miércoles, mayo 16, 2012

Wonderful music from Stuttgart and Salzburg

            Some weeks of our musical season provide enormous richness. Such a one happened between May 3 and 9. On May 3 Nuova Harmonia started its activity at the Coliseo with the return of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Followed on day 8 a highlight of the Colón´s Abono del Bicentenario, Stuttgart forces under Rilling in Bach´s mighty Mass in B minor. And the following night, a very special event, the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Mozarteum Argentino by no less than the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.
            The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra was vastly famous in its early years under its founder, Karl Münchinger; they visited us in 1953. Then and now, they are really a string ensemble (I have always disliked the term "Chamber Orchestra" used this way, for a true CO is made up of strings, winds and timpani, has at least 30 people and can play the Haydn and Mozart symphonies). Unfortunately their visits after that date were very isolated, so I certainly welcome the chance of hearing them again.
            Founded in 1945, Münchinger had a long tenure. The biography in the hand programme calls the SCO "the oldest professional chamber orchestra of the world".  They made lots of recordings through the decades; the one with Mozart´s "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" sold more than a million copies.  Their conductor for this tour was Wolfram Christ, long known as the viola soloist during the Karajan era at the Berlin Philharmonic, but active as a conductor in recent years. The group came to BA with 16 players: 8 violins, 4 violas, 3 cellos and a bass; no harpsichord. 
            Their programme was all-German and deeply satisfying. Mendelssohn´s admirable Symphony Nº 8 for strings provided further proof that he was the greatest early-teen composer, even more than Mozart; the flabbergasting ease coupled with real substance come from  a 13-year-old (1822). The Concerto in C for three violins by J.S.Bach is a transcription by the author of his Second Concerto for three harpsichords; it bears the catalog number 1064, and is wrongly described as "Nº 2", for there´s only one concerto for 3 violins, the other for 3 harpsichords wasn´t transcribed. It is a splendid, original piece, and it provides plenty of virtuosic opportunities within a mold of strict form.  The ensemble, which had played beautifully in Mendelssohn -where Christ had shown authority and style- excelled in this Bach, with admirable solos from Ionel Iliescu, Wolfgang Kussmaul and Malgorzata Krzyminska. Not historicist but excellent.
            I have long been familiar with the marvelous Brahms Second Quintet for strings,  Op.111, but had never come across its transcription as a so-called Symphony for string orchestra. I certainly prefer the original and can´t feel that it is a symphony, but the music stands its transformation and it is quintessential mature Brahms. The version was very good, with particularly impressive and full-bodied cellos. The encores were lovely in their execution: Tchaikovsky´s Waltz from the String Serenade and the rarely heard and charming Kreisler "Marche miniature viennoise", originally for violin and piano. 
