Classical Music

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  • Nepal: Marriner to conduct for appeal

    JDCMB
    25 May 2015 | 3:11 am
    Past and present members of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and friends, are to give a fundraising concert for the people of earthquake-blighted Nepal on Wednesday evening, 28 May, under the baton of the ASMF's legendary conductor, Sir Neville Marriner - who is 91.Soloists are Nicholas Daniel (oboe) and Kenneth Sillito (violin), and John Suchet will speak. Tickets are priced £9-£35. The performers and organisers are giving their services free and all proceeds go to the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Appeal.Concert organiser and former ASMF violinist Enrico Alvares tells us that…
  • COMMENT: A matter of luck?

    The Amati Magazine
    Madelyn Travis
    24 May 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Developing a child’s interest in music can’t just be left to schools, let alone the Ten Pieces, says journalist, musician and mother Madelyn Travis Samuel Travis and Joshua Bell in the Wigmore Hall green room When people ask my son what music he likes to listen to, they undoubtedly expect him to name the latest hit by will.i.am or Taylor Swift. His actual response – ‘the Dvorak “American” quartet’ or, perhaps, ‘the Schumann piano concerto’ – invariably startles them, because Samuel is only 11. Interestingly, it is adults rather than children who find Samuel’s…
  • The Most Devastating, Sly, And Intellectually Satisfying Putdown

    Sounds & Fury
    A.C. Douglas
    22 Aug 2014 | 8:59 am
    This 1996 New York Times piece by the awesome (literally) music scholar and critic Richard Taruskin (a piece included in his splendid 2009 collection The...
  • A Plea For Critical Sanity In Classical Music

    Sounds & Fury
    A.C. Douglas
    23 May 2015 | 5:53 pm
    Several years ago we made a New Year resolution that with each passing month since then, or so it seems, we find is becoming more...
  • Bruckner review of the year (so far)

    Slipped Disc
    norman lebrecht
    24 May 2015 | 2:09 am
    At one point I caught myself thinking, ‘How did this man ever write four-part motets? He can’t even write basic soprano-bass counterpoint.’ The one time the bass did anything it was that tired descending line borrowed from Meistersinger, which created only a momentary interest of passing dissonance. And that trite scherzo – I spent the whole time wishing Mahler had written it. Read full (fun) review here. More, please….
 
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    Slipped Disc

  • An eminent clarinettist is no more

    norman lebrecht
    25 May 2015 | 11:45 pm
    We have been informed of the death of Dietrich Hahn, long-serving principal clarinet of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and professor at the Conservatory. His pupils are numerous and far-flung. Professor Hahn was 84.
  • What Handel’s secretary wrote

    norman lebrecht
    25 May 2015 | 11:34 pm
    Who knew the secretary was a composer? He’s my album of the week on sinfinimusic.com. Very few great composers have been exposed by a private secretary, perhaps because few could afford the luxury of employing one. In Handel’s case we know about his secretary chiefly because the man’s stepson, a churchman known as the Rev. William Coxe, published in 1799 a revealing set of Anecdotes of George Frederick Handel and John Christopher Smith, in which the composer comes over as a gruff brute and the secretary as ‘sincere, benevolent and humane’. Click here to read more.
  • Bruckner review of the year (so far)

    norman lebrecht
    24 May 2015 | 2:09 am
    At one point I caught myself thinking, ‘How did this man ever write four-part motets? He can’t even write basic soprano-bass counterpoint.’ The one time the bass did anything it was that tired descending line borrowed from Meistersinger, which created only a momentary interest of passing dissonance. And that trite scherzo – I spent the whole time wishing Mahler had written it. Read full (fun) review here. More, please….
  • Video: Homeless man plays Beethoven in station forecourt

    norman lebrecht
    24 May 2015 | 12:45 am
    While you enjoy your weekend: This is a homeless man in Newcastle train station, soaking wet with a drenched sleeping bag over his shoulders.His name is Alan Donaldson, he is 26 and he has been living on the streets for 18 months. He plays Für Elise, Moonlight Sonata and other Beethoven standards. Do not avert your eyes. Can you do something to help? picture (c) North News and Pictures Ltd
  • When DSCH met Isaiah

    norman lebrecht
    23 May 2015 | 11:58 pm
    A play about the 1958 meeting of minds between Dmitri Shostakovich and the Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin opens next month at Sadlers Wells.  From the blurb: In 1958, at the height of his artistic ability and reputation, the composer Dmitri Shostakovich was invited by Oxford University to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Music, along with fellow musician Francis Poulenc and other dignitaries. From the initial invitation by Oxford to Shostakovich in Moscow, the story is a fascinating, humorous and poignant portrayal of the clash of two distinct, and distinctly insular, worlds: the Byzantine…
 
