A True Operatic Rarity, a Major Masterpiece Masterfully Realized, and Something Truly New

Three recent releases from the Naxos family, each uniquely compelling   Charles Gounod: La nonne sanglante (Naxos DVD) Mention Gounod and at once Faust, and probably Romeo et Juliette come to mind. What…he wrote another dozen operas? Yes, and the story behind how La nonne sanglante came and got buried so quickly is fascinating; better… Continue reading A True Operatic Rarity, a Major Masterpiece Masterfully Realized, and Something Truly New

In Case You Hadn’t Heard…Middleton Community Orchestra Opens Its Tenth Season

Season is dedicated to John Barker, recently retired critic emeritus   Of course if you are one of my regular readers, you know that the Middleton Community Orchestra was about to commence on their tenth season of adding a unique experience to the greater Madison music scene. I finally got around to blogging about their… Continue reading In Case You Hadn’t Heard…Middleton Community Orchestra Opens Its Tenth Season

Old Friends and New Journeys at Salon Piano Series

Cellist Amit Peled and pianist Daniel del Pino fire up Farley’s House of Pianos   For more than five years, the showroom at Farley’s House of Pianos has been the place to hear some of the world’s great artists, up close and personal. As it turns out, what eventually became the Salon Piano Series is… Continue reading Old Friends and New Journeys at Salon Piano Series

Choir of Trinity College Still Echoing in My Ears

The 9/11 concert that opened the Overture Concert Organ series refuses to fade away   Let’s start with the obvious admission: the posting of this review is absurdly late. Frankly after this much time has passed (the concert was 9/11 last month), I would just let it go. But the truth is, the performance of… Continue reading Choir of Trinity College Still Echoing in My Ears

Middleton Community Orchestra Gives a Performance Before the Season Opens

Loving tribute to John Barker goes to the heart of music making   When you get right down to it, people play music because they love it; audiences come to hear it for the same reasons. Believe it or not, critics love it, too; most of them were (and sometimes are) performers themselves. It is… Continue reading Middleton Community Orchestra Gives a Performance Before the Season Opens

Madison Symphony Opener Evokes a Memory

DeMain and company also provide an interesting musical perspective   John DeMain opened his 26th season as music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra last weekend, and if he is still four years away from the next “round number” of his storied career, he and the orchestra still managed to provide interesting context, past and… Continue reading Madison Symphony Opener Evokes a Memory

The Crowning Concert of Three Decades

Token Creek Festival closes its 30th season with two masters of the keyboard   One never lacks for opportunities to praise the latest event from co-founders John and Rose Mary Harbison, but even so it should be said up front that when it comes to concluding the 30th season of the Token Creek Chamber Music… Continue reading The Crowning Concert of Three Decades