Calidore String Quartet
The Millbrook Independent

The final concert of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle concluded its Summer Series concert with the Calidore String Quartet at Bard’s Olin Hall. They opened with String Quartet in F major, Op. 96, by Antonnin Dvorák, nick-named “American” because it was the first quartet Dvorák wrote in America and it was influenced by American Blues. Composed in Spillville, Iowa, in 1893 where Dvorák spent a happy summer vacation in a predominantly Czech town, the quartet was sketched feverishly in a rush of inspiration over three days with final draft completed 13 days later. ... »

A Fiery Finish to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Season

Peter Oundjian
Musical Toronto

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra concludes its 2016–17 season with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. It has been a tendency of the TSO to program a choral/vocal spectacle or two towards the end of each season. I recall a fantastic Verdi Requiem a couple of seasons ago. This month, we’ve already had terrific performances of Belshazzar’s Feast and Seven Deadly Sins. But here, the TSO saved its best for last in this series of four performances.

Composed in 1936, the Orff gained immense popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It became one of the most-performed large-scale choral pieces, with many commercial recordings vying for our attention. Given it’s less ubiquitous these days, it’s nice to be re-acquainted with its magic. Orff chose 24 poems from Latin text dating from the 11th or 12th centuries, unearthed from a Benedictine monastery in Upper Bavaria. The text deals with the vagaries of nature and the fickleness of human life, with all its pleasures and pain – all expressed in a rather uncomplicated way, and always with energy and passion.

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Feinstein, Pasadena Pops open summer season at the Aboretum

Storm Large
Inside SoCal

Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena Pops opened their 2017 summer season at the Los Angeles County Arboretum Saturday night with one of those programs that has become “traditional” for Feinstein since he became the Pops’ Principal Conductor in 2012 and conducted his first concert a year later.

A large, nearly sellout audience — which included the usual contingent of joyous peacocks — saw Feinstein as conductor, pianist, soloist, duet singer, interviewer and, of course, raconteur. He does most of these things in many concerts, just not all of them at one time, usually. No circus bandleader could have handled the myriad duties with the aplomb of the irrepressible Feinstein. ... »