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    Adaptistration

  • Introducing A New Series For Inspiration

    Drew McManus
    26 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    Among the numerous resources available online, some of the more useful offerings focus on providing inspiration; a great example is Chris Spooner’s Line 25 Sites of the Week, which focuses on frontend web design. It’s difficult to imagine functioning without these sorts of resources and although I need a new project like I need a hole in the head, that isn’t an excuse to shirk responsibility and if there’s something of value to offer, then it is time to step up. Starting today, I’m launching a new series of articles hosted at the Venture Platform sales site…
  • Happy Memorial Day!

    Drew McManus
    25 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    Whether you’re home all day enjoying the holiday with family and friends or your orchestra is putting on a performance today, try to take a few moments to remember the reason for the holiday. Furthermore, take a moment to remember that the single largest employer of full-time professional musicians is the United States Armed Forces… Happy Memorial Day! The United States Air Force Band The United States Army Band “The Presidents Own” United States Marine Band The United States Navy Band The United States Coast Guard Band
  • Good News Friday

    Drew McManus
    22 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    Just a quick post today to link over to some recent good news articles from the field at large. The Albuquerque Journal published an article on 5/20/2015 by Donna Olmstead that examines how the Santa Fe Opera Festival’s season inspired the Santa Fe School of Cooking to develop a five course meal inspired by each of their productions, which include the premier of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain. WQXR published an article on 5/19/2015 by David Patrick Stearns that examines the wonder and joy of summer classical music festivals. The Las Vegas Weekly published an article on 5/21/2015…
  • WE DID IT. 250 VOTES IN FOUR DAYS!

    Drew McManus
    21 May 2015 | 9:14 pm
    THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU to everyone who voted for The Venture Platform in Chase’s $100,000 Mission Main Street Grants® program. In the space of four short days, you helped us cross the 250 unique votes needed to put Venture’s application into the evaluation round that will determine the recipients in September. For those of you who have been following the endeavor, you know that promises were made about a certain adorable duckling video so to that end… These little ducklings were all of four days old when we took this video on Tuesday, 5/19/15. They…
  • We Only Need 70 35 Votes To Unlock One Of 2015’s Cutest Duckling Videos

    Drew McManus
    21 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    Update, 5:40pm CT: …only 35 away. Update, 5:20pm CT: we’re only 38 votes away! If you haven’t cast your vote yet, do so now so we can reach the goal and release the duckling video Since Monday’s post asking for your help to garner 250 unique votes before June 19, 2015 for The Venture Platform’s application in the $100,000 Mission Main Street Grants® program from Chase Bank, we’ve accrued just over 73 percent of needed votes. So to help get over the last bit before the end of the week, I’m going to sweeten the deal in the form of giving away what…
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    [listen]

  • just because they say it's music doesn't make it music; but it's not music because i say it's not music!

    Steve Hicken
    24 May 2015 | 12:18 pm
    A few days ago, Alex Ross posted a piece by Amadeus Regucera called  obscured-distorted-redacted, performed by the great JACK Quartet. Blogger A. C. Douglas not only took exception to the piece itself, but also to Alex posting it as music. I can think of no non-subjective (or extremely prescriptive) definition of music that Mr. Regucera's composition fails to meet, and Mr. Douglas offers no support for his assertion that that it is not in fact music.As to the piece itself, It's got some very good stuff in it, especially in terms of texture. It may be a little long for what…
  • a thousand flowers

    Steve Hicken
    16 Mar 2015 | 6:49 pm
    Is this one flower or two? Beats me. At any rate, we need at least 998 more.Thanks to the good offices of Will Robin, 21st century orchestra music has taken over Facebook and Twitter, under the hashtag #21cOrch. I've listened to a good bit of this music over the last few weeks, and I have to say that I've been impressed with both the wide stylistic diversity of the music and with its quality. Whether I like a given piece or not (which is one of the least important aspects of writing about music), it's great to take note of the vitality in the field.When I was in school the last thing anyone…
  • miranda cuckson - melting the darkness

