Richard Wagner, a Film Biography by Tony Palmer


The course  is: Richard Wagner Film Biography by Tony Palmer

It will be given at the University of Dayton’s OLLI (Special Programs and Continuing Education Department) at 300 College Park, Dayton, OH. Taught by Jim Slouffman, classes start on Wednesday, September 20th from 12:30 -2:30 PM and run for 6 weeks.

Jim Slouffman is the President of the Wagner Society of Cincinnati and an authority on the subject.

To phone register call: 937-229-2347.

Tony Palmer, a friend of Jim’s produced and directed for BBC in London. Jim says: “He had many films on composers like Britten, Puccini and Stravinsky. The Wagner film was his mega-hit, with Richard Burton in the role of Wagner! The film is very revealing. It shows Wagner’s passion and creative process as well as his political intrigues, hi relationship with King Ludwig, the Dresden uprising, and his closeness to Nietzsche and Franz Liszt. It utilizes only Wagner’s music in the background and it assists in the story telling. An amazing film!”

Jim plans to show sections of the Palmer film and them lead a discussion on the content.

Hats of to Wagnerite Jim Slouffman for his efforts on behalf of good music in Southern Ohio!

Rafael de Acha    http://www.Rafael’   All About the Arts  


A Fleeting Vision

THOMAS HAMPSONROBERT MERRILLROBERT MASARDMichel DensMARTIAL SINGHERJOHN CHARLES THOMASERNEST BLANCMaurice Renaud top : Thomas Hampson, Robert Merrill, Robert Massard, Michel Dens, Martial Singher; bottom: John Charles Thomas, Ernest Blanc, Maurice Renaud

While it is easy to hear of a really fine Russian bass or a brilliant newcomer Italian tenor or a “wait until you hear her” German soprano it is less common to encounter a really fine French baritone. That most manly of male voices, the baritone is one thing to the Italians and another to the Germans and another to the Russians and surely yet another to the French.

The immense in size and importance French Opera repertoire is largely the domain of a lighter, suppler, more lyrical type of voice. French tenors are unsurpassed interpreters of the key leading male roles in the operas of Massenet, Gounod and the operettas of Offenbach. French lyric-coloratura sopranos are indisputably perfect for Massenet’s Manon and Gounod’s Marguerite and two of the three Offenbach heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffman. But, when it comes to casting the baritone parts in the staple baguette et beurre French operas the managements of American opera companies often settle for whoever is at the top of their rolodex, often going for whoever sings the loudest and never mind style or linguistic prowess.

The Baryton Martin and the heavier, equally flexible, but more dramatic Baryton Noble are central to the French repertoire. This opinion was reinforced recently as we ”surfed” YouTube coming upon several recordings of one of Herod’s arias in Massenet’s rarely produced gem, Herodiade.

Give it to You Tube regulars to voice their likes and dislikes! When one peruses these various links it is inevitable to read commentaries that range from respectful to rants.

We will refrain from harsh criticisms and from lamenting what is no more. The reality that the chronology of these eight selections evidences is that “they don’t make them that good” anymore. As we listen to the scratchy early electrical recording of Vision Fugitive by Maurice Renaud (1860-1933), made in 1906 ( ) we are immediately impressed by a voice schooled in the grand 19th century French tradition.

Renaud’s ease of vocal emission, seamless legato, evenness of registers are all three coupled to exemplary diction, with each word of the text given full value. The phrases Ce brevage pourrait me donner un tel rêve … Je pourrais la revoir … contempler sa beauté are sung by Maurice Renaud as if in a drug-induced reverie – which is exactly what Herod is experiencing.

When he moves into the main body of the aria he does so with increasing passion and a drive that leads up to the very difficult climax: Toi mon seul amour…mon espoir for which Massenet gives the baritone an F-Gb challenge on a single syllable. We hear no “cover”, no changing of vocal gears. Renaud then lands the final phrase on a resonant Eb. Good singing from A to Z!

We moved from oldest to most recent in our list of recordings, with Martial Singher (1904-1990) ( and Michel Dens (1911-2000) ( up next. Singher was a fine artist with a keen talent for interpretation, but his vocal equipment does not allow him to surmount the challenges of this aria, whereas Dens, by contrast, a light baritone who made most of his career in Paris and primarily in the Opera Comique world, is able to conquer the assignment by sheer willpower and intelligence.