            Johann Sebastian Bach´s Great Mass is generally recognized as the most important work of the genre. It hasn´t lacked for valuable interpretations in BA, and I have a soft spot for that by the Robert Shaw Choir back in 1964. Now I will certainly add the one I heard days ago under Helmut Rilling. The old maestro is now 79, looks frail and bent, and his conducting consists of minute gestures, but he has molded every player and chorister: he founded the Gächinger Kantorei in 1954 and the Stuttgart Bach Collegium in 1965; now they sing and play together under the umbrella denomination Internationale Bach Akademie Stuttgart. In 2.000 they edited in 172 CDs the complete Bach works  (according to the hand programme). They have come before and marveled our audiences; the ovation that Rilling got in his rentrée was moving and fully deserved.         He rejects extreme historicism (Harnoncourt, Rifkin) but is also far from such great Romantic predecessors as Karajan or Furtwängler. His Bach is severe and contained; he uses a  31-voice choir and a 26-player orchestra including Baroque trumpets, corno da caccia and oboes d´amore; his tempi are orthodox, never too fast nor too slow, and the phrasing is always natural. The choir sings the difficult counterpoints and melismas with total command and good timbre. The trumpet players are fantastic (the best I´ve ever heard), the flutes, oboes and bassoons clean and expressive, the strings beautifully in tune with modern strings. 
            The solo quartet isn´t stellar (it almost never is with visiting choirs) but they certainly know the style. Julia Sophie Wagner (soprano), Roxana Constantinescu (contralto), Andreas Weller (tenor) and Tobias Berndt (bass) cope technically with the music but lack deeper qualities; no tears in the voice in the Agnus Dei, no otherworldly sweetness in the Benedictus, dryness in the Quoniam (though a nicely fluid Et in spiritum). Serviceable voices, no more. 
            The stalls and loges had ridiculously high price tags, and there were big holes; from the "cazuela" up the theatre was packed. 
            Sixty years of the Mozarteum, and I lived almost every step of it; after the concert there was a reception at the Salón Dorado and in it  we heard a brief speech from that incredible lady, Jeannette Arata de Erize, almost ninety, fifty-six years at the helm of our most prestigious musical institution. Quality and unremitting reliability through the decades were and are the formula for this success story. May they long continue to enrich our sensibilities. 
            The Mozarteum has brought us several times the Camerata Academica of the Salzburg Mozarteum, but this time it was the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra under the Britisher Matthew Halls (debut both), with pianist Elena Bashkirova, Barenboim´s wife, well-known here. We heard an all-Mozart standard programme, with the Overture of "La Clemenza di Tito", Concerto Nº 21 and the Symphony Nº 40. The 39-member standard classicist orchestra is the right type of collective instrument, and under the very modern Mozartian conducting style of Halls, tempi were generally fast and dynamic contrasts quite marked, although always respecting the shape of the phrases and periods. Small divergences apart, this was very good playing.
            I liked Bashkirova´s touch and technique but I disliked the edition she used, with cadenzas too long and out of style, and too much extraneous ornamentation; I like my Mozart purer and plainer.  But she is of course a first-rate player. 
             The encores were delectable: an utterly charming slow movement from Cassation K.63 and the Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro".
For Buenos Aires Herald

