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Pops "Animals" a Delightful Bestiary

    Posted: Feb 4, 2015 - 12:13:22 PM in: reviews_2014, commentary
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra's 93rd release is a tribute to the animal kingdom featuring conductor John Morris Russell's new arrangement of Saint-Saëns' iconic "Carnival of the Animals." Also heard are animal-themed works by Percy Grainger, Leonard Bernstein, Anatoli Liadov, Modest Mussorgsky, Ottorino Respighi, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Edward Elgar, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. Giving it added appeal -- for young and old -- are actual animals sounds interspersed throughout.

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Cincinnati Pops Salutes Stephen Foster Splendidly

    Posted: Jan 26, 2015 - 11:59:57 AM in: reviews_2014
Stephen Collins Foster
American songwriter Stephen Collins Foster had a special tie with Cincinnati, having spent two years here as a bookkeeper at his brother's steamboat shipping company during the 1800s. The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, led by conductor John Morris Russell, paid tribute to Foster's legacy Jan. 25 at Music Hall, with an array of roots musicians, including Rosanne Cash, The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, Over the Rhine and vocalists/instrumentalists Dom Flemons, Joe Henry and Aoife O'Donovan. The
concert, a deeply felt and engaging one, was recorded live for an upcoming CD.
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Cellist Finkelshteyn Shines, "Carmina Burana" Delivers

    Posted: Jan 18, 2015 - 2:06:41 PM in: reviews_2014
Ilya Finkelshteyn
The Schumann Cello Concerto and Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" may make for an odd pairing, but they added up to a superlative performance by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra January 17 at Music Hall. CSO principal cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn owned the first half in the Schumann Concerto. CSO music director Louis Langrée led the CSO, the May Festival Chorus, the  Cincinnati Children's Choir and a trio of fine soloists in Orff's blockbuster in the second.

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CSO 2015-16 Season Rich in Artistry, Innovation

    Posted: Jan 16, 2015 - 2:56:26 PM in: reviews_2014
Louis Langrée.
The 2015-2016 Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra season, its third with Music Director Louis
Langrée, has just about everything: world premieres, great classics, distinguished guests and an invitation to perform on the "Great Performers" Series at New York's Lincoln Center.
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CSO New Year's Opener Reflective of the Human Spirit

    Posted: Jan 10, 2015 - 3:18:40 PM in: reviews_2014, reviews_2015
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
The first concert of the New Year by Louis
Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra was deeply reflective of the human spirit, with a reading of Beethoven's Heiligenstadt Testament and his Second Symphony. Guest artist was Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3.
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Vocal Arts Ensemble Tells Compelling Christmas Story

    Posted: Dec 15, 2014 - 4:06:13 PM in: reviews_2014
Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Walnut Hills
Always the source of the finest in choral singing, Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble offered a moving re-telling of the Christmas story Dec. 14 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Walnut Hills.

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Pianist Gavrylyuk Thrills CSO Audience

    Posted: Nov 29, 2014 - 12:23:24 PM in: reviews_2014
Alexander Gavrylyuk (left) and Louis Langrée
There was no better way to escape Black Friday Nov. 28 in Cincinnati than to attend the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's all-Tchaikovsky program at Music Hall. Making a notable CSO debut was Ukrainian pianist Alexander Garylyuk. in the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, while music director Louis Langrée led a magnificent performance of the Symphony No. 5.

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CCM's "Hansel and Gretel" a Delight

    Posted: Nov 23, 2014 - 9:22:36 PM in: reviews_2014
Hansel and Gretel after shoving the Witch into the oven (photo by Mark Lyons)
The timeless classic "Hansel and Gretel" by Engelbert Humperdinck came deliciously to light Nov. 23 in Corbett Auditorium at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Directed by opera department chair Robin Guarino the production was easily updated to the 1930s Depression Era.

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Previn Premiere a Winner

    Posted: Nov 22, 2014 - 11:47:56 AM in: reviews_2014
Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson performing Andre Previn's Double Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by Louis Langree
André Previn's newly composed Double Concerto for Violin and Cello received a sunny and evocative performance in its world premiere by violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by music director Louis
Langrée Nov. 21 at Music Hall. Sharing the program were the Symphonies No. 34 and 41 ("Jupiter") by Mozart.
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Monteverdi's "Vespers" Shines at Christ Church

    Posted: Nov 18, 2014 - 10:57:42 AM in: reviews_2014
L to R front: mezzo-soprano Paulina Vallereal, Annalisa Pappano, Earl Rivers (photo by Andrew Higley)
Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 is the earliest work that continues to be regularly performed. Forces of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music led by Earl Rivers gave it a grand and stirring reading November 16 at Christ Church Cathedral downtown.

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"Louis' Listening Party" a Hit

    Posted: Nov 17, 2014 - 1:26:17 PM in: reviews_2014
Louis Langrèe
"Louis' Listening Party," a first-ever program by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director Louis Langr
ée, combining a verbal analysis of a work with musical examples and a full performance, thoroughly engaged and informed a CSO audience November 17 at Music Hall.
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Langrée/CSO Mahler First Resplendent

    Posted: Nov 15, 2014 - 10:49:41 AM in: reviews_2014
Louis Langrée
Gustav Mahler's First Symphony, as performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Louis Langrée Nov. 14 at Music Hall, was un-excelled in this reviewer's memory. Also on the concert, the CSO's 2014 "One City, One Symphony," were Beethoven's "Coriolan" Overture and Albérich Magnard's
"Hymne à la justice."   - [Read more]

Musical Nights at Northside Tavern Extraordinary

    Posted: Nov 11, 2014 - 8:59:12 AM in: reviews_2014
L to R: Laura Sabo and Stephanie Akou
Classical Revolution Cincinnati is a monthly series of casual performances at Northside Tavern on Hamilton Avenue in Northside. A wide range of performers can be expected, including members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Dayton Philharmonic and faculty and students from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Xavier University. On the menu Nov. 9 were duos for bass clarinet, plus music for brass quintet, saxophone and the Indian tabla.

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Academy of Ancient Music Channels Bach

    Posted: Nov 10, 2014 - 12:47:00 PM in: reviews_2014
Johann Sebastian Bach
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory welcomed one of the world's musical aristocrats, the Academy of Ancient Music, Nov. 9 in CCM's Corbett Auditorium. The ensemble, based in Cambridge, England, performed the complete orchestral suites of Johann Sebastian Bach. It was a historically informed performance and much more.
Rarely, one felt, has Bach been so well served.
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Boreyko, Schmid Illumine CSO's "Russian Hallows' Eve"

    Posted: Oct 31, 2014 - 3:47:57 PM in: reviews_2014
Benjamin Schmid
Everybody gets into the act on Halloween and it was the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's chance Oct. 30, 2014 at Music Hall. Guest conductor in "A Russian Hallows' Eve" was Andrey Boreyko. The program included Mussorgsky's obligatory "Night on Bald Mountain" (about a witches sabbath), as well as Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major and Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G Major. Soloist in the Prokofiev was the superlative Austrian violinist Benjamin Schmid.

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