From that point on we hear the glorious sound of Robert Merrill (1917-2004)  ( making hash of the French but the most of the dramatic moments of the aria, and a bit later in the list, the all-American John Charles Thomas (1890-1960) in a 1934 recording ( in which his struggles with the French pronunciation can be forgiven because of his very beautiful sound. But neither Merrill nor Thomas are exemplary when it comes to the elusive French style and the necessary command of the language, although  their magnificent voices make the listener forgive the singers’ sins.

Thomas Hampson in a 2012 recording ( ) is actually much better stylistically than either Merrill or Thomas, but his vocalism is not on a par with that of two French baritones born within two years of each other. Ernest Blanc (1923-2010) ( came of age as a singer during WWII and consequently his career never became what his voice and artistry deserved. He sang as a lyric baritone but went on to tackle some of the Wagnerian repertoire (Wolfram, Amfortas, Telramund), and one can detect that in his dark-hued sound.

Robert Massard (b:1925) sang the Italian repertory with the same panache with which he excelled in the “big” French roles. In this Vision Fugitive he packs vocal beauty, dramatic punch, a great ability for coloring the voice and a marvelous flair for singing pianissimo without manipulating or crooning. A great artist largely unknown in this country but revered by his countrymen, Massard is hands down our favorite.

We hold in our minds a vision fugitive – a fleeting vision of the arrival of a baritone who regardless of nationality can best the pack in roles as wide ranging as Escamillo, Lescaut, Valentin, Zurga, and the Hoffman villains, and give some enterprising impresario the motivation to mount a new production of Herodiade for him. Here’s hoping.

Rafael de Acha            www.Rafael’            All About the Arts





If you ask the young men and women who study viola and piano and jazz and arranging and composition and cello and clarinet and voice and flute at CCM how they like their professors, they will tell you how lucky they feel to have teachers like Ran Dank and Soyeon Kate Lee and Daniel Weeks and Dror Biran and so many others in their lives. And audience members who attend any one or more of these concerts will also feel lucky to have some of these musicians in our midst here in Cincinnati.

The term is too often abused and overused, but when one looks at the bios of these artists it is easy to come up with the words “world class.” And when you can listen to them in the comfort of the acoustically-perfect Werner Recital Hall at CCM for free, words fail. Let the music speak instead.

When: Tuesday August 29 at 8 pm                                                                                                      Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Jan Grüning, viola and Ran Dank, piano
What: Bach – Suite No. 1 in G Major; Schumann – Liederkreis, Op. 39; Hindemith – Sonata for Viola and Piano in G Major
When: Wednesday September 6 at 8 pm
Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Kim Pensyl, Aaron Jacobs, John Taylor, Ric Hordinski, Brad Myers, Rusty Burge and Rick VanMatre.
What: An evening of original music and arrangements

When: Sunday September 10 at 4 pm
Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Pianist Soyeon Kate Lee
What: Schumann – Davidsbündlertänze, Op.6 and Carnaval, Op. 9

When: Monday September 11 at 8 pm
Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Mark Gibson and Marie-France Lefebvre, pianists
What: Rachmaninoff – Symphonic Dances, Op. 45; Brahms – Sonata for Two Pianos in F Minor, Op. 34

When: Monday September 18 at 8 pm
Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Daniel Weeks, tenor and Marie-France Lefebvre, pianist
What: Liszt: Three Songs; Finzi – A Young Man’s Exhortation, Op. 14; Berger – Villanescas (1941)

When: Wednesday September 20 at 8 pm
Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Belinda Burge, viola; Paul York, cello; Mikey Arbulu, clarinet; Dror Biran, piano
What: Compositions for instruments and electronics by Douglas Knehans

When: Monday September 25 at 8 pm
Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Dror Biran, piano
What: Schubert – Piano Sonata in G Major, D. 894; Rachmaninoff – Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12 and Prelude in G Minor. Op. 23, No. 5; Prokofiev – Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 83, No. 7


When: Thursday September 28 at 8 pm
Where: CCM Werner Recital Hall
Who: Heather Verbeck, flute
What: Contemporary Music for Flute, Piccolo and Alarm Clock (!)

