The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music EXTRA: News flash – Famed German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch has died at 89.

February 25, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

I especially loved his Schumann symphonies. (The first movement from Robert Schumann‘s Symphony No. 4 in D minor is  in a YouTube video at bottom, with Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting the Dresden State Orchestra.)

The German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch always exuded a sense of proportion and rightness in the music he conducted. (Below is a photo from his younger years):

wolfgang wolfgang sawallisch young color

He was not a flashy maestro, but one who let the music do the talking and feeling for him.

And now Wolfgang Sawallisch (below) has died at 89 in his native Germany after a globe-spanning career that include major stops in the U.S., Japan and Great Britain as well as Europe.

Conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch obit

Here is a link to an obituary in the Australian arts magazine Limelight, which is well worth following:,legendary-german-conductor-wolfgang-sawallisch-has-died.aspx

(Below is another photo of him conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra in a photo by Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times.)

And here is the obituary from the Associated Press:

Wolfgang Sawallisch

And here is a long obituary-appreciation from The New York Times written by critic and blogger Anne Midgette (is she back at the Times from The Washington Post?)”

Finally, here is a noteworthy remembrance by the famed British critic Norman Lebrecht:

Classical music: The Middleton Community Orchestra spotlights the young local violinist Alice Bartsch plus music of Saint-Saens, Verdi, Wagner and Benjamin Britten at its Winter Concert this Wednesday night.

February 25, 2013
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ALERT: Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall, the Guest Artist Series at the UW-Madison School of Music will present oboist Pavel Morunov (below, center front, in a photo of the troubled Honolulu Symphony players) and his violinist-wife Yana Bourkova-Morunov (below right) in a FREE concert of works by Giuseppe Sammartini, Robert Schumann, J.S. Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann.

Pavel Morunov

By Jacob Stockinger

The recently formed Middleton Community Orchestra, now only in its second season, has rapidly established itself as an enriching and enjoyable provider of classical music in an area that is saturated with classical music.

There is, first and foremost, the quality of the playing, from ensemble instrumentalists and young local soloists who are both professionals and amateurs, all under the baton of music director Steve Kurr (below).

Middleton Community Orchestra Steve Kurr conducting

You can check out reviews yourself you look up reviews by John W. Barker (below) on this website. Just go to the search engine and type in “John W. Barker” and “Middleton Community Orchestra.”


Then there are the other aspects, many of them social and educational, which I covered in a very positive review I did last spring. Here is a link to that blog post:

In any case, the Middleton Community Orchestra will present its Winter Concert on this coming Wednesday evening, February 27, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the comfortable Middleton Performing Arts Center (below), which is attached to Middleton High School.

Tickets are $10 general admission. Students are free. Tickets are available at the door, Willy St. Coop West or by calling (608) 212-8690.

Middleton PAC1

The concert once again spotlights a rising local “star” — one of the many laudable things about the orchestra — 20-year old violinist Alice Bartsch (below), in Saint-SaensViolin Concerto No. 3 in B minor. How refreshing to sample the talent around and amid us right here at home!

Alice Bartsch

Other works on the program are: Verdi’s Overture to  “Nabucco”; Wagner’s “Siegfried’s Funeral Music” from “Gotterdamerung” (2013 is the bicentennial of the birth of Wagner, below top), the final opera in the “Ring” cycle; Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession” from the opera “Lohengrin”; and Benjamin Britten’s “Matinees Musicales” (2013 is the centennial of the birth of Britten, below bottom).

Richard Wagner

Benjamin Britten           

Alice Bartsch is a member of the first violin section in the Madison Symphony and studies with Felicia Moye (below), Professor of Violin at University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.

Felicia Moye color

Wanna sample of what awaits? Try this YouTube video of the concerto by Saint-Saens:

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