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The Well-Tempered Ear

Yesterday   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music Q&A: “Dead Man Walking” is morally complex and dramatic, not didactic, work — neither “issue art” nor a “lecture opera” — says librettist and dramatist Terrence McNally. The Madison Opera will perform it this Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

ALERT: This week’s FREE Friday Noon Musicale, held from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society of Madison , 900 University Avenue, features “Kassia and Friends” -– music for two sopranos, piano, violin, trumpet and ...

April 23   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music Q&A: Shakespeare turns 450 today. Pianist Ryan McCullough talks about Beethoven’ problematic profundity and his Shakespearean sense of pacing and rhetoric. He will perform Beethoven’s titanic last three piano sonatas -– through which he sees a progression — this Saturday night at Farley’s House of Pianos.

NOTE: Today’s in the 450th birthday of playwright William Shakespeare — a fitting date for the blog post below to appear. Do you have a favorite work or composer who stands up to comparison with Shakespeare or whose music or opera best ...

April 22   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music Q&A: What music best celebrates Earth Day? Plus, composer Jake Heggie talks about how writing “Dead Man Walking” changed his professional and personal life, and left a mark on his heart with the issue of capital punishment. The Madison Opera will perform the opera this weekend on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Reader Survey: Today is Earth Day, founded by former Wisconsin governor and senator Gaylord Nelson. What piece of classical music best expresses the event for you? Tell us what you think by leaving a COMMENT. By Jacob Stockinger Today’s guest ...

April 21   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music Q&A: Co-conductors Beverly Taylor and Adam Kluck explain the appeal of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” and why they are hard to perform and exotic to hear for Western ears. Hear them for yourself when the University of Wisconsin-Madison Choral Union performs this a cappella masterpiece on this Saturday night, April 26.

By Jacob Stockinger This Saturday night at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Choral Union will perform Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s “Vespers ” or “All-Night Vigil.” (Below is St. Basil’s Cathedral ...

April 20   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Easter Sunday is a fitting time to think about death, forgiveness and redemption — and about the Madison Opera’s upcoming premiere production of Jake Heggie’s famed opera “Dead Man Walking” next Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

By Jacob Stockinger It is Easter Sunday — a day when Christians and many others around the world think about the spiritual meaning of death, redemption and forgiveness. That also makes it an appropriate time to think about certain pieces of ...

April 19   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra plus the Festival Choir of Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Madrigal Singers and pianist Stewart Goodyear left you wanting more –- which is exactly what a season-closing concert should do.

By Jacob Stockinger As I have noted in other postings earlier this week, I am doing some badly needed catching up. April has been just a hectic and even crazy month for classical music in the Madison area. And previews generally take precedence over ...

April 18   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Easter music abounds. The UW Concert Choir and UW Chamber Orchestra convey the strength of Bach’s “St. John Passion,” despite some serious problems. The Madison Bach Musicians perform Bach’s Mass in B Minor tonight and Saturday night. Plus, the UW Madrigal Singers give FREE concert of Orlando di Lasso on Saturday night.

TWO ALERTS Some perfect music for Easter is on tap this weekend: Tonight and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., the acclaimed early music and period-instrument group the Madison Bach Musicians, joined by the Madison Choral Project and guests vocal soloists ...

April 17   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music Q&A: Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan compares great music-making to great acting, and the concert hall to an exciting museum. He makes his MUST-HEAR Madison debut on this Friday night at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall in a solo recital program of works by Schubert, Barber, Franck and Ravel.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that some reviews of productions last weekend are being delayed to make room for previews of the many upcoming concerts and musical events this week. By Jacob Stockinger The prize-winning and critically acclaimed young ...

April 16   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Could a new ivory protection law derail the Pro Arte Quartet’s tour to Belgium in May? Don’t miss the Pro Arte’s FREE preview concert of the MUST-HEAR program for its “Back to Belgium” tour on Thursday night at 7:30. Plus, a terrific new one-hour documentary about the Pro Arte airs Thursday night at 9 and other times on Wisconsin Public Television.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that some reviews of productions last weekend are being delayed to make room for previews of the many upcoming concerts and musical events this week. By Jacob Stockinger The Ear hears: The Pro Arte String Quartet ...

April 15   -  The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Opera director David Ronis of CUNY is named to succeed William Farlow. University Opera’s production of Hector Berlioz’ charming “Beatrice et Benedict” is a fine and fitting tribute to the longtime tenure of retiring director William Farlow. The last performance is tonight at 7:30 p.m.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that some reviews of productions last weekend are being delayed to make room for previews of the many upcoming concerts and musical events this week. NEWS: David Ronis (below) of Queen’s College and the Aaron ...
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