Rafael de Acha

http://www.Rafael’            All About the Arts


A fitting finale to the 2017 SummerMusik




Cincinnati: 26.8.2017 SCPA Mayerson Theatre
Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Summermusik 2017
Eckart Preu, Music Director Alon Goldstein, piano MamLuft&Co. Dance, dancers
Philip Glass – Symphony No. 3 – III. Quarter-note= 112
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466
Valentin Silvestrov – The Messenger
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93

The closing concert of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra was a fitting finale to the 2017 SummerMusik, led by newly appointed Maestro, Eckart Preu.  The evening began with the oddly-titled third movement of Phillip Glass’s Symphony no. 3: III. Quarter-note= 112.

The CCO played Glass’s music as MamLuft&Co.Dance performed in a penumbra only illuminated by side lighting, their shadowy movements enhanced on the walls of the theatre.

Choreographers Susan Horner and Elena Moore utilized a rich kinetic vocabulary, creating not merely a storytelling narrative but a visual commentary in counterpoint with the music. Images of bonding, initiation, rejection and acceptance alternated with groupings and solo turns. One must stay alert and watch intently when witnessing a dance piece by this gem of a dance troupe.

Seemingly repetitive and arguably labeled “minimalist”, Phillip Glass’ music for III. Quarter-note= 112 uses a layering of melodic lines that harks back to the early explorations of polyphony in the Renaissance.  The composer positions solo phrases for the first violin that spring out of the dense orchestral fabric only to evanesce moments later.  In this 10 minute movement, the CCO strings created magic, with concertmaster, Mateusz Wolski and principal second violin, Manami White, subtly conversing, while the remainder of the string section supported their musical dialogue, providing the sonic backdrop for the dancers, led by Maestro Preu.

cco_0100Pianist, Alon Goldstein, made his Cincinnati debut, as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor.  More than merely playing, Goldstein inhabited the world of a work written in the 18th century that at times sounds like a harbinger of Romanticism.  The Israeli pianist’s insightful commentary,  given prior to the music was validated by a performance that fluctuated from soloist bravura to intimate musical conversation with the orchestra. Maestro Preu engaged in a superbly flexible musical give-and -take with the soloist.

Goldstein graciously responded to the ovation that followed by insisting that Preu share the bows with him. He then obliged with a “let-‘er-rip” performance of Alberto Ginastera‘s Danza Argentina.

The members of MamLuft&Co. Dance returned in the second half of the concert to interpret the Mozart-inspired music of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. Goldstein performed the solo piano part, with both he and the string section playing delicately in the background Silvestrov’s loving tribute to the passing of his wife of many years.  Goldstein’s and the orchestra’s playing engaged one’s aural attention from start to finish, while one’s eyes were on the dancing. In a superbly executed sequence of dancer’s moves, the story of two trees that grow side by side and eventually intertwine became a stunning poetic parable about the cycle of life, and a tribute to a loving marriage.


Eckart Preu

The CCO’s 2017 season came to an end with a joyful reading of Beethoven’s happiest of compositions, his Symphony No. 8 in F Major. After a memorable performance, Preu joined his musicians, responding to the applause of an audience grateful for this year’s SummerMusik season, and for the rebirth of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, one of Cincinnati’s gems.

Rafael de Acha All About the Arts




Gesamtkunstwerk? Nein, danke!


AIDA in Salzburg in Shirin Neshat’s production.

My friend, James Slouffman, Wagnerian of all Wagnerians sent me this link. After reading it, I had to vent.

My problem with this supposed return of the Gesamtkunstwerk is essentially that it dehumanizes and often obliterates what should be the center and focus of the operatic experience: the singing actor.

If one looks through the years that the Bayreuth Festival has been the Keeper of the Wagnerian Flame, it is difficult to center one’s focus on the singers, because of the supremacy of the Regie over the singing actor. Again and again we hear about the Wieland Wagner Ring or the Wolfgang Wagner Ring or the Jean Pierre Ponelle Ring or the Patrice Chereau Ring or the Otto Schenk Ring or (God forbid!) the Robert Lepage Ring (at the MET) …und so weiter, in which  second-tier singers unprepared to meet the rigors of Wagner come and go

But, if we want to look for great Wagnerian singing actors, we will find most of them in the annals of the MET, Covent Garden, Hamburg and Berlin and Dresden Operas, well before William Kentridge and Robert Wilson and now Shirin Neshat moved themselves into the Opera House and displaced the singing actor and cleared the room in the Opera Party, leaving the singer buried in phony symbolic gesturing and scenic overkill.

