Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New CD from Domenic Salerini....

Check out music from Domenic Salerni's new album, titled "Atmospheric Lines."  He is a brilliant young violinist who lives near Philadelphia and recently joined the Dali Quartet.  He was the first classical music artist interviewed by AtlantaMusicCritic.com.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Great Vaughn Williams...

The program began with a quintessential piece of Americana by Aaron Copland, the suite from the ballet Appalachian Spring. The version played here was from 1945, in which the composer expanded the original 13-piece chamber orchestration to one for a larger symphony orchestra. The six-part work begins with a slow introduction designed to introduce the ballet’s characters, and it was performed with suitable restraint. The second section begins with a rapid announcement by the strings followed by an overly loud entrance by the brass. The third section, labeled Moderate, was a showcase for the flawless warmth of the woodwind section. The Quite Fast fourth section was rousing and the fifth section Still Faster had some wonderfully impressive unison playing by the violins. The Very Slow sixth section was beautifully moody and the final Calm and Flowing (known for its Simple Gifts theme) section was suitably spare, reverent and triumphant. The violin and flute duet at the work's conclusion was played magnificently, the two musicians matching each other perfectly, as if only one were playing, and almost creating the sound of a new instrument (maybe the violute or the flutolin!?). The final section had some orchestral imbalances, which may have been related to the size of the orchestra itself (neither a chamber orchestra nor a full-sized symphony ensemble).  For the complete review, click here:  https://bachtrack.com/review-vaughan-williams-francis-grosvenor-atlanta-february-2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

The best so far...

Early in my career, the joke was “Here comes the boss... look busy!” The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Music Director, Robert Spano, returned last evening to conduct his Orchestra. Not only did the ASO musicians look busy, but they played superbly, sounding ever so much like a “world-class ensemble”, an appellation to which they aspire. With Spano on the podium, it seems to have a focus and shared sensibility about the music being played, and all sections of the orchestra are on their best musical behavior. The Maestro seems to inspire a respect and an obligation to perform well among the musicians that sometimes is not always apparent with guest conductors. Furthermore, Spano never seems to provide less than a fully competent interpretation of most works, and often he is inspired, as in this performance.   For the complete review, click here:  https://bachtrack.com/review-mahler-spano-pohjonen-atlanta-symphony-february-2017
Robert Spano © Angela Morriss



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Runnicles takes it to the limit.....

One of the arguments for having guest conductors at symphony orchestras is that they can bring new perspectives and techniques to challenge the status quo of musicians and resident conductors. Like so much of life, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Maestro Donald Runnicles has been principal guest conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for about a decade. He has developed a reputation as someone who how can shake things up, in a good way, each time he visits. In tonight’s concert, he demonstrated some of what he does best: creating tight tempi, great ensemble among the musicians, rapport with the guest artist, and paying attention to the detail of dynamics, which he successfully communicates to the musicians. If one were to hear the ASO for the first time with Runnicles on the podium, it would sound like the world class orchestra it aspires to be.  For the complete review, go here:  https://bachtrack.com/review-runnicles-gerstein-atlanta-symphony-january-2017https://bachtrack.com/review-runnicles-gerstein-atlanta-symphony-january-2017

Photo:  Greg Mooney


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oundjian was wonderful.....

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s holiday classical music hiatus is finally over- Hallelujah!  Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Peter Oundjian was guest conductor for the first concert of the New Year. 
Peter Oundjian © Sian Richards
Peter Oundjian
© Sian Richards
Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol is a popular staple of the orchestral repertoire. However, if repetition leads to boredom it is indeed a shame, since it is flashy, brightly colored, sensual and brilliantly orchestrated. It’s a showpiece for every section of the orchestra, but it can also be simply an overpowering attention grabber. In this performance, Maestro Oundjian paid attention to every detail so that the entire work was nicely balanced. He was attuned to inner voicing that adds complexity, and he did so without sacrificing its overall structure. Subtle orchestral passages, often over looked in brasher performances, were not overpowered here (e.g. some of the guitar-like pizzicati in the cellos). Special recognition goes to principal clarinetist Laura Ardan’s solo passages in the Alborada that were breathtakingly and exuberantly virtuosic. Concertmaster David Coucheron’s solos were likewise brilliant. He played as if he was part of a group of Spanish street festival musicians rather than like being a soloist in a violin concerto, which added color, flare and subtlety to his performance. Principal cellist Christopher Rex’s playing was also strong. Oundjian breathed life into the ASO's performance and it was joyous.  For the complete review, go here:  https://bachtrack.com/review-bartok-oundjian-atlanta-symphony-january-2017


Jeff Roffman Photography, LLC

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Update! with Andry Nemzer, Countertenor

Andrey Nemzer won First Prize at the Third International Singing  Competition in Minsk, Belarus.