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"Messiah" with Meaning

    Posted: Dec 20, 2010 - 12:21:13 PM in: reviews_2010
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The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, May Festival Chamber Choir and a quartet of fine young soloists conducted by Robert Porco presented Handel's "Messiah" in a one-time-only performance December 19 at Music Hall.  Usually reserved for the Cincinnati May Festival, it drew a large crowd, indicating that wishes are that it would become part of the Christmas season, too.
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New York Polyphony: A Welcome "Jingle Bell" Antidote

    Posted: Dec 19, 2010 - 2:07:45 PM in: reviews_2010
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New York Polyphony
Critic and Express Cincinnati co-editor Thom Mariner submitted this review of the Cincinnati debut of New York Polyphony December 17 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati.
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Mozart to Stravinsky: CSO, Hahn Shine

    Posted: Dec 19, 2010 - 11:18:17 AM in: reviews_2010
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Hilary Hahn
Violinist Hilary Hahn and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by music director Paavo J√§rvi joined forces Dec. 17 and 18 in a concert that had "special" written all over it.  Hahn glorified Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 ("Turkish"), while the CSO performed chamber orchestra works less often heard at symphony concerts, including Bartok's Divertimento (1939), Benjamin Britten's "Simply Symphony" and the Suite from Stravinsky's neo-classic gem "Pulcinella."
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Celebrating Thomas and the VAE

    Posted: Dec 15, 2010 - 3:35:59 PM in: reviews_2010
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The Vocal Arts Ensemble at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, Cincinnati
Elmer Thomas, emeritus professor of choral studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, took a cue from local singers Jeannie Geraci and Thomas Sherwood in 1979 and founded Cincinnati's all-professional Vocal Arts Ensemble.  The VAE honored Thomas on the occasion of his 80th birthday with its first annual Founders Concert, a Marian concert featuring Bach's "Magnificat," December 12 at St. Boniface Church and December 13 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati.
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Harlem Quartet Shows String Quartet Continually Evolving

    Posted: Dec 10, 2010 - 1:47:20 AM in: reviews_2010
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The Harlem Quartet
Chamber Music Cincinnati was witness to an important event Dec. 7 at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  Not only was it the second annual Henry W. Meyer Concert in honor of the late LaSalle Quartet violinist and teacher, but the Cincinnati debut of the Harlem Quartet.  Established by the Sphinx Organization, the Harlem Quartet demonstrated that the art form is alive, well and refreshing itself with new music.  Case in point:  Wynton Marsalis' String Quartet No. 1, "At the Octoroon Balls," which received its Cincinnati premiere on the concert.
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Cellos More than Mellow in Handsome Space

    Posted: Dec 8, 2010 - 9:35:45 AM in: reviews_2010
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Cincinnati's innovative chamber group concert:nova featured cellos -- eight of them -- on "Cello Portraits," a multi-media concert Dec. 5 at the century-old Mercantile Library in downtown Cincinnati.  Bach to the Beatles, it was a glorious sound in a handsome venue.  Cellists participating were:  Richard Belcher of the Enso Quartet, c:n members Christina Coletta and Theodore Nelson, Cincinnati Symphony principal cellist Ilya FInkelshteyn, Cincinnati free lancer and teacher Sarah Kim and CSO cellists Tao Ni,  Alan Rafferty and Susan Marshall Petersen.  Portraitist/photographer Michael Nelson added the multi-media touch with simultaneous projections of photos taken during the performance.
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Peter Wiley and Friends at Linton

    Posted: Dec 7, 2010 - 11:44:02 AM in: reviews_2010
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Linton Chamber Music concert Dec. 5, 2010. L to R: Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, Benjamin Beilman, Peter Wiley and John Dalley
Cellist Peter Wiley was a co-founder of Cincinnati's Linton Music Series, having performed on its first concert in 1977.  A member of the Linton advisory board, Wiley brought three young artists to the series Dec. 4.  Joining Wiley and his Guarneri Quartet colleague John Dalley in music by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Dvorak, were pianist Anna Polonsky, violinist Benjamin Beilman and violinist/violist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu.
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Tenor Marco Panuccio Sings In the Holidays