Birgit Nilsson, George London, Hans Hotter, Siegfried Jerusalem, Jess Thomas and many other greats thoroughly convinced me that they were the characters they portrayed with their singing and their acting. But, frankly, if you asked me who the director was for any one of the productions in which they starred I’d be hard put to tell you.

Beyond Wagner. About fifty years or so ago I saw a memorable WOZZECK that still gives me goosebumps: Geraint Evans and Marilyn Horne in a San Francisco Opera production. If someone out there can name the director please do. Gobbi’s and Callas’ Tosca…who directed it? Norman Treigle’s Mefistofele…Beverly Sills’ “Donizetti Queens…” ?

I do not advocate a return to the days of Park and Bark. Directors who can work with the actors are invaluable commodities these days and those who can are mostly young and inventive team players.

Let’s have more of those.

Rafael de Acha            All About the Arts



For over 36 years LINTON chamber music has let audiences get close to the music
by bringing together world-class musicians to perform in truly intimate
performance spaces.

Sunday, October 1, 2017 and Monday, October 2, 2017
Jaime Laredo, violin, Bella Hristova, violin, Cynthia Phelps, viola, Sharon Robinson, cello, Peter Serkin, piano
Bach, Beethoven, Brahms

The Ehnes Quartet
Sunday, October 29, 2017 and Monday, October 30, 2017
The Ehnes Quartet & Stephen Williamson, clarinet
Bartók, Mozart, Beethoven

Sunday, November 26, 2017 and Monday, November 27, 2017
Timothy Lees, violin, Truls Mørk, cello
Michael Chertock, piano
Beethoven, Prokofiev, Dvořák

January 14, 2018
Randolph Bowman, flute, Ilya Finkelshteyn, cello, Gillian Benet Sella, harp,
Soyeon Kate Lee, piano
Foote, Rameau, Haydn, Ravel, Weber

March 11, 2018 and March 12, 2018
Soovin Kim, violin, Jaime Laredo, viola, Sharon Robinson, cello, Gloria Chien, piano
Mozart, Ravel, Fauré

April 22, 2018 and April 23, 2018

The Ariel Quartet, Timothy Lees, violin, Gabriel Pegis, violin, Christian Colberg, viola
Ilya Finkelshteyn, cello
Kurtág, Beethoven, Mendelssohn

Subscriber Bonus Program:
February 11, 2018 (Sunday only)
Elena Urioste, violin, Tom Poster, piano
Kreisler, Schumann, Dvořák, Grieg, Beach, Gershwin

⦁ Exchange Sunday/Monday concert tickets any time.
⦁ If, for any reason, you cannot use one of your 2017-18 Linton tickets, mail your unused ticket to us and we will send you a certificate good for any future Linton concert or to a variety of other wonderful local chamber music organizations. Or let us know you would prefer a tax receipt for your ticket donation.
⦁ Every season subscription order will receive two free vouchers for any Monday Encore! or select Sunday Linton Chamber Music series concert to give family or friends (2 subscriptions = 4 free vouchers). SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.
⦁ Single tickets will not be available for purchase until August 14, 2017 at a cost of $35 per ticket.
⦁ To purchase your subscription, please use the enclosed subscription form card, call (513) 381-6868, or visit ⦁

1 Sunday Series. 6 Sunday Concerts at 4pm. Presented at the historic First Unitarian Church at 536 Linton Street Subscription Price: $165
2 Monday Series. 5 Monday Concerts at 7:30pm Presented at Congregation Beth Adam at 10001 Loveland-Madeira Road. Subscription Price: $137.50
3 Encore! Plus Series. 6 Concerts, including the 5 Monday concerts in Loveland, PLUS the 1 Sunday concert in Avondale on January 14, 2018. (+ February 11, 2018 complimentary bonus concert) Subscription Price: $165
Single tickets will not be available for purchase until August 14, 2017 at a cost of $35 per ticket.



Before the music ends



Cincinnati has grown into one of the most important centers of music-making in our country, due in no small degree to the quality and quantity of its musical offerings.

Yet, when we arrived here at the end of 2009, we sensed a vacuum in some areas of the repertory. Where was the ensemble that could move comfortably from the music of the Baroque to the great works of Mozart and Haydn and on to the early Romantic masterpieces of Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn?

