The Music Of Strangers (2015)

We all want to be loved. We all want to belong. But what do you do if your house is bombed and everyone in it dies? Do you become bitter, or take the high road? And what do you do  ...

Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow

Conductor Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra continue their stellar series of performances of the works of Dmitri Shostakovich with their Deutsch Grammophon release “ Shostakovich Under Stalin’s Shadow,” a 2-cd set with their live performances of symphonies  ...

Jenůfa

Despite how musically rich and sensitive Janáček’s opera Jenůfa is, its grotesque storyline, which includes the murdering of a child, is not. It captures a sample of small-town life in Moravian Slovakia during the mid-1850s, which first influenced Gabriela Preissová  ...

Jenůfa, SF Opera

The last time I saw Karita Mattila in “Jenůfa” she played the title role, a young village girl madly in love with the town ne’er-do-well and secretly carrying his child to boot. Now, her gleaming voice burnished with maturity, the  ...

Don Carlo, SF Opera

The trouble with Verdi’s “Don Carlo” always has been — like much of Wagner — too much of a good thing. Requiring no fewer than six stellar singers in the leads, making it very costly to mount, it clocks in  ...

The Dark Mirror, by Hans Zender

First, I must admit that I am more familiar with Schubert's "Wintereisse" through the voice of Ian Bostridge, but sung 'straight' with nothing else but a piano to accompany the tenor. Last year, I was completely absorbed by  ...

Robert Schwartz, Solo Piano

Solo piano recitals aren't that frequent even in a fairly sophisticated town like San Francisco. Sure, we have them at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and high profile international pianists presented by SF Performances. But the only real venue  ...

Elixir of Love

Opera Philadelphia closed their 2015-16 season with a new production of Donizetti’s "The Elixir of Love," an unwavering favorite with audiences, despite its more vaporous musical merits. Conductor Corrado Rovaris commented in the program notes that musically, the  ...