BREAKING NEWS: Classical Music http://feed.informer.com/digests/LH2WF86YYN/feeder BREAKING NEWS: Classical Music Respective post owners and feed distributors Tue, 04 Jun 2013 13:21:50 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Separation Songs at Monk Space http://www.sequenza21.com/2020/02/separation-songs-at-monk-space/ Sequenza21/ urn:uuid:c978da99-08c6-0271-5f73-06d0167304d7 Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:50:02 +0000 On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Brightwork newmusic presented the Los Angeles premiere of Separation Songs, by Matt Sargent.  A 70 minute work for two string quartets, Separation Songs comprised the entire program. The Eclipse Quartet was joined by the Aperture Duo, Grace Oh and Julie Jung to complete the eight-piece ensemble. Seating in the Monk [&#8230;] <p><a href="http://www.sequenza21.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SepSongs.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-13082" src="http://www.sequenza21.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SepSongs-300x300.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="300" srcset="http://www.sequenza21.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SepSongs-300x300.jpg 300w, http://www.sequenza21.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SepSongs-150x150.jpg 150w, http://www.sequenza21.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SepSongs-768x768.jpg 768w, http://www.sequenza21.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SepSongs-1024x1024.jpg 1024w, http://www.sequenza21.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SepSongs.jpg 1469w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /></a>On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, <a href="https://brightworknewmusic.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Brightwork newmusic</a> presented the Los Angeles premiere of <em>Separation Songs</em>, by Matt Sargent.  A 70 minute work for two string quartets, <em>Separation Songs</em> comprised the entire program. The <a href="https://www.eclipsequartet.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Eclipse Quartet</a> was joined by the <a href="https://www.apertureduo.com/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Aperture Duo</a>, Grace Oh and Julie Jung to complete the eight-piece ensemble. Seating in the <a href="https://brightworknewmusic.com/tuesdays-at-monk-space/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Monk Space</a> venue was reconfigured to accommodate the larger musical forces and to take full advantage of the close acoustics. Everyone in the audience was within twenty feet of the players, allowing the listeners to be immersed in the warm sonority of the strings.</p> <p><em>Separation Songs</em> is fashioned from ten New England hymn tunes written by William Billings in the early 18th century. This is plain, yet stately, church music that carries comfort and warmth in every note. The original harmonies have been delicately processed and woven together in a continuous flow.  Composer Matt Sargent writes “Throughout the piece, hymn tunes come and go, passing from one quartet to the other: As tunes reappear, they filter through a ‘separation process,’ whereby selected notes migrate from one quartet to the other. The process leaves breaks in the music that remain silent or are filled by stretching the durations of nearby notes, generating new rhythms and harmonies.”</p> <p>The two quartets were arrayed as mirror images: the  cellos were in the center and the higher strings seated in a semicircle on either side. The brick walls surrounding the performance space brought out every timbral nuance. <em>Separation Songs</em> opens with one quartet playing a stately cantus firmus in full harmony. The second quartet picked up the tune while the first played long sustaining tones in support. As the piece proceeded, the hymn tunes and sustained notes were passed back and forth between the two quartets in a regular exchange. Nothing was rushed and only slight variations in dynamics, tempo or texture could be detected. Everything was carried forward in the kaleidoscopic unfolding of the harmonies so that a warm wash of sound enveloped the audience in a profound serenity. The playing was very expressive and care was taken by the musicians to coordinate the two quartets in a piece with few landmarks.</p> <p><em>Separation Songs</em> rolls along for 70 minutes with almost no change in its character, but the harmonic variations keep the listener continuously engaged. The sturdy hymn tunes bring a sense of strength and wistfulness to this music; a shorter version would make a perfect prelude at a memorial service. <em>Separation Songs</em> is a powerful re-imagining of the early American congregational hymn, and succeeds brilliantly in bringing a sharpened sense of the transcendental into the 21st century. As the last notes faded away, a full 15 seconds of respectful silence followed before the start of a roaring ovation from the audience.</p> <p><em>Separations Songs</em> is available on CD from <a href="http://coldbluemusic.com/new-releases/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cold Blue Music.</a></p> <p>The Eclipse Quartet is:<br /> Sarah Thornblade, violin<br /> Sara Parkins, violin<br /> Alma Lisa Fernandez, viola<br /> Maggie Parkins, cello</p> <p>The Aperture Duo is:<br /> Adrianne Pope, violin<br /> Linnea Powell, viola</p> <p>With:<br /> Grace Oh, violin<br /> Julie Jung, cello</p> <p>The next Cold Blue Music presentation will be at the <a href="https://soundwavesnewmusic.com/2019/10/16/march-18-2020-cold-blue-music/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Soundwaves concert series</a> at the Santa Monica Public Library on March 18, 2020, and will feature music from several new CD releases.</p> Tilson Thomas introduces lyrical Meditations to Cleveland https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/tilson-thomas-introduces-lyrical-meditations-to-cleveland/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:49b8d037-6b08-e264-3775-38e540a48839 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:01:55 +0000 Tilson Thomas, Berlioz: Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano), Dashon Burton (bass), Cleveland Orchestra / Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor), Severance Hall, Cleveland, 20.2.2020. (MSJ) Tilson Thomas – Meditations on Rilke Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique Michael Tilson Thomas has a long relationship with the Cleveland Orchestra, going all the way back to an award-winning recording of Orff&#8217;s Carmina Burana [&#8230;] Memorable Sibelius from Emmanuel Tjeknavorian and Michael Sanderling https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/memorable-sibelius-from-emmanuel-tjeknavorian-and-michael-sanderling/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:6e0906d5-fe44-df32-64ed-d4e147313c0a Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:57:47 +0000 Sibelius, Brahms: Emmanuel Tjeknavorian (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra / Michael Sanderling (conductor), Royal Festival Hall, London, 23.2.2020 (CS) Sibelius – Violin Concerto in D minor Op.47 Brahms – Symphony No.4 in E minor Op.98 In 2015, at 20 years-of-age, Austrian violinist Emmanuel Tjeknavorian won the prize for the best interpretation of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto at the [&#8230;] Pianist Kevin Lee Sun in Aptos Keyboard Series http://www.peninsulareviews.com/2020/02/24/__trashed-3/ Peninsula Reviews urn:uuid:b433d977-990c-9843-9cba-834e72c0e26f Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:05:52 +0000 Kevin Lee Sun made quite a splash when he won the Grand Prize in the Carmel Music Society&#8217;s 2018 Biennial Piano Competition, and he reinforced this positive impression when he appeared as a recitalist on the Music Society&#8217;s regular concert &#8230; <a href="http://www.peninsulareviews.com/2020/02/24/__trashed-3/">Continue reading <span class="meta-nav">&#8594;</span></a> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter is-resized"><img src="http://www.peninsulareviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Kevin-Lee-Sun-2-23-2020.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-18442" width="319" height="319" srcset="http://www.peninsulareviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Kevin-Lee-Sun-2-23-2020.jpg 225w, http://www.peninsulareviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Kevin-Lee-Sun-2-23-2020-150x150.jpg 150w" sizes="(max-width: 319px) 100vw, 319px" /><figcaption><strong>Pianist Kevin Lee Sun</strong></figcaption></figure></div> <p>Kevin Lee Sun made quite a splash when he won the Grand Prize in the Carmel Music Society&#8217;s 2018 Biennial Piano Competition, and he reinforced this positive impression when he appeared as a recitalist on the Music Society&#8217;s regular concert season in January 2019. It was, however, noted in 2019, that Sun&#8217;s programming for this recital was odd. The most dramatic works that should have ended the program were scheduled in the first half so that the more problematic selections ended the program with a whimper rather than a bang. It so puzzlied the audience that at the end of the program there was a weak standing ovation and no encore.</p> <span id="more-18462"></span> <p>Well, in his rectal yesterday afternoon for the Aptos Keyboard Series at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, he certainly got the programming concept right this time. Starting off with a slightly neutral performance of the Bach <em>Toccata in F-sharp minor,</em> BWV 910, an early work, Sun informed us, that might have originally been conceived for organ and influenced by Bach&#8217;s trip (250 miles on foot) to spend some time admiring the craftsmanship of Dieterich Buxtehude. The Bach <em>Toccata</em> was followed by an intense performance of Schubert&#8217;s <em>Sonata in A minor,</em> D. 845. From its very first notes we heard elegant and sensitive shaping of song-like phrases as well as lots of <em>Sturm und Drang</em> in the more passionate sections. </p> <p>It was after intermission that Sun had his finest moments. The great surprise of the afternoon was his performance of a contemporary work, <em>Rain Study,</em> composed by Hyo-shin Na in 1999. Sun informed the audience that this work contained Korean idioms merged with western traditions and its central theme was the brevity of life &#8212; &#8220;Although the sun that sets will rise the next day, a life that passes will not rise again.&#8221; </p> <p>This work featured a weaving in and out of sonorities that were constantly interrupted by melodic fragments and dissonant clusters of notes. The lovely ending of this work gave us an uneasy serenity as its final moments drifted off silently into the ether.</p> <p>The program ended with a passionate and large-scaled performance of Schumann&#8217;s <em>Kreslierana</em> &#8212; I say &#8220;large-scaled&#8221; because there were some strident percussive passages that threatened to overwhelm the piano. But, Sun&#8217;s performance was focussed and artistic in its absolute control of the eight sections of this work, each with its own charm and magic.</p> <p>Sun took us on a wild journey, and we enjoyed it.</p> <p style="text-align:center">End </p> <p>.</p> <p></p> <p></p> The Instrument That Makes The Earth Sing https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/the-instrument-that-makes-the-earth-sing.html ArtsJournal urn:uuid:78121780-1da8-f292-2903-44805a52a675 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 16:00:00 +0000 <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/the-instrument-that-makes-the-earth-sing.html" title="The Instrument That Makes The Earth Sing" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a>The Earth Harp is a massive stringed instrument that its inventor, William Close, says makes audiences feel like they&#8217;re &#8220;inside the instrument&#8221; during performances. Indeed, because he has to string the instrument across canyons or from a stage to an upper level of a concert hall or from a large piece of ceremonial architecture to [&#8230;] <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/the-instrument-that-makes-the-earth-sing.html" title="The Instrument That Makes The Earth Sing" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-24-at-7.37.27-AM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a> <p>The Earth Harp is a massive stringed instrument that its inventor, William Close, says makes audiences feel like they&#8217;re &#8220;inside the instrument&#8221; during performances. Indeed, because he has to string the instrument across canyons or from a stage to an upper level of a concert hall or from a large piece of ceremonial architecture to the ground, audiences often are inside the sound. &#8211; <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/entertainment-arts-51551542/earth-harp-the-man-behind-the-unique-instruments-epic-sound">BBC</a></em></p> Bruckner Faces Exodus Following Bounty Of Modern https://classicalvoiceamerica.org/2020/02/24/strange-mix-makes-ny-phil-program-a-topsy-turvy-affair/ Classical Voice North America urn:uuid:5e141c90-a64b-9715-b446-c42962131368 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:01:04 +0000 <a href="https://classicalvoiceamerica.org/2020/02/24/strange-mix-makes-ny-phil-program-a-topsy-turvy-affair/" title="Bruckner Faces Exodus Following Bounty Of Modern"><img src="https://classicalvoiceamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/ReidFeatured-400-175x175.jpg" alt="" width="175" height="175" class="colabs-image" /></a><p style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 15px; width:175px;"> <img src="" width="175" /> </p><h5> By Leslie Kandell </h5> NEW YORK - Many audience members who heard the New York Philharmonic play the world premiere of a work by Ellen Reid and songs by Anders Hillborg and Björk with Renée Fleming left before Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony. Aimard and Roth present an exhilarating celebration of Beethoven at the Royal Festival Hall https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/aimard-and-roth-present-an-exhilarating-celebration-of-beethoven-at-the-royal-festival-hall/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:fccb1f85-6fcb-98ef-36fa-62b4dd1c70f0 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:23:49 +0000  Beethoven et al: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Gürzenich-Orchester Köln / François-Xavier Roth (conductor), Royal Festival Hall, London, 21.2.2020. (CC) Beethoven – Bagatelles Op.119 Nos. 7, 9-11; Piano Concerto No.5 in E-flat Op.73 (‘Emperor’) Isabel Mundry – Resonances (2020, UK premiere) Francesco Filidei – Quasi una bagatellla (2019, UK premiere) Beethoven – Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor [&#8230;] Toronto Has Vacant Buildings, And Musicians Need Cheap Performance Spaces https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/toronto-has-vacant-buildings-and-musicians-need-cheap-performance-spaces.html ArtsJournal urn:uuid:12ccf743-71fd-c33d-d304-e5c148518216 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:45:00 +0000 <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/toronto-has-vacant-buildings-and-musicians-need-cheap-performance-spaces.html" title="Toronto Has Vacant Buildings, And Musicians Need Cheap Performance Spaces" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a>Is this a city-led marriage made in heaven? One city councillor claims, &#8220;If we lose the DIY spaces we lose the next generation of live musicians.&#8221; &#8211; CBC <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/toronto-has-vacant-buildings-and-musicians-need-cheap-performance-spaces.html" title="Toronto Has Vacant Buildings, And Musicians Need Cheap Performance Spaces" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.40.00-PM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a> <p>Is this a city-led marriage made in heaven? One city councillor claims, &#8220;If we lose the DIY spaces we lose the next generation of live musicians.&#8221; &#8211; <em><a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pilot-project-allows-diy-performers-to-use-vacant-city-buildings-1.5472215?cmp=rss">CBC</a></em></p> A Conductor Stops The Opera Twice When Audience Cellphones Ring https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/a-conductor-stops-the-opera-twice-when-audience-cellphones-ring.html ArtsJournal urn:uuid:3b4091fc-2db9-049e-83b5-a1ac16cbce8b Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:45:00 +0000 <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/a-conductor-stops-the-opera-twice-when-audience-cellphones-ring.html" title="A Conductor Stops The Opera Twice When Audience Cellphones Ring" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a>Carlo Rozzi, conducting the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff on February 22, stopped Verdi&#8217;s Les Vêpres Sicilienes twice &#8211; and he wasn&#8217;t afraid to go directly to the audience about why. Said a member of the audience, &#8220;He got a warm round of applause after he stopped and ticked off the audience member. Both incidents [&#8230;] <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/a-conductor-stops-the-opera-twice-when-audience-cellphones-ring.html" title="A Conductor Stops The Opera Twice When Audience Cellphones Ring" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-9.21.00-PM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a> <p>Carlo Rozzi, conducting the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff on February 22, stopped Verdi&#8217;s <em>Les Vêpres Sicilienes</em> twice &#8211; and he wasn&#8217;t afraid to go directly to the audience about why. Said a member of the audience, &#8220;He got a warm round of applause after he stopped and ticked off the audience member. Both incidents were right at the beginning of the show and all was well after that.