Bach Dancing and Dynamite: The Devil Is in the Details

BDDS offers strong performances, but falls prey to temptation in Stravinsky   Now in its 27th memorable season, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society has never played it safe; if anything, co-founders Stephanie Jutt and Jeffrey Sykes have thrived on adding all sorts of twists to their programs. Not every dart thrown hits the bullseye…but… Continue reading Bach Dancing and Dynamite: The Devil Is in the Details

Introducing “30-Somethings”

Celebrating my 30th year as a critic/annotator, an occasional series of the performances, people and places I just can’t forget   It was probably about five years ago, as I approached the 25th anniversary of my first published review, that I thought about making a “Top 10” list of the most memorable performances I had… Continue reading Introducing “30-Somethings”

Sono Luminus Label Does It Again…

CD featuring violinist Irina Muresanu as eclectic as it gets   In the space of less than two years, the recording company Sono Luminus (distributed by Naxos) has proven to be the go-to label if you’re looking to break out of a listening rut. One of their latest releases features a violinist few are familiar… Continue reading Sono Luminus Label Does It Again…

Plenty of Bang for the Buck…and More

Sewell and WCO end the indoor season with a triple helping of Beethoven Rarely have I been more torn about which event to attend than last Friday night—and they both took place in the same building! While the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra was concluding its Masterworks Series in the Capitol Theater, organist Greg Zelek was giving… Continue reading Plenty of Bang for the Buck…and More

Madison Opera’s Must-See—MUST HEAR—“Florencia”

The final dress rehearsal of Catan’s mystical/lyrical work enchants and moves us   I have looked forward to seeing and hearing Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas for a year now…and when I discovered that work and a prior commitment would prevent that this weekend, it was a real disappointment. It hadn’t occurred to me… Continue reading Madison Opera’s Must-See—MUST HEAR—“Florencia”

Staying “Home,” Stylistically Speaking

Sewell and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Illuminate True Classicism   In a city happily rife with creative programming among its many fine ensembles and companies, Andrew Sewell and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra frequently garner the most attention for performing works typically outside the chamber orchestra box. It is noteworthy, therefore, that last Friday night in the… Continue reading Staying “Home,” Stylistically Speaking

Madison Symphony the Only Sign of Spring This Weekend

DeMain and violinist Hadelich lead the way in a very warm performance Michael Allsen, bass trombone player and program annotator deluxe for the Madison Symphony, not only gets it right in his program notes for every concert, but always adds such great detail. He missed a little this time though—but then who could have known… Continue reading Madison Symphony the Only Sign of Spring This Weekend