The Philadelphia Orchestra's two-week John Williams festival ideally balanced the two lives of this hugely well-known, oft-awarded composer - and left you feeling that you knew the personality behind the music.
Somehow the words love fest don't cover it.
Wednesday's one-night-only concert of John Williams film music by the Philadelphia Orchestra as part of its two-week Williams celebration was bound to be good box office, with an audience exuding good will accumulated from the many popular Stephen Spielberg films that he has scored. But what unfolded at the Kimmel Center was beyond what could have been anticipated.
The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia assembled a whale of a mostly British music program on Sunday. It would have been great - had the performances consistently honored the music on levels that it required. As it was, the best news that came out of this season-ending concert at Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion is that two of Philadelphia's world-class composers wrote new pieces. Both were in top form, showing hugely different approaches toward the same text.
'Tonight, we commune with the dead," declared the intermission lecturer, Philip Jones, a Babylonian specialist. Is that so different from many classical music concerts?
If John Williams is an alien presence on traditional symphonic programs, his concertos and overtures are like the friendly UFOs visiting Earth in Close Encounters of the Third Kind: They may not entirely fit in, but that's what makes their presence interesting.
Face(book)ing the Music. The San Francisco Symphony says it will become the first major symphony orchestra to stream on Facebook Live on Wednesday, when it performs the world premiere of Mason Bates' Auditorium. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts, with Bates per
See What I Wanna See
Produced by 11th Hour Theatre Company, April 28 to May 15 at the Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St.
J.S. Bach from the master. At 82, conductor Helmuth Rilling has possibly logged more Bach than anybody, having recorded all of Bach's choral works over some 170 compact discs. In Philadelphia this week, he is hosted by Temple University in master conducti
Nobody says J.S. Bach cures post-traumatic stress disorder. But few would be surprised if his music helped, whether it is the Goldberg Variations, heard after the Paris terror attacks last November, or the St. Matthew Passion on the day after the Brussels suicide bombings last month.
Francesa dePasquale and Meng-Chieh Liu
3 p.m. Sunday at the Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
You may think you're hearing voices at violinist Francesca dePasquale's recital next Sunday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Be assured: the effect is intentional.
David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.