&#8221; &#8211; <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-51605675">BBC</a></em></p> Classical music news. The Elgar Festival https://www.classicalmusicdaily.com/2020/02/elgarfestival.htm Music and Vision urn:uuid:21bd0639-089e-d403-1373-50dfbe24b1af Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:00:00 +0000 An annual celebration of the great British composer takes place in Worcester and Malvern, UK, during May This week: concerts in New York (February 24, 2020 – March 1, 2020) https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2020/02/this-week-concerts-in-new-york-february-24-2020-march-1-2020/ I CARE IF YOU LISTEN urn:uuid:dd475556-620f-5554-5a1d-f59c5237002d Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:00:10 +0000 <p>Mark O’Connor &#38; Maggie O’Connor, PUBLIQuartet &#124; Music Mondays Violinists Mark O’Connor and Maggie O’Connor are joined by PUBLIQuartet to..</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2020/02/this-week-concerts-in-new-york-february-24-2020-march-1-2020/">This week: concerts in New York (February 24, 2020 – March 1, 2020)</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.icareifyoulisten.com">I CARE IF YOU LISTEN</a>.</p> Total Immersion: Anders Hillborg review – deep dive into a demanding and fascinating body of work https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/24/total-immersion-anders-hillborg-review-barbican-london Classical music | The Guardian urn:uuid:0d86f325-d56f-232d-acad-5bb764d143f2 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:53:04 +0000 <p><strong>Barbican, London </strong><br>The Swedish composer’s extraordinary music was performed with virtuosity and bravura energy in the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s day-long survey</p><p>‘I write pieces because fantastic musicians ask me to,” Anders Hillborg told the audience, with disarming charm, at the first concert of the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/bbc-symphony-orchestra">BBC Symphony Orchestra</a>’s Total Immersion day examining his work. The Swedish composer’s attractive, eclectic, sometimes playful, often profound music is virtuosic, both in the tremendous demands it makes on its performers, and in the dexterous, even glamorous way Hillborg handles his forces, irrespective of whether he is writing instrumental duets or works for a Mahler-sized orchestra.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/24/total-immersion-anders-hillborg-review-barbican-london">Continue reading...</a> ArtePiano Masterclasses https://melaniespanswick.com/2020/02/24/artepiano-masterclasses/ The Classical Piano and Music Education Blog urn:uuid:4c746a32-cb4f-35f8-fab5-12186ba2ccd7 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:37:33 +0000 My guest post today has been written by South African pianist Niel Du Preez (pictured below), the artistic director of a new piano course, ArtePiano Masterclasses, which will be held in splendid Sankt Goar, Germany. Here, Niel descibes how and why he established this exciting new venture. Sankt Goar A couple of years ago I... <div class="link-more"><a href="https://melaniespanswick.com/2020/02/24/artepiano-masterclasses/">Read More</a></div> <p style="text-align:justify;">My guest post today has been written by South African pianist <a href="https://nieldupreez.eu/">Niel Du Preez</a> (pictured below), the artistic director of a new piano course, ArtePiano Masterclasses, which will be held in splendid Sankt Goar, Germany. Here, Niel descibes how and why he established this exciting new venture.</p> <hr /> <div></div> <div> <div><img data-attachment-id="21116" data-permalink="https://melaniespanswick.com/2020/02/24/artepiano-masterclasses/niel-du-preez-9/" data-orig-file="https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg" data-orig-size="682,1024" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;2.2&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;NIKON D800&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;1368276610&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;50&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;800&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0.00625&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;1&quot;}" data-image-title="" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg?w=200" data-large-file="https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg?w=682" class="wp-image-21116 aligncenter" src="https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg?w=306&#038;h=459" alt="" width="306" height="459" srcset="https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg?w=306&amp;h=459 306w, https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg?w=612&amp;h=918 612w, https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg?w=100&amp;h=150 100w, https://classicalmel.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/niel-du-preez-9.jpg?w=200&amp;h=300 200w" sizes="(max-width: 306px) 100vw, 306px" /></div> <div></div> <h4>Sankt Goar</h4> <div style="text-align:justify;">A couple of years ago I reunited with a friend who is an opera singer, and who studied with me in Karlsruhe, Germany. He then invited me to give a solo recital at his newly established opera academy in the medieval town of Sankt Goar in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. As soon I arrived I was stunned by the calm, serene and beautiful surroundings, and I immediately thought this to be the perfect place to host a piano masterclass series, and, without discussing my idea my friend, he came up with exactly the same thought. Living in a big city like London where there is a 24 hour buzz, constant noise and disturbance, feeling hurried and not always having enough head space to indulge in focused, productive piano practice, Sankt Goar has proved to be the polar opposite of the environment I am living in. And this is how and where the concept of ArtePiano was born. It came at the right time, because I was ready for a new, different and exciting venture.</div> </div> <div></div> <h4>Creative Concept</h4> <div> <div></div> <div style="text-align:justify;">The idea was to create a teaching and performance platform for students of any age, level and background where they can focus on learning the art of piano playing, improving and furthering their skills, gaining self-confidence as well as performance experience before an upcoming exam, audition, concert or festival. <span class="mark1b143ctqg">Du</span>ring the weekend, students will receive three piano lessons, two performance opportunities, loads of practice time, a video/photo package, and they will be able to listen to a high calibre piano performance given by the faculty members and guest artists who have made their mark in the artistic world.</div> <div style="text-align:center;"></div> <h4>Location</h4> <div style="text-align:justify;"></div> <div style="text-align:justify;">Apart from all the musical activities, participants can also enjoy the touristic attractions Sankt Goar has to offer. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most beautiful stretches of the Rhine and therefore also ideal for hiking.  Its location on the west bank of the  river and a stone throw away from the famous Loreley rock makes it one of the most beloved tourist destinations in Germany. Above the town stand the ruins of the famous Castle Rheinfels and across the river lies the sister town of Sankt Goarshausen with its own castles, Katz and Maus (“Cat” and “Mouse”). The English painter William Turner used to spend much time in Sankt Goar, capturing spectacular views of the Rhine in his paintings. The town is conveniently located within easy reach of Frankfurt International Airport (60 to 90 minutes by train, or 70 minutes by car). Other important cities that can easily be reached  include Cologne, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Koblenz, Mannheim and Heidelberg.</div> <div></div> <div> <a href="https://melaniespanswick.com/2020/02/24/artepiano-masterclasses/#gallery-21108-1-slideshow">Click to view slideshow.</a> </div> <h4>Venue</h4> <div style="text-align:justify;"></div> <div style="text-align:justify;">The venue for our masterclasses is the SGIMFA (Sankt Goar International Music Festival and Academy). There are two salons where teaching will take place and concerts will be held in the main chamber music room on the ground floor (see photo gallery, above). The academy has five other upright pianos in various rooms, so students will have sufficient time to practise. Accommodation is offered on the top two floors and there is also a kitchen for self catering purposes.</div> <div style="text-align:center;"></div> <h4 style="text-align:justify;">Faculty</h4> <div style="text-align:justify;">My fellow teacher on the faculty will be <a href="http://www.marknixonpiano.com/">Mr. Mark Nixon</a>, a well-established piano pedagogue and acclaimed soloist who is the Head of Keyboard at King&#8217;s College School, Wimbledon. The final member of the team is the talented videographer and photographer Daniele Ciferri, who is covering the promotion side of ArtePiano Masterclasses.</div> </div> <h4>Dates</h4> <div> <div style="text-align:justify;"></div> <div style="text-align:justify;">The dates for this year&#8217;s masterclasses are:</div> <div style="text-align:justify;">13 &#8211; 15 March 2020</div> <div style="text-align:justify;">12 &#8211; 14 June 2020</div> <div style="text-align:justify;">13 &#8211; 15 November 2020</div> <h4>How to Book</h4> <div style="text-align:justify;">I warmly welcome everybody to join us this year in Sankt Goar. It will be worth it! Visit our website at:</div> <div style="text-align:justify;"><a href="https://arte-piano.com/536-2/">www.art-piano.com</a></div> <div style="text-align:justify;">The closing date for the March weekend is <strong>28 FEBRUARY 2020</strong>.</div> <div style="text-align:justify;"></div> <div style="text-align:justify;">We are looking forward to seeing you there!</div> <div style="text-align:justify;"></div> <div style="text-align:justify;">Niel <span class="mark1b143ctqg">du</span> <span class="markg4qgg1n39">Preez</span></div> <div style="text-align:justify;"> <p>Artistic Director &amp; Founder, ArtePiano Masterclasses</p> <hr /> </div> </div> <h4><strong>My publications:</strong></h4> <p>For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, <a href="https://en.schott-music.com/play-it-again-piano/">Play it again: PIANO </a>(published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.</p> <p>You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions <a href="https://melaniespanswick.com/publications/">here</a>.</p> <div> <div> <hr /> </div> </div> Gürzenich O Köln/Roth review – inventive and compelling Beethoven tribute https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/24/gurzenich-orchestra-koln-francois-xavier-roth-review-royal-festival-hall-beethoven Classical music | The Guardian urn:uuid:19127b4d-81c4-6901-84ae-440d51521645 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 09:23:08 +0000 <p><strong>Royal Festival Hall, London </strong><br>Inspired by the 1808 benefit concert, Francois-Xavier Roth and Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s programme mixed Beethoven’s music with 20th-century classics and new works</p><p>There are more than 10 months still to go, but if anyone comes up with a more inventive way of celebrating <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/ludwig-van-beethoven">Beethoven</a>’s 250th anniversary year than François-Xavier Roth and the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, I shall be very surprised. Inspired by the historic <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/20/beethoven-the-1808-concert-review-st-davids-hall-cardiff-carlo-rizzi-jaime-martin">1808 benefit concert</a> that included the premieres of the Fourth Piano Concerto and Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, Roth and the pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard devised a programme mixing Beethoven’s music with 20th-century classics and specially commissioned works.</p><p>The two seamless strands, each an hour long, included solo piano as well as orchestral pieces – the first Beethoven to be heard was four of the Op 119 Bagatelles, emerging from the percussive haze of <a href="https://en.karstenwitt.com/isabel-mundry">Isabel Mundry</a>’s Resonances, which provided the connective tissue throughout the programme. The last bagatelle was still dying away when the orchestra launched into the only Beethoven work played complete, the Emperor Concerto, in a brisk and occasionally brusque reading by Aimard. The first half closed with Francesco Filidei’s Quasi una Bagatella, assembled out of material from the Emperor Concerto and generating grinding climaxes and a manic final presto.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/24/gurzenich-orchestra-koln-francois-xavier-roth-review-royal-festival-hall-beethoven">Continue reading...</a> Creating Better Surveys Using Narrative Driven Questions https://adaptistration.com/2020/02/24/creating-better-surveys-using-narrative-driven-questions/ Adaptistration urn:uuid:d0b572ed-cb22-5ed8-916f-c13bd623d122 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:00:03 +0000 Audience surveys have been around for ages but most I come across are still rooted firmly in an old-school approach that relies on a certain level of understanding on the part of respondents in order to be effective. But there&#8217;s value in considering an approach that relies more on narrative driven questions. Narrative driven questions combine description and explanation of personal experiences in order to understand or explain reactions and behaviors, ... <p class="read-more-container"><a title="Creating Better Surveys Using Narrative Driven Questions" class="read-more button" href="https://adaptistration.com/2020/02/24/creating-better-surveys-using-narrative-driven-questions/#more-49651">Read more<span class="screen-reader-text">Creating Better Surveys Using Narrative Driven Questions</span></a></p> <p><img class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-21875" src="https://adaptistration.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Adaptistration-People-060-200x200.jpg" alt="Adaptistration People 060" width="200" height="200" srcset="http://24904uv1pb7kcgqm1itr5z1j.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Adaptistration-People-060-200x200.jpg 200w, http://24904uv1pb7kcgqm1itr5z1j.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Adaptistration-People-060.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 200px) 100vw, 200px" /></p> <p>Audience surveys have been around for ages but most I come across are still rooted firmly in an old-school approach that relies on a certain level of understanding on the part of respondents in order to be effective. But there&#8217;s value in considering an approach that relies more on narrative driven questions.</p> <p>Narrative driven questions combine description and explanation of personal experiences in order to understand or explain reactions and behaviors, or to help someone like a respondent connect with responses in a more meaningful way.</p> <p>This doesn&#8217;t mean traditional survey question formats go out the door, quite the contrary. Take for example the way a recent Washington Post political <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/quiz-which-candidate-agrees-with-me/">survey</a> used narrative to enhance traditional multiple-choice questions.</p> <hr /> <p><strong><em>As an aside:</em></strong><em> yes, the following example uses a political survey, but this post isn&#8217;t about politics. Five years ago, I wouldn&#8217;t have felt the need to make this point, but things change. I chose this survey because it is an excellent contemporary example of narrative driven survey techniques presented with an effective user interface. I hope anyone following the survey link will look at it through the lens of today&#8217;s topic: helping performing arts organizations create better surveys.</em></p> <hr /> <p>Response choices are presented as fill-in-the-blank options for a narrative driven topic question. Here&#8217;s how the survey presents a question about the topic of fracking:</p> <blockquote><p>Fracking has contributed to a boom in U.S. oil and gas production in the past decade, but it can affect the environment through groundwater contamination and continued reliance on fossil fuels. The U.S. should _______ fracking.</p></blockquote> <p>The respondent selects from a list of responses to complete the narrative. This question, and others in the survey, do a good job at placing <strong>equal amounts of value in learning as much as teaching</strong>. Key to this is finding shared understandings of the subject material and arriving at a response that builds confidence. To that end, did you notice there wasn&#8217;t a question mark anywhere near that survey question?</p> <p>I&#8217;m curious to know if anyone has been actively incorporating this technic into their own efforts. If so, I&#8217;d love to see what you&#8217;re up to and learn more about your results compared to traditional survey question creation.</p> Out with a bang in 2020/21: Vladimir Jurowski's last season as music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra http://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/out-with-bang-in-202021-vladimir.html Planet Hugill - A world of classical music urn:uuid:c8b96664-2e10-1856-e6d3-67b89c3dba57 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:53:52 +0000 <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Cb_v2kUZnw8/XlA-YDJNr3I/AAAAAAAASJA/JAcK53RKVdsx234WRh1wYDWoVtDpDuDyQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/London%2BPhilharmonic%2BOrchestra%2B2019-20%2B%2528c%2529%2BBen%2BEalogeva%2B8.