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Acis and Galatea

Last fall the Chicago Opera Theater scored a critical and box-office success with a stylish staging of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, so it’s wrapping up this season with a revival of another Baroque opera, Handel’s pastoral Acis and Galatea. The current production uses a sterling 10-piece period-instrument orchestra, anchored by violist da gamba Mary Springfels and her […]

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Alejandro Escovedo/Cheri Knight

With his ambitious third album, With These Hands (Rykodisc), Alejandro Escovedo breaks through the powerful but painful testimonials of his first two solo outings. While he’s come to grips with his estranged wife’s suicide and happily remarried, he hasn’t necessarily opted for lighter subject matter. The gritty “Little Bottles” tells how a self-absorbed loser destroys […]

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Alfred Brendel

Returning to Orchestra Hall for the fourth year in a row as part of his ongoing survey of the Beethoven piano sonatas, Alfred Brendel this time tackles the most difficult and emotionally rewarding of the cycle, the last three sonatas. Never mind that just about every worthy pianist is embarking on the same project–though in […]

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Alejandro Escovedo

A few years ago, beset by everything from the demise of his band the True Believers in a haze of drugs and acrimony to the suicide of his estranged wife, Alejandro Escovedo was unquestionably at a personal and professional nadir. Since then he’s slowly emerged from the gloom. At this year’s SXSW festival, he was […]

Posted inMusic

Alejandro Escovedo

In the four years since the breakup of his acclaimed band, the True Believers, Alejandro Escovedo has retained his position as perhaps the most talented songwriter and bandleader on the vibrant Austin music scene through some restless collaborations and piercing and luminous shows with an aggregation called the Alejandro Escovedo orchestra. At the same time, […]

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1988 Palais Royal Orchestra

When society bandleader Paul Whiteman led his Palais Royal Orchestra in “An Experiment in Modern Music” at New York’s Aeolian Hall on February 12, 1924, his intention was (in the words of the original program notes) “purely educational”: he wanted to demonstrate to high-toned listeners that “the discordant jazz” of the streets had evolved into […]