    Steve Hicken
    17 Nov 2014 | 1:46 pm
    She knows them all; trust me.My review of Miranda Cuckson's exciting and challenging new disc, Melting the Darkness, is up at Burning Ambulance.
  • gerald cohen

    Steve Hicken
    6 Nov 2014 | 7:12 pm
    Review of clarinet music by Gerald Cohen at Sequenza21.
  • worth reading, to say the least

    Steve Hicken
    11 Sep 2014 | 5:50 pm
    This is the first of what will likely be a very occasional series, pointing you to some stuff I thought was, well, worth reading.Alex Ross on pop culture and power. Key sentence: "Between them, Adorno and Benjamin were pioneers in thinking critically about pop culture—in taking that culture seriously as an object of scrutiny, whether in tones of delight, dismay, or passionate ambivalence."A conversation with Richard Powers. Key sentence: "You can listen to music for millions of different reasons, and if you consider the fundamental components of music—melody, harmony, rhythm, texture,…
 
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    NewMusicBox

  • Celebrating New Music Awards Week

    Frank J. Oteri
    22 May 2015 | 10:20 am
    Details on award recipients in the 63rd BMI Student Composer Awards, the 16th ASCAP Concert Music Awards, and the 75th American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial.
  • Advice from Strangers: The Craft of Community

    Shaya Lyon
    21 May 2015 | 6:33 am
    It is community that brings our creations to life and extends them far beyond what we are capable of on our own. The reverse is also true: our creations bring communities to life, by connecting like-minded people and providing them with a space in which to safely explore their interests and passions.
  • Jen Shyu: No More Sequined Dresses

    Frank J. Oteri
    20 May 2015 | 7:19 am
    The time that Jen Shyu spent in Taiwan, Indonesia, East Timor, China, South Korea, Cuba and Brazil has broadened her musical language, but she still considers herself an experimental jazz vocalist.
  • Mantras & Filters: Overcoming Composer’s Block

    Dale Trumbore
    18 May 2015 | 5:41 am
    I've finally figured out how to break through the filter of self-doubt on a fairly reliable basis. For me, what works is a series of mantras—nuggets of wisdom from people smarter than I am that I can repeat until the filter unclogs.
  • Advice from Strangers: In Pursuit of Growth

    Shaya Lyon
    14 May 2015 | 6:28 am
    The new music community offers us a model of rigorous self-examination, a thorough and ongoing exploration of the processes leading to creative innovation. The tech community favors a skills-based approach to growth. The strategies overlap, even as the applications differ. Here are the top growth strategies of 35 colleagues from the industries of new music and tech.
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    Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

  • Crisis 1970

    Alex Ross
    23 May 2015 | 10:17 am
    From a speech by Amyas Ames, former chair of the New York Philharmonic and of Lincoln Center. Inspired by Will Robin.
  • Recent Greenstein

    Alex Ross
    22 May 2015 | 1:10 pm
    Judd Greenstein's City Boy appears on the new NOW Ensemble disc Dreamfall.
  • Recent Birtwistle

    Alex Ross
    21 May 2015 | 1:57 pm
    The NMC label has issued another in its distinguished series of Birtwistle recordings. The program includes three works from the past decade: the short oratorio Angel Fighter, the antiphonal orchestral piece In Broken Images, and the miniature Virelai. Above is Cortege, which made a strong impression at an Ensemble Intercontemporain performance at the Philharmonie de Paris earlier this spring.
  • Bookshelf

    Alex Ross
    21 May 2015 | 12:03 pm
    New and recent publications of interest. Jessica Hopper, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic (featherproof) Rufus Jones, Jr., Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad (Rowman & Littlefield) Ian Bostridge, Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession (Knopf) Graham Johnson, Franz Schubert: The Complete Songs, 3 vols. (Yale) David Cooper, Béla Bartók (Yale) Nigel Simeone and John Tyrrell, eds., Charles Mackerras (Boydell) Lily E. Hirsch, Music in American Crime Prevention and Punishment (University of Michigan)
  • Mid-May Miscellany

    Alex Ross
    19 May 2015 | 11:19 am
    On May 21 and 28, under the auspices of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Talea Ensemble will survey the admirably unpredictable Austrian composer Clemens Gadenstätter.... The Library of Congress, in collaboration with Q2, has made available a host of new-music concerts. I'm listening now to Chaya Czernowin's Slow Summer Stay II: Lakes.... On May 24, Q2 will devote a twenty-four-hour bloc to the late Canadian composer Ann Southam…. The influential Berlin critic Manuel Brug is blogging.... VisionIntoArt's Ferus Festival (May 29-30, NYC) features this year the likes…
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    Sequenza21/