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski (Photo Ben Ealovega)" border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="1600" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Cb_v2kUZnw8/XlA-YDJNr3I/AAAAAAAASJA/JAcK53RKVdsx234WRh1wYDWoVtDpDuDyQCLcBGAsYHQ/s640/London%2BPhilharmonic%2BOrchestra%2B2019-20%2B%2528c%2529%2BBen%2BEalogeva%2B8.jpg" title="London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski (Photo Ben Ealovega)" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski (Photo Ben Ealovega)</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: large;">2020/2021 is Vladimir Jurowski's final season as principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (and that of Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Philarmonia Orchestra) and he is going out with a bang, with two complete <i>Ring Cycles</i>. Edward Gardner, his successor as principal conductor, will also be conducting Berlioz <i>Symphonie Fantastique</i>, <a href="https://www.earbox.com/" target="_blank">John Adams</a>' <i>Harmonium</i> and three premieres. <a href="https://intermusica.co.uk/artist/Brett-Dean" target="_blank">Brett Dean</a> has been announced as the new Composer in Residence.</span></span><br /><br />Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO have been building up to the complete <i>Ring Cycle</i> with individual operas, and he will conduct two complete cycles of Wagner's <i>Der Ring des Nibelungen</i> in January 2021 with Allan Clayton, Ruxandra Donose, Christian Elsner, Burkhard Fritz, Robert Hayward, Torsten Kerl, Lise Lindstrom, Kai Rüütel, James Rutherford, Brindley Sherratt and Derek Welton. Role debuts include Matthew Rose as Wotan in <i>Die Walküre</i> and Brindley Sherratt as Hagen in <i>Götterdämmerung</i>.<br /><br />As new Composer in Residence, three of Brett Dean's works feature in the new season,<i> The Players</i> with accordionist James Crabb, who gave the world premiere last year, the UK premiere of the <i>Cello Concerto</i> conducted by Edward Gardner (with <a href="http://www.musicsalesclassical.com/composer/short-bio/Sofia-Gubaidulina" target="_blank">Sofia Gubaidulina</a>'s <i>On Love and Hatred</i>) and <i>Komarov’s Fall</i>, and Brett Dean will also conduct his own Pastoral Symphony in a chamber performance with the musicians from the LPO’s Foyle Future Firsts, a scheme for aspiring orchestral musicians. Dean will also mentor the LPO's Young Composer Programme.<br /><br />Other new music in the season includes <a href="http://www.thomaslarcher.com/en/" target="_blank">Thomas Larcher</a>’s <i>A Padmore Cycle</i>, written for tenor Mark Padmore, which has only been performed in the UK a handful of times since its first performance in 2011, <a href="https://culture.pl/en/artist/krzysztof-penderecki" target="_blank">Krzysztof Penderecki</a>’s <i>Concertino for Trumpet and Orchestra</i> receives only its second performance in the UK despite great international success. Other composers this season include <a href="http://www.davidbruce.net/" target="_blank">David Bruce</a>, <a href="https://www.dannyelfman.com/" target="_blank">Danny Elfman</a>, <a href="https://erictanguy.wordpress.com/a-propos/" target="_blank">Eric Tanguy</a>, and the UK premiere of <a href="http://donemus.nl/alexey-retinsky-de-profundis/" target="_blank">Alexey Retinsky</a>'s <i>De Profundis</i>, a symphonic work that Jurowski selected at an anonymous contest as part of Moscow’s Another Space festival, later conducting the world premiere in 2018<br /><br />As part of the culmination of the orchestra's <i>2020 Vision</i> series, Vladimir Jurowski and the orchestra will premiere <a href="https://www.jamesmacmillan.co.uk/" target="_blank">James MacMillan</a>'s <i>Christmas Oratorio</i>, a large-scale choral work commissioned by the LPO, to be performed with soloists soprano Mary Bevan, bass-baritone Christopher Maltman and the London Philharmonic Choir. The series also includes the UK premiere of <a href="https://www.boosey.com/composer/Magnus+Lindberg" target="_blank">Magnus Lindberg</a>’s <i>Cello Concerto No. 2</i>, with soloist Anssi Karttunen who gave the world premiere five years ago, the London premiere of <a href="https://www.lottawennakoski.com/" target="_blank">Lotta Wennäkoski</a>’s <i>Verdigris</i>, a work written for chamber orchestra in 2015, conducted by Hannu Lintu, Tamara-Anna Cislowska performs the European premiere of <a href="https://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/artist/kats-chernin-elena" target="_blank">Elena Kats-Chernin</a>’s <i>Piano Concerto No. 3</i>, a work she premiered in Brisbane in 2018.<br /><br /><i>2020 Vision</i> also includes previous LPO commissions, <a href="http://www.fabermusic.com/composers/julian-anderson" target="_blank">Julian Anderson</a>’s <i>The Discovery of Heaven</i>, which was premiered in 2013 and later recorded by the LPO, and Magnus Lindberg’s <i>Two Episodes</i> which the LPO premiered in 2016.<br /><br />The orchestra remains resident at Glyndebourne where it has played at the Summer Festival for over 50 years, and has a new residency at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg with four concerts over the 2020/21 season. In addition to residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne, the orchestra is continuing its residency at Saffron Hall which began in the 2019/20 season. Guest conductors and soloists at Saffron Hall include Colin Currie, Alondra de la Parra, Hannu Lintu, Daniele Rustioni, Toby Spence, Bryn Terfel, Simon Trpceski and more. In addition to the concert programme, musicians from the Orchestra will give masterclasses to local students and work on local community projects such as the music and dementia programme ‘Together in Sound’.<br /><br />LPO Junior Artists, the LPO’s free mentoring programme for talented teenage musicians from backgrounds under-represented in professional UK orchestras, will celebrate its fifth year. Many of its alumni, now in conservatoires, return to support the LPO Junior Artists: Overture scheme for younger students. The Open Sound Ensemble returns for its second year, offering free music-making opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents/carers. The Orchestra’s two inclusive programmes for adults - OrchLab, for disabled participants, co-delivered with Drake Music, and its partnership with Crisis, the national charity for homeless people – expand next season with new opportunities to perform and showcase their creative work at Royal Festival Hall, and for participants from both projects to work together on combined activity.<br /><br />Full details from the <a href="https://www.lpo.org.uk/" target="_blank">LPO website</a>. The shipwrecked world, and nature extinct: Musica Antica Rotherhithe gives the UK premiere of Michelangelo Falvetti's Il Diluvio Universale in aid of Operation Noah http://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/the-shipwrecked-world-and-nature.html Planet Hugill - A world of classical music urn:uuid:ff0a082b-8077-f307-8de8-d38bc9d452d3 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:28:10 +0000 <div class="hreview"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-w_AOm68_tjk/XlKF0lc0rVI/AAAAAAAASKs/NVTvAsnic0w5KPKbxRudOxRsbFsMtHCxgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/michel12.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Michelangelo Falvetti - Il Diluvio Universale" border="0" data-original-height="222" data-original-width="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-w_AOm68_tjk/XlKF0lc0rVI/AAAAAAAASKs/NVTvAsnic0w5KPKbxRudOxRsbFsMtHCxgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/michel12.jpg" title="Michelangelo Falvetti - Il Diluvio Universale" /></a></div><span class="item"> <span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;"><span class="fn">Michelangelo Falvetti <i>Il Diluvio Universale</i>; Musica Antica Rotherhithe; Holy Trinity Church, Rotherhithe</span></span></span> <br /><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;"> Reviewed by <span class="reviewer">Robert Hugill</span> on <span class="dtreviewed"> 22 February 2020<span class="value-title" title="2020-02-20"></span></span> </span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;"><b><span class="summary">The UK premiere of Falvetti's quirky Sicilian oratorio, engages and still has a strong message</span></b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;">When discussing 17th century Italian music, particularly secular music, we have a tendency to concentrate on a few great names and major centres. It is all very well listening to operas by Cavalli from Venice, by Rossi from Rome, and perhaps by Alessandro Scarlatti from Naples but what about other centres, other cities. Take Michelangelo Falvetti (1643-1693) for instance, he is hardly even a name to conjure with yet a significant body of his work survives and has started to be recorded. A priest, he worked consistently in Sicily (in Palermo and in Messina), writing music for use in the church, both instrumental music and oratorios.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;"><span class="description"><a href="https://www.musicaantica.org.uk/" target="_blank">Musica Antica Rotherhite</a> gave the UK premiere of Michelangelo Falvetti's <i>Il Diluvio Universale</i> (<i>The Great Flood</i>) at <a href="http://www.holy-trinity-rotherhithe.org.uk/" target="_blank">Holy Trinity Church, Rotherhithe</a> on Saturday 22 February 2020, with singers Caitlin Goreing (contralto), Camilla Seale (soprano), Jessica Eucker (soprano), Oliver Doyle (tenor) Joachim Sabbat (bass) and Tristram Cooke (counter-tenor), and instrumentalists Maxim Del Mar and Ilana Cravitz (violins), Jam Orrell (viola), Camilla Morse-Glover and Harry Buckoke (violas da gamba), Peter Martin (Theorbo/Baroque Guitar) and Christopher Jeanes (harpsichord). Thanks to a generous sponsor, the proceeds from the concert went to <a href="https://operationnoah.org/" target="_blank">Operation Noah</a>.</span></span></div><br />Musica Antica Rotherhithe was founded in 2016 by Jessica Eucker and Oliver Doyle, setting out to explore lesser known music from the 16th and 17th centuries, and the group's home base is <a href="http://www.holy-trinity-rotherhithe.org.uk/" target="_blank">Holy Trinity Church</a>, Rotherhithe (a post-war building replacing the original 19th century church which was bombed in 1940). The performers were from a mixture of backgrounds, some were still at college, some are professional singers or musicians, others having trained in music have moved into other careers, (Saturday's performers included someone who works in finance, and a director of the classical music agency Intermusica).<br /><br />Falvetti's <i>Il Diluvio Universale</i> was premiered around 1682 in Messina where Falvetti had just taken up the post of Maestro di Capella at the Cathedral. The libretto was specially written by the Sicilian academician Vincenzo Giattini. It is quite curious as it jumps over large chunks of the story, and the main thrust of the piece is moral rather than to tell a dramatic story. But Falvetti's musical approach is often dramatic, but not always and some things (such as the reaction of mankind to the flood) are rather skated over.<br /><br />The work starts with a prologue where Divine Justice (Caitlin Goreing), supported by the four elements, Water, Air, Fire, Earth (Camilla Seale, Jessica Eucker, Oliver Doyle Joachim Sabbat), announces that she is going to punish mankind. A duet for Noah (Oliver Doyle) and his wife Rad (Camilla Seale) reveals them to be on the Ark, God (Joachim Sabbat) appears to them and informs them that they are to be inundated by a flood (I said the plot had holes in it!). The final section is devoted mainly to Death (Tristram Cooke) a rather gleeful figures who clearly relishes his job. There is a final moralising chorus.<br /><br />The cast all came together for the choruses, and whilst the music was unfamiliar everyone performed this rather quirky drama with relish. From the opening, where Divine Justice interrupts the overture , it is clear that Falvetti allowed himself a freedom with structure. The whole piece was very fluid, with Monteverdian recitative moving easily into arioso and bravura arias. Clearly whoever the first cast were, they were talented. The roles were doubled (except for Divine Justice and Death), and I wondered whether the original would have had boys singing the alto and soprano roles (what was performance practice in churches in 17th century Sicily, I wonder?).<br /><br />There were some entirely serious moments, such as a couple of the choruses including the surprisingly large scale on 'And who will help me? In a sea without short to the waves'. This one also had one of Falvetti's imaginative touches as though the music is quite serious, the text breaks off as the people are drowned!&nbsp; But, throughout the performance the adjective I used most in my notes was 'perky'. There is a lot of rhythmically upbeat, almost toe-tapping music in this piece, and the culmination was perhaps Death's gleeful final dance.&nbsp; More surprising was that Human Nature (a wonderfully fragile Jessica Eucker) sang her final aria 'Open to me the passage to Death' to another toe-tapping dance. In his comprehensive essay in the programme Oliver Doyle points out that in Southern Italy the <i>tarantella</i> was originally a courtship dance, so Doyle speculates that Falvetti is showing how life is linked to death.<br /><br />Caitlin Goering impressed greatly as a highly dramatic Divine Justice, with a fine bravura rage aria. Joachim Sabbat used his resonant bass voice to good effect as God, whilst Tristram Cooke attacked Death's music with relish and glee. Oliver Doyle and Camilla Seale had a touching love duet as Noah and his wife, with undulating accompaniment suggesting the waves. Jessica Eucker was a fragile Human Nature, but still capable of virtuoso moments as well!<br /><br />The performing area in the church was rather limited, with the singers in front of the instrumentalists. Some of the more complex ensembles would, I think, have been improved if a way could have been found for harpsichordist Christopher Jeanes to be able to have eye contact with singers and instrumentalists.<br /><br />That said, this performance was given with great relish and not a little virtuoso bravura. Each singer had their moments and grasped them firmly. The instrumentalists were similarly accomplished, with some impressive solo playing from individual members.<br /><br />You feel that Falvetti's music warrants further exploration (there is another piece <i>La Giuditta</i> which is unusually sexual for its time!), and we must be grateful to Musica Antica Rotherhithe for having the courage to put on such an unknown piece. It was a courage that was well rewarded, as there was a suitably appreciative and capacity audience. We were treated to an encore, a repeat of one of the choruses. As the evening was a benefit for <a href="https://operationnoah.org/" target="_blank">Opera Noah</a> is seemed entirely appropriate to end with the words 'Ah, that at the end of so cruel a tragedy form a scene indistinct, the shipwrecked world, and nature extinct' <br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: large;"><i><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Elsewhere on this blog</b></span></i></span></div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li><b>The two are very different disciplines: </b>best known as a film &amp; TV composer, I chat to Stuart Hancock about 'Raptures' his new disc of concert music&nbsp;<b> - <a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/the-two-are-very-different-disciplines.html">interview</a></b></li><li><b>The art of the lute</b>: Thomas Dunford and the Academy of Ancient Music put the Baroque lute in the spotlight from concertos to trio sonatas and a solo suite (★★★★) <b><i>- </i></b><a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/the-art-of-lute-thomas-dunford-and.html">concert review</a><b><i><br /></i></b></li><li><b><i>Wild Waves &amp; Woods</i> from Sweden: </b>the Västerås Sinfonietta at Kings Place&nbsp; (★★★★) - <b><a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/wild-waves-woods-from-sweden-vasteras.html">concert review</a></b></li><li><b>Ductus est Jesus: </b>music from the Portuguese Golden Age from Gramophone Award-winning Portuguese ensemble Cupertinos (★★★★½) <b>- <a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/ductus-est-jesus-music-from-portuguese.html">concert review</a></b></li><li><b>Welcome rarity: </b>Verdi's <i>Luisa Miller</i> receives a strong musical performance in Barbora Horáková's new production at ENO (★★★★½) - <a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/welcome-rarity-verdis-luisa-miller.html">opera review</a><b> </b></li><li><b>Extinction, Nature overwhelmed and toxic masculinity</b>: music by Aaron Holloway-Nahum, Laurence Osborn, Liza Lim from the Riot Ensemble at Kings Place (★★★½) - <a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/extinction-nature-overwhelmed-and-toxic.html">concert review</a></li><li>Teamwork, resilience, self-discipline: teaching life-skills through music, I chat to Truda White of MiSST (Music in Secondary Schools Trust)&nbsp;<b> - <a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/teamwork-resilience-self-discipline.html">interview</a></b></li><li><b>Vividly engaged: </b>Schubert's <i>Death and the Maiden</i> from the conductorless string orchestra, 12 Ensemble (★★★★) - <a href="http://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/a-vividly-engaged-account-of-schuberts.html">CD review</a><i> </i><b><i><br /></i></b></li><li><b><i>Kokoschka's Doll</i>: </b>a new melodrama inspired by the tempestuous affair between Alma Mahler and Oscar Kokoschka is the starting point for this new disc&nbsp; (★★★½) <b>- </b><a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/kokoschkas-doll-new-melodrama-inspired.html">CD review</a><b><br /></b></li><li><b>Whither Must I Wander? </b>A young American duo bring poetry &amp; imagination to a voyage around RVW's <i>Songs of Travel</i> (★★★½) - <a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/whither-must-i-wander-young-american.html">CD review</a></li><li><b>Riveting &amp; magnificent: </b>Yan Pascal Tortelier &amp; Iceland Symphony Orchestra's 70th birthday tour reaches London with Yeol Eun Son in Ravel and Anna Thorvaldsdottir's <i>Aeriality</i> (★★★½) <b>- </b><b><a href="https://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/the-yan-pascal-tortelier-iceland.html">concert review</a></b></li><li><b>Bringing the music to vibrant life</b>: Owen Rees &amp; Contrapunctus explore the enthusiasm for Josquin's music in 16th century Spain&nbsp; <i><b>- </b></i>(★★★★) <a href="http://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/bringing-music-to-vibrant-life-owen.html">CD review</a><i><b><br /></b></i></li><li><b><a href="https://www.planethugill.com/">Home</a> </b></li></ul><br /> Introducing David Bedford http://landofllostcontent.blogspot.com/2020/02/introducing-david-bedford.html British Classical Music: The Land of Lost Content urn:uuid:3103ac67-58bf-d078-09e4-92222d648718 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 06:00:00 +0000 <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DDK2iUHJX5g/Xi8mytLB8BI/AAAAAAAAFEA/SvqXfF5JQHAo_fIPUSjcoNpFSa1rAdqGQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Bedford%2B1.