of American energy to that institution’s spring season, with an innovative approach that celebrates interesting programming and seeks to open up the programming process to audiences.

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Thursday night’s “Fidelio” was one of the best things I’ve heard from the NSO and Christoph Eschenbach, as I say in my review.

Because the opera lasted longer than your average NSO concert, I had to write my review even faster than usual, and there were a few omissions as a result. Poor Paul Appleby ended up on the cutting-room floor, which may be the fate of whoever sings the negligible role of Jaquino, but one he didn’t deserve; he sang it very honorably.

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The ensemble L’Arpeggiata — which offers a blend of Baroque and folk, scholarship and improvisation — plays the Library of Congress on Monday night. On ionarts.com, Charles T. Downey interviews the group’s founder, Christina Pluhar. A notable quote: “I in general like to work with non-classical singers, because they communicate the text much more intensely than classical singers. They are storytellers, and this is something you can find in sources, that emphasis on bringing the text alive, but it is a practice that has changed a lot in the style of vocal education in recent centuries.”...

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Charles T. Downey declares that “there is no group, live or on disc, I would rather hear in these densely constructed, challenging, but rewarding pieces.” He’s talking about the Takacs Quartet playing Bartok, which he reviews in Thursday’s paper.

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Due to a technical error we are late announcing the cancellation of Deborah Voigt’s one-woman show with the Washington National Opera, DiVa Light, that was scheduled for Saturday night. The concert will not be rescheduled (though in Fort Worth, where she was scheduled to perform on March 20, Nathan Gunn is performing in her stead). Tickets will be refunded.

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In Wednesday’s Washington Post, Robert Battey reviews Christoph Eschenbach’s evening of chamber music with the young violinist Dan Zhu — and finds Zhu woefully wanting.

Above: Dan Zhu as soloist with Christoph Eschenbach in the Schumann violin concerto in 2010.

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Reviews from the weekend’s end: Stephen Brookes took in the end of the chamber music marathon at the Kennedy Center, and heard a wonderful though sparsely attended concert by the Thymos Quartet. If the event had been better publicized it might have gotten a wider audience.

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