All stories by Jonathan Blumhofer on BroadwayStars

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Commentary: Best and Worst Classical Recordings of 2018 by Jonathan Blumhofer

Our critic's year-end tally of the classical albums that, in looking back over 2018, stand tallest – plus a few that didn’t make the bar.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Classical Music Reviews: AEQUA, Philip Glass’s Symphony no. 11, and the Neave Trio plays Piazzolla by Jonathan Blumhofer

Aequa is one of a year’s standout new-music album. Philip Glass's Symphony no. 11 suggests that the composer has more than a few tricks yet up his sleeve. And Neave Trio's Celebrating Piaz…

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Spades of Debussy at 100 by Jonathan Blumhofer

An impressive collection of nine new releases (seven of which are reviewed here). While some might not displace the classic recordings of Debussy already out there, this gathering offers som…

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Music Commentary: Top Classical Performances of 2018 by Jonathan Blumhofer

Our critic's twelve favorite classical music performances that he reviewed this past year.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Classical Music CD Reviews: H&H’s Haydn & Mozart, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette by Jonathan Blumhofer

Handel & Haydn Society's Haydn and Mozart is about as good as it gets; Martyn Brabbins’ recording of a Sea Symphony is one of the year’s best releases; and for elegance and technica…

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Bavouzet plays Mozart, Lintu conducts Lutoslawski, and Morlot’s Berlioz Requiem by Jonathan Blumhofer

Pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet delivers some fine Mozart; conductor Hannu Lintu brings rhythmic energy and textural transparency to the music of Witold Lutoslawski; Ludovic Morlot and the Seat…

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Classical Music CD Review: American Romantics, Mozart Sonatas for fortepiano & violi, & Brahms Cello Sonatas by Jonathan Blumhofer

American String Quartet's disc features the premiere recording of Robert Sirota’s String Quartet no. 2, American Pilgrimage.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Concert Review: Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at Symphony Hall by Jonathan Blumhofer

Without question, this BPYO rendition of Shostakovich Ten was one of the most urgent and necessary of any symphonic score I’ve heard all year.

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Classical Music Preview: Tanglewood 2019 Season Announcement by Jonathan Blumhofer

Next summer promises to be a safe one, musically, at Tanglewood.

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Classical Music Review: Boston Symphony Orchestra plays Haydn, Turnage, and Elgar by Jonathan Blumhofer

As good an interpreter of large-scale forms as he’s becoming, Andris Nelsons has always been a terrific conductor of new music.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Classical CDs Review: Suppé Overtures, Bronsart and Urspruch Piano Concertos, and “Destination Rachmaninov” by Jonathan Blumhofer

Pianist Daniil Trifonov's Rachmaninov album is magnificent; the Münchner Rundfunkorchester do right by Franz von Suppé's overtures, and the Romantic Piano Concerto series continues to unea…

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Hilary Hahn plays Bach and Sakari Oramo conducts Langgaard by Jonathan Blumhofer

Hilary Hahn supplies a disc of immaculate Bach; conductor Sakari Oramo and the Vienna Philharmonic play music by Rued Langgaard to the hilt.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Concert Review: Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony at Symphony Hall by Jonathan Blumhofer

Andris Nelsons presided over an interpretation of Mahler's Symphony #2 that was both tightly controlled and emotionally cathartic.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: JoAnn Falletta conducts Schreker, Manfred Honeck conducts Beethoven & Strauss, and Baiba Skride’s “American Concertos” by Jonathan Blumhofer

JoAnn Falletta’s recording of Schreker's orchestral works is fantastic; Manfred Honeck and his Pittsburgh Symphony make Beethoven's Eroica Symphony shocking again, and Baiba Skride proves …

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Gerald Finzi’s Orchestral Music, Bernstein’s “Wonderful Town,” and Arvo Pärt’s “Works for Violin” by Jonathan Blumhofer

Violinist Viktoria Mullova supplies one of the year’s most programmatically-cohesive and thoughtfully-executed albums.

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Concert Review: The New England Conservatory Philharmonia at Jordan Hall by Jonathan Blumhofer

What wasn’t there to love about 20th-century music on a night like this? In a word, nothing.