domingo, mayo 13, 2012

A varied operatic cocktail: Verdi and Boero

            After "La Forza del Destino" and "Rigoletto" you might think I´ve had enough of Verdi. Not so: with him I´m always ready for another round. And I enjoyed the concert version of "Attila" offered at the Roma, that charming old small opera house in Avellaneda. "Attila" is one of the most dynamic pieces of the composer´s early period, with exciting and propulsive music that is fully Verdian. He would of course refine his style more and more, but I have a soft spot for this young lion already so inspired and authentic.
Attila (bass) has very expressive music and his character isn´t one-dimensional. Odabella (as Abigaille in "Nabucco") is a fearsome role of immense difficulty and ardor; at the end she will plunge her sword into the King of the Huns. Foresto, her love, is less interesting but has good arias and duos to sing. And Ezio is a fierce Roman warrior quite ready to either do battle against Attila or pair up with him against the young Emperor, Valentinian. A key spot is the brief but essential encounter with Pope Leo, repeating the same words heard in a dream by Attila and convincing him to stop his advance towards Rome.
Of course, if the production is good (a very moot point nowadays) I prefer to see it staged, for this opera is very theatrical. But staging costs a lot, and these enthusiastic ad-hoc groups that typically go to the Roma very rarely have sponsors (they often deserve to have them). For those that don´t know this opera well, the lack of supertitles was certainly a problem, especially as the plot was poorly narrated in the hand programme;  Another liability was the 37-minute wait before it started.
But once the show began, most of it was worth hearing. César Tello has long been a great promoter of Nineteenth-century Italian opera. The years have given him a deep understanding of Verdian style and he transmits an intense love and knowledge to the orchestra and the singers. He even dresses as a Nineteenth-century maestro! And he has refined and polished the Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Avellaneda to a level it doesn´t always have.  Unfortunately the Coro del Instituto Municipal de Avellaneda (prepared by Armando Garrido) was well below requirements, sounding weak and not always in tune.
Two artists have long been to the fore as valuable Verdians: Haydée Dabusti and Omar Carrión. She is the sort of singer that stands up to any hurdle and vanquishes; a sense of drama and natural instinct for the Verdian line combined to make her Odabella a model of intensity. However, she did show some strain in a few very high notes (this is a killer role). Carrión has done the part before and expresses the conflicting emotions of Ezio very expertly; his voice started not quite in full form, but by the time of his aria and cabaletta he was splendid.
The Attila is quite a find: on this showing we have a true bass baritone in Juan Salvador Trupia y Rodríguez. His timbre is of a bass but his highs are of baritonal ease, whilst he handles correctly the lower part of his register. He still isn´t as dramatic as the part needs. I am of mixed feelings about tenor Felipe Castillo de Orleans. A young Brazilian (he is only 27), he has had very little experience in major roles. I don´t have empathy with his color (too soft for Verdi) but he feels deeply what he sings and is capable of modulating his voice giving light and shade to the music.  The two supporting roles were well taken by Luciano Straguzzi (Leo) and especially by Cristian Carrero, a solid voice for Uldino, Attila´s adjutant.
"El matrero", by Felipe Boero, dates from 1929 and has long been a typical "ópera campera". It is one of the Argentine operas most often staged (the other is Panizza´s "Aurora") but it hasn´t been seen in BA for decades now. I have seen it twice at the Colón and once in Córdoba. Now an endeavor born last year and quite worthy has brought it to the Cervantes after having been staged last year in several provinces. It is the idea of a Programa Federal under the auspices of the Nation´s Culture Secretariat and the provincial governors, with local orchestras and choirs and changing casts.
I have to be honest, this opera shows its age; and as the libretto by Yamandú Rodríguez is so full of the pampas jargon, the lack of supertitles was a drawback for it was hard to understand the singers. The best things are still the folkish fragments such as "La Media Caña" and a few moments of vocal expansion.
The opera was nicely staged by Carlos Palacios, who is the coordinator of this venture and was the producer, stage and lighting designer; and Alicia Gumá, as costumes adviser. They gave us an authentic estancia locale, and the singer-actors responded very well. There was good singing from the three principals: Eugenia Fuente (Pontezuela), Juan Carlos Vasallo (Pedro Cruz) and Fernando Santiago (Don Liborio). Sebastiano De Filippi and Enzo Romano gave character to flank roles.
Fernando Álvarez got good playing from the Orquesta Juan de Dios Filiberto, the Coro Nacional de Jóvenes was very well prepared by Néstor Zadoff and the Ballet Folklórico Nacional under Fiordelmondo Omar was pleasant.
For Buenos Aires Herald

