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Larry Fuchsberg

freelance music critic | classical music
Larry Fuchsberg regularly contributes classical-music reviews and stories.
Recent content from Larry Fuchsberg
Review: Minn. Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall

Review: Minn. Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall

Occasion was layered atop occasion Friday as “The Star-Spangled Banner” (in an arrangement by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the evening’s stellar conductor) rang out in Orchestra Hall.…
Gidon Kremer brings compelling music to Ordway

Gidon Kremer brings compelling music to Ordway

REVIEW: His Kremerata Baltica ensemble gave prominence to a work by composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg.
A gripping, corpse-strewn 'Macbeth' at Minnesota Opera

A gripping, corpse-strewn 'Macbeth' at Minnesota Opera

REVIEW: Superb singing by Brenda Harris and Greer Grimsley gives dark energy to Verdi’s music in the Minnesota Opera production.
Hilary Hahn and Hauschka pair up in concert at Aria

Hilary Hahn and Hauschka pair up in concert at Aria

REVIEW: Violinist and pianist played an exhilarating 80-minute concert without a score.
SPCO on its game with Kuusisto at the helm

SPCO on its game with Kuusisto at the helm

REVIEW: The wonderfully puckish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, together with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, offered a concert at Eden Prairie’s Wooddale Church that will surely rank among the year’s best.
Tchaikovsky program a holiday gift from Minnesota Orchestra musicians

Tchaikovsky program a holiday gift from Minnesota Orchestra musicians

In his first local concerts in a decade, former Minnesota Orchestra director Eiji Oue led the locked-out musicians and employed his vitality to deliver a dose of Christmas cheer.
Musicians of Minn. Orchestra offer a flesh-and-blood Mozart

Musicians of Minn. Orchestra offer a flesh-and-blood Mozart

REVIEW: Pianist Lydia Artymiw and musicians of Minnesota Orchestra gave a spare, articulate reading of Mozart’s A-major concerto.
Jacquelyn Wagner a true Strauss heroine in 'Arabella'

Jacquelyn Wagner a true Strauss heroine in 'Arabella'

REVIEW: Soprano Jacquelyn Wagner casts a spell as the sensitive, questing heroine of the Richard Strauss comic opera.
Zacharias shows strong rapport with SPCO musicians

Zacharias shows strong rapport with SPCO musicians

REVIEW: Guest conductor Christian Zacharias got a glorious sound from SPCO musicians in Charles Ives’ “Three Places in New England.”
Review: Minnesota Opera's 'Manon' rocks

Review: Minnesota Opera's 'Manon' rocks

Cast, costumes, choreography make for a strong staging.
SPCO played blissfully in music of Dvorák, Beethoven, Schoenberg

SPCO played blissfully in music of Dvorák, Beethoven, Schoenberg

REVIEW: The Chamber Orchestra, its ranks buttressed by locked-out Minnesota Orchestra musicians, played blissfully.
Classical: SPCO, Minnesota Opera, Liquid Music

Classical: SPCO, Minnesota Opera, Liquid Music

The SPCO is back with attractive programs, distinguished artistic partners, a host of neighborhood venues and plenty of cheap seats. Plus more fall classical.
Minnesota Orchestra's Grammy celebration makes a statement

Minnesota Orchestra's Grammy celebration makes a statement

CONCERT REVIEW Minnesota Orchestra's Grammy-nod celebration freighted with meaning.
Minnesota Opera offers riveting debut for 'Doubt'

Minnesota Opera offers riveting debut for 'Doubt'

REVIEW: Writer John Patrick Shanley takes his parable about certainty and doubt to opera with Douglas Cuomo’s powerful score.
Operatic venue enhances dramatic power of 'Doubt

Operatic venue enhances dramatic power of 'Doubt

REVIEW: "Doubt," unveiled Saturday at the Ordway Center as part of Minnesota Opera's 50th season, is an absorbing opera of ideas -- a philosophical yet lyrical whodunit.
A symphony with a message

A symphony with a message

REVIEW: Guest conductor Edo de Waart led the orchestra's musicians in a piece of music that often has been hitched to a cause.
The sad fate of Henry's wife No. 2

The sad fate of Henry's wife No. 2

REVIEW: Soprano Keri Alkema leads a cast of excellent singers in Minnesota Opera's "Anna Bolena."
Review: Music in midst of contract dispute

Review: Music in midst of contract dispute

Locked-out orchestra musicians took their appeal to a sold-out hall.
Performance under pressure

Performance under pressure

REVIEW: Dane, in conducting debut with SPCO, draws out moments of magic, despite musicians' contract turmoil.
Fall classical: Fresh sounds, new spaces

Fall classical: Fresh sounds, new spaces

'NABUCCO' Sept. 22-30 at Ordway Center Sophisticates may look down their noses, but Verdi's "Nabucco," which opens Minnesota Opera's 50th season, changed the face of…
New life for 'Nabucco'

New life for 'Nabucco'

REVIEW: The Verdi opera's 19th-century political themes are re-dramatized in this new production, which features strong singing and a star turn by soprano Brenda Harris.
Edo de Waart, pianist dazzle with SPCO