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Review: “On the Road and Off the Record with Leonard Bernstein” by Jonathan Blumhofer

If Charlie Harmon's story jumps around a bit and reads rather like a series of diary entries, it’s at the very least engaging and, for the most part, entertaining.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Music Commentary: 2018-19 Boston Classical Music Fall Season Preview (Orchestras, Opera, and New Music, mainly) by Jonathan Blumhofer

There’s so much going on in the area that’s good that it’s a challenge to go wrong.

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Jansons’ “Resurrection” Symphony, Harding’s Mahler Five, and Steinbacher’s Strauss by Jonathan Blumhofer

Two Mahler symphony entries: one is above average, the other a disappointment. Violinist Arabella Steinbacher delivers a first-rate and strongly recommended disc.

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Duo Noire’s “Night Triptych,” Justin Taylor’s “Continuum,” and Brahms’ “Ein deutsches Requiem” by Jonathan Blumhofer

Night Triptych is an important disc, but also an inviting one that takes you to some fresh places well worth experiencing. Also, another success for harpsichordist Justin Taylor, and a well-…

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Concert Review: Tanglewood’s Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration Gala by Jonathan Blumhofer

Nearly three decades after he left us, Bernstein’s music seems to be in good hands and anything but forgotten. And his larger musical influence strongly endures.

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Classical CD Reviews: Sir Neville Marriner — The London Recordings, Capriccio, Richard Strauss, Ein Heldenleben, James MacMillan String Quartets by Jonathan Blumhofer

A winning reminder of Sir Neville Marriner’ impressive stylistic range as a conductor, a fine recording of a much-loved and -played Richard Strauss tone poem, and a striking, powerful pre…

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Tesla Quartet plays Haydn, Ravel, and Stravinsky, Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Bernstein, Aspects of America by Jonathan Blumhofer

Aspects of America, from the Oregon Symphony and its music director Carlos Kalman, is at once superbly played, astutely programmed, and aesthetically necessary.

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Jonathan Nott conducts Ligeti, Herbert Blomstedt conducts Mozart, Kopelman Quartet Performs the Kissin String Quartet by Jonathan Blumhofer

Jonathan Nott does right by Ligeti and Herbert Blomstedt does the same for Mozart. You didn’t know that Evgeny Kissin, the piano virtuoso, was also a composer? Join the club.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: “Visions and Variations,” “Songs From Chicago,” and Giuseppe Sinopoli conducts Beethoven and Ravel by Jonathan Blumhofer

A triumphant disc from A Far Cry, some fresh thinking from Giuseppe Sinopoli and the Israel Philharmonic, and Thomas Hampson, a great purveyor of American song, focuses on Chicago.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Mendelssohn music for Cello and Piano, Neave Trio’s French Moments, Schubert’s Octet, and Nelsons’ Shostakovich by Jonathan Blumhofer

Four new albums: the standouts include the finest Andris Nelsons/BSO Shostakovich collaboration to date and the Neave Trio’s wonderful new French Moments.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Schumann’s Choral Music and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang by Jonathan Blumhofer

Conductor Aapo Häkkinen explores Robert Schumann's writing for chorus;Andrew Manze caps off his three-volume Mendelssohn symphony survey with a glorious performance of the oddball Symphony …

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Classical CD Reviews: Gardner’s Elgar, Francois-Xavier Roth’s Ravel, and Orchestral Music by Ruggles, Stucky, and Harbison by Jonathan Blumhofer

Strong discs from Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Francois-Xavier Roth and his Paris-based period-instrument ensemble Les Siècles, and the National Orchestral Institute Philh…

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Classical CD Review: A Superb Version of Leonard Bernstein’s “A Quiet Place” by Jonathan Blumhofer

Garth Edwin Sunderland’s new chamber adaptation of this opera's score, is, to date, the Bernstein Centennial Year’s best and most important recording.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

CD Reviews: “American Symphonies,” Anna Shelest plays Rubinstein, “The Romantic Piano Concerto vol. 76” by Jonathan Blumhofer

Anna Shelest’s new recording of piano-and-orchestra pieces by Anton Rubinstein is one of those albums that makes you want to rethink Rubinstein’s relative neglect in the broader canon …

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Rethinking the Repertoire: Postlude by Jonathan Blumhofer

Still, the moral should be to err in favor of the audacious. That’s what this world – and this art form – require.

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