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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Music sub categories : Contemporary Music, Early Music, etc. and Recordings

Thumbnail : Michael Tilson Thomas Leads the San Francisco Symphony in Leonard Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” Symphony and Mahler’s Fourth

Michael Tilson Thomas Leads the San Francisco Symphony in Leonard Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” Symphony and Mahler’s Fourth

-+*There is a sound you sometimes feel after midnight, high up in Manhattan. It comes from maybe thirty blocks away. Very faint. In the stillness of your mind, you know it is a lonely taxi horn dancing with the doppler effect. But in the small hours of the city, you wonder who might be riding home amongst sleeping millions, and how boozily, and what love affairs or personal dramas might now begin or end. New York is like that. In its darkness, taxis are crickets, and you listen.

Thumbnail : Excitement at the Boston Symphony—Lots of It! But Questions Remain

Excitement at the Boston Symphony—Lots of It! But Questions Remain

-+*The perfect word to describe Andris Nelsons’ conducting is “exciting.” He elicits spectacular playing from the Boston Symphony and knows how to mold the sound of the orchestra to his taste. The strings now sound rich, deep, and solid rather than airy, transparent and elegant, as was their traditional, French–flavored style. This works well in a German-Russian program; I am curious to hear what they (Nelsons and the orchestra) will do with canonical French material such as the orchestral works of​ Ravel.

Thumbnail : Vasily Petrenko Conducts the San Francisco Symphony in Barber, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich, with Sa Chen, Piano

Vasily Petrenko Conducts the San Francisco Symphony in Barber, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich, with Sa Chen, Piano

-+*Concerts this good have become our norm and good fortune in twenty-first century America—especially in San Francisco. We are used to charismatic conducting, to fine piano debuts, to engaged orchestral playing and the rediscovery of great neglected symphonies. What differs from time to time is the realization that a performer may not only be accomplished, or even inspiring, but one of a kind. I begin to think Vasily Petrenko is such an artist.

Thumbnail : The Winter of Our Discontent: Classical Music in Boston 

The Winter of Our Discontent: Classical Music in Boston 

-+*As everyone in New England knows, this winter was one long slog. But significant musical events actually got to take place, and some of these have been exceptional. But many have been frustrating and disappointing.

Thumbnail : Michael Tilson Thomas conducts The London Symphony Orchestra in Colin Matthews, Gershwin (with Yuja Wang), and Shostakovich

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts The London Symphony Orchestra in Colin Matthews, Gershwin (with Yuja Wang), and Shostakovich

-+*If you feel pursued by good luck, do we call it paranoia? This is the question I must answer lately, since it seems the London Symphony has chased me down in San Francisco—to my great delight!

Just a month ago, I had the good fortune of hearing Sir Mark Elder lead the orchestra in a solid Pathétique at the Barbican. By the time my visit was over, I had experienced the Berlin Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic, as well. What puzzled throughout all this listening was the difficulty of telling the orchestras apart in London’s Barbican and Festival Hall, clinical modern venues with limited reverberation and bass.

Thumbnail : Before Bach: Late Renaissance and Early Baroque Music at Carnegie Hall — a Month-Long Series in April and May

Before Bach: Late Renaissance and Early Baroque Music at Carnegie Hall — a Month-Long Series in April and May

-+*For years, New York City seemed to have missed out on the extraordinary efflorescence of research, study, and practice, which has made historically informed performance such an essential part of music-making in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The early music scene was hardly non-existent, but it was thin in comparison to centers like Boston, London, Amsterdam, and Paris, patronized by a small band of enthusiasts who at one time actually looked the part, crowding into Manhattan’s less fashionable churches in colorful woolen tunics, knitted caps, and Earth Shoes. There don’t seem to be many of those people left around, and a much larger range of audiences, spanning all age groups, now hear historical performances in the major venues, especially Carnegie Hall

Thumbnail : Stephen Porter plays Debussy’s Preludes, Books I and II at SubCulture, New York

Stephen Porter plays Debussy’s Preludes, Books I and II at SubCulture, New York

-+*One can’t say that performances of both books of Debussy’s Preludes are absolutely unheard of, but they are sufficiently uncommon for Stephen Porter to deserve our admiration for his courage and enlightenment in offering them in the form he did. Not only did he perform both books in their entirety from memory, he prefaced each with a piece from Debussy’s earlier Images, in order to prepare the audience, and included engaging discussions of the composer and the works, not only providing us with background, but preparing us to listen, to enter Debussy’s particular world of sounds.

Thumbnail : Christian Baldini conducts the San Francisco Symphony in John Luther Adams’s The Light that Fills the World; Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Schumann and Brahms, with Anne-Sophie Mutter

Christian Baldini conducts the San Francisco Symphony in John Luther Adams’s The Light that Fills the World; Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Schumann and Brahms, with Anne-Sophie Mutter

-+*This week’s program at Davies Hall had a split personality. Young contemporary music specialist Christian Baldini was onstage to lead the opening work, The Light That Fills the World, by Alaska composer J. L. Adams.  Michael Tilson Thomas then conducted the San Francisco Symphony in the Brahms concerto and Schumann symphony.

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A tip for our readers: How to get the most out of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review for the Arts.
What if I hate reading on computer screens, even tablets?
We get occasional inquiries from readers about whether we plan to launch a print edition of our arts journals. The answer is that we've given it some thought, and we're still thinking about it.
It is not only our older readers who object to reading them online. There are even some millennials who would rather read from paper. One of our readers got the simple idea of using the sites as sophisticated tables of contents. She prints out each article on three-hole paper and files them in a loose-leaf album. I've devoted a lot of time to finding the very best print and pdf facility there is. Just click on one of the icons at the top right of the article and print!
Click here to make your tax-deductible donation to The Arts Press, publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review. Or click on the notice in the sidebar. The Arts Press is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Arts Press must be made payable to“Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.