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This weekend’s St. Louis Symphony  program, conducted by David Robertson,  was brilliantly crafted to illustrate “Mortality, Memory, Mastery” (mastery in this case indicating transcendence and overcoming death).  Listeners may or may not have agreed with the linking of three such disparate works on the program, but all would probably agree that the program provided much food for thought.

 

Published in Reviews

It’s a mix of the first run and the familiar this weekend at Powell Hall, with music of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Published in Music News

When pianist Conrad Tao appeared with the SLSO in February of 2013—as a last-minute replacement for an ailing Markus Groh—I described him as a tremendously talented young man at the beginning of what looked like a very promising career. This weekend Mr. Tao (who is still not 20 years old) validated that judgment with a Saint-Saëns "Piano Concerto No. 2" that was a model of power and delicacy.

Published in Reviews
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 21:32

Symphony Preview: Heart of Darkness

This weekend's St. Louis symphony concerts feature (to borrow a phrase from the baseball diamond) a pair of heavy hitters—on both the stage and the page.

Published in Music News

The OnMusic Dictionary (at dictionary.onmusic.org) defines attacca as "a musical directive for the performer to begin the next movement (or section) of a composition immediately and without pause." Lately the symphony has been experimenting with playing compositions by different composers attacca as a way of highlighting similarities between the pieces. This weekend's bit of attacca might be the boldest yet, following the prelude to Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" (first performed in 1859) with Arnold Schoenberg's neurasthenic 1909 "monodrama" "Erwartung" ("Expectation").

Published in Reviews

In his "Concord Hymn" Ralph Waldo Emerson describes the first shot of the American Revolutionary War as "the shot heard round the world." The same phrase has been applied to the shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. This weekend the St. Louis symphony will be playing the musical equivalent of "the shot heard round the world." Let's call it "the chord heard round the world." Its effect was less violent, but no less revolutionary in its own way.

Published in Music News

Highlighting this weekend's St. Louis Symphony concerts is a pair impressive performances of works written right here in the good old USA (including one premiered in St. Louis) by visitors from abroad: Erich Wolfgang Korngold's 1945 "Violin Concerto" and Dvoƙák's 1893 "Symphony No. 9" ("From the New World").

Published in Reviews
Thursday, 20 March 2014 19:20

Symphony Preview: A New World

This weekend David Robertson conducts the symphony in three "American" works. Granted, only one was written by an American; but all three were composed here and one even had its premiere in St. Louis.

Published in Music News

What's the first piece of "classical" music you ever heard? In my case it was Franz von Suppé’s "Poet and Peasant" overture. I heard it, not in concert or over the radio or on an LP (a primitive sound reproduction device invented by the ancient Mayans), but as the soundtrack for a cartoon. I have long forgotten the actual content of the cartoon (I think it might have involved elves), but the music is there to stay.

Published in Reviews
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Brian Owens is a american soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines soulfull grooves, with soul touching Lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that while speaking to the…

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