Friends lamented in those days the temporary disappearance of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble that had been an important presence in Cincinnati during the previous two decades. Conductors had come and gone, leading it for a while and then moving on to other jobs. There was no musical director to imprint a vision and to shape the sound. Management was fatigued and burned out.

The CCO was a musical sleeping beauty waiting to be awakened and brought back to life.

A new board created a new structure, brought in new and young and savvy management. A search for a conductor was begun. Several candidates were given a concert of their own during the 2016 season. One stood out and, hands down, was the audience and musicians’ favorite: Eckart Preu, a youthful German-born conductor, now living in America.

Preu helms three ensembles: the Spokane Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony and our CCO. Urbane, multi lingual, and solidly familiar with the core symphonic repertory, he is also a champion of modern and contemporary music. In his first full season he has brought out the music of Valentin Silvestrov, Philip Glass, Hans-Peter Preu, David Bowie and Peter Maxwell Davies in Cincinnati premieres.

It has been clear to the CCO’s audience that this was the real deal: a master conductor turning a newly-assembled group of three dozen musicians into a first-class orchestral ensemble. Right from the start of the first concert, the opening bars of the Mendelssohn Scottish Symphony evidenced a new sound coming from the CCO. There was clarity, cohesiveness, razor-sharp articulation.

But beyond technical prowess there was also impassioned music-making, something that is developed in the intellectual and emotional give and take of making music with like-minded artists.

Cincinnati is enchanted with its new orchestra and its young maestro that shows an affinity for good music of all ages. We now have to support it.

The CCO’s 2017 season will have ended with a note of rejoicing this coming Saturday, August 26. Some of that will surely come from Beethoven’s happiest of compositions, his Symphony No. 8 in F Major. Much of it will come from the energetic commitment of three dozen players and a conductor that in the course of one season have earned by virtue of their talent and hard work an indispensable position in the fabric of music in Cincinnati.

I post this a full week ahead of the final concert of Summermusik 2017 in the hope that the event will see a full theatre with a bottom on every seat!

The Queen City has added a new musical diadem to its crown. It’s up to us now to see the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra live and thrive.

Rafael de Acha     All About the Arts

Music for All Seasons

th2 Now in its fourth year, Music for All Seasons presents four concerts every year. Concerts are given on Sundays at 2 p.m. in Peterloon Estate, at 8605 Hopewell Road in the village of Indian Hill.

th1 Peterloon’s expansive living room provides a perfect intimate venue for the concerts of Music for All Seasons. Originally sited on 1,200 wooded acres in Indian Hill, the house was built in 1928 to rival the grandest houses of America and Europe.

South of the Border                   October 8th 2017 at 2 pm


unspecified-72 The Cello Ensemble from the Studio of Allan Rafferty  is made up of winners of the Junior Division Gold Medal of the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and other national music competitions, and also soloists with the Cincinnati Symphony and other orchestras. Besides his position at CCM, Alan is a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He and his wife, cellist Sarah Kim, are founders and directors of the nationally recognized Cincinnati Young Artists ( In 2016, they were named the 2016 Ohio String Teachers Association Studio Teachers of the Year.

eb6ced_7a7a51cb37c749379cb26ed43fb7cadb Kayleigh Decker, Mezzo Soprano continues her work on an Artist Diploma at CCM, having sung in Cincinnati the roles of Peggy in Shalimar the Clown, the Fox in The Little Prince, the Fox (another one!) in The Cunning Little Vixen, and Idamante in Idomeneo. She was an Encouragement award winner in the Cincinnati District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and recently made her debut with the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. (                                                                                     Here she sings Hugo Wolf’s Kennst du das Land:

jesse Jesse Leong, Piano  just worked as Assistant Conductor at the Glimmerglass Opera, Jesse has been Associate Music Director of the Queen City Chamber Opera, Conducting Fellow at Opera Saratoga, Resident Pianist at Opera Pittsburgh, Studio Pianist and Conductor with the Wagner Society of Cincinnati, and is currently a Graduate Assistant at CCM’s Orchestral Studies and Opera Departments.( )

CHLOE LEGRAND Chloe LeGrand, Soprano is a recent member of the Cincinnati May Festival choir. While a student at the University of Louisville, she was the featured soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore. An accomplished professional bluegrass musician, she was a founding member of the Blue Belles bluegrass band.  She is now working on a Master’s degree at CCM.

