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Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 05:33:45 GMT


Trio Mediæval makes the stones sing at Art Museum
The best classical singing of 2016, contrary to educated assumptions, isn't necessarily heard in great opera houses and art-song recitals - but in repertoire so chronologically remote that performances amount to some sort of musical archaeology.

Relache Ensemble goes to the devil at Penn Museum
Just about the time the Philadelphia Orchestra was bidding farewell to "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" at the Kimmel Center, the Relache Ensemble was across the river at the Penn Museum on Sunday, giving ironic jazz accompaniment something more Satanic and hugely interesting: Three short Georges Méliès films made between 1903 and 1909, in which the pioneering French director plays the devil himself.

Magdalena Kožená goes her own way without crowd pleasers
Even when singing something conventional, Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená is an individualistic artist who thinks for herself. Perhaps never more so than Thursday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater.

Best and worst of times for freelance classical singers in Philly
New, entirely professional, and a child of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir would seem to be much-needed good news on the choral landscape. But so far in its formation, some Philadelphia vocal freelancers are experiencing consternation or even heartbreak at how it's being handled.

Classical picks: Rattle re-redux; The Met does 'William Tell'
Reverberations of Rattle. If you didn't get a chance to hear Simon Rattle's recent Mahler in Philadelphia or at Carnegie Hall, pull up the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall and listen to his Mahler Symphony No. 7. The performance is captured with crystalline, close-up views of Rattle and the Philharmonic, and has a bonus interview in which Rattle discusses the work.

ET with Philadelphia Orchestra live: Will it be out of this world?
The Philadelphia Orchestra will be warned: In this week's concert performances of "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève may well be reduced to weeping. But so might others in the orchestra.

Chamber Orchestra climbs the Red Cliff
What could have been an afterthought in Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia's opening concert was actually the hit on the Sunday start of the new Kimmel Center season: Red Cliff, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Yiu-kwong Chung. Although the 60-year-old Taiwanese composer has written several concertos, his name was new to me. Even more happily, so were any number of other aspects of his music, thanks to his well-defined, charismatic voice.

Piffaro's Don Quixote soars happily without windmills
Always an antidote to high-concept overload with boisterous instruments created to be heard in public events of centuries past, Piffaro the Renaissance Band embarked on the grandest project of its 31-year history in this weekend's Musical World of Don Quixote concerts but never lost its arresting directness.

Classical picks: Stokowski lives!; Relâche Ensemble
Is Stokowski really dead? Even though Leopold Stokowski technically went to heaven in 1977, recordings keep arriving, the latest resurrection being a true Philadelphia Orchestra time capsule from 1927, with Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 and Schubert's Sympho

The Met's 'Tristan und Isolde' comes to Philly theaters
Triumph and disaster walked a fine line last week when the Metropolitan Opera's production of Tristan und Isolde was unveiled.