Archive | Music

JoAna Rusche and Brett Pardue. Photo by Dan Valentino.

Review: ‘The Dollar Princess’ at Concert Operetta Theater

Leo Fall’s music is not likely to return to Broadway. It did, however, provide pleasant vocal opportunities for gifted young singers of the Concert Operetta Theater in Philadelphia this weekend, along with nostalgia for a way of life that vanished a century ago. The mundane sound of his name is misleading: Fall’s family was Moravian-Jewish […]

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Mahler’s Longest — and Greatest — Symphony

Although not frequently performed, the Symphony No. 3 is Gustav Mahler’s most encompassing work, the piece which best exemplifies his life and career. Yannick Nézet-Séguin led a magnificent performance of it during the closing week of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016-17 season. The Symphony No. 3 contains the greatest balance between anguish and love and its finale is […]

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Sasha Cooke. Photo by Dario Acosta.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents Leonard Bernstein’s First Major Composition

Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 was the major undertaking at The Philadelphia Orchestra’s concerts of May 3, 5 and 6, 2017. Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the piece as a prelude to a year-long celebration of Bernstein’s centenary. (He was born on August 25, 1918.) Nézet-Séguin conducted the concerts in the midst of a three-week stint leading Wagner’s […]

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Review: ‘Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs’ at The Kennedy Center

Wearing his heart on his sleeve throughout, entertainer extraordinaire Alan Cumming (Tony-award winner for Cabaret, regular on the hit television series The Good Wife, concert and recording star, writer, etc.) enthralled the audience throughout his concert very wittily entitled Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs. Mr. Cumming commanded the stage like a tiger on the prowl, […]

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Review: ‘Passion & Struggle’ at The In Series

Poetry can be the seed of music, and music the seed of love. Music may even be used as a form of protest—and ultimately a promoter of peace. This is evidenced by the music of composers and performers such as Spaniard Joan Manuel Serrat; Chileans Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, Puerto Rican Rafael Hernández, and […]

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Review: NSO Pops: LeAnn Rimes at The Kennedy Center

International multi-platinum selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter LeAnn Rimes returned to DC Friday night, joining the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at The Kennedy Center Concert Hall to showcase vibrant rearrangements of her chart-topping hits, as well as to introduce new material from her newest album, Remnants. Following a sprightly, 30-minute opening set by […]

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Review: ‘Adam & Anthony Live’ at Strathmore

Suppose your two best friends were really talented and you invited them over to sing and tell stories and a few of your other friends found out and showed up to listen and it turned out to be a really fun, intimate evening. That would have been almost exactly like what happened at Strathmore last […]

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Interview: Jazz Chanteuse Changamiré

I met jazz chanteuse Changamire’ at a networking event. She quickly warmed up to me and gave me her latest jazz album “Love” to listen to. I was blown away. In our interview she shared how she got started in music, her influences and her incredible musical connections/ experiences. Marlene: How is your name pronounced? […]

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Mason Bates. Photo by Mike Minehan.

Review: Yannick Nézet-Séguin Leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in ‘Energetic’ Music

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s latest program with The Philadelphia Orchestra was an intelligently thought-out adventure. The central work was Alternative Energy by Mason Bates, in its East Coast premiere, and Nézet-Séguin chose two other compositions with similar subject matter. Bates focused on the uses of energy in 20th and 21st Century America, and as he imagined it […]

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Review: The American Pops Orchestra Presents ‘You Spin Me ‘Round: An ’80s Dance Party’ at Lisner Auditorium

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being formulaic when the formula mixes crowd-pleasing song selections, fresh and stylish musical arrangements, and knock-out performances. That pretty much sums up a trademark accomplishment of The American Pops Orchestra and Music Director Luke Frazier. Friday night’s concert was a 1980s pop hits feast. Yes, it’s a time period remembered […]

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Review: ‘The Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla’ at The National Chamber Ensemble

Before a sold-out house Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, the National Chamber Ensemble wowed the audience with its creative revival of Antonio Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons, brought back by popular demand as a highlight of the Ensemble’s 10th anniversary season. Equally enjoyable and well-received was the opening number La Muerte del Angel […]

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Review: ‘NSO Pops: Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company’ at The Kennedy Center 

Acclaimed vocalists Capathia Jenkins, Sy Smith and Montego Glover joyously hopped the A train to Harlem along with the NSO Pops in tribute to the Queen of Jazz in Sophisticated Ladies: 100 Years of Ella & Company. This year marks Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday and conductor Steven Reineke’s brilliant creation to honor the First Lady […]

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Review: ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ at The Catholic University of America by Natalie Barsoum

Who would have thought that an evening of love, ambition, betrayal, violence, and death could be so enjoyable? That is precisely what last night’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor at The Catholic University of America was – enjoyable. Gaetano Donizetti’s macabre opera based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Bride of Lammermoor (a twisted Romeo […]

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Review: Cher at The Theater at MGM National Harbor

Accompanied by a phalanx of golden shield-carrying gladiators, The Goddess of Pop strode onstage last night in a massive afro and shimmering turquoise and silver ensemble that exposed one singular, very buff, perfectly rounded butt cheek. Seventy is the new twenty, if it’s Cher we’re talking about.  Glamorous, fit and fierce, she seized the night […]

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Review: ‘Not My Baby’ at Momentum Collective

What defines parenthood? Are children always a gift? The adoption-themed Hip Hop musical Not My Baby by Alexandria, Virginia-based playwright Jason A. Ellis, explores those questions and more. With music and lyrics by Ellis, Not My Baby is a pleasing potpourri of dance, music, drama and comedy performed with excellence. Not My Baby is the […]

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Michael Tilson Thomas. Photo by Kristen Loken.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Seeger, Berg & Beethoven with Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

Contrast was stark in the concert which Michael Tilson Thomas led with The Philadelphia Orchestra. The first half displayed two radically dissonant pieces from the 1930s — Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Andante for Strings and Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, while the second half was devoted to Beethoven’s classic Symphony No. 3 (the Eroica). You could make […]

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