At 70, Marcia Ball is a non-stop pro, particularly at pacing. Early barn burners gave way to the slow blues of “Just Kiss Me.”
The relative infrequency of big Berio releases makes new recordings of his major works into significant, contemporary music events; Dennis Russell Davies’ new recording of Bernstein’s Mass is done in by lax vocals and a paucity of emotional consistency; Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra supply a great Shostakovich Thirteenth Symphony.
Circles Around the Sun has established a distinctive niche within the expanding universe of “Grateful Dead as genre,” appealing to the core audience for Dead music without having to pull songs from the group’s songbook.
Perhaps the book’s most impressive accomplishment is to make a kind of systematic case for Leonard Bernstein’s larger compositional output.
It was as if the pianists were performing in a small drawing room for a few friends, not at Jordan Hall.
The band has tackled the Trump era with an urgent political edge on two recent albums that have surely lost them a share of good ’ole boys who were part of earlier audiences.
Composer Steve Lampert wrote “Zigsaw” at the request of saxophonist Noah Preminger, whose group recorded it for one of 2019’s most provocative albums.
A pianist of real character and refinement – plus a huge career in Europe – Lucas Debargue was on hand to lend his musicianship to a relatively rare outing of Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 2.
Storytelling is big business in concert halls these days, and as a yarn spinner Sarah Walker is in a class her own.
New recordings of Peter Schmoll and His Neighbors and of Euryanthe pose an embarrassing question: why is the opera repertory so narrow?