401000_jjnpsdqvjm6wlycd74hv James Meade, Guitar began his concert career in 2013 and has since given concerts in America and Europe. His CD, Canción will be available for purchase in the lobby after the concert. It was praised in our blog for its impeccable musicianship, profound musicality and a complete technical command of his instrument. ( ) Here he plays Francisco Tárrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra:

untitled Daniel Weeks, Tenor is a member of the Voice Faculty at the College-Conservatory of Music, Daniel Weeks continues a career encompassing opera, concert, solo recitals, and recordings, having appeared with the Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Memphis and Louisville Symphony Orchestras and the Cincinnati Opera. He is represented by DISPEKER ARTISTS MGT, NYC.(                         Here he sings Franz Liszt’s O, quand je dors:

th Eben Wagenstroom, Piano graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Johannesburg, South Africa, his native country, with a Bachelor’s degree in Piano. He is now a student of Professor Dror Biran, working on a Master’s degree in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, where he plans to continue to pursue a DMA degree. Here he plays the Etude – Tableau in E-Flat Major, by Sergei Rachmaninoff:


Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), the greatest guitarist virtuoso that Spain ever produced, concertized widely as a soloist and wrote extensively for his instrument.

Danza Mora (Moorish Dance)
Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra)
Estudio Brillante (Brilliant Etude)

James Meade, Guitar

Enrique Granados (1867-1916), a virtuoso concert pianist in his own right assured a place for Spanish vocal music in the international concert repertoire with his Tonadillas.

Amor y Odio (Love and Hatred)
El Majo Tímido (The Timid Beau)
La maja de Goya (The Maja of Goya)
El Tra-la-la y el Punteado (La, la, la and so on…)
El Mirar de la Maja (The way she looks)
El Majo Discreto (The Discreet Beau)

Kayleigh Decker, Mezzo-soprano              James Meade, guitar

Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) wrote hundreds of compositions for piano, voice and orchestra, helping to gain a special place for Spanish music along with his friend, Enrique Granados.

Poema en forma de canciones (Poem in the form of songs)
Dedicatoria (Dedicatory) – Piano solo
Nunca olvidaré (I will never forget)
Cantares (Songs)
Los dos miedos (Two Fears)
Las locas por amor (Mad for love)

Daniel Weeks, Tenor        Jesse Leong, Piano

Ignacio Cervantes (1847-1905) wrote short but technically complex musical vignettes, giving each its own title and setting many of them to the dance rhythms of 19th century Cuba.

Improvisada (Improvised)
Ilusiones Perdidas (Lost Illusions)
Homenaje (Tribute)
Los tres golpes (Three Knocks at the Door)
Adiós a Cuba (Goodbye, Cuba)
Amistad (Friendship)
Cri Cri (Rustling Petticoats)
Duchas frías (Cold Showers)
Picotazos (Pecking)
¿Por qué?¿eh? (Why? Huh?)

Eben Wagenstrom, Piano

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) revolutionized the traditional Argentine tango by creating the nuevo tango, a blend of classical, jazz and Argentine music.

The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

James Meade, guitar

Heitor Villalobos (1887-1959), Brazil’s greatest composer of concert music, wrote the Bachianas Brasileiras, a set of orchestral pieces blending 18th century counterpoint and Brazilian melody.

Bachiana Brasileira no. 1

Bachiana Brasileira no. 5

Chloe LeGrand , Soprano           The Cello Ensemble from the Studio of Allan Rafferty


All proceeds from ticket sales are donated to the Scholarship Fund of the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. For tickets contact us by email at and or by mail at Music Seasons, PO Box 43172, Cincinnati, Ohio 45243. Visit us on Facebook at Music for all Seasons Cincinnati and on line at


The art of Danish-American painter Johannes Bjorner will be on view throughout the house before the concert, during intermission and after the concert.

Born in Denmark in 1939, at the beginning of WWI, Johannes Bjorner’s favorite toys were pencils and crayons, paper was procured by pulling the Blanc pages out of books. After the end of WWII his family immigrated to Argentina, where Johannes won his school’s competition in drawing.

In 1960 he returned to Denmark where he completed a study in Electrical Engineering. He then moved to the US in 1966. In the early 1970’s he began taking evening art classes at Boston College of Art and at the Massachusetts Museum School, also participating in numerous art workshops. Until his retirement from Engineering, he exhibited his paintings at weekend art festivals throughout New England, winning several prizes. He began exhibiting his Paintings at art galleries in Denmark, Sweden and Spain.