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="581" data-original-width="417" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DDK2iUHJX5g/Xi8mytLB8BI/AAAAAAAAFEA/SvqXfF5JQHAo_fIPUSjcoNpFSa1rAdqGQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Bedford%2B1.JPG" width="228" /></a><span style="background: white; color: black; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">David Vickerman Bedford has created a perfect crossover world between mid to late -twentieth century avant-garde and the prevailing rock music of the 1960s and 70s. His music often balanced complexity with a minimalistic simplicity. Bedford experimented with novel musical forms, improvisation, extended instrumental and vocal techniques, graphic scores and multi-media. Yet, he never lost sight of music’s power to entertain from both the listener’s and the performer’s perspective. He once wrote that ‘music is getting excited about sounds.’ <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>David Bedford taught in several state schools and used this opportunity to compose music that met the needs of younger players and even those that did not have any academic musical training and score reading skills. In 2020 his music seems to have slipped off the radar. Yet, several of his art music and rock inspired works have become legendary, especially amongst his many devotees. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Brief Biography of David Bedford<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 18.0pt;"></div><ul><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Born at 41 Litchfield Way, Finchley, London on 4 August 1937</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Educated at Lancing College Sussex and studied music with Christopher Headington and John Alston.</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">As a conscientious objector he worked as a hospital porter at Guy’s Hospital in lieu of National Service. </span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Lennox Berkeley and then with Luigi Nono in Venice during 1961. </span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">First major work composed <i>Piece for Mo</i> in 1963. </span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Worked as a music teacher at several London schools between 1968 and 1980</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Appointed Composer in Residence at Queen’s College London between 1969-81</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Premiere of The Tentacles of the Dark Nebula (1969) with Peter Pears as the soloist. </span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Provided ‘orchestration for Ayer’s album <i>Joy of a Toy </i>(1969)</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Joined the band The Whole World in 1970. The group include Kevin Ayers, Mike Oldfield and Robert Wyatt. </span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Settings of Kenneth Patchen’s poem <i>Music for Albion Moonlight</i> issued in the Argo Label in 1970</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>‘Nurses Song with Elephants’ album released in 1972 on John Peel’s Dandelion Label. </span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Completed score of Star’s End in 1974 a major commission by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Orchestrated Mike Oldfield’s iconic <i>Tubular Bells</i> and <i>Hergest Ridge</i> (1974)</span></li><li><i><span style="background: white; color: #222222; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves</span></i><span style="background: white; color: #222222; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">&nbsp;in 1982 commissioned by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. </span></li><li><i><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Star Clusters, Nebulae and Places in Devon</span></i><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"> / <i>The Song of the White Horse</i> released on Oldfield’s record label in 1983<o:p></o:p></span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Appointed Composer in Association with the English Sinfonia in 1996.</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Appointed Chairman of the Performing Rights Society in 2002.</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">David Bedford died in Southmead Hospital, Bristol on 1 October 2011. </span></li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNormal"><b>Bibliography</b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">At present, no definitive biography of David Bedford or analysis of this music has been published. The most comprehensive study to date is an eleven-page essay by Carolyn Stokoe in <i>British Music Now: A Guide to the Work of Younger Composers</i>. This volume was edited by Lewis Foreman and published as far back as 1975.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Another important source is an autobiographical piece ‘She Had to Go to the Orthodontist, Mr Bedford’ published in the <i>Composer</i> journal (No.73) in 1981. This is a consideration of his operas for children. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">David Bedford’s family maintain a good <a href="http://www.davidbedfordmusic.co.uk/">webpage</a> and also a </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/davidbedfordmusic"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Facebook</span></a><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"> page, which is periodically updated.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Other sources are the usual dictionary entries, sadly the obituaries, concert and CD reviews and the occasional article in the musical press. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="Default"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="background: white; color: black; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-color-alt: windowtext;">David Bedford Trivia</span></b><b><span style="background: white; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="background: white; color: black; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-color-alt: windowtext;">His grandmother was Liza Lehmann (1862-1918), an operatic singer and composer of many songs and stage works. Bedford’s brother Steuart is a highly respected opera conductor and pianist. His mother, Lesley Duff, was a singer with the English Opera Group during the late 1940s working with Benjamin Britten. His grandfather Herbert Bedford (1867-1945) was a composer, artist and author. </span><span style="background: white; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="background: white; color: black; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-color-alt: windowtext;">In 1982 David Bedford made the ‘orchestral’ arrangements for Madness’s iconic song ‘Our House’. </span><span style="background: white; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><i><span style="background: white; color: black; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-color-alt: windowtext;">The Independent</span></i><span style="background: white; color: black; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-color-alt: windowtext;"> newspaper in Bedford’s obituary noted that he was ‘the only musician to have featured on both the BBC Proms and [John Peel’s] The Old Grey Whistle Test, he never rested on his laurels.’</span><span style="background: white; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Five Key Works<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">I have chosen five works that are available on CD, You Tube and/or download. Much of David Bedford’s massive catalogue remains hidden from listeners. I expect the Bedford’s estate has many recordings in their archives and ae slowly putting them online. I can only suggest sooner than later! <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Of the five pieces, three are ‘classical’ in a very radical way and two relate more to progressive rock music. Some of these pieces can be found David Bedford’s <a href="https://soundcloud.com/davidbedfordmusic">SoundCloud</a> page. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 18.0pt;"></div><ul><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">The Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves for wind band (1984)</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Symphony No.1 (1984)</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Twelve Hours of Sunset for mixed choir and orchestra (1974)</span></li><li><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">Stars Clusters Nebulæ &amp; Places in Devon for mixed double chorus and brass (1971)</span></li><li><em><span style="background: white; color: #202020; font-style: normal; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;">The Tentacles of the Dark Nebula for tenor, three violins, two viola and double bass (1969)</span></em></li></ul><br /> <div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white;"><b><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">And finally, if you have only time to hear one work:<o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-align: justify; text-autospace: none;"><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">I would recommend the magisterial <i>Star’s End</i>. This massive two-part work was written in 1974 in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It is a ‘significant breakthrough in fusing rock and classical techniques.’ Lasting for some 45 minute the piece was specifically designed to fit on two sides of a contemporary vinyl album.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The lead and bass guitars are played by Mike Oldfield and the percussion by Chris Cutler with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley<i>. <o:p></o:p></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-align: justify; text-autospace: none;"><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">This is a work that in my opinion has stood the test of time. True it is not everybody’s idea of classical music: it will not sit well with many listeners’ copies of Vivaldi’s <i>Four Seasons</i> and Vaughan Williams’s <i>Lark Ascending</i>. But <i>Star’s End</i> is a masterpiece from nearly half a century ago. It is an absorbing work, occasionally moving and always interesting.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-layout-grid-align: none; text-align: justify; text-autospace: none;"><i><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">Star’s End</span></i><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;"> is available on CD, it was originally released on the early Virgin Label, V2020 in 1974. The complete work has been uploaded to </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dEWCwY6V7k"><span style="mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">YouTube</span></a><span style="color: #333333; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB;">. <o:p></o:p></span></div><br /> Review: Yuja Wang and a chorus of coughing https://classicallife.net/2020/02/23/review-yuja-wang-and-a-chorus-of-coughing/ Classical Life urn:uuid:3fe3d55c-716e-99f1-083e-1459399ce8e5 Mon, 24 Feb 2020 03:39:17 +0000 Review: Yuja Wang Displays Virtuosity and Temperament for a Puzzled Segerstrom Audience. Voice of OC, Feb. 22, 2019. <p><strong>Review</strong>: <a href="https://voiceofoc.org/2020/02/yuja-wang-displays-virtuosity-and-temperament-for-a-puzzled-segerstrom-audience/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Yuja Wang Displays Virtuosity and Temperament for a Puzzled Segerstrom Audience</span></a>. <em>Voice of OC</em>, Feb. 22, 2019.</p> Wilhelm Backhaus SWR Broadcasts Remastered https://www.classicstoday.com/review/wilhelm-backhaus-swr-broadcasts-remastered/ Classics Today urn:uuid:9a0bd022-2371-8312-8c96-6c7df8cd1c7f Mon, 24 Feb 2020 02:16:56 +0000 The first “official” release of three South German Radio broadcasts featuring pianist Wilhelm Backhaus often proves illuminating, not only for the improved sound in comparison to previous bootleg incarnations, but also in how the performances differ from the pianist’s contemporaneous studio versions for Decca, especially the three sonatas encompassing a 1953 all-Beethoven Ludwigsburg recital. The [&#8230;] Nicolas Altstaedt skilfully directs a SCO concert of musical masterworks linked by tragedy https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/nicolas-altstaedt-skilfully-directs-a-concert-of-musical-masterworks-linked-by-tragedy/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:4a5f787f-f8a5-b193-2d9d-e8aa2581de9f Mon, 24 Feb 2020 01:14:41 +0000 Beethoven, Shostakovich, Ligeti, Schubert: Nicolas Altstaedt (cello / conductor). Scottish Chamber Orchestra. City Halls, Glasgow, 21.2.2020. (GT) Beethoven – Overture, Coriolan, Op.62 Shostakovich – Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op 107 Ligeti &#8211; Ramifications Schubert – Symphony No.4 in C minor ‘Tragic’ D.417 Nicolas Altstaedt in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra concert programme pointed [&#8230;] Does Heras-Casado Like Spanish Music? https://www.classicstoday.com/review/does-heras-casado-like-spanish-music/ Classics Today urn:uuid:fec8166d-d9ba-d615-946d-415398dc36b4 Sun, 23 Feb 2020 23:33:19 +0000 This is a slick, sterile, completely unconvincing performance of The Three-Cornered Hat, a work that really takes very little effort to carry off successfully. Of course the playing of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is super precise, but Heras-Casado&#8217;s unfeeling tempos and total lack of sheer danceability make listener a very unsatisfying experience. In particular, he [&#8230;] The Vibrant Electronic Music Of Video Game Soundtracks https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/the-vibrant-electronic-music-of-video-game-soundtracks.html ArtsJournal urn:uuid:05d657f1-0222-f7f3-b0cb-21436a33091b Sun, 23 Feb 2020 18:30:00 +0000 <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/the-vibrant-electronic-music-of-video-game-soundtracks.html" title="The Vibrant Electronic Music Of Video Game Soundtracks" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a>They&#8217;re different from the quality of movie soundtracks, many of which don&#8217;t stand alone, and they&#8217;re &#8220;a marvelous untapped source of experimental instrumental electronica. &#8230; The context of gameplay encourages compositions that are melodically specific, sharp-edged, and hummable.&#8221; &#8211; Hyperallergic <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/the-vibrant-electronic-music-of-video-game-soundtracks.html" title="The Vibrant Electronic Music Of Video Game Soundtracks" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-23-at-7.19.52-AM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a> <p>They&#8217;re different from the quality of movie soundtracks, many of which don&#8217;t stand alone, and they&#8217;re &#8220;a marvelous untapped source of experimental instrumental electronica. &#8230; The context of gameplay encourages compositions that are melodically specific, sharp-edged, and hummable.