Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats."
Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, since 2007. All written content © 2014 by Paul Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Concert Review: The Belgian Dip

The NJSO opens its regular season.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Jacques Lacombe leading the NJSO.
Photo by Fred Stucker © 2010 The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra spends much of its time off the radar of New York's classical music cognoscenti. Yet, at the start of music director Jacques Lacombe's penultimate season at the helm, this Garden State ensemble is playing at a very high level indeed.

Concert Review: It's All in the Context

The Mozart Great Mass in C Minor at St. Ignatius Loyola.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The St. Ignatius Loyola Choir and Orchestra.
Photo by Rachel Papo © 2014 Sacred Music in a Sacred Space.
Does the power and majesty of a sacred choral work need to be performed in a church? That's the question posed by Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, the series of concerts held annually at St. Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue. Featuring the church's own chorus and orchestra under the baton of music director K. Scott Warren, this series opened its 26th season Wednesday night with Mozart's Great Mass in C minor and Haydn's Symphony No. 97.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Concert Review: It Happened in an Apartment

The return of the salon concert in New York.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
A pianist at home: Joel Fan. Photo courtesy Inverne Price.
In the 19th century, the salon was fertile ground for the development of what we today call "classical music." Chamber artists, virtuoso pianists and composers would gather together for social evenings at each other's homes in Paris and Vienna. Playing together and exchanging ideas, they helped build a culture that laid the groundwork for today's staid concert halls and opera houses.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Opera Review: Sailing the Seas of Hatred

As protestors shout, the Met unveils The Death of Klinghoffer
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The Klinghoffers (Alan Opie, in wheelchair, Michaela Martins, center) confront terrorists 
Rambo (Ryan Speedo Green, with rifle) and Omar (Jesse Kovarsky, in red shirt)
 aboard the Achille Lauro in Act II of The Death of Klinghoffer. 
Photo by Ken Howard © 2014 The Metropolitan Opera.
The Metropolitan Opera opened a month ago, but Monday night's company premiere of John Adams' troubling 1991 opera The Death of Klinghoffer was the real opening night, the  most significant event of this young season. The opera, offered in a handsome, disquieting staging by director Tom Morris in collaboration with the English National Opera is a strong argument for more stagings of modern opera by contemporary composers. This is a sharply executed and starkly beautiful production that offered genuine food for thought.

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.