jueves, mayo 10, 2012

Verdian feast warms operatic hearts

            A couple of weeks ago I wrote at length about the revival of "La Forza del Destino" at the Colón. "Noblesse oblige", I have to report a case of crossed wires: mine. Renato Palumbo wasn´t the conductor of "La Boheme" in 2010; it was Stefano Ranzani. So Palumbo made his debut here; he may have teamed with de Ana elsehere, but not here before this "Forza".
            The second cast had a problem, fortunately solved:  tenor Gustavo López Manzitti  had a bad cold and was substituted by his cover, the Spaniard Emanuel de Villarosa, who thus sang here for the first time. Although his timbre is a bit too metallic, he has all the required notes firmly in control, and the difficult part was presented honorably; his acting was no more than acceptable. Fabián Veloz, who had sung "Rigoletto"  on the preceding week, is our best young Verdian baritone. He sang Alvaro for the first time and will surely find more detail as time goes by, but he sang forthrightly and honestly.
            I very much liked Luciano Miotto as Melitone; younger than Gaeta, he encompassed with total ease the high "tessitura" and acted with fluid sense of humor. The voice is soft-grained but telling. Paolo Battaglia made his local debut with a Padre Guardiano sung with style but with a hollow voice rather short on volume.
            I welcome the new visit of  Maria Pia Piscitelli (Leonora), who has done very good work in several preceding visits. She has a fine timbre, enough projection and range, the musicality is first-rate and she is an attractive woman that acts with great conviction.  Preziosilla is a very ungrateful part, for she represents the weakest Verdi: if "Forza" sometimes falls into triviality, she is around. María Luján Mirabelli did better than Agnes Zwierko, but she couldn´t avoid some uncomfortable high notes, nor perform the magic trick of making the character tollerable.
            Smaller roles: Guadalupe Barrientos was again the excellent Curra (only part that wasn´t double-cast); Mario De Salvo was rather pale as the Marquis of Calatrava; Gustavo Feulien had excessive vibrato as the Mayor; Gabriel Centeno was too characteristic as Trabucco; and Fernando Grassi, correct as the Doctor.
            By the fifth performance, Palumbo and the Orchestra had ironed out some details and the results were quite convincing. Also, the Chorus was better heard in some soft fragments that were almost inaudible in the premiere.
            And now, the multiple Hugo de Ana: producer, stage, costume and lighting designer. As other productions have shown, he thinks big: only an amply provided opera house can suit him. And even the current Colón, with its diminished workshops, can still provide (with a lot of effort and some chaos) what he wants. I do have some disagreements with De Ana´s concepts, but this was a large-scale show with many convincing moments. He loves ample crowds (apart from the chorus, no less than 50 actors, acrobats and dancers intervened) fit for such a wide and deep stage as the Colón has, and handles them with some excesses but imaginatively.
            He used Goya and Michelangelo  pictures heavily textured with friezes, imitation bricks and burlap, etc; credible canons in the war scenes and plenty of shooting, not always in the right places. I disliked the immense crucified "wooden" Christ in the chapel and especially overwhelming the humble hermit´s grotto of the final scene. I certainly thank de Ana for his avoidance of "aggiornamento" to the Twentieth-century, a current plague. And he believes in melodrama. I have been told that a good deal of the preparation was done in the recently inaugurated workshops below the Plaza del Vaticano, and this is certainly good news, for the so-called La Nube is a cramped and unhealthy place in Belgrano unfit for the Colón, and it was there that productions were made in 2010 and 2011.
            I feel that Buenos Aires Lírica´s "Rigoletto" was a poor choice, for BAL had already done the piece and in recent years other productions of this great Verdi opera have been seen. Especially because the production wasn´t a success and the cast had a glaring mistake, the mediocre imported Duke of Mantua who was replaced by Fermín Prieto after the first performance: Angelo Scardina was erratic, sang with no line and was far from professional standards; I´m sorry I didn´t hear Prieto. Also, the clash between BAL´s and the Colón´s needs in the case of the Rigoletto, Fabián Veloz, forced the change of one of the planned dates (artists should avoid this sort of situation).
            In fact Veloz was the only vocal reason to hear this "Rigoletto", for he presented a mature interpretation of this towering role, well acted and sung throughout, with a beautiful true Verdian voice, lacking only the last ounce of volume. Gilda was Ivanna Speranza, too strident in "Caro nome" but gradually better. Others that did well were Walter Schwarz as Sparafucile, Norberto Marcos as Marullo and Ernesto Bauer as Monterone. The remaining good points were the idiomatic conducting of Carlos Vieu and the excellent chorus under Juan Casasbellas.
            André Heller-Lopes is Brazilian and made his debut here as producer and stage director. He transforms a Renaissance Mantova into a vaguely Napoleonic ambience with a picture gallery; it looks nice but is quite beside the point. The distribution of space is all wrong in Rigoletto´s house and Sparafucile´s tavern. And the ending was absurd, with Gilda singing "out of the bag", ruining the climax of the opera. For the record, Sofía Di Nunzio did the costumes (some were attractive) and Alejandro Le Roux the lighting.

domingo, mayo 06, 2012

About orchestral players Russian and Argentine

          AMIJAI is a very special institution, both synagogue and concert auditorium, flanked by an Uruguayan parrilla and Oriental restaurants and in front of an Andalusian patio. The acoustics are good though a bit dry, and the hall is pleasant and well built, preceded by a garden with pond and papyri. I have enjoyed going there during the last decade and have heard many splendid concerts. The start of the current season was important: the debut of the National Russian Orchestra, conducted for this tour by the veteran José Serebrier, a talented Uruguayan of vast international career (300 recordings!) well-known here. 
           The Orchestra was founded in 1990 and despite the "National", it is financed by private sponsors and led by a "distinguished multinational trust fund". Although only 65 players came to BA, it probably is a good deal bigger at home. But for the selected nineteenth-century programme the sound was loud enough, and anyway probably the stage couldn´t hold a hundred. The soloist in Tchaikovsky´s concerto was the organism´s concertino, Alexey Bruni (debut), and I was surprised that after the effort of playing such difficult and tiring music  he took the concertino´s seat for Dvorák´s Eighth Symphony. The evening had started with Beethoven´s "Egmont" Overture, so I was disappointed that there was no innovation whatsoever.
            What struck me most was the exactness of attacks and releases throughout the night. This was of course a merit of the conductor, but also of an orchestra that is disciplined and wholly professional. The impact and precision of trombones and trumpets, e.g., was impressive, but I also admired the incisive neatness of the clarinet, or the unanimity of the violins´ bowing, which is essential to a homogeneous and continuous line. In the Concerto Bruni played like the good concertino he is, with some smudges in the first movement and not quite enough personality in the molding of phrases, though by the time he reached the vertiginous Finale he was playing with great firmness. The perfect agreement at fast speeds between violinist and orchestra was a plus.  Serebrier´s vast experience and fitness in old age was evident at all times. I only cavil at some "tempi" (speeds) in Dvorák´s lovely and exhilarating symphony: some were too slow and others too fast; but conviction and communication were always there. Encores: an unidentified solo violin caprice or etude; Bach´s Aria from the Third Suite (too Romantic for my taste in this interpretation); Piazzolla´s "Oblivion" for oboe and strings, nicely done; and Dvorák´s Slavonic Dance Op.72 Nº 3, charming and sweet.   
            After three pre-season concerts at the Bolsa de Comercio, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional started its regular season at the Auditorio de Belgrano. Its long-time Principal Conductor, Pedro Ignacio Calderón, was at the helm of a valuable combination of contrasting scores. It began with one of Ginastera´s best works, the Pampeana Nº 3, three movements of convincing subjective nationalism. Then, Bruch´s most famous piece, his First Concerto for violin, whose perfervid Romanticism needs a virtuoso of the old style, with fat sounds and perfect mechanism. Luis Roggero, one of the two concertinos of the OSN, isn´t quite that, but he played very cleanly and professionally. I felt him rather uncomfortable in his tough encore, Bach´s Gavotte en Rondeau from the Third Partita. 
            Gustav Holst´s "The Planets" is by now an international best-seller and has been played about ten times in BA since 1974. The seven-movement suite lasts about 50 minutes and describes with uncanny exactness the "astrological significance of each planet", according to the author; written around 1916, it is a marvel of orchestration and of virtuosic rhythmic, melodic and harmonic composing. Calderón at 77 is still unbeatable as the ablest local orchestral builder, and again obtained the best results from the orchestra he has led since 1994. It was a splendid performance from all concerned, and I only object to the lack of enough pianissimo from the female side of the Coro Polifónico Nacional (Darío Marchese) in the concluding measures of "Neptune".
            Juan Pablo Izquierdo is another Grand Old Man of conducting but from Chile. Apparently the profession is conducive to longevity and good health, for Izquierdo has lost not one iota of energy and creativity since the remote days of his first Argentine appearance. Long acknowledged as a Twentieth-Century expert, he dealt with acumen and adequate tension with Francisco Kroepfl´s "Adagio in memoriam" for strings. Although intonation was sometimes poor in the cello-bass sector, the unexpected expressivity of this Bergian piece from the usually cerebral Kroepfl came across convincingly. I love Prokofiev´s Second Violin Concerto almost as much as the First, always fascinated with its melodies, orchestration "trouvailles" and motoric drive. But Lucía Luque, a young player from Córdoba currently living in Italy, although she has an impressive technique, applied so liberally sliding up to notes and rhythmic flexibility that Izquierdo was hard put to follow her. And indeed there were bad joins and unclear moments. Luque played a very unfamiliar encore, a well-written Caprice Nº 20 by Delfina Lar, if I understood correctly.
            A few days earlier I had heard Brahms´ Fourth Symphony by Diemecke and the B.A. Phil. I generally don´t relish that our two main concert orchestras should be redundant in repertoire, but in this case I was bowled over by the energy and coherence of Izquierdo´s masterful reading. And again by the irresistible power of this music. I left the hall elated.
For Buenos Aires Herald

miércoles, mayo 02, 2012

Festivales, Bach Academy start season

        Festivales Musicales de Buenos Aires is an admirable institution created over 30 years ago by Leonor Luro and Mario Videla as an unstated but evident successor to Amigos de la Música. It maintained for a long time a policy of festivals on a single subject, some of them truly memorable (e.g., "From Purcell to Britten"), with special emphasis on J.S.Bach, and gave birth after a few seasons to a splendid "daughter", the Academia Bach. After Luro´s death, programming was gradually more flexible and commercial, with less premieres and unfortunately waning sponsorship. Festivales is still one of the Big Three, but undoubtedly in the third place. It is to be hoped that it will find  sponsors even if some are no longer there (one was the Fundación Szeterenfeld, who after an admirable seven-year lapse folded because the money fund is now exhausted).
        Anyway, it made a good start at the Colón, with the debut of the Heinrich Schütz Ensemble conducted by Martin Steidler. It is in fact a choir and comes from a very small Bavarian village, Vornbach, close to Passau (the frontier German city on the Danube). Steidler founded it in 1993 and molded the singers into a well-based institution grounded on both tradition and a degree of innovation. Fortunately concert life isn´t as degraded as opera in Germany, and at least some percentage of  young people still believe in the permanent values of Schütz, Bach and Brahms. And Kapellmeister of solid background nurture their groups and keep fidelity to them, such as Steidler, certainly a good and dedicated musician, though lacking the special illumination that permits an interpret to transcend to the highest plane. 
            The main attraction was the so-called "London version" of Brahms´ mighty German Requiem, where the orchestra is substituted by four-hand piano; the transcription is the composer´s own.  The  work was offered in an orthodox, able version, where apart from some strain in the higher soprano range, the choral singing was tasteful and accomplished. Hernán Iturralde (baritone) was good but not quite as much as I hoped, and Mónica Capra (soprano) was refined in her solo (a late addendum to the score). Fernando Pérez and Silvia Lester were the proficient players. 
            Mario Videla, Festivales´ Artistic Director, made some announcements before  the start of the concert but things weren´t quite as he said.  Indeed they eliminated an important (8-minute) motet by Mendelssohn, but the third Schütz piece ("Psalm 126") didn´t materialize; a short Guastavino arrangement on a Falú original did. As they are wont to be specialists in Schütz, the Ensemble was fine in the two selected Sacred Symphonies, although I certainly prefer them with instruments, as the original version has them (the purely choral versions are the composer´s). The other creators are contemporary: an expressive Elegy by Thomas Jennefelt; an agreeable arrangement  by Wolfram Buchenberg of a German Romantic folk piece; and a funny rhythmic score , "El Hambo", by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, with clapping and gestures added.  The choir gave spirited versions much enjoyed by the audience, which should have been less sparse. 
            The Bach Academy had a splendid start at their habitual venue, the Central Methodist Church. Always led by  Videla, who is a genuine specialist although he talks too much, this year the programming basically combines J.S. Bach with Telemann.
The Academy is thirty this year, and the lovely Trio-Sonata in C minor, TWV 42 c5, by Telemann, was executed by four players, three of them having participated in the very first concert of the Academy: Videla (chamber organ), Andrés Spiller (oboe) and Marcela Magin (viola); the fourth , bassist Fernando Fieiras, is also an old friend.
            The two chosen Bach cantatas (the Academy´s greatest contribution through the decades) had been done in these cycles, but I welcome them: both come from the early Weimar period and are chamber cantatas with subtle instrumentation and astonishing innovations. In the 12-minute "Der Friede sei mit dir" (Nº 158) there is a fascinating baritone aria with virtuosic violin obbligato and the interspersing of a chorale melody in the soprano voice. A small transgression: the final chorale should be sung by a chamber choir and not by two solo voices and two instruments (but it was quite impractical to have a choir available for one minute of music). And the 19-minute Nº 152, "Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn", has the sweetest and most delectable combination: soprano, baritone, recorder, oboe, viola d´amore, viola da gamba and thorough-bass (organ and bass).  It has a lovely opening Sinfonia and finishes not with a chorale but with a vivacious duet between Jesus and the Soul.  This was the first cantata done in the history of the Academy. 
            Sergio Carlevaris is billed as baritone but for me he is a full-range bass (and he had some extremely low notes to sing); apart from some details of German diction in recitatives his work was outstanding, with very fluid florid singing and fine intonation. I have heard soprano Silvina Sadoly with less incisive attack, but she knows the style. The players were excellent, and also included Ricardo Grätzer in recorder, Pablo Saraví in violin and Ricardo Massun in cello and viola da gamba. Videla was a capable coordinator and phrased with acumen.
           The Bach Academy is an essential combination of important Baroque music (often in premieres) and of well-intentioned didacticism. May it continue  to warm the heart of music lovers.
For Buenos Aires Herald