Edo de Waart, pianist dazzle with SPCO

The worth of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra was shown in the pieces by Strauss and Brahms.
Performance: Worlds collide in 'La Traviata'

Performance: Worlds collide in 'La Traviata'

In Minnesota Opera's non-trendy "Traviata," vivid singing carries the sad story.
A stellar opera to end Sommerfest

A stellar opera to end Sommerfest

REVIEW: Baritone Stephen Powell held nothing back in a stunning portrayal of Verdi's tortured Rigoletto.
Minnesota Orchestra's concertmaster shows brilliance

Minnesota Orchestra's concertmaster shows brilliance

REVIEW: Erin Keefe's first solo performance, of Beethoven, at Sommerfest, was sublime.
A last dance with 'Salome,' Mahler

A last dance with 'Salome,' Mahler

REVIEW: Vänskä and Minnesota Orchestra end their season powerfully.
Juxtaposing Mozart with modernist by SPCO

Juxtaposing Mozart with modernist by SPCO

CLASSICAL REVIEW: Superb performances of a legendary work by Varèse and two Mozart pieces are quite worthy.
Sibelius symphony rendered colossally

Sibelius symphony rendered colossally

REVIEW: Osmo Vänskä conducts a masterful version of the Finnish composer's First.
Accordo ends its season mixing known and rare

Accordo ends its season mixing known and rare

Two Minnesota Orchestra musicians were folded seamlessly into the ensemble.
Kwak gives farewell concert a tender, assured touch

Kwak gives farewell concert a tender, assured touch

Sarah Kwak's solo turn in Alexander Glazunov's Violin Concerto is her last before leaving to join the Oregon Symphony.
Bending time with Bruckner

Bending time with Bruckner

REVIEW: Stanislaw Skrowaczewski led the Minnesota Orchestra in a monumental Eighth, with profound results.
New concerto brims with ideas

New concerto brims with ideas

REVIEW Less might be more in James Stephenson's world premiere, "Tributes."
Cellist Ross superb in Prokofiev work

Cellist Ross superb in Prokofiev work

An all-Russian program gives the Minnesota Orchestra's principal cellist a solo turn, to triumphant effect.
Susanna Phillips is exquisite in 'Lucia'

Susanna Phillips is exquisite in 'Lucia'

REVIEW: In Minnesota Opera's "Lucia di Lammermoor," the soprano displayed an opulent instrument and intelligent, charismatic acting.
Steven Copes brings zest to violin concerto with SPCO

Steven Copes brings zest to violin concerto with SPCO

REVIEW: For his concerto, Korngold borrowed from his own film scores, which he described as "operas without singing."
Violinist's sound fills the Ordway Center

Violinist's sound fills the Ordway Center

REVIEW: Julia Fischer brought understatement and purity of tone to her Schubert Club recital.
To love or die in Germany

To love or die in Germany

REVIEW: James Valenti owns the show as a tragic poet in Minnesota Opera's staging of Massenet's "Werther."
Wagner's 'Tristan' lights way for glowing offering

Wagner's 'Tristan' lights way for glowing offering

In a sumptuous and powerful performance, soprano Christine Brewer proved that there is great Wagner to be heard outside of the opera house.
Serkin channels genius of Brahms

Serkin channels genius of Brahms

Guest soloist Peter Serkin gave a masterful performance of the Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Violin Concerto opens Brahms festival

Violin Concerto opens Brahms festival

REVIEW Guest soloist James Ehnes and the Minnesota Orchestra performed composer's only Violin Concerto.
Small works bring big rewards

Small works bring big rewards

REVIEW: Chamber music shows a moving and intimate side to composer/conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
André Watts shows off mastery in all-Liszt recital

André Watts shows off mastery in all-Liszt recital

REVIEW: The pianist gave no sign of burnout from the 19th century giant in his Schubert Club concert.

Dean's impressive 'Pastoral Symphony' packed a punch

Concert review: The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra gave a convincing reading to both the aggressive newer work and a mellow Brahms, plus a vivid Beethoven concerto.

SPCO under Boyd presents vibrant variety of music

Friday's concert at the Ordway Center by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, led by former artistic partner Douglas Boyd, was inspiriting on several counts. It was encouraging to see Americans gathered on so-called Black Friday for a purpose other than shopping, and to see so many young people in the house. It was heartening to see that same audience applaud a newish work, Brett Dean's ironically titled "Pastoral Symphony," which, without ceremony, had just punched them in the gut. And it was gratifying to hear pianist Jeremy Denk play Beethoven (Piano Concerto No. 1) and, for an encore, Charles Ives (the Beethoven-haunted "Alcotts" movement from the "Concord" Sonata) about as well as anyone can.
Midori plumbs depths in Sibelius

Midori plumbs depths in Sibelius

A concert program at Orchestra Hall that looked conventional sounded sensational.
Big Bach provides SPCO centerpiece

Big Bach provides SPCO centerpiece

The "Art of Fugue" is one of three pieces on the program.
French music with a jazzy twist

French music with a jazzy twist

ORCHESTRA REVIEW: Pianist Simone Dinnerstein combined freedom, control in bewitching Ravel concerto.
Two sisters at play, pianistically

