In recent years, there have been valiant attempts to revive the tired format of the classical piano recital. You know, the one where the audience sits in reverent hush while soloists, clad in evening dress, display how fast their fingers can move up and down the keyboard and how loud they can play.
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Dance Theatre of San Francisco is the new kid on the block -- a precocious kid on a block crammed with nimble little dance companies that turn out adventurous new work on a shoestring. Like many precocious kids, it manifests admirable talent but also exhibits immaturity.
One hundred years after the start of the First World Wa Birmingham Royal Ballet pays homage with a stunning triple bill of revivals that showcases British ballet at its musical best, its theatrical best and its stylistic best.
Orchestras are running scared these days, with some going bankrupt, locked out, downsized or having their seasons shortened. Actually, you could say something similar of the entire classical music world. To counteract this, various scenarios are being attempted.
To indulge in a few stereotypes: Russian ballet is lush and expansive. Balanchine ballet is fleet and musical. French ballet is perfect, and perfection is limiting.
There is something feverish about listening to Cesar Franck. Something in this music takes you to another place. The hairs rise on the back of your neck. The response it evokes is physical as well as intellectual.
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A sole singer and his piano accompanist were quite enough, on the bare stage at UCLA's Royce Hall, to create an epic drama in desolation, a 70-minute journey through the icy gloom of heartbreak.