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Midnight ramblers

Rock legend Peter Wolf serves dinner and verse to the Phoenix ’s poet .
In rock ’n’ roll, it was possible to live in Harvard Square, be a musician — a local musician — and be able to pay your rent and find restaurants where you could eat and buy food and survive, and feel that there was a sense of . . . future, with hope and opportunity.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 08, 2010

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Stuff at night

The BSO without Levine, Yo-Yo Ma, the Cantata Singers, American Classics, the Zerounian Ensemble
This week’s health headlines also included the announcement from the Boston Symphony Orchestra that music director James Levine has been sidelined again, from the “excruciating pain” he’s been suffering since his surgery for a herniated disc.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  April 29, 2010

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What's new

BMOP, and the Christian Wolff festival
The timely highlight of Gil Rose’s latest BMOP (Boston Modern Orchestra Project) concert, “Strings Attached,” was a new/old piece (2004, revised 2009) for two string orchestras by Scott Wheeler now called Crazy Weather — the new title taken from a John Ashbery poem that begins, “It’s this crazy weather we’ve been having.”
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 23, 2010

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Welsh rarebit

Boston Lyric Opera's imported Ariadne
Boston Lyric Opera hasn't had much success lately with either its home-grown or its second-hand products, but its latest import — the Welsh National Opera's 2004 production of Ariadne auf Naxos, Richard Strauss's third collaboration with Hugo von Hofmannsthal, his favorite librettist — is a charmer.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 16, 2010

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Bach beat

Lions and lambs
Composers John Harbison and Peter Lieberson are big presences this spring.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 08, 2010

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Snakebite

Opera Boston presents the world premiere of Madame White Snake; plus the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Boston Philharmonic
"I can no longer stand to let this travesty continue," sings a character in Madame White Snake , the new opera based on an ancient Chinese legend co-commissioned by Opera Boston, which has just presented its world premiere. I'm afraid I shared the sentiment at last Friday's performance.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 03, 2010



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Heaven!

The BSO and Boston Baroque at their best
Martin Pearlman's edition of Monteverdi's Vespro della Beate Vergine, with inserted antiphons to suggest an actual service, remains a masterpiece of historical research and inspired guesswork.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 25, 2010

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Double trouble

BLO's The Turn of the S crew, Levine's Carter and Simon Boccanegra, Teatro Lirico, the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, and more
Boston Lyric Opera's debut Opera Annex production was so good in so many ways, it's painful that one bad idea just about sank it.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 09, 2010

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Stopping time

The BSO, Peter Maxwell Davies, BCMS, BMOP, Mark Morris, and Christian Tetzlaff
BSO music director James Levine has returned to Symphony Hall for the first time since October, when back surgery put him out of commission.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  February 02, 2010

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Let's rock

The BSO, the Cantata Singers, Discovery Ensemble, and BCMS
WGBH radio has ended its 58-year tradition of live Friday-afternoon BSO broadcasts, and it doesn't seem that public outcry is going to change that.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 25, 2010

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John Harbison plus 10

Picking from a packed concert schedule
Classical music in Boston is so rich, having to pick 10 special events for this winter preview is more like one-tenth of the performances I'm actually looking forward to.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 05, 2010



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2009: The year in Classical

Beating the quease
This was a queasy year for classical music.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  January 04, 2010

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Wanting more

The Borromeo and Emerson String Quartets, Dohnányi with the BSO, and Yiddish operetta at Harvard
After its triumphant traversal of the complete Béla Bartók string quartets at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Borromeo Quartet was back for a free 20th- and 21st-century program at Jordan Hall, leading off with an accomplished recent piece by the 24-year-old Egyptian composer Mohammed Fairuz, Lamentation and Satire.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 16, 2009

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Open spaces

The BSO's Brahms, Ben Zander's Wagner, Collage New Music, and the BEMF's Handel
In my review of the memorable Brahms performances Sir Simon Rattle led with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for the Celebrity Series of Boston last month, I should have mentioned that one decision responsible for the beauty and spaciousness of the orchestral sound was the placement of the first and second violin sections on opposite sides of the stage.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 02, 2009

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Creationists

Simon Rattle and the BPO, Fabio Luisi and the BSO, John Harbison and Emmanuel Music
Simon Rattle and the BPO, Fabio Luisi and the BSO, John Harbison and Emmanuel Music
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 18, 2009

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Almost

BLO's Carmen, the BSO's Beethoven, Emmanuel Music's Haydn and Schoenberg
The Boston Lyric Opera comes maddeningly close to having a good Carmen . (The production continues at the Shubert Theatre through November 17.) Keith Lockhart leads a superb orchestra and chorus and a cast of plausible singers/actors in a compelling if not spine-tingling performance.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  November 12, 2009



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Blessings: mixed and otherwise

Boston Baroque’s Amadigi; Opera Boston’s Tancredi; the BSO’s Beethoven; the Borromeo’s Bartók; Brahms from BCMS and BSOCP
By odd coincidence, in recent weeks we’ve had performances of two important operatic rarities, landmark early works a century apart: 30-year-old Handel’s Amadigi (1715) and 20-year-old Rossini’s Tancredi (1813, his 10th opera!).
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 28, 2009

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In the swim

Guerilla Opera, von Stade’s farewell, the BSO, Handel and Haydn, the BPO, and that Tosca
My head’s swimming.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 14, 2009

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The roar of the crowd

‘Opening Night at Symphony,’ Russell Sherman, the Discovery Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, and the Bostonians
I wasn’t there, but the opening-night dissatisfaction with the Met’s new Tosca was widely reported.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  October 13, 2009

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Leon Kirchner, 1919–2009

In Memoriam
Craggy, tender, passionate, witty, rough-edged, lyrical, uncompromising, Leon Kirchner's music, so like the man himself, made an indelible impression. Even in his recent appearance at a 90th-birthday tribute concert at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the old fire and wit, the frankness and the refusal to sentimentalize, were there.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 23, 2009

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Baroque and beyond

Betting on the best this fall
Ten-best lists usually come at the end of the season, but this year the Phoenix has asked its critics to provide a calendar of 10 events that, at least on paper, might wind up on an end-of-season Top 10. Boston, in case you didn't know it, is a great city for classical music, so it's not easy to keep the list short. But here goes.
By: LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  September 14, 2009


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