Mary Beth Crain

The Kids Are All Right

Among Mozart's most famous chamber works are his six "Haydn" quartets, dedicated to the great Franz Josef Haydn. Mozart referred to these gems as "my six children," and he was a proud and happy father. The quartets were the product of perhaps the sunniest time in his life -- his......

The Kids Are All Right

Among Mozart's most famous chamber works are his six "Haydn" quartets, dedicated to the great Franz Josef Haydn. Mozart referred to these gems as "my six children," and he was a proud and happy father. The quartets were the product of perhaps the sunniest time in his life -- his......

He Walked the Line

For most of his life, Dmitri Shostakovich walked a nerve-jangling tightrope, trying to please his country's repressive communist regime while maintaining his artistic integrity. His Cello Concerto No. 1 (1959) was a success on both counts. Described by cello authority Lev S. Ginsburg as "an affirmation of life, triumph in......

Sound and Dance

The great thing about Laurel Tentindo (how often, one wonders, has she been called Laurel Nintendo?) is, well, about 10 things. Her daring choreography, amazing flexibility, talent as a puppeteer and mesmerizing ability to transcend the limits of the human body are just a few, but perhaps the most intriguing......

Hilary Hahn in Recital

Superstar violinist Hilary Hahn isn't just a performer. She's also a champion of new music, as evidenced by her commissioning project, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, for which she asked 27 composers to write short-form works for violin and piano. "There's an idea of the encore being a......

400 Years of Cool

"One of the reasons I enjoy contemporary music so much is that it presents languages that are completely unknown in advance of the encounter," Gloria Cheng once observed. "The challenge of sifting through the raw data and eventually assimilating both the language and the meaning really appeals to my intellect......

If It Ain't Baroque

There's a reason that Trio Sonnerie is widely considered the cream of the baroque music crop: The group is good. Really, really good. And there's another reason: Monica Huggett. The famed violinist, who's been held in worldwide esteem since her days as leader of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra back in......

Back-to-Back Bach

Bach's Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin is one of the major rites of passage for any aspiring violinist. A suite of dances composed of five movements, it culminates in the famous "Chaconne," a tour de force that demands not only endurance -- it goes on for......

Roll Over Rossini

"Non Piu Mesta" ("No Longer Sad") is a little aria in Rossini's comic opera La Cenerentola -- Cinderella, in inglese -- that's the bane and bounty of all coloraturas. Its difficulty is so legendary that only the brave should attempt it, and only the greatest mezzo sopranos will pull it......

Not Bad for 20

One could argue that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart set the gold standard for sacred music. His wizardry with instrumental combinations and choral textures was unparalleled in his day, and the utterly transcendent nature of his choral works takes a direct route to the heart. So the Hollywood Master Chorale hit the......