&#8221; &#8211; <em><a href="https://hyperallergic.com/543827/the-electronic-symphonies-of-video-game-scores/">Hyperallergic</a></em></p> Berliners Dance With Acoustics At Elbphilharmonie https://classicalvoiceamerica.org/2020/02/23/berlin-phil-performs-at-hamburgs-elbphilharmonie/ Classical Voice North America urn:uuid:9fd03a14-d009-b9ea-c605-a04b898c4791 Sun, 23 Feb 2020 17:43:59 +0000 <a href="https://classicalvoiceamerica.org/2020/02/23/berlin-phil-performs-at-hamburgs-elbphilharmonie/" title="Berliners Dance With Acoustics At Elbphilharmonie"><img src="https://classicalvoiceamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Berlin-feach-175x175.jpg" alt="" width="175" height="175" class="colabs-image" /></a><p style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 15px; width:175px;"> <img src="" width="175" /> </p><h5>By Tim Diovanni</h5> HAMBURG – On their ten-day trek through Germany, Kirill Petrenko and the Berlin Philharmonic trotted out selections by Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann infused with powerful rhythmic drive. Five exciting singers garner top prizes at the 2020 George London Foundation finals https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/five-exciting-singers-garner-top-prizes-at-the-2020-george-london-foundation-finals/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:962210f2-b3a3-072c-a4e7-deea1976bfee Sun, 23 Feb 2020 16:37:56 +0000 Various composers &#8211; George London Foundation Awards Competition Finals: Soloists, Lydia Brown (piano), The Morgan Museum &#38; Library, New York, 21.2.2020. (RP) The George London Foundation, named in honor of the great Canadian-American bass-baritone George London (1920-1985), has supported young singers financially for almost half a century through its annual awards program. This year, fifteen [&#8230;] Berlin witnesses a magnificent recital partnership between Braunstein and Argerich https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/berlin-witnesses-a-magnificent-recital-partnership-between-braunstein-and-argerich/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:7f65ea0d-6770-bde4-ed49-a3ea124eae32 Sun, 23 Feb 2020 15:49:05 +0000 Schumann, Prokofiev, and Franck: Guy Braunstein (violin), Martha Argerich (piano). Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin, 22.2.2020. (MB) Schumann &#8211; Violin Sonata No.1 in A minor, Op.105 Prokofiev &#8211; Violin Sonata No.2 in D major, Op.94a Franck &#8211; Violin Sonata in A major Martha Argerich returns to town: for chamber music with Guy Braunstein and for the [&#8230;] Technology Recreates The Sound Of 500-Year-Old Singing In The Hagia Sophia https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/technology-recreates-the-sound-of-500-year-old-singing-in-the-hagia-sophia.html ArtsJournal urn:uuid:bb26efce-f1a5-114f-732c-1e6ee3f94230 Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:00:00 +0000 <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/technology-recreates-the-sound-of-500-year-old-singing-in-the-hagia-sophia.html" title="Technology Recreates The Sound Of 500-Year-Old Singing In The Hagia Sophia" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a>This is a rather unbelievable story. &#8220;When [the two researchers] met, Pentcheva started telling Abel about the Hagia Sophia &#8211; how we couldn&#8217;t really understand the experience of worshipers there unless we could hear the music the way they did. And as she talked, Abel started to feel a prickling of excitement. They could recreate [&#8230;] <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/technology-recreates-the-sound-of-500-year-old-singing-in-the-hagia-sophia.html" title="Technology Recreates The Sound Of 500-Year-Old Singing In The Hagia Sophia" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i2.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-22-at-9.21.04-PM.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a> <p>This is a rather unbelievable story. &#8220;When [the two researchers] met, Pentcheva started telling Abel about the Hagia Sophia &#8211; how we couldn&#8217;t really understand the experience of worshipers there unless we could hear the music the way they did. And as she talked, Abel started to feel a prickling of excitement. They could recreate what that music would sound like. If only they could get in the Hagia Sophia and pop a balloon.&#8221; (Note: They did.) &#8211; <em><a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/02/22/808404928/listen-the-sound-of-the-hagia-sophia-more-than-500-years-ago">NPR</a></em></p> Michael Ball and Alfie Boe review – dulcet bromance hits the high notes https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/23/michael-ball-and-alfie-boe-review-sse-hydro-glasgow Classical music | The Guardian urn:uuid:d212a8ba-b7f4-68f0-9c6f-3a445ce9257c Sun, 23 Feb 2020 12:16:10 +0000 <p><strong>SSE Hydro, Glasgow<br></strong>Classic FM’s answer to Ant and Dec take their grandiose revue on a tour of the UK’s arenas, belting out broadway showstoppers and stirring pop ballads <br></p><p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2009/sep/08/michael-ball">Michael Ball</a> and Alfie Boe’s business is booming. The stage veterans know a thing or two about projecting a stirring melody so it rattles the back row, thanks to Ball’s storied career in West End musicals and Boe’s in opera and pop-classical. But at a time when the ubiquity of streaming has kneecapped album sales, the duo – who first met in 2007 during an unloved ENO production of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/arts/theatre/drama/reviews/story/0,,2114464,00..html">Kismet</a> – have managed to buck a spiralling trend.</p><p>Their first collaborative album of show tunes and standards, Together, cornered the 2016 Christmas market and became the biggest-selling album released that year. Their dulcet bromance has since become a cottage industry, with stocking-ready CDs released almost every fourth quarter, celebratory ITV specials, and large-scale arena shows. This latest live tour, in support of their recent third album Back Together, will culminate at the O2 in London next month.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/23/michael-ball-and-alfie-boe-review-sse-hydro-glasgow">Continue reading...</a> Classical music news. Obituary https://www.classicalmusicdaily.com/articles/l/r/reinbert-de-leeuw.htm Music and Vision urn:uuid:b1675693-3da5-c981-62eb-f46c43ddb499 Sun, 23 Feb 2020 12:00:00 +0000 Reinbert de Leeuw (1938-2020) Home listening: Bach, Haydn, Mozart and more https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/23/bach-st-john-passion-herreweghe-collegium-vocale-gent-review-haydn-8-roxolana-antonini-giardino Classical music | The Guardian urn:uuid:ab5e7bf3-f80c-1eed-a5ab-6791b9fde282 Sun, 23 Feb 2020 05:30:43 +0000 <p>Energy abounds in new releases from Philippe Herreweghe and Giovanni Antonini, plus Iván Fischer and the OAE live on BBC Sounds</p><p>• In nearly half a century since the Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe began performing <strong>Bach’s </strong><strong>St John Passion</strong> (in the earliest performances he shared the direction, conducting the choruses while Ton Koopman directed the arias), he has broadened his repertory vastly. On the evidence of <a href="https://outhere-music.com/en/albums/johannes-passion-bwv-245-lph031" title="">a new recording</a> (Phi), this has only served to deepen and tighten his response to Bach’s 1724 masterpiece. From the pounding, grinding opening chorus onwards, this is a completely gripping picture of the Passion story. The rising chromatic choruses of part two, as the crowd calls for crucifixion, are absolutely electrifying, while the chorales, mostly done quietly and simply, are moments of wistful personal reflection amid the tumult.</p><p>One shock to a purist early-music approach will be the use of the eloquent tenor Maximilian Schmitt as a thoroughly operatic Evangelist, but he matches well the dramatic approach of the whole. Soprano Dorothee Mields is unsurpassed in Zerfliesse, mein Herze, while Herreweghe’s choir Collegium Vocale Gent, replenished over the years, is ever fresh and precise.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/23/bach-st-john-passion-herreweghe-collegium-vocale-gent-review-haydn-8-roxolana-antonini-giardino">Continue reading...</a> Koroliov’s Slow And Inward Brahms Intermezzi https://www.classicstoday.com/review/koroliovs-slow-and-inward-brahms-intermezzi/ Classics Today urn:uuid:b9de1fd7-a3f8-f7c4-5c78-096660a975aa Sun, 23 Feb 2020 03:08:35 +0000 So far as I know, this release marks Evgeni Koroliov’s first solo recorded encounter with Brahms’ music. Slow and inward is generally the name of the game here. The B minor Ballade Op. 10 No. 3’s outer sections are less fiery than usual, yet wonderfully varied in touch and nuance, while Koroliov slows down for [&#8230;] Ravishing results in San Francisco from Salonen, which bodes well for the future https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/ravishing-results-in-san-francisco-from-salonen-which-bodes-well-for-the-future/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:dad1207e-ab2a-4dbc-cc10-4973da61e16f Sun, 23 Feb 2020 00:10:01 +0000 Stucky, Britten, Ravel: Julia Bullock (soprano), San Francisco Symphony / Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor). Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco. 21.2.2020. (HS) Steven Stucky — Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary Britten — Les Illuminations Ravel — Three Poems of Stéphane Mallarmé; Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose), music for the ballet If there were any doubt [&#8230;] BBC NOW’s Conflict and Triumph in Cardiff https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/bbc-nows-conflict-and-triumph-in-cardiff/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:c0d7bd65-f447-9281-384b-41cdfb581ba5 Sat, 22 Feb 2020 23:52:59 +0000 Dvořák, Sibelius: Alban Gerhardt (cello), BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Anu Tali (conductor). Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, 20.2.2020. (PCG) Dvořák – Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104 Sibelius – Symphony No.2 in D, Op.43 During the past three weeks South Wales has been racked by a series of storms which have led to widespread flooding, [&#8230;] V.com weekend vote: Which is easier for you: bow or violin hand? https://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/20202/28113/ Violinist.com urn:uuid:52134db8-368c-0e1a-d916-6eafb902e6de Sat, 22 Feb 2020 21:22:28 +0000 By Laurie Niles: "I'm so amazed by pianists," one of my students said to me earnestly, "they have to use <i>both hands</i>!" I knew exactly what she meant, and I agreed with her, I do feel the same admiration for pianists. But I also had to point out, "We violinists both hands, too!" <div align="center"><img src="https://www.violinist.com/art/blog/28113.jpg" width=560 height=315 alt="bow and violin hands"></div> I always wonder, when one is thinking of the violin (or viola, cello, bass, even guitar) as a one-handed instrument, which hand do you mean? I feel like we would all have different answers. I also think that some of us struggle with one hand more than with the other. For me, the left hand has always felt most intuitive - very likely because I'm left-handed. As a beginner, placing my fingers made sense, and "playing music" with my fingers felt right. Fingerboard tapes were not really necessary, my fingers were happy to follow my ear. It did take me years not to squeeze with the thumb, but that's another story! <cfinclude template="../../../../templates/mid1.inc"> Now, the bow hand? First, you want me to hold it <i>how</i>? And then how does this "straight bow" business work? Lanes on the highway? This took many more years and a lot more conscious effort. Of course, no matter what, both hands take quite a lot of training to become adept at the strange motions required to play the violin. Which has been easier for you, the bow hand or the violin hand? Or do you truly feel you've had to work equally on each hand? Please choose what best fits your situation in the vote, and then tell us all about it. Is there anything that made one hand easier than the other? 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Currently Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of both the [&#8230;] Nixon in China review – a gripping human drama https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/22/nixon-in-china-scottish-opera-review-theatre-royal-glasgow-john-adams Classical music | The Guardian urn:uuid:6598cf19-7555-26dc-54a1-eed9de6dc14e Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:00:22 +0000 <p><strong>Theatre Royal, Glasgow</strong><br>The seismic 1972 meeting of Mao Zedong and Richard Nixon, as depicted in John Adams’s inspired 1987 opera, still resonates in Scottish Opera’s potent new staging</p><p>Ask a Chinese person, or one trusted to speak to tourists, about the current status of Mao Zedong – founder of the People’s Republic of China, proponent of the disastrous Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution – and you get a dusty answer. Dead more than 40 years, his popularity waxing in some quarters, Chairman Mao still dominates Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. His mausoleum has queues. 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Sellars’s Houston production morphed into stagings at English National Opera in 2000 and the New York Met in 2011.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/22/nixon-in-china-scottish-opera-review-theatre-royal-glasgow-john-adams">Continue reading...</a> Ensemble. Traditional and Modern https://www.classicalmusicdaily.com/2020/02/onegin.htm Music and Vision urn:uuid:72a21fc0-1a20-f09f-6301-6544c48c572b Sat, 22 Feb 2020 12:00:00 +0000 Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' returns to Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi The two are very different disciplines: best known as a film & TV composer, I chat to Stuart Hancock about 'Raptures' his new disc of concert music http://www.planethugill.com/2020/02/the-two-are-very-different-disciplines.html Planet Hugill - A world of classical music urn:uuid:4ad77d5f-1291-3588-8bc9-2c328fdd186f Sat, 22 Feb 2020 11:50:26 +0000 <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JVXiTc13fA4/XlDwtg5AAPI/AAAAAAAASJ8/wqmIPPX9Nhkr2CcK6ycXlOaI6cgUyrsOwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/pencil%2Bnerds%2B2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian and Stuart Hancock at the recording sessions for the Raptures disc (Orchid Classics)" border="0" data-original-height="996" data-original-width="1600" height="398" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JVXiTc13fA4/XlDwtg5AAPI/AAAAAAAASJ8/wqmIPPX9Nhkr2CcK6ycXlOaI6cgUyrsOwCLcBGAsYHQ/s640/pencil%2Bnerds%2B2.jpg" title="Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian and Stuart Hancock at the recording sessions for the Raptures disc (Orchid Classics)" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian and Stuart Hancock at the recording sessions for the Raptures disc (Orchid Classics)</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;">Although best known as a composer for film and television (he wrote the music for the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04st48f" target="_blank">BBC series</a> <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2705602/" target="_blank"><i>Atlantis</i></a>), <a href="http://stuarthancock.com/" target="_blank">Stuart Hancock</a> is also making a name for himself with opera and concert music. A disc of his orchestral works <a href="http://www.orchidclassics.com/releases/orc100111-raptures/" target="_blank"><i>Raptures</i></a>, including his <i>Violin Concerto</i> with violinist <a href="http://www.jackliebeck.com/" target="_blank">Jack Liebeck</a> as soloist, has just been released on <a href="http://www.orchidclassics.com/" target="_blank">Orchid Classics</a> with <a href="http://www.levonparikian.com/" target="_blank">Levon Parikian</a> conducting the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/concertorchestra" target="_blank">BBC Concert Orchestra</a>. I recently met up with Stuart to find out more about the disc, the difference between writing for film or television and concert work, writing opera for children and adults, and how he came to be a composer almost by accident.</span></span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;"><br /></span><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OL7f4Ko2Xdw/XlDw7_mCO1I/AAAAAAAASKA/XCr9xdLfsy4Xc40YJTq6QRv_e_RWsvJBQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/67799041_107290190619936_2314780140371968000_o.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Stuart Hancock" border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="1600" height="266" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OL7f4Ko2Xdw/XlDw7_mCO1I/AAAAAAAASKA/XCr9xdLfsy4Xc40YJTq6QRv_e_RWsvJBQCLcBGAsYHQ/s400/67799041_107290190619936_2314780140371968000_o.jpg" title="Stuart Hancock" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Stuart Hancock</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-family: &quot;verdana&quot; , sans-serif;">When planning the new disc, Stuart assembled a programme like a concert with overture, concerto and symphony. All three works were pre-existing ones, with <i>Variations</i> <i>on a Heroic Theme</i>, the <i>Violin Concerto</i> and <i>Raptures</i> (a new orchestral version of a work originally for quartet). </span><br /><br /><i>Variations on an Heroic Theme</i> dates from 2007 and was written for the <a href="http://www.rehearsal-orchestra.org/" target="_blank">Rehearsal Orchestra</a> (a group which runs courses for future professionals and serious amateurs) which means that it never had a formal public premiere and its first public performance was quite recently. The concerto was written for the violinist <a href="https://www.westminsterchamberorchestra.co.uk/musicians?lightbox=dataItem-ir9fxvrj3" target="_blank">Paul Barrett</a> when he was playing with the <a href="https://www.southbanksinfonia.co.uk/" target="_blank">Southbank Sinfonia</a>. Barrett premiered the work in 2005 with the Southbank Sinfonia and performed it again in 2011 with the <a href="https://www.stpaulssinfonia.com/" target="_blank">St Paul's Sinfonia</a>, but Stuart admits that, like a lot of contemporary composers, he has struggled to get further performances for works following the premieres. One of Stuart's intentions with the <i>Raptures</i> album was to get his orchestral music out there and heard, and in fact there is a performance of Stuart's <i>Violin Concerto</i> at <a href="https://cadoganhall.com/whats-on/imperial-college-symphony-orchestra-2020/" target="_blank">Cadogan Hall</a> on 29 February 2020 (with the <a href="https://www.union.ic.ac.uk/arts/orchestra/" target="_blank">Imperial College Symphony Orchestra</a>, conductor <a href="http://olivergooch.com/" target="_blank">Oliver Gooch</a> and soloist Jack Liebeck) which came on the back of the disc.