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Showing posts from 2019

MICHAEL STERN, TUCSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and CHORUS SHINE IN CLASSIC FINALE

THE TOP NINE reasons to be @ TCC Music Hall @ 2:00 P.M. (or1:00 P.M.) on Sunday, 7 April 2019 9) TSO Guest Conductor, MICHAEL STERN, the esteemed Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, is a dedicated, deep-thinking, passionate, and articulate proponent and practitioner of musical art at its highest level. His pre-concert talk (one hour beforehand) shows a director intimately familiar with the music, the composers' personal lives, and the concurrent social and political forces affecting the work of these great artists. He backed up his knowledge and passion with great vision and skill guiding the TSO to excellent performances of this unusual program. 8) The BRAHMS 'SCHICKSALSLIED' (Song of Destiny) is masterly symphonic choral writing; beautifully balanced, in Brahms generous, mature harmonic language, and deeply expressive. 7) You need a midday break from all of your Spring GARDENING chores and duties! 6) STRAVINSKY's 'Symphony of Psalms', lik…

In Tucson JOYCE YANG ROCKS THE HOUSE! And MAHLER BRINGS THE WALLS TUMBLING DOWN...

MAHLER'S FIFTH SYMPHONY Tucson Symphony Orchestra
José Luis Gomez, conductor
Joyce Yang, piano
Conrad Jones, trumpet
Program
Giuseppe Martucci: Notturno
Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Friday, 15 March 2019
This was a spectacularly conceived and executed concert. Innocently enough, Martucci's oh-so-mellow and harmonious 'Notturno', from 1888, opened the action; waves of carefully crafted smooth sonorities, gathering just enough momentum to gently crest, roll, and release into the shoreline... This was the beautiful calm before the onrushing high Russian comedy, and the full Viennese Sturm und Drang to follow.

BLOKE WITH A JOKE
If you were never a Shostakovich fan before, you are a Shostakovich fan now! And if you knew nothing about Joyce Yang's expressive skills, her ability to react in the moment to the inanity of some incredibly difficult piano writing, and to fully act out the dominant dramatic role with a more musically isolated trum…

TUCSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA BRINGS BRIGHT SPOTLIGHT TO MOZART AND HAYDN

José Luis Gomez Plays Mozart
Tucson Symphony Orchestra Catalina Foothills HS Auditorium
Friday, 8 March 2019

SO TONIGHT WE'RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT'S 1799!

The first half of this evening's program, the 'Wind Serenade in #12, in C Minor' and the 'String Serenade #6, in D Major' proved once again that, "Most of the best music ever written, was composed by Mozart." What a THRILL to have an octet of TSO principal and second Oboe, Bassoon, Horn, and Clarinet players take on a rather serious Serenade by that musical genius / wildman of the late 18th Century, and in a venue that well-favors chamber music -- WOW. The oboe and clarinet dominate the melodic writing, yet the bassoon and horn parts are fully integral to this ensemble, and only rarely do the doubled instruments double each others lines. Follow the driving repeated-note lines in the opening movement -- sometimes a pedal-tone, yet becomes prominently thematic. This music is simply mesmerizing. Congratu…

BARRY DOUGLAS' POWERFUL POETRY and THE REVELATION OF BRUCKNER'S 7th

15 February 2019 -- Tucson, Arizona. Tucson Community Center Music Hall,

To call Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto a war horse, is rather an understatement. Though initially rated as garbage by the piano virtuoso, Nikolai Rubinstein, for whom Pyotr had intended the premier, it has long been one of the most popular concertos in the literature. Barry Douglas won over the world performing this work in 1986, capping his Tchaikovsky Piano Competition Gold Medal. How would he, Maestro José Luis Gomez, and the TSO fare with it, 30+ years later? With flair, power, precision, and delicate moments of introspection.

Douglas, steady as a rock in both stage presence and musicality, pressed out the giant musical statements with power and grace. Then immediately, his genius of judgement was on display. The tempo and tone adjustments required to highlight and communicate the precious, less strident solos and lightly accompanied passages, were breathtaking. His manner of "turning the tables&q…

BARRY DOUGLAS Returns & BRUCKNER'S 7th Premiers

Tonight, Music Director, José Luis Gomez, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, dive deep into late 19th century orchestral splendor. This will be the very, VERY long-awaited TSO Premier-- 134 years since its composition! -- of Anton Bruckner's sprawling and storied 7th Symphony. The concert will open, like a raucous, outsized Tucson Rodeo 'Prelude', with superstar cowboy -- er, famed power pianist! -- Barry Douglas, saddling up his Steinway 'D', to ride the Great War Horse, Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, into a Shootout at the TCC Corral!

Irish pianist Barry Douglas, whose career was launched, as he became, in 1986, only the second non-Russian to win the quadrennial Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, has a repertoire forged somewhat in the mold of the great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter. Douglas wowed the Tchaikovsky Competition judges and audience with his stunning 'Pictures at an Exhibition', by Mussorgsky, which Richter had redefined, and th…

Pacho Flores DAZZLES in Tucson

Friday night, 25 January 2019, Tucson Symphony Orchestra's 'Fresh Music, Copland and More' Classic concert:
ONE: this is a brilliant program. Two brass concerti, featuring Venezuelan super-virtuoso Pacho Flores, and two popular Aaron Copeland works, were bookended by sublime overtures by Mozart and Bernstein. ONE-A: a surprising common musical thread weaves its way through Mozart's Overture to 'The Abduction from the Seraglio', the 'Concerto for Corno da Caccia', by J.B.G. Neruda (a contemporary of Bach and Mozart), and the first movement of the new Arturo Márquez 'Concerto for Trumpet' – a sustained, repeated melodic syncopation. The TSO Music Director, José Luis Gomez, is a sly one!
TWO: this performance by Pacho Flores was a soulful and energetic gift to this audience. His tone, articulations, and musicality are masterly, while his virtuosity is both easy and mesmerizing. TWO-A: the Marquéz Concerto, written specifically for Pacho…