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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Concert Review: Two Tickets, No Paradise

Gianandrea Noseda conducts at Carnegie Hall.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Gianandrea Noseda. Photo © 2017 Fondazione Teatro Regio di Torino.
The Carnegie Hall calendar is released every year in the final week of January, but not everything on that august and immense document comes to fruition. The concert originally planned for this Sunday would have featured Gianandrea Noseda conducting Verdi’s grand opera  I Vespri Siciliani in its five-act entirety with the Teatro Regio di Torino. Its substitute: a two part choral concert with Mr. Noseda leading the National Symphony Orchestra, who are based in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Concert Review: Slip-Slidin' Away

Valery Gergiev and Daniil Trifonov return to Carnegie Hall.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
And carry a small stick: Valery Gergiev.
Photo © 2017 Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
Six years and some months ago, the pianist Daniil Trifonov made his debut at Carnegie Hall. On Saturday night, Mr. Trifonov re-teamed with Valery Gergiev, now at the helm of the MET Orchestra. Mr. Gergiev spent many years as a principal guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, and one assumes that the players remain familiar with his eccentric conducting style. This was the first of three scheduled spring concerts by New York's greatest opera orchestra, an annual tradition at this venue following the end of the opera season.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Opera Review: Her Dark Materials

On Site Opera presents Murasaki's Moon.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Another bad creation Genji (Martin Bakari) and his maker, the Lady Murasaki (Kristen Choi.)
Photo by Stephanie Berger for On Side Opera © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On Site Opera, Eric Einhorn's company that mounts interesting operas in extraordinary places. This week, the company presented the world premiere of Murasaki's Moon, commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and mounted in that august institution's Astor Court, a Chinese-themed meditative space hidden in the northeast corner of the second floor of the museum's main building. (If you want to visit, it's Galleries 217 and 218.) This writer attended the first of two performances on Saturday, the third of a six show run that wrapped Sunday afternoon.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Concert Review: The Messiah Complex

Evgeny Kissin returns to Carnegie Hall.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The chosen one, at the controls. Evgeny Kissing at Carnegie Hall.
Photo by Steve J. Sherman.
"Oh my God," the woman said. "He's amazing! He's like the Chosen One!"

Everybody loves a good salvation story, which might be why the above was said about Evgeny Kissin at intermission (right next to my seat) at last night's Carnegie Hall concert.. The storied Russian pianist made his yearly visit to the historic venue with an intelligently constructed program, dovetailing neatly between the development of music for his instrument in the 19th and 20th centuries. As the recital was sold out, Carnegie Hall added seating on the Perelman Stage, both behind and to the left of the artist as he played.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats