Faculty Joel Burcham in La Traviata
Recently featured as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata, Assistant Professor of Voice Joel Burcham has received exceptional praise in this new review on coloradosprings.com.
“Burcham has a velvety, seamless tone that’s never forced…[There are] tours-de-force, such as the rise and fall in volume at the end of his Act 2 aria.”
Read the full review by clicking here.
Patrick Mason Reviewed in Opera News
Professor of Voice and Baritone Patrick Mason was featured on Bridge Records recent release MUSTO: Bastianello and BOLCOM: Lucrezia. The recording was reviewed in the August 2011 issue of Opera News:
Matt Boehler’s stiff and gruff baritone is shown up by the musically and dramatically imaginative Patrick Mason, who finds a variety of vocal shadings and accents for his four characters. Mason’s aria to the moon, with piano ostinatos and a shimmery filigree of trills in the opera’s loveliest scene, is beautifully detailed and deeply felt.
Mason provides another star turn as the duped husband, Ignacio.
Review: Takács Quartet
Takács Quartet – review
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Andrew Clements. January 27th 2011
Click here to read on guardian.co.uk
After devoting their London appearances last season to Beethoven, the Takács Quartet’s three Southbank recitals in the current term range much more widely. Their second emulated the basic outline of the first, two months ago: a quartet from Haydn’s Op 71 set was followed by major 20th- and 19th-century works, in this case by Bartók and Smetana.
Later this year, the Takács are giving a complete cycle of the Bartók quartets in conjunction with the Philharmonia’s survey of the composer, and this account of the Third, the most concise and uncompromising of the six, was the perfect taster. The formidable technical demands were met effortlessly, and the performance conceived in a seamless arc; yet the Takács still conveyed the music’s strangeness, with every tingling detail fitting precisely and the last section a haunting essay in desolation.
Smetana’s First Quartet, From My Life, was just as extraordinary. Precision and phrasing, which can seem to be the main preoccupations of lesser string quartets, are merely starting points for the Takács. Their trip through Smetana’s slice of autobiography, with its tipsy polka and hymn-like slow movement, right up to the terrifying climax on the high E symbolising his deafness, was a sheer delight.
The first few seconds of the concert, the five chords that open Haydn’s Quartet in B flat, perfectly balanced and weighted, would have been enough to assure this audience that they were about to experience one of the wonders of the musical world. And there was more Haydn as an encore: the finale of the C major Quartet Op 74 No 1, conveyed as dazzling quicksilver.
Michael Theodore’s “Panauromni” on Chicago Top 10
Cover art by Peter Mendelsund
Michael Theodore‘s ensemble Psychoangelo’s new recording Panauromni has been named a top ten classical album of 2010 by Time Out Chicago. The recording has also been receiving airplay on various college radio stations in the United States, and on BBC’s Radio 3.
Theodore co-composed all of the pieces on the album as well as performing on them. He collaborated with CU Colorado Springs faculty member Glen Whitehead on the project. In 2011 Theodore and Whitehead will perform as a duo at “The Stone,” the New York City venue run by legendary experimental musician John Zorn.
Renowned graphic designer Peter Mendelsund created the cover art for Panauromni. Mendelsund’s recent work includes the cover of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
For more information about Panauromni including a track listing and reviews or to purchase, visit www.innova.mu.
Takács Quartet and Daniel Kellogg
The Takács Quartet just completed a three-concert series focusing on Schubert in New York City (92nd Street Y), and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The series featured the New York premiere of a new work composed for the Quartet by CU composer Daniel Kellogg, based on the slow movement theme of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” Quartet; guest pianist Jeffrey Kahane, guest cellist Paul Katz, and guest bassist Joseph Feeney.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Boston Musical Intelligencer Review of Andrew Cooperstock
A disappointingly small audience turned out for one of the most significant and worthwhile concerts of the 2010 Maverick Concerts season in Woodstock. Saturday evening. The duo Opus Two, violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock, played a recital called “American Spirit,” and they justified their title with both repertoire and performance.
The program opened with Aaron Copland’s regrettably scarce Violin Sonata (written three years after his summer sojourn in Woodstock with Benjamin Britten). This plainspoken, unaffected music shares the aesthetic of the contemporaneous Appalachian Spring, and to this listener at least it seems equally expressive and effective. In fact, the way the music frequently changes tempo and mood even within its movements is similar to Copland’s ballet writing. The performance was lively and alert throughout, and, as with the entire recital, beautifully balanced.
Needing material to fill out an all-Bernstein chamber CD, Opus Two commissioned composer Eric Stern to create a suite of music from a Bernstein operetta, Four Movements from “Candide.” Stern did outstanding work, imaginatively rescoring Bernstein’s songs to make them sound like real chamber music. I thought that the third movement, the famous “Glitter and Be Gay,” would have been a better finale. Again the performance was outstanding, aiding in the transformation from vocal to instrumental idiom.
Robert Starer (1924-2001) was a personal friend, so I cannot pretend to be objective about his music. I can say, though, that Starer created an immediately recognizable, individual style, and that if I hear something of his on the radio I can always tell whose music it is before I hear the announcement. Starer’s Duo for Violin and Piano is a continuous meditation lasting about 15 minutes. Although it may seem like stream-of-thought, its opening material generates much of what follows and returns occasionally. It was fascinating to hear this music on the same program with the Copland Sonata. Copland was one of Starer’s teachers, and the Duo sounds as though it contains deliberate reflections of Copland’s work. These musicians recorded the Duo in 1995, and their long experience with it showed in a completely convincing performance.
The program concluded with the early Violin Sonata of John Corigliano. It was written for his father, John Corigliano Sr., and the father’s recording of the music for CRI was Corigliano’s first recorded work. This large neo-romantic work is not as substantial as the masterful work this composer has created since, but it’s still quite entertaining and easily holds a listener’s attention for nearly half an hour. Its finale has some apparent echoes of Bernstein’s work. Pleased with their enthusiastic reception from the audience, Opus Two gave us an American encore: Jascha Heifetz’s transcription of Foster’s “I Dream of Jeannie,” played with affecting lyricism.
Often when I hear performers who offer only specialized repertoire, I can understand why they specialize. Hearing the strengths of this duo, though, I’d love to hear them play Beethoven.
In its Maverick Concerts debut, the violin and piano duo Opus Two (William Terwilliger and Andrew Cooperstock) offered an all-American program, all performed with virtuosity, musicianship, and excellent balance. The rarely-heard Violin Sonata of Aaron Copland was revealed as a neglected masterpiece. Eric Stern’s arrangement of Leonard Bernstein music, Four Moments from “Candide,” actually sounded like chamber music. The ensemble recorded Robert Starer’s Duo for Violin and Piano 15 years ago and still plays it convincingly. John Corigliano’s Violin Sonata, an early, neo-romantic work, isn’t the composer’s most mature music but it was still lots of fun in a lively, virtuosic rendition.