Over the years, Bjorner’s style and use of media have evolved from watercolor landscapes and portraits to painting influenced by American and European abstract painters. His paintings are in collections in The US, Europe, Argentina and Australia.

This exhibit at Peterloon, part of the Music for all Seasons 2017-2018 will be Bjorner’s first exhibit in Cincinnati. The artist feels that there is a strong link between music and visual art, as he usually paints while listening to classical music.

 Rafael de Acha  All About the Arts

A Satisfying Musical Banquet


As the Republic of Venice rose to a place of great power and wealth in the 16th and 17th centuries, the “City of Canals” became a harbor for music. This weekend Cincinnati became a haven for Baroque music, thanks to the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s Venetian Madcap Musica, the third concert of Summermusik 2017.

With the CCO’s strings delicately spinning out the melancholy central melody of this familiar staple, Maestro Eckart Preu gently coaxed a seamless legato from his musicians, as Saturday evening’s concert opened with Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor. It was a mesmerizing start to a memorable evening.

Giovanni Gabrieli’s Canzon quarta was conceived to be played by two diverse groups of instruments in the huge nave of Venice’s St. Mark Cathedral. The CCO brass demonstrated this could be done today without having to fly to Venice, as they played from opposite sides of the SPCA Corbett Theater balcony, summoning a sound both mellow and brilliant that perfectly suited Gabrieli’s three-centuries old, three-minute work.

Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo tells a tale from Greek Antiquity about the young musician who goes to Hades and back in search of his beloved Euridice. The Sinfonie and Ritornelli in Monteverdi’s opera serve as connecting tissue between scenes and acts, and Eckart Preu fine-tuned the CCO strings by all but eliminating any vibrato, providing an opportunity for the orchestra to give life to centuries-old music that ranges from exultant to tragic.

Sold to a Dutch publisher in order to earn income from its sale and thus supplement his meager wages as a music teacher in Venice’s Ospedale della Pietà, Antonio Vivaldi composed L’Estro armonico as a celebration of life, which is ever-present in his Concerto No. 3 in G Major. This brief gem was lovingly performed with concert mistress, Janet Carpenter, masterfully honoring Vivaldi’s demanding composition.

Following intermission, and before leading the CCO’s strings in an emotionally charged performance of the fourth movement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Maestro Preu humorously explained his reasons for mixing Mahler and Monteverdi in the same concert: Mahler’s Adagietto figured prominently in Visconti’s film, Death in Venice.

Igor Stravinsky adapted music by two Domenicos (Scarlatti and Cimarosa) in his ballet Pulcinella, which Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes premiered in Paris, in 1920. The story tells of the amorous adventures of several characters from the popular Italian Commedia dell’ Arte. The music is a curious mix of Italian Baroque with the asperities of Stravinsky’s 20th century sensibility.

Inspired by Picasso, who designed the original set for Diaghilev’s ballet, Cincinnati’s Madcap Puppets created life-size characters for five actor-puppeteers who impersonated Pimpinella, Pulcinella, Fiorindo, Rosetta, and Dottore, telling the story in dance and mime to Stravinsky’s eight-movement suite. It was a delightful nightcap to the evening’s musical banquet, again displaying the versatility of the CCO’s musicians and its gifted Maestro.

The music continued on Sunday, August 20, with two back-to-back all-Baroque concerts at The Barn, which will be reviewed separately. Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

Rafael de Acha All About the Arts.

Portions of this review will be included in an end-of-season overview of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s 2017 Summermusik to be published by

The details:
Cincinnati: August 19, 2017 SCPA Mayerson Theatre
Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Summermusik 2017
Eckart Preu, Music Director
Madcap Puppets, Puppetry
Venetian Madcap Musica
Tomaso Albinoni – Adagio in G Minor
Giovanni Gabrieli – Canzon per Sonar a Quattro, Canzon Quarta, Ch. 189
Claudio Monteverdi – Sinfonie and Ritornelli from L’Orfeo
Antonio Vivaldi – L’estro armonico, Op. 3, Concerto No. 3 in G Major
Gustav Mahler – From Symphony No. 5 – Fourth Movement
Igor Stravinsky – Pulcinella Suite