<br /><br />The concerto is a form that Stuart enjoys, but he decided to have just one on the disc in order to keep the focus on a single soloist. In fact, one of the first major things he wrote was a piano concerto at the age of 18, which he now refers to as 'terrifically bad'.&nbsp; For Stuart, concertos mean that performers get to show off, and he has fun balancing the rivalries between soloist and orchestra. And he finds having a soloist gives him focus, so a concerto is easier to write than a straight orchestral piece.<br /><br /><h4 style="text-align: center;">In an ideal world Stuart would want a mix of both, not one or the other. <br />But he does admit that one pays better than the other!</h4><br />For Stuart, his two areas of composing - film/television and concert music - are quite separate, and the two are very different disciplines. When writing for film and television, Stuart is writing music to fit a picture, and the result will be judged by the client; it must sell a product or tell a story. With his concert music, Stuart is working to commission and the client trusts him, and when writing the music, he is answering to himself. The methodologies of the two are very different, as indeed are the deadlines with music for film/television being produced to tight schedules.<br /><a name='more'></a><br />Stuart likes the restriction that writing for film and television gives him. He always has a starting point and does not have to pluck inspiration out of the ether, and length is defined too. The music is playing a supporting role, and Stuart is part of a team rather than working alone. There is also no room for writer's block, you have to do it and often to a tight deadline. He might have a day or half a day to do a demo.<br /><br />With concert music, by contrast, he finds it difficult to start a piece but once he has the initial idea then ideas generally flow well. So, Stuart finds that the two disciplines complement each other and feed into each other. In an ideal world Stuart would want a mix of both, not one or the other. But he does admit that one pays better than the other!<br /><br /><h4 style="text-align: center;">You have to challenge the young people, <br />not make it too easy, otherwise they find it boring</h4><br />As well as his concert music, Stuart has written two operas for <a href="http://www.w11opera.org/" target="_blank">W11 Opera</a>, the children's opera company<i> - <a href="https://www.w11opera.org/past-productions/2010-rain-dance/" target="_blank">Rain Dance</a></i> in 2010, and <a href="http://www.w11opera.org/2017-the-cutlass-crew/" target="_blank"><i>The Cutlass Crew</i></a> in 2017, both with librettos by <a href="https://www.unitedagents.co.uk/donald-sturrock" target="_blank">Donald Sturrock</a>. The works were written to be performed by a cast of young people, to a family audience. But Stuart does not find writing for children that different from writing for adults, pointing out that if you are dumbing the music down that it is missing the point. You have to challenge the young people, not make it too easy, otherwise they find it boring.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1who6_IZvKg/XlDxbXlhhLI/AAAAAAAASKM/FbqpBrF82XMS4I8z5WFyB7feu185waNXACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/TheCutlassCrew303.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Stuart Hancock and Donald Sturrock: The Cutlass Crew - W11 Opera - 2017 (Photo W11 Opera)" border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="1600" height="426" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1who6_IZvKg/XlDxbXlhhLI/AAAAAAAASKM/FbqpBrF82XMS4I8z5WFyB7feu185waNXACLcBGAsYHQ/s640/TheCutlassCrew303.jpg" title="Stuart Hancock and Donald Sturrock: The Cutlass Crew - W11 Opera - 2017 (Photo W11 Opera)" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Stuart Hancock and Donald Sturrock: <i>The Cutlass Crew</i> - W11 Opera - 2017 (Photo W11 Opera)</td></tr></tbody></table>When writing <i>Rain Dance</i>, Stuart learned a few things about writing for children. For a start, don't go too high because 80 children (the majority of W11 Opera's performers have unbroken voices) singing high can be hard on the ear, challenge the performers with harmonies, and have interesting characters that the performers can get their teeth into and challenging topics. The idea for <i>The Cutlass Crew</i> came from librettist Donald Sturrock, and is based on the true story of a noble woman (Lady Mary Killigrew) who became a pirate and was tried in front of Queen Elizabeth I.<br /><br />In March 2020, <i>The Cutlass Crew</i> will receive its American premiere when <a href="http://www.familyopera.org/drupal/" target="_blank">North Cambridge Family Opera</a> perform it. Stuart is making a few changes to the work for its American performance; North Cambridge Family Opera wanted a longer piece, so Stuart is adding scenes, and the singers will mix broken and unbroken voices so that he has the full SATB range to write for. Also, the American company performs with pre-recorded accompaniments to instead of the scoring for the nine-piece ensemble used by W11 Opera, Stuart is providing backing accompaniments in which he is able to go quite 'eyeballs out' with the orchestrations!<br /><br />And <i>Rain Dance</i>, which was also performed by North Cambridge Family Opera, is being performed the Summer in Ireland by <a href="http://www.summermusicontheshannon.org/" target="_blank">Summer Music on the Shannon</a>.<br /><br />It isn't just children's opera, Stuart would love to do one for adults, he and Donald Sturrock have ideas brewing. Stuart does not feel that the method of writing would be that different. When writing opera his style, which is accessible and melodic, leans towards music theatre. He likes writing set pieces, songs with applause at the end, but he also enjoys complex scenes that are narrative and develop the story. One of the new scenes for the American performance of <i>The Cutlass Crew</i> flips between three different localities, two ships and the shore, and it all takes place during a storm with the chorus providing the wind!<br /><br /><h4 style="text-align: center;">Wondering whether his mother would like it</h4><br />Stuart had no formal training, and when I ask about his style, he said that he tends to write in the style of the music he enjoys, late Romantics, and is very influenced by film music. In fact, the first music that registered with him was film music, one of <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002354/" target="_blank">John Williams</a>' scores. So his music is melodious, tonal and often dramatic, he likes telling stories and wants to take you on a journey.&nbsp; When he writes his concert music, he admits that he often writes it wondering whether his mother would like it. His family are not particularly musical, and his parents 'know what they like'.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZYzaQDeb1bM/XlDxw3CX09I/AAAAAAAASKU/gR10xNzwN1AWGE1-suEFxfSBZEv5IRNtQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/front%2Bview.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian and the BBC Concert Orchestra at recording sessions for Stuart Hancock's disc Raptures (Orchid Classics)" border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="1600" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZYzaQDeb1bM/XlDxw3CX09I/AAAAAAAASKU/gR10xNzwN1AWGE1-suEFxfSBZEv5IRNtQCLcBGAsYHQ/s640/front%2Bview.jpg" title="Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian and the BBC Concert Orchestra at recording sessions for Stuart Hancock's disc Raptures (Orchid Classics)" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian and the BBC Concert Orchestra at recording sessions <br />for Stuart Hancock's disc <i>Raptures</i> (Orchid Classics)</td></tr></tbody></table>But writing for his audience is very much Stuart's ethos, he writes both for the listeners and for the people performing it. He enjoys the fact that players will tell him after a performance how much they enjoyed playing his music, he tries to make the music enjoyable, but not easy so that players rise to the challenge. After the recording sessions for <i>Raptures</i>, players from the BBC Concert Orchestra told Stuart that the sessions had been fun, and he feels that if the players are enjoying themselves then the audience can tell.<br /><br /><h4 style="text-align: center;">Something of a light-bulb moment, <br />he had never considered music as a career before then</h4><br />Stuart never thought of being a composer for a career. As a child he learned piano, violin and viola and dabbled at writing music. But he was never quite serious, he did no music A-levels, and his degree was in Geography. But towards the end of his degree he was at a loss as to what to do next. He happened to be at a <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/proms" target="_blank">BBC Prom</a> and towards the end of the programme book there were adverts for music colleges, and the <a href="https://www.uwl.ac.uk/academic-schools/music" target="_blank">London College of Music</a> had a post-graduate course in writing for film and television. He had no music qualifications, but he did have a portfolio of works, music he had written, and he got onto the course and did well. He had already done music for a student film and enjoyed it and seeing the ad in the Proms programme was something of a light-bulb moment, he had never considered music as a career before then.<br /><br />The London College of Music course led indirectly to a salaried job. A Soho based music production company were looking for an in-house composer, and so were offering work experience to students. Stuart went, and ended up getting a full-time job. He was a salaried composer for six years. The concept of a salaried composer was unusual then and is even more unusual now. Also, the industry has changed, everyone works remotely, working in bedrooms and delivering the results by email.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5fxdtaWYhsQ/XlDyEgor00I/AAAAAAAASKc/a-69qc0S11Mb89K-p6Ln671eqtVUwFs4QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/control%2Broom.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Sutart Hancock, Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian at recording sessions for Stuart Hancock's disc Raptures (Orchid Classics)" border="0" data-original-height="1016" data-original-width="1600" height="406" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5fxdtaWYhsQ/XlDyEgor00I/AAAAAAAASKc/a-69qc0S11Mb89K-p6Ln671eqtVUwFs4QCLcBGAsYHQ/s640/control%2Broom.jpg" title="Sutart Hancock, Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian at recording sessions for Stuart Hancock's disc Raptures (Orchid Classics)" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Sutart Hancock, Jack Liebeck, Levon Parikian at recording sessions for Stuart Hancock's disc <i>Raptures </i>(Orchid Classics)</td></tr></tbody></table>But the job gave him other skills as well, particularly social skills. It thickened his skin, having to take feedback from people who knew nothing about music; this was a skill set he would not have had otherwise. You had to learn to take the feedback on the chin, and also cope with ridiculous deadlines. It was also about going out to dine with people, working out what makes them tick so that your proposals fitted with what they wanted.<br /><br /><h4 style="text-align: center;">John Williams is at the top of the list</h4><br />When I ask Stuart about his musical heroes, not surprisingly John Williams is at the top of the list. Others he admires are his contemporaries who are performing musicians, and he names the cellist, composer and jazz pianist <a href="https://www.dannykeanemusic.com/" target="_blank">Danny Keane</a> who is a friend and whose work he finds inspiring. In fact, the conductor on the <i>Raptures</i> disc is another such friend, Levon Parikian. Parikian only came on board at the very last minute, as the planned conductor had to pull out. Parikian conducts a lot of amateur orchestra, and in fact that was how he and Stuart met as Stuart was playing in the <a href="http://www.phoenixorchestra.org/" target="_blank">London Phoenix Orchestra</a> which Levon Parikian conducted. And he commissioned the <i>Variations on an Heroic Theme</i> for the Rehearsal Orchestra which he was conducting at the time.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2J3QT8jKRws/XlDyepJMulI/AAAAAAAASKk/NUhEQKavcWwlVOfxEzUBOhCxRBiuOj2tACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/MV5BYThmZmFmZmEtODM0MS00MzJiLWE5YzMtNmNlMWNjMjUxODFkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjcyMzI2OTQ%2540._V1_SY1000_SX707_AL_.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1000" data-original-width="707" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2J3QT8jKRws/XlDyepJMulI/AAAAAAAASKk/NUhEQKavcWwlVOfxEzUBOhCxRBiuOj2tACLcBGAsYHQ/s400/MV5BYThmZmFmZmEtODM0MS00MzJiLWE5YzMtNmNlMWNjMjUxODFkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjcyMzI2OTQ%2540._V1_SY1000_SX707_AL_.jpg" width="282" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i>We're Going on a Bear Hunt</i>, still from the 2016 film<br /><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Channel 4 / Walker Productions / Herrick Entertainment </span></td></tr></tbody></table><h4 style="text-align: center;"><i>We're Going on a Bear Hunt</i></h4><br />The other string to Stuart's bow is conducting his music from the animated film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5859342/" target="_blank"><i>We're Going on a Bear Hunt</i></a> (based on the book by <a href="https://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/" target="_blank">Michael Rosen</a> with illustrations by <a href="http://www.walker.co.uk/contributors/Helen-Oxenbury-3152.aspx" target="_blank">Helen Oxenbury</a>). Stuart wrote the music in 2016 and there were always plans to do a live version, with an orchestra performing the score live whilst the film is screened.<br /><br />Before the film, there is a presenter who introduces the orchestra and the themes from the music, plus a sing-along. Stuart has conducted for the event in Dublin (with the <a href="https://orchestras.rte.ie/" target="_blank">RTE Concert Orchestra</a>), at the <a href="https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/132635-we%E2%80%99re-going-bear-hunt-film-live-concert-2019" target="_blank">Royal Festival Hall</a> (with the <a href="https://cityoflondonsinfonia.co.uk/" target="_blank">City of London Sinfonia</a>),at the <a href="https://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/" target="_blank">Royal Welsh College of Music &amp; Drama</a>, and recently in Taiwan. For this latter event they performed <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084701/" target="_blank"><i>The Snowman</i></a> as well (which has music by <a href="http://Howard Blake" target="_blank">Howard Blake</a>). Stuart calls this latter a masterpiece and feels that the two films make a good pairing.<br /><br />Looking ahead, Stuart is pleased that he has been getting work off the back of the CD. He is lined up to do a film musical based on a children's TV character. In complete contrast he is writing music for a documentary about Hiroshima to be screened on the <a href="https://www.history.co.uk/" target="_blank">History Channel</a> in August. And he hopes to be working with the BBC Concert Orchestra again.<br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;">He has written a new string orchestra piece for <a href="https://damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk/" target="_blank">Dame Alice Owen's School</a>, where a friend is head of strings, and the orchestra will perform it at the <a href="https://www.mfy.org.uk/events/mfy-proms/" target="_blank">Music For Youth Proms</a> on 1 March 2020. Having written it, Stuart didn't know what to call it so decided to let the children name it. He heard SubCulture presents Ian Hobson: The Robert Schumann Cycle in Review https://nyconcertreview.com/reviews/subculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review/ New York Concert Review, Inc. urn:uuid:5ec8fd07-2987-01a7-ebcd-1545c4fe2a17 Sat, 22 Feb 2020 06:36:00 +0000 Ian Hobson, piano SubCulture, New York, NY February 19, 2020 Fantasy Pieces Fantasiestücke, Op. 111 Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 Fantasia in C, Op. 17 Ian Hobson is a heroic completist. I admire the intellectual curiosity and physical stamina it takes to produce such investigations, for they allow us to perceive the larger context of a composer’s [&#8230;] <h6>Ian Hobson, piano</h6> <h6>SubCulture, New York, NY</h6> <h6>February 19, 2020</h6> <p>Fantasy Pieces</p> <p>Fantasiestücke, Op. 111</p> <p>Fantasiestücke, Op. 12</p> <p>Fantasia in C, Op. 17</p> <p>Ian Hobson is a heroic completist. I admire the intellectual curiosity and physical stamina it takes to produce such investigations, for they allow us to perceive the larger context of a composer’s work, what I like to call the genetic resemblance among the works, what amounts to the personal fingerprint or style of that artist, possessed by no other.