    Posted: Dec 6, 2010 - 12:16:03 AM in: reviews_2010
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Marco Panuccio
There's nothing like  tenor to sing in the holidays and Cincinnati has one in Marco Panuccio.  The busy tenor, who sings leading roles on opera stages around the world, returned to his adopted home to salute the season at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral downtown December 4.
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Weiss and Graf Deliver Handsome Beethoven

    Posted: Dec 4, 2010 - 2:41:52 PM in: reviews_2010
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Orion Weiss
Pianist Orion Weiss stepped in for ailing Jeffrey Kahane in a handsome performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by guest conductor Hans Graf December 3 at Music Hall.  The all-Beethoven program also included the Symphony No. 7 and Overture to "The Ruins of Athens," the latter not heard at CSO subscription concerts since Thomas Schippers conducted it in 1973.
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Splendid 400th for Monteverdi's Landmark Vespers of 1610

    Posted: Nov 23, 2010 - 12:08:39 AM in: reviews_2010
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Rodney Stucky with archlute
At 400, Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 is a landmark in Western music.  Earl Rivers leading ensembles and soloists from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and some of today's preeminent Early Music practitioners gave it a performance to match November 21 at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati. 
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Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Vocal Arts Ensemble Include Brahms in "Affairs of the Heart"

    Posted: Nov 16, 2010 - 2:28:21 AM in: reviews_2010
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Catherine Keen
As part two of its 2010-2011 season honoring the bicentennial of Robert Schumann's birth, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Vocal Arts Ensemble  performed works by Schumann and Johannes Brahms November 13 in Corbett Theater in the new School for Creative and Performing Arts.  Guest artist in Brahms' Alto Rhapsody was mezzo-soprano Catherine Keen.
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Kentucky Symphony Salutes Veterans Day with Moving Tribute

    Posted: Nov 15, 2010 - 12:59:55 AM in: reviews_2010
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Kentucky Symphony Orchestra music director James R. Cassidy knows how to plan and carry out a program.  He did so again November 13 in tribute to Veterans Day.  The show had everything, from patriotic songs to Broadway, film excerpts, recitations, PowerPoint and a bagpiper.  Participants included the KSO Chorale, baritone Jonathan Stinson, music theater stars Jerome Doerger and Brooke Rucildo, vocalist Rodney  McGhee and piper Chris McLennan.
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CSO Chamber Players Shine in New Venue

    Posted: Nov 14, 2010 - 10:54:06 AM in: reviews_2010
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Cincinnati Symphony Chamber Players on the steps of Music Hall
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players have played in century-old Memorial Hall next door to Music Hall on Elm Street since their founding 23 years ago.  It was never an ideal venue, never having been intended for concert performances.  (It was built as a memorial to Cincinnatians who died in the Civil War, has no backstage facilities, no air conditioning and acoustics are problematic.)  The group moved to 309-seat Mayerson Theater in the new School for the Creative and Performing Arts on Central Parkway for their first concert of the 2010-2011 season November 12.  It was a good fit, though lacking the ambiance a historic landmark like Memorial Hall inevitably conveys. 
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Sir Roger Charms Cincinnati Again

    Posted: Nov 13, 2010 - 4:24:18 PM in: reviews_2010
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Sir Roger Norrington
Britain's Sir Roger Norrington, legend of the early music movement and more, returned to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Friday morning (November 12) at Music Hall to open the orchestra's 2010-2011 Mozart Festival.  It was love all over again, reflected in sterling performances of Mozart's Divertimento for Strings in D Major, K. 136; Mozart's "Linz" Symphony (No. 36) and the Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat Major, Op. 84, by Haydn featuring principal players of the CSO.
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Cincinnati Art Museum a Perfect Venue for concert:nova's baroque

    Posted: Nov 6, 2010 - 5:57:35 PM in: reviews_2010
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concert:nova, Cincinnati Art Museum (photo by Sarah Tsai)
Think "baroque" and you think ornamented, affecting and imposing.  The Cincinnati Art Museum hosted concert:nova's all-baroque opening concerts November 2 and 3 in the Great Hall of the Museum.  Baroque music was quite at home there beneath the rotunda of the Museum, with its double staircase and blue marble columns.  On the program were Bach's Brandenburg Concertos No. 2 and 3, Jean-Philippe Rameau's "Pieces de Clavecin en concerts" No. 5 with harpsichordist Vivian Montgomery, plus music by Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann and Albinoni. There was some "neo-classic" fare, too. by Stravinsky and Samuel Barber.
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