Herman Trotter, The Buffalo News
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Herman Trotter

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The Szymanowski Quartet arrived in Buffalo on Tuesday for its concert on the Buffalo Chamber Music Society series with a program that gratifyingly filled a gap in repertory of the distinguished 90-year-old organization. The concert in Kleinhans Music Hall’s Mary Seaton Room featured as its centerpiece the Buffalo premiere of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski’s Quartet …

Flutist Carol Wincenc is one of many distinguished musicians born in the Buffalo area. But she is inarguably the one who most frequently favors her hometown with return visits.Tuesday evening, as a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, she was back for the umpteenth time for a performance in the Buffalo Chamber Music Society series. Her colleagues in the famed quintet a…

It is a common practice of American orchestras to open their season with a virtuoso soloist as the big attraction, and to close the season by relying on a choral blockbuster like Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or Verdi’s Requiem. Quite uncommon, however, is Music Director JoAnn Falletta’s inspired decision to tap both the virtuoso soloist and vocal blockbuster territorie…

The music is still the prime interest, of course. But Tuesday’s appearance by the Emerson String Quartet, closing the Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s 2012-13 season, must also be noted as the final full concert with its cellist for 34 years, David Finckel. Next week at the Smithsonian Institution, he will share the cellist’s chair with his successor, Paul Watkins, in…

The Kleinhans Music Hall stage was resplendent for Friday morning's Classical Christmas concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The members of the orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus were festively attired in red and black, while Music Director JoAnn Falletta sported a stunningly spangled jacket with red and green undertones.This same spirit was picked up …

The interesting format for this weekend's trio of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Classics Series concerts finds the world premiere of an unusual Triple Trombone Concerto flanked by two of the most popular symphonies in the repertoire.Prokofiev's 1917 "Classical" Symphony is a delightful but deceptively difficult work. The flutes' articulation was sluggish at the start and …

The Modigliani Quartet did us all a favor in Tuesday's Buffalo Chamber Music Society concert when they opted to conclude with the unfamiliar Dohnanyi 1926 Quartet No. 3.The music is so attractive that it's hard to believe this performance was its Buffalo premiere. The early music of Dohnanyi (1877-1960) was clearly flavored by Brahms and Hungarian folk influences, but this…

Under the marketing banner of "Brahms' Blue Heaven," distinguished guest conductor Hugh Wolff has brought to the Buffalo Philharmonic a program that opens with the impressionism of Debussy and concludes with the ravishing romanticism of Brahms.But in the middle, he and guest violinist Alexandre Da Costa provided a bracing modern treat with the regional premiere of Michael …

The world premiere of a specially commissioned new work by Daniel Brewbaker will be the centerpiece of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus' 75th anniversary concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall.The chorus was founded in 1937 as the Buffalo Schola Cantorum. It has had many distinguished directors, but the anniversary spotlight is focused o…

The Buffalo Chamber Music Society's opening concert of the season Tuesday evening was a delight. The flexible instrumentation of the American Chamber Players gave the program a most rewarding variety in both texture and gravity, passing effortlessly from the suavity of Mozart to the spiky openness of Bohuislav Martinu and the extended radiance and richness of Brahms.But th…

There is a magical scene in Act 2 of William Inge's "Come Back, Little Sheba" in which the dumpy, middle-aged Lola Delaney wanders and dances through her home in the wee morning hours' dim light, hollowly reminiscing about the bygone days when she was a high school beauty queen. Her meditations are deftly shadowed by a melancholy clarinet's blues-tinged soliloquy.It is a h…

The script for "Ragtime," the 1996 musical that lights up the Shaw Festival's Festival Theatre stage this summer, reads like stream-of-consciousness.On paper, the characters' declamations and observations often succeed one another as apparent non-sequiturs, and with minimal staging instructions.On stage, however, Jackie Maxwell's flawless direction and Sue LePage…

The Buffalo Philharmonic's two-week Duke Ellington Festival concludes this weekend with the performance of two of Ellington's major orchestral scores, a suite from a 1970 ballet score "The River," and the 1943 "Black, Brown and Beige."In Duke's autobiography, he sees "The River" progressing from a spring to rapids, lake, waterfall and whirlpool, as a loose metaph…

Tuesday's concert by the acclaimed Trio Solisti offered one of the more unusual programs on the Buffalo Chamber Music Society series.It opened with the Dvorak Trio No. 3 in F minor, which turned out to be the only conventional chamber work of the evening. The other works were by Piazzolla and Mussorgsky, both originally written for solo piano and subsequently trans…

This weekend's BPO concerts constitute yet another eye- and ear-opener engineered in midstream, so to speak, by Music Director JoAnn Falletta. When first announced, the program consisted of Czech favorites by Smetana and Dvorak, excellent music but not especially inspired programming.Quietly but with spectacular good judgment, Falletta has seized on the fact that…