</p> <p>Mr. Hobson kicked off his epic series exploring the complete solo piano music and piano-based chamber music of Robert Schumann on February 19th with an evening of ‘fantasy’ titled pieces. (Yes, I wish Schumann’s <em>lieder</em> were included in this series.) The word <em>fantasie</em> in German implies a free flight of the imagination, and this concept fueled so much of Schumann’s output, including pieces that don’t even bear such a title overtly. Interestingly, the pieces called <em>fantasien</em> are some of the most cogently structured in Schumann’s total oeuvre, usually three part A-B-A forms, often with codas of short or medium length.</p> <p>Some general qualities of Hobson’s performance on this occasion, before I turn to details: He revealed the strength and architecture of every piece, through an unfussy approach. He didn’t automatically slow down the end of every phrase. He didn’t ‘perfume’ the music with a certain Victorian idea of ‘poetry.’ He didn’t treat the music like a museum piece, rather he plunged in with a headlong high energy that put things together.</p> <p>I think Mr. Hobson performed as Master Raro, the third of Schumann’s personalities and the one who gets the least attention. Master Raro was the mediator between Florestan, the fiery impetuous soul, and Eusebius, the dreamy one. I sensed that Hobson identified with Florestan more, but then he’d do something so breathtaking, some little detail, often in a coda, that was sheer magic.</p> <p>The recital began with the unjustly neglected late-period <em>Fantasiestücke</em>, Op. 111. Can we once and for all do away with the idea that late-period Schumann is the product of a feeble and disordered mind? The mind was doubtless wracked by mental illness, but it was far from feeble. These three pieces form an arch of sorts, with the most poignant one in the middle. The outer two are both in C minor, and they storm away, with distant references to Schumann’s detailed study of baroque counterpoint. In the middle work, which I regard as Schubert’s ‘seventh’ <em>Moment Musical</em>, the outer ‘A’ sections even resemble Schubert’s second <em>Moment</em>, with the same key, A-flat, and similar melodic rise and fall within a restricted compass. The reverie is interrupted by a contrasting agitated section that seems to reintroduce the first piece. Peace is regained however, and Mr. Hobson was perfect in portraying the calm resolution.</p> <p>Mr. Hobson was at his finest in the large set of <em>Fantasiestücke</em>, Op. 12. Most of these are well-known, ‘or are they?’ When music becomes iconic, there is a danger of not really listening after the first few notes are played. We think we’re plugged in, but we’re really playing our own soundtrack. Mr. Hobson did not allow such an automatic reaction. Through a combination of strength and delicacy, he showed perhaps what the music sounded like two hundred years ago, when Clara Schumann was constantly begging Robert to compose something ‘a bit less difficult’ for her audiences to grasp.</p> <p>Mr. Hobson’s rendition allowed me to perceive the frightful toll of undiagnosed bipolar illness, the sudden, violent contrasts between manic energy, unbounded creative confidence, followed by the horrifying plunges into dark chasms of depression from which one thinks one will never emerge. The headlong abandon with which Hobson launched into the <em>Traumeswirren</em> (Dream-Confusions) was truly terrifying and well worth the few dropped notes here or there. Again, I noticed all the codas, which simply melted into reflective contentment. What an achievement!</p> <p>After a brief intermission came the <em>Fantasie</em>, Op. 17, omnipresent on so many recitals. This work was initially projected as part of the fund-raising effort for a Beethoven monument in Bonn, with Franz Liszt (dedicatee of the work) the prime instigator. The movements once had programmatic titles, and a prominent quotation from Beethoven’s <em>An die ferne Geliebte</em> song cycle (To the Distant Beloved) forms the conclusion to the first movement (once also found at the end of the third movement, which Mr. Hobson I think wisely chose not to play—he stuck to the traditional ending).</p> <p>Since Schumann and Clara were forbidden by her father to see each other, he communicated with her through music that was mailed, often containing the famous Clara cipher, usually six descending notes. The <em>Fantasie</em> is preceded by an epigram from Schlegel: “Through all the tones resounding/In the many-colored dream of life/A softer tone sounds/For the one who knows secretly how to listen.” Again, the coded conversation is stunning.</p> <p>Mr. Hobson’s approach was brisk and orchestral. The fearsome coda to the second movement’s march almost got away from him, but the sense of risk was palpably worth it. Many virtuosi won’t end an entire program with the work, because of the quiet ending. Thank goodness Mr. Hobson can’t be bothered with such silliness. He returned us to the dream-state we need, and now we can’t wait to hear the sequel(s) of his devotion to the rest of Schumann.</p> <p>Mr. Hobson favored his appreciative audience with an encore by Chopin that was nicknamed by Schumann “The Aeolian Harp” (Etude Op. 25, No. 1), referring to a mythical Greek instrument played by the wind, whose modulations depended on the strength of the breeze. Recall what Schumann’s dreamy side, Eusebius, said about Chopin in 1831: “Hat’s off, gentlemen! A genius!” regarding the latter’s variations on Mozart’s “<em>La ci darem la mano</em>” for piano and orchestra.</p> <p><a class="a2a_button_facebook" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/facebook?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fsubculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=SubCulture%20presents%20Ian%20Hobson%3A%20The%20Robert%20Schumann%20Cycle%20in%20Review" title="Facebook" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/twitter?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fsubculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=SubCulture%20presents%20Ian%20Hobson%3A%20The%20Robert%20Schumann%20Cycle%20in%20Review" title="Twitter" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_linkedin" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/linkedin?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fsubculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=SubCulture%20presents%20Ian%20Hobson%3A%20The%20Robert%20Schumann%20Cycle%20in%20Review" title="LinkedIn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_reddit" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/reddit?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fsubculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=SubCulture%20presents%20Ian%20Hobson%3A%20The%20Robert%20Schumann%20Cycle%20in%20Review" title="Reddit" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_email" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/email?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fsubculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=SubCulture%20presents%20Ian%20Hobson%3A%20The%20Robert%20Schumann%20Cycle%20in%20Review" title="Email" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save addtoany_share" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fsubculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review%2F&#038;title=SubCulture%20presents%20Ian%20Hobson%3A%20The%20Robert%20Schumann%20Cycle%20in%20Review" data-a2a-url="https://nyconcertreview.com/reviews/subculture-presents-ian-hobson-the-robert-schumann-cycle-in-review/" data-a2a-title="SubCulture presents Ian Hobson: The Robert Schumann Cycle in Review"><img src="https://static.addtoany.com/buttons/favicon.png" alt="Share"></a></p> Handel’s Brilliant Agrippina Brilliantly Served https://www.classicstoday.com/review/handels-brilliant-agrippina-brilliantly-served/ Classics Today urn:uuid:e6a61d21-f5f5-a285-b67c-ce0e1b5139d9 Sat, 22 Feb 2020 04:21:41 +0000 Handel’s Agrippina is a veritable fiesta of sly manipulation and corruption. Almost every character lies to every other and the result is a wicked comedy that tickles the fancy of a cynical audience. If ever there were a time in which the public was ready to watch crooked politicians manage and mismanage the world around [&#8230;] An elegant and satisfying La clemenza di Tito in Barcelona https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/an-elegant-and-satisfying-la-clemenza-di-tito-in-barcelona/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:cbc0a719-e232-e563-59ca-4d7057a0fb15 Fri, 21 Feb 2020 22:28:42 +0000  Mozart, La clemenza di Tito: Liceu Chorus and Orchestra / Philippe Auguin (conductor), Gran Theatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 19 &#38; 20.2.2020. (JMI) Production: Director – David McVicar (original), Marie Lambert-Le Bihan (revival) Sets – David McVicar and Bettina Neuhaus Costumes – Jenny Tiramani Lighting – Jennifer Tipton Casts: Tito – Paolo Fanale/Dovlet Nurgeldiyev Vitellia – [&#8230;] Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique celebrate Beethoven at Carnegie Hall https://seenandheard-international.com/2020/02/gardiner-and-the-orchestre-revolutionnaire-et-romantique-celebrate-beethoven-at-carnegie-hall/ Seen and Heard International urn:uuid:098e72c6-f54f-6883-fa5e-21ece80d7352 Fri, 21 Feb 2020 22:22:50 +0000 ORR Beethoven Cycle [1]: Lucy Crowe (soprano), Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique / Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor), Carnegie Hall,19.2.2020. (RP) The Creatures of Prometheus, Act 1 (Overture, Introduction, Nos.1, 2, 3), Act II (No.16) Ah! perfido! Op.54 Symphony No.1 in C major Op.21 Leonore Overture No.1 Op.138 Leonore Op.72, Act II No.11 ‘Ach, brich noch nicht, [&#8230;] How Pianist Igor Levit Hacked The Attention Economy And Made Himself Into A ‘Thought Leader’ https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/how-pianist-igor-levit-hacked-the-attention-economy-and-made-himself-into-a-thought-leader.html ArtsJournal urn:uuid:b7f9b772-0785-fbda-5a4f-770ab523aa67 Fri, 21 Feb 2020 20:02:52 +0000 <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/how-pianist-igor-levit-hacked-the-attention-economy-and-made-himself-into-a-thought-leader.html" title="How Pianist Igor Levit Hacked The Attention Economy And Made Himself Into A &#8216;Thought Leader&#8217;" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a>&#8220;Levit&#8217;s career is a stark demonstration of the dissolving boundaries between art and commerce, journalism and public relations, particularly in Germany. … He is a friend to media personalities and politicians. Journalists ask his opinion on climate change, the rise of the far right, books, the ideal body weight. He works with artists and comedians, [&#8230;] <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/how-pianist-igor-levit-hacked-the-attention-economy-and-made-himself-into-a-thought-leader.html" title="How Pianist Igor Levit Hacked The Attention Economy And Made Himself Into A &#8216;Thought Leader&#8217;" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i0.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/levit.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a> <p>&#8220;Levit&#8217;s career is a stark demonstration of the dissolving boundaries between art and commerce, journalism and public relations, particularly in Germany. … He is a friend to media personalities and politicians. Journalists ask his opinion on climate change, the rise of the far right, books, the ideal body weight. He works with artists and comedians, performs at the Bundestag in Berlin and for the Greens. In England, he&#8217;s enraged Brexiteers; in the U.S., he&#8217;s &#8216;The Pianist of the Resistance.'&#8221; His media presence has reached the critical mass at which coverage leads inexorably to more coverage.&#8221; &#8211; <em><a href="https://van-magazine.com/mag/winner-takes-all/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label="Van (opens in a new tab)">Van</a></em></p> Magnificent Mahler Symphony no 2. Jakub Hrůša, Philharmonia Orchestra https://classical-iconoclast.blogspot.com/2020/02/magnificent-mahler-symphony-no-2-jakub.html CLASSICAL ICONOCLAST urn:uuid:4c2cc1a6-90af-33ff-e3e1-254a2afcbd24 Fri, 21 Feb 2020 17:38:00 +0000 <div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gy01I7Sf1Bg/Xk_GGzeoL-I/AAAAAAAAHRk/B-F7LihG4Fg14pMIGvjtemtAJnsmtU20QCEwYBhgL/s1600/hrusa%2Bm2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1108" data-original-width="1600" height="442" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gy01I7Sf1Bg/Xk_GGzeoL-I/AAAAAAAAHRk/B-F7LihG4Fg14pMIGvjtemtAJnsmtU20QCEwYBhgL/s640/hrusa%2Bm2.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Visceral and intense Mahler<span style="color: red;"><i> Symphony no 2 </i></span>("The Resurrection") with Jakub Hrůša conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall with Camilla Tilling, Jennifer Johnston, The Philharmonia Chorus.&nbsp; How lucky I was to attend with friends who between us have clocked up hundreds of performances of <span style="color: red;"><i>Mahler's Second </i></span>over the last sixty years.&nbsp; Proof that the better a piece us, the more there is to discover. Every good performance yields insights : in market now oversaturated with safe and predictable, it's a joy to hear an approach that derives fresh from the score itself, rather than from market expectations.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">With his foundations in Czech repertoire, Hrůša doesn't do "routine" Mahler. I heard him do Mahler in 2017 when he conducted Mahler's <span style="color: red;"><i>Symphony no 4</i></span> with the Czech Philharmonic, then again in 2018 when he conducted Mahler <span style="color: red;"><i>Symphony no 5 </i></span>with the Philharmonia in 2018. Please read my article "How Bohemian was&nbsp; Gustav Mahler?" <a href="https://classical-iconoclast.blogspot.com/2018/02/wunderhorn-haunted-mahler-5-jakub-hrusa.html"><span style="color: blue;"><b>HERE</b></span></a>. With this Mahler <span style="color: red;">Symphony no 2</span>, the answer is that Mahler was Mahler, drawing on roots far deeper than "just" the Austro-German tradition, addressing universal human issues with highly individual and original passion.&nbsp; As in most of Mahler, there are extremes in this symphony,&nbsp; but they're not there just for effect. They serve a purpose. What can be more extreme than the contrast between death and life ? Death is shocking, and it is final, whether or not you believe in resurrection in any conventional sense.&nbsp; But Hrůša appreciates what Mahler might have meant. Thre Klopstock hymn Mahler quotes offers "<i>Unsterblich Leben!....Wieder aufzublüh’n, wirst du gesät! Der Herr der Ernte geht Und sammelt Garben Uns ein, die starben</i>.". This image of regrowth and renewal as part of the cycle of Nature pops up again in Mahler : "<i>Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig... ewig... </i>"&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The first movement was inspired in part by the funeral of Hans von Bülow, who Mahler venerated.&nbsp; Yet it begins with a great burst of energy. It needs this kind iof emphasis, since it's is a herald of what is to come.&nbsp; Haitink has taken this movement very slowly, focussing on the way a body shuts down gradually before oblivion, a very good insaight indeed.&nbsp; A funeral march is processional, but its destination is never in doubt. No-one ever gets away !&nbsp;Hrůša maintains a steady pace, but makes clear the figures in the background that propel the movement - lines that fly in sequence, strings sometimes bowed, sometimes plucked, pizzicato like running footseps, always flowing. Not for nothing did Luciano Berio incorporate <span style="color: red;"><i>Mahler's Second</i></span> into his<span style="color: red;"><i> Sinfonia</i></span>, making connctions with a river, fed by many tributaries, flowing into an ocean, refreshed again by rain. Another image of the cycle of Nature. Hrůša's Allegro maestoso is "<i>Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck</i>", the dignity all the more moving because it carries in its flow a sense that passage is not in itself an end. That final rushing descent into the abyss had a powerful kick, echoing in the silence of the Luftpause. Hrůša and the orchestra knew that it's there to signify the silence of oblivion, purgatory before resurrection. Pity the RFH audience thought it was time for a coughing epidemic.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>The unrushed Andante acted as a foil to the urgency of the Allegro. Although much is made of the Ländler aspects, these too exist as part of the wider concept, for peasants live in harmony with the seasons and with the cycle of natural change. Though peasant dances can be crude, it doesn't follow that performance needs to be crude, so Hrůša's emphasis on the vernal aspects of this movement renminded us that even in dark times, things happen under the earth which will eventually bear fruit.The third movement again brings contrast, which Hrůša magnified when the cymbals and timpani, centred in the middle of the platform, exploded into life. I nearly jumped out if my seat, but that was fine. Mahler knew what he was doing when he wrote this shockingly bold introduction.this schrezo quotes Mahler's song<span class="st"><span class="st"><span style="color: red;"><i> Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt</i>.</span> Like Dionysius, St Anthony is drunk, preaching to fish who hear but do not avctually listen. Perhaps the song is used to indicate the futility of words, which is ironic, since in this symphony Mahler begins to use voice as part of his orchestral toolbox.&nbsp; On the other hand, though, the fish represent a life force much more powerful than mankind.&nbsp; Their actions speak louder than pious prayers.