Two sisters at play, pianistically

The Schubert Club's International Artist Series brought in the Naughton sisters from Wisconsin to open the 2011-12 season with a varied program of piano duos and duets.
In 'Cosi,' passion rules

In 'Cosi,' passion rules

REVIEW: Minnesota Opera's "Cosi Fan Tutte" steers adroitly between brittle farce and vivid drama.
Violinist deftly reflects new concerto's romance

Violinist deftly reflects new concerto's romance

Simone Lamsma, with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, sounded splendid playing Magnus Lindberg's 2006 work.
Fall classical music preview: 'Silent Night' at the Ordway

Fall classical music preview: 'Silent Night' at the Ordway

Nov. 12-20: 'Silent Night' at Ordway Center Traditionalists, relax: Mozart & Co. aren't leaving town. But nothing bespeaks a healthy musical culture so much as…
Brooklyn Rider goes all-Glass

Brooklyn Rider goes all-Glass

The Brooklyn-based group, which has been recording Philip Glass string quartets, played them Sunday with aplomb.
Accordo, its future uncertain, plays Beethoven

Accordo, its future uncertain, plays Beethoven

REVIEW: The ensemble's home base is in doubt, but it hopes to keep performing in the coming year.
Kernis work finds rich echo in Bach

Kernis work finds rich echo in Bach

The Minnesota Orchestra is playing Pulitzer-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis' "Concerto with Echoes," along with Beethoven and Sibelius.
Review: Mahler 6 in all its grim glory

Review: Mahler 6 in all its grim glory

Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra spare none of the work's feverish intensity.
SPCO raises an ambitious 'Son'

SPCO raises an ambitious 'Son'

REVIEW A contemporary chamber symphony by John Adams is neatly bracketed by Beethoven and Dvorak classics.

SPCO previews its Carnegie Hall show

Concert review: Call it a partial preview, since the Chamber Orchestra performs only about half of the show it will take to New York City next month.
MacMillan piece rooted in rosary

MacMillan piece rooted in rosary

Concert review: The new piano concerto, commissioned by Osmo Vänskä makes its world premiere this weekend.

Minnesota Orchestra pays a Nordic tribute to resilience

The moving program spanning northern European works was dedicated to the people of Japan.
Edo de Waart leads SPCO in an antic Adams

Edo de Waart leads SPCO in an antic Adams

Sometimes a program, though well-played, doesn't fit the mood of the listener, or the tone of the times.
Virtuosity on the violin

Virtuosity on the violin

A recital at the Ordway showed why Leila Josefowicz is one of today's "indispensable" performers.
Matthias Pintscher conducts himself, SPCO beautifully

Matthias Pintscher conducts himself, SPCO beautifully

Matthias Pintscher, a young German composer, presents a work of his own in his St. Paul Chamber Orchestra debut.
Worlds collide gorgeously, in song

Worlds collide gorgeously, in song

In Minnesota Opera's non-trendy "Traviata," vivid singing carries the sad story.
Clarinet concerto in U.S. premiere

Clarinet concerto in U.S. premiere

REVIEW: The work by Kalevi Aho gets an emotional performance by the Minnesota Orchestra and guest clarinetist Martin Fröst.
Kronos Quartet is still a potent force

Kronos Quartet is still a potent force

The string quartet, known for redefining chamber music, drew from their album "Floodplain."
Chilling story of cousins, both sopranos

Chilling story of cousins, both sopranos

Minnesota Opera's "Mary Stuart" is a grandly sung tale of blood and royalty.
A life in violin

A life in violin

Steve Copes of the SPCO talks about famous teachers, desert-isle music and the ups and downs of being a concertmaster.
De Waart takes SPCO on tour of favorites

De Waart takes SPCO on tour of favorites

For his second weekend with the Chamber Orchestra, Edo de Waart chose music close to his heart, from Mozart to Adams.
Pianist Yuja Wang gives bravura recital

Pianist Yuja Wang gives bravura recital

Chinese-born musician, just 23, played at high intensity for two hours at her Schubert Club date.

Orchestra begins new Beethoven cycle

CD REVIEW Osmo Vänskä and soloist Yevgeny Sudbin share a devotion to lucidity and daring dynamics in their first disc of piano concertos.

Suggestions for a good classical CD

A handful of discs that caught my attention in the past year.
SPCO finds zest, wit in Rameau

SPCO finds zest, wit in Rameau

Music of the French baroque is followed by Haydn and Stravinsky.
SPCO, Graf weave a tale of two cities

SPCO, Graf weave a tale of two cities

Austrian conductor Hans Graf put the dazzling music front and center as he led the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra through its stirring homage to Paris and Vienna. It was almost perfection, if not for the program notes.
Vänskä leads riveting 'Fantastique'

Vänskä leads riveting 'Fantastique'

Orchestra's performance of big Berlioz work swings between passion and pathos, menace and melancholy.
'Cinderella' light and dark

'Cinderella' light and dark

A wonderfully sung Minnesota Opera staging of "Cinderella" stars a Romanian mezzo in her American stage debut.
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