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2011 Concert review digest

  • Jul 20, 2011
Updated: July 20, 2011 Here's an index of reviews of OBF 2011 concerts. Read the reviews in full with images in the OBF press room or follow the links below to access their original web pages. Bach, Golijov, and Yo-Yo Ma Season opener rises to occasion Register Guard - June 27 Caminos del Inka Caminos del Inka offers trek through musical landscape Register Guard - June 27 Schola Cantorum de Venezuela Virtuosic Latin choir packs UO Beall Hall Register Guard - June 29 Dido and Aeneas-Portland Purcell's opera and two works by Britten receive outstanding performances Oregon Music News -... read more

Fulfillment reached in finale of the Ninth

  • Jul 13, 2011
[caption id="attachment_5833" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Helmuth Rilling, Tamara Wilson, Anja Schlosser, Tom Cooley, Christopheren Nomura"][/caption] From the Eugene Register-Guard Wednesday, July 13 By John Farnworth The Oregon Bach Festival’s 42nd season closed on Sunday afternoon in the Hult Center’s Silva Hall with a stirring performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Major, the “Choral Symphony,” conducted by the festival’s founding artistic director, Helmuth Rilling. Expectations ran high that this was to be an exciting and memorable event. So it was a disappointment to me that the first movement, Allegro ma non troppo, although technically well played, lacked the... read more

Wosner makes big impression

  • Jul 10, 2011
From the Eugene Register-Guard Monday July 11 By Terry Mcquilkin Every once in a while, one is lucky enough to attend a concert in which intelligent programing and brilliant music-­making combine in such a way that the event remains in memory months later. It’s been several hours — not months — since I attended Shai Wosner’s recital of solo piano works. But I’m reasonably certain that the impact on those of us in attendance at Friday evening’s Oregon Bach Festival concert in Beall Hall will last quite a while. After striding on stage and bowing briefly, Wosner launched into George... read more

Festival sings musical praises of St. Cecilia

  • Jul 9, 2011
From the Eugene Register-Guard Sunday, July 10 By Marilyn Farwell History and legend tell us that women who want to be famous ought to consider martyrdom. St. Cecilia was the last of three women to be honored under the Oregon Bach Festival’s theme this year, “In Praise of Women.” Like the others — Dido and Joan of Arc — she gained her fame by dying: Dido for love, Joan for her country, and Cecilia in the second century for her Christian beliefs. For vague reasons, she became the patron saint of music in the Renaissance. The festival presented a concert... read more
Helmuth Rilling conducts Beethoven's mighty No. 9 for the first time at the OBF as the Fest concludes in Portland and Eugene.

Handel, Beethoven conclude Festival

  • Jul 8, 2011
"I'm speechless!" "the choir and the soloists were wonderful” "gorgeous, strong and emotional" "absolutely astounding... beautiful" "such wonderful music! I wasn't familiar with it before tonight. Where has it been hiding?" "Matthew Halls was a delight to watch." That was the buzz in response to last night’s St. Cecilia concert in Silva Hall. Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day was the crowning glory, with its picturesque word painting based on Dryden poetry and virtuosic solos by Lorna McGhee, Boris Kleiner, Robin Johannsen, and Tom Cooley. When Matthew Halls brought the final cadence to a close, the crowd erupted with an instant standing ovation. Audiences in Portland can... read more

Matthew Halls wows Colorado critics

  • Jul 7, 2011
Tonight he's in Silva Hall, but the previous stop for Matthew Halls, conductor of our St. Cecilia program, was Central City Opera in Colorado, where he was music director for a new version of Handel's 1715 opera "Amadigi di Gaula." (OBF photo Jon Meyers) Halls caught the attention of Denver-area critics. “It is worth attending this production just to hear the score. It is brought vividly and organically to life by conductor Matthew Halls, who outdoes himself in his third appearance with the company, and a first-rate pit orchestra supplemented by four baroque specialists.” —Kyle MacMillan, Denver Post "CCO general... read more

Audio and images: Matthew Halls

  • Jul 5, 2011
Matthew Halls arrived in Eugene July 3 to conduct the July 5 Discovery Bach Cantata, the St Cecilia program July 7 in Silva Hall, and Handel's Ode for St. Cecilia's Day in the July 9 Portland Ode to Joy program. Caitriona Bolster of KWAX interviewed him for Artsline. Click below to watch a slideshow of images by Dan Morrison, Jon Meyers, and Caitlin Estes. Concert details Order tickets "Royal" discount: On the ticket order screen, enter to passcode ROYAL and click "validate" to reveal discount prices—tickets start for as little as $10 with the discount. Offer is not... read more

Joan of Arc oratorio musically rich, profound

  • Jul 5, 2011
  [caption id="attachment_5715" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Eileen DeSandre, left, as Joan; Marin Alsop, conducting; soprano Christine Brandes, upper right, in the July 2 performance."][/caption] From the Eugene Register-Guard Tuesday, July 5 By Marilyn Farwell The buzz started in the lobby of the Hult Center. It was about the return of Marin Alsop, the anticipation of a rarely performed oratorio, and the result of those who had witnessed a rehearsal and enthusiastically told friends. The event was the presentation of the 20th century dramatic oratorio about Joan of Arc by the French composer Arthur Honegger. French is not the lingua franca of the... read more