Kraftwork

Shannon_Wood_fix

I had the good fortune of interviewing Shannon Wood, St. Louis Symphony Principal Timpani, for Playbill. We met in his percussion studio/rehearsal space, across the street from Powell Hall. We talked about Kraft’s Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra, No. 2, his mallet business sideline, and lots of other fascinating stuff.

You can read it here if you like:
http://tinyurl.com/zs6g9mq

 

Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette

 

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Way back in mid-March, the St. Louis Symphony performed Hector Berlioz’s magnificent and underperformed dramatic symphony Roméo et Juliette. I wrote about it here (my annotations begin on p. 26).

The painting, by the way, is by the English pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse, from 1898. It’s not as old as Berlioz’s musical work, but I think it captures the spirit.

http://tinyurl.com/z2uz6zy

True Places

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On November 27, 28, and 29, the St. Louis Symphony performs Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1; Tan Dun’s concerto for contrabass, The Wolf, in its U.S. premiere; Rimsky-Korsakov’s concert suite from his opera The Snow Maiden; and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. My program notes begin on p. 26:

http://tinyurl.com/ncvzy3d

 

Schumann, Beethoven, Nielsen

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This weekend, October 23 and October 24, the St. Louis Symphony performs Beethoven’s “Egmont” overture, Schumann’s Piano Concerto, and Nielsen’s “Sinfonia espansiva.” My program notes begin on p. 26. I wrote a much longer version that included a lengthy appreciation of Clara Schumann, without whom Robert Schumann might have sunk into an undeserved obscurity, but I think I will make that a separate post. (I knew I had officially wandered too far afield when I invoked Suze Rotolo.)

http://tinyurl.com/q28rtol

Wagner’s Parsifal (selections) and Beethoven’s Ninth

beethoven

On October 9, 10, and 11, the St. Louis Symphony and St. Louis Symphony Chorus perform Beethoven’s Ninth (and final) Symphony, preceded by selections from Wagner’s final opera, Parsifal. I write about the two works here (my essay begins on p. 25):

http://tinyurl.com/o7gs4ga

Romantic Projections

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The St. Louis Symphony performs Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, Glanert’s Frenesia (in its U.S. premiere!), and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (with pianist Emanuel Ax) on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, 2015. My program notes start on p. 26.

http://tinyurl.com/qyu8bgz