&nbsp; Hrůša was particularly effective evoking the fluid energy in the leaping figures which suggest the movement of fish, leaping upwards, out oftheir natural watery environment, scrapping mexuberantly, being true to their natuures, and swimming away, free. A glorious climax: summer is marching in, references to Pan, Dionysius and Mahler's<span style="color: red;"><i> Symphony no 3</i></span>. But yet again, though a sudden wild diminuendo at the very end, gongs reverberating. <i>Urlicht</i> (here with Jennifer Johnston) is a cry of anguish, much like the agony of childbirth. For indeed, this is a turning point in the symphony. Like childbirth, there is a purpose to suffering "<i>Ich ließ mich nicht abweisen! Ich bin von Gott und will wieder zu Gott!</i>". </span></span><br /><span class="st"><span class="st">The extremes inherent in this score can be overdone, but not on this occasion.&nbsp; In the all-important final movement, <span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st">Hrůša had thought the dynamics of the Royal Festival Hall and in the orchestra.&nbsp; The doubles basses sat just behind the harps, together magnifying impact : the darker sounds like the earth, the brighter sounds like heaven.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"> Magnificent rolling percussion, swept by turbulent strings, as another march develops, this time an irrepressibly energetic march, the brass sassy, bells ringing in celebration. For all we knoiw this might be the march of the life force exemplified by the fishes, hence the cheeky screams from the lower woodwinds, and the defiant, swirling figures, the sudden diminuendo and the wailing trombones, their chill turning to more sublime, otherworldy figures from which the phrase "Das himmliche Leben" emerges,with woodwind calls.&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><br /><br /><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st">The offstage brass ensemble was seated outside the auditorium, just outside the gtreen side door,&nbsp; invisible but with just the right degree of audibility. Usually in this hall, they get put into a box, often the Royal Box but the effect is often too strident.&nbsp; This also allowed the finer details, like the delicate woodwinds and pizzicato to shine clearly. later, w</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>When the offstage brass returned, the horns stood aabove the orchestra to the left of the conductor, while the trumpets stood to his right, spreading the balance with much better effect. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st"><span class="st">The importance of spatial elements can't be stressed enough - this is "a symphony that contains the world", past, present, future.&nbsp; Every instrumental voice matters, just as every mortal who has ever lived or died. At last the voices are set free, the soloists, Camilla Tilling and Jennifer Johnston leading the choir. Though the diction of the choruses wasn't ideal, I'd much rather hear them sing with musical intelligence like this, the reverence better integrated with the soloists and orchestra.&nbsp; In any case, they echo the words the soloists sing, and this symphony is so well known that most people know what the texts mean. When the male voices cried out "<i>Bereite dich zu leben!</i>" everything came together in magnificent climax.&nbsp; </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> </div> Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presents Who Are The Brave in Review https://nyconcertreview.com/reviews/distinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review/ New York Concert Review, Inc. urn:uuid:b22dfccc-cd3c-18a9-cf26-f606fffcca63 Fri, 21 Feb 2020 15:46:33 +0000 Distinguished Concerts Orchestra; Distinguished Concerts Singers Joseph M. Martin, composer/conductor; Mack Wilberg, composer/conductor Robert Istad, Christopher W. Peterson, guest conductors Sasha Grossman, boy soprano solo Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall at New York, NY February 17, 2020 Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) continued their President&#8217;s Day concert series February 17th with a concert entitled [&#8230;] <h6>Distinguished Concerts Orchestra; Distinguished Concerts Singers</h6> <h6>Joseph M. Martin, composer/conductor; Mack Wilberg, composer/conductor</h6> <h6>Robert Istad, Christopher W. Peterson, guest conductors</h6> <h6>Sasha Grossman, boy soprano solo</h6> <h6>Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall at New York, NY</h6> <h6>February 17, 2020</h6> <p>Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) continued their President&#8217;s Day concert series February 17th with a concert entitled <em>Who Are The Brave</em>, with a serving of Americana paired with masterpieces by Leonard Bernstein and Howard Hanson. Singers from Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Canada, Australia, and individual singers from around the globe took the stage in what was to be evening of both joyful and profound musical performances. For any hearing-impaired audience members, four &#8220;signers&#8221; were on stage to sign the lyrics of the works.</p> <p>DCINY favorite Joseph M. Martin (in his ninth appearance with DCINY) took the podium to lead in a selection mainly of his own works, either in arrangements or original compositions. All were short in duration (the longest was about 8 minutes). Mr. Martin brings an abundance of energy and a winsome personality to the stage, and he uses those qualities to bring out the same from the choruses and orchestra. This night was no exception.&nbsp; One could feel the excitement radiating from the large chorus, the faces full of joy as if they were having the time of their lives. It&#8217;s an image this reviewer never tires of seeing. So powerful is this that one can be &#8216;&#8221;coaxed&#8221; into being less critical about the actual music. Mr. Martin and his orchestrators, primarily Brant Adams, know what their listeners want and never fail to deliver, but there is something of a &#8220;blueprint&#8221; often used that makes many works sound overly similar. To be sure, the large audience did not seem to mind one bit. High points included <em>E Pluribus Unum, </em>which had a Latin flavor mingling with a contrasting mysterious quality, perhaps to suggest the &#8220;melting pot&#8221; concept, ending with a Picardy third.&nbsp; <em>Music in The Morning</em> (a World Premiere) was filled with Appalachian spirit and the bustling energy of a revival. <em>Who Are The Brave</em> is Mr. Martin at his best, imparting an emotional heft worthy of the noble text by lyricist J. Paul Williams. There were no glossy veneers or trite compositional tricks. An aptly described &#8220;Festival Edition&#8221; of <em>America, the Beautiful</em> closed this part of the concert to the loud cheers of the audience.</p> <p>After a brief pause, Robert Istad took the stage to conduct Leonard Bernstein&#8217;s <em>Chichester Psalms</em>. &nbsp;Mr. Istad is artistic director of the Pacific Chorale (in Orange County, CA), and a professor of music and director of choral studies at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). &nbsp;Eleven-year-old Sasha Grossman was the boy soprano soloist.</p> <p>The legendary status of Bernstein the conductor overshadowed his remarkable ability as a composer. One can only wonder what might have been had he dedicated himself more to composing, but we can be thankful for what he did &#8211; some of the finest works in the American canon.&nbsp; I&#8217;m not going to give a musical analysis of this much-loved (and much-performed) work; there has been plenty written elsewhere that any interested reader can find with little effort.&nbsp; Suffice it to say that the writing is eclectic, ingeniously melding the sacred texts with jazz infused rhythm and harmony.</p> <p>Mr. Istad (and the directors of the participating choruses) prepared the singers thoroughly and it showed.&nbsp; There are dangers abounding in the opening movement with the large intervals and the parallel sevenths between tenors and basses, but these dangers were overcome without any apparent difficulty. This was a good sign of things to come. &nbsp;Let&#8217;s not forget the orchestra &#8211; they came ready to play, and play they did! This was one of those times when a reviewer could turn off the meter for the moment and enjoy.</p> <p>Sasha Grossman was a star. Such incredible poise for such a young performer is noteworthy, but on reading his biography one learns he is already an old pro, with performing credits beginning at age five! His voice was angelic, his diction outstanding, and his intonation was excellent.&nbsp; Thankfully, he was provided a microphone to help project his sound into the large hall. &nbsp;The four other (unmiked) soloists (Jasmine Powell, Meghan Ropelle, Anthony Apodace, and Michael Fagerstedt) were at times covered by the orchestra. Perhaps this was due to their placement behind the piano instead of front and center. Credit goes to Mr. Istad for quickly adjusting the orchestral volume to allow these fine singers to be heard as the work progressed. The audience enthusiastic response was, if anything, a bit more understated then one would have expected. This might have been one of those rare occasions where the reviewer was more impressed than the general listener. Kudos to all the performers &#8211; this was the highlight of the evening for me.</p> <p>Christopher W. Peterson, also a professor of music at CSUF, took the stage to conduct Howard Hanson&#8217;s <em>Song of Democracy</em>. &nbsp;Set to the poem of the same name by Walt Whitman, <em>Song of Democracy</em> is a twelve-minute work showcasing Hanson&#8217;s gift for dramatic effect with his unmatched skill for accessibility for all listeners.&nbsp; As the same group of choruses were on stage, it was a safe assumption that the high level of preparation would equal that of the Bernstein, and, of course, it was. Especially striking was the extended <em>a cappella</em> section. Often when there are so many singers there is some loss of vocal clarity, but this was not the case here.&nbsp; The triumphant close brought the audience to their feet. It was a fine end to this segment of the concert.</p> <p>After intermission, Mack Wilberg took the podium to conduct his arrangements of folk songs and hymns.&nbsp; Dr. Wilberg is the director of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and is responsible for all musical and creative aspects of the choir and orchestra.&nbsp; Beneath these impressive credentials is a modest and seemingly bashful man. His conducting style is effective but spare. He would leave the podium after each work, and present the orchestra and chorus for praise, all the while with his back to the audience. The closest he came to a bow before the last work was a nearly imperceptible nod of the head.</p> <p>Make no mistake about it, Dr. Wilberg knows his craft. He is expert in conveying the qualities of the texts musically, be they sacred, soulful, nostalgic, or simply joyful. <em>My Song in the Night</em> had a luminescent quality that was remarkable. <em>Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing</em> started <em>a cappella</em> and built in grandeur (without any hints of clumsiness or brashness), in a way that matched the text perfectly. The folk song <em>Cindy </em>was easily the favorite of the audience and this listener. The description &#8220;<em>a la hoedown</em>&#8221; was completely apt. There was a-plenty of hootin&#8217; and hollerin&#8217; from the chorus in what was unbridled fun, bringing smiles and laughter to all. Ending with a majestic <em>My Country, &#8217;tis of thee,</em> the performers and composers were rewarded with an extended standing ovation.&nbsp; Congratulations to all!</p> <p><a class="a2a_button_facebook" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/facebook?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fdistinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=Distinguished%20Concerts%20International%20New%20York%20%28DCINY%29%20presents%20Who%20Are%20The%20Brave%20in%20Review" title="Facebook" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/twitter?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fdistinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=Distinguished%20Concerts%20International%20New%20York%20%28DCINY%29%20presents%20Who%20Are%20The%20Brave%20in%20Review" title="Twitter" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_linkedin" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/linkedin?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fdistinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=Distinguished%20Concerts%20International%20New%20York%20%28DCINY%29%20presents%20Who%20Are%20The%20Brave%20in%20Review" title="LinkedIn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_reddit" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/reddit?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fdistinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=Distinguished%20Concerts%20International%20New%20York%20%28DCINY%29%20presents%20Who%20Are%20The%20Brave%20in%20Review" title="Reddit" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_button_email" href="https://www.addtoany.com/add_to/email?linkurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fdistinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review%2F&amp;linkname=Distinguished%20Concerts%20International%20New%20York%20%28DCINY%29%20presents%20Who%20Are%20The%20Brave%20in%20Review" title="Email" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save addtoany_share" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fnyconcertreview.com%2Freviews%2Fdistinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review%2F&#038;title=Distinguished%20Concerts%20International%20New%20York%20%28DCINY%29%20presents%20Who%20Are%20The%20Brave%20in%20Review" data-a2a-url="https://nyconcertreview.com/reviews/distinguished-concerts-international-new-york-dciny-presents-who-are-the-brave-in-review/" data-a2a-title="Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presents Who Are The Brave in Review"><img src="https://static.addtoany.com/buttons/favicon.png" alt="Share"></a></p> Dan Brown announces debut picture book – soundtracked by the author https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/21/dan-brown-announces-debut-picture-book-da-vinci-code-wild-symphony Classical music | The Guardian urn:uuid:aebb7f4e-24cc-e35f-0845-176b0faedf42 Fri, 21 Feb 2020 13:22:04 +0000 <p>The Da Vinci Code writer to publish his first volume for children, Wild Symphony, accompanied by his own orchestral work</p><p>Just like his hero Robert Langdon, who combines an eidetic memory with an uncanny knack for solving mysteries, incredible swimming skills and the ability to look good in Harris tweed, it turns out Dan Brown has has a similar range to his talents: novelist, composer and now picture book author.</p><p>The Da Vinci Code author is set to publish his first picture book, Wild Symphony, on 1 September – to be accompanied by a classical music album, his first official music release since his writing career began. Brown has a background in music, and before he published The Da Vinci Code <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/mar/12/books.danbrown">had released a handful of albums</a>, which included songs such as Sweet Pleasure in Pain, and a ballad about phone sex, 076-LOVE.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/21/dan-brown-announces-debut-picture-book-da-vinci-code-wild-symphony">Continue reading...</a> 50 Brand-New Scores In Three Years: Sydney Symphony Announces Major Commissioning Project https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/50-brand-new-scores-in-three-years-sydney-symphony-announces-major-commissioning-project.html ArtsJournal urn:uuid:25e9f6c8-9f17-f349-6e72-37fcd473b6eb Fri, 21 Feb 2020 13:05:53 +0000 <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/50-brand-new-scores-in-three-years-sydney-symphony-announces-major-commissioning-project.html" title="50 Brand-New Scores In Three Years: Sydney Symphony Announces Major Commissioning Project" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a>The project, called &#8220;50 Fanfares&#8221;, will encompass chamber works as well as short fanfares and full orchestral scores commissioned from 50 Australian composers and premiered through the 2020, &#8217;21 and &#8217;22 seasons. &#8211; Limelight (Australia) <a href="https://www.artsjournal.com/2020/02/50-brand-new-scores-in-three-years-sydney-symphony-announces-major-commissioning-project.html" title="50 Brand-New Scores In Three Years: Sydney Symphony Announces Major Commissioning Project" rel="nofollow"><img width="90" height="90" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" link_thumbnail="1" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?w=200&amp;ssl=1 200w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=120%2C120&amp;ssl=1 120w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=90%2C90&amp;ssl=1 90w, https://i1.wp.com/www.artsjournal.com/newsside/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/50-SSO.jpg?resize=150%2C150&amp;ssl=1 150w" sizes="(max-width: 90px) 100vw, 90px" /></a> <p>The project, called &#8220;50 Fanfares&#8221;, will encompass chamber works as well as short fanfares and full orchestral scores commissioned from 50 Australian composers and premiered through the 2020, &#8217;21 and &#8217;22 seasons. &#8211; <em><a href="https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/sydney-symphony-orchestra-announces-major-new-australian-music-commissioning-project/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label="Limelight (Australia) (opens in a new tab)">Limelight (Australia)</a></em></p>