PRESS REVIEWS/COMMENTS 2016-2017
THE BERKSHIRE EDGE
Passionate music, ardent performances at Close Encounters with Music
December 7, 2016
25 Years of Thematic Programs
October 13, 2016
Press Reviews/Comment Archives
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS—a celebration of the uncommon in chamber music!"
"...one of the most interesting—and intimate—concert series around. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC Artistic director and cellist Yehuda Hanani has a knack for creating theme programs that explore various aspects of music with the help of some notable performers."
"Great music played with great heart."
"Hanani is the supreme master builder of thematic programming."
"The blending of Hanani's personality and Bach's provided an exhilarating conclusion to the evening."
"The Mahaiwe Theatre was thronged...'Orpheus and His Lyre' emerged as an idea of substance, as well as popular appeal....The afternoon never failed to fascinate."
"There's a palpable mystique about these Close Encounters concerts."
"A Soldier's Story,' ... was an intriguing project, and a noble effort--exuberant theatrical adventure... Stravinsky's winsomely galloping waltzes, polkas and marches framing the dialogues were in superb hands with the ensemble."
The New York Times
RESCUING NEGLECTED COMPOSERS
“ Mr. Hanani'srich tone and thoughtful phrasing made a powerful case for it [Eduard Franck Sonata for Cello and Piano] in a performance that had a convincing subtext: The 19th-century cello repertory is not so vast that cellists (or their admirers) should neglect works this opulently lyrical....Soulful, fiery performance of Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 2.”
Kansas City Star
"Spontaneity, sophistication and gritty music-making....Hanani's congenial manner and entertaining anecdotes succeeded in bringing the audience closer to the music."
"Audiences at the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC series have come to expect the unexpected.....This series demonstrates the important lesson that great music-making does not require superstars from the classical music world."
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
"CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC opened its season with a typically imaginative, ambitious program."
Albany Times-Union "STUNNER CLOSES SEASON!"
"Though Hanani, Prutsman and Upshaw all performed with that rare combination of mutual understanding and technical finesse which makes for the most satisfying chamber music, Hanani deserves special recognition for his astute program choices."
“Close Encounters with Music, under the direction of cellist Yehuda Hanani, began its 19th season Saturday night with a leap of faith that paid off in a stunning performance by the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin.”
“The Close Encounters performers were all outstanding, and just to hear them was justification enough for this concert, but the interesting mix of music and imaginative choreography of the whole event, plus Hanani’s helpful comments, made for a very satisfying evening.”
"The program provided stellar performances...played with passion and pathos..."
“It was a brilliant way to kick off a season...demonstrating it to be a chamber music series on a par with anything heard at Tanglewood at the height of the season. For this, we year-rounders are blessed."
“The Close Encounters With Music series, coming up on its 20th anniversary, scored another success on Saturday night with a program of works performed by the Avalon Quartet at the Mahaiwe that variously addressed the relationship between speech and music.”
WAMC Northeast Radio
"The Close Encounters classical music series is well known for its adventurous, innovative programming. Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani struck gold by presenting a remarkable evening of rarely-heard medieval and Renaissance-era vocal music...The performers were rewarded with a highly enthusiastic ovation by the 400-plus concert-goers."
"Must see concerts...the mind-and heart-engaging Close Encounters With Music series."
“The series is designed not only to entertain but also to educate, enhancing listeners’ experience of the music via accessible themes, layman-friendly analysis, and behind-the-scenes details and anecdotes that add color and context to the work.”
“An all-star lineup…CEWM’s usual high caliber.”
“The Berkshires are home to distinguished cultural events, but none so brilliant, perhaps, as the chamber music series, Close Encounters With Music.”