Bach Collegium San Diego’s Renaissance Christmas

Long before Baroque oratorio, ballet’s Sugar Plum Fairy and Rudolph defined our Christmas musical celebrations, the Christian Church cultivated an extensive choral tradition that probed the season’s profound mystery. Saturday (Dec. 13) at St. Brigid’s Church in Pacific Beach, Bach Collegium San Diego offered a resplendent concert of Gregorian chant and Renaissance motets for Advent and Christmas . . .

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David Bruce’s Mystical Violin Concerto

No matter how celebrated the composer, a commission is always a gamble. David Bruce’s “Night Parade”— the slightly jazzy, atmospheric tone poem he wrote for the San Diego Symphony’s Carnegie Hall debut and China tour last year—proved amiable, but it was no show-stopper. His new Violin Concerto “Fragile Light,” which Gil Shaham premiered under Music Director Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony Friday (Dec. 12), however, struck pay dirt . . .

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Elegant Nostalgia from a True Diva

The obituary for the solo vocal recital has been written so frequently it is a wonder that singers still attempt to present it. This fall, San Diego Opera has demonstrated how to make this supposedly moribund format come to life, and Friday (Dec. 12) mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe entranced her ample audience at the Balboa Theatre . . .

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