  • Spoleto Journal: Mark Applebaum’s Obsessive Attention to Ridiculous Things

    Jerry Bowles
    23 May 2015 | 7:05 am
    It felt kind of like a Kennedy -meets-Weird-Al Yankovich-day at the opening concert of the 2015 Wells Fargo Chamber Music series at Spoleto.  Series director Geoff Nutall, who is also first violinist of the superb St. Lawrence Quartet, is just as fashion-forward as his single-named British contemporary and was in mid-Festival sartorial form. This year’s composer-in-residence Mark Applebaum, whose startling and oddly mesmerizing piece Aphasia anchored today’s program, may be the only man–white or black–in America (other then Weird Al) to still sport an Afro.
  • Does Size Really Matter?

    Tim Corpus
    8 May 2015 | 10:48 am
    While I was in Ireland a week ago, I had the honor of speaking to composition students at the Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music & Theatre. It was a great chance to spend two hours talking about myself… “It’s kind of odd making a powerpoint presentation about yourself,” I opened to absolutely no laughs or even smiles. I guess starting off with a joke didn’t work afterall. It really was an honor though. It was fun to tell my story and how I approach composing. I’m always interested in how others work and (perhaps selfishly) I enjoyed…
  • Pisaro and Lambkin Perform at the Wulf

    Paul Muller
    8 May 2015 | 9:22 am
    Downtown Los Angeles was the venue on Monday, May 4, 2015 for a concert by Michael Pisaro and Graham Lambkin – marking the release of their new CD, Schwarze Riesenfalter, on Erstwhile Records. A standing-room only crowd packed into the Wulf to listen to an atmospheric mix of guitar, keyboard, percussion and recordings. The concert consisted of a single work based loosely on the text of Summer, a short poem by Georg Trakl that begins: The twilight stills the lament Of the cuckoo in the wood. Deeper bows the wheat, The red poppy. A black storm threatens Above the hilltop. The ancient…
  • Judah Adashi on the Matter of Freddie Gray

    Jerry Bowles
    5 May 2015 | 9:44 am
    Dear Friends, On Sunday, April 19, my piece Rise was premiered in Washington, DC. A collaboration with the poet Tameka Cage Conley, the work bears witness to our country’s fraught journey from Selma to Ferguson and beyond. The morning of the performance, a young Black man named Freddie Gray died of severe injuries sustained while in Baltimore City Police custody. Last week, Chris Shiley and I recorded the Invocation that opens Rise. The same music returns in the fifth movement, called for by Dr. Cage Conley’s words: “A horn tells us, / a brother has fallen,…
  • NWS Launches Free Online John Cage Resource

    Jerry Bowles
    28 Apr 2015 | 9:53 am
    The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS),  has launched a free, online resource called  Making the Right Choices: A John Cage Celebration, dedicated to the works of one of the 20th century’s most influential, innovative and provocative composers . Content for the website derives from New World Symphony’s three-day program Making the Right Choices: A John Cage Centennial Celebration (February 8-10, 2013), the most ambitious and comprehensive commemoration of the artist’s legacy mounted during the hundredth anniversary of his birth. The site, funded by the John S.
 
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    Classical Performance Podcast

  • Ravel, with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    11 May 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Ravel, with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble Maurice Ravel: Introduction and Allegro Members of the Chameleon Arts Ensemble: Anna Reinersman, harp; Deborah Boldin, flute; Kelli O'Connor, clarinet; Joanna Kurkowicz, violin; Heidi Braun-Hill, violin; Scott Woolweaver, viola; Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello Recorded in WGBH's Studio One, May 16, 2003. © 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation. http://www.classicalwcrb.org/podcasts Photo credit: Susan Wilson
  • Beethoven, with Anton Nel

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    5 May 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Pianist Anton Nel plays Beethoven and Mendelssohn Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 6 in F, Op. 10 No. 2 Mendelssohn: Fantasy in F-sharp minor, Op. 28 Anton Nel, piano Recorded in WCRB’s Fraser Performance Studio, December 4, 2008. © 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation. http://www.classicalwcrb.org/podcasts
  • Sarah Chang plays Franck and Elgar

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    20 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Violinist Sarah Chang is joined by pianist Andrew von Oeyen for music by Franck and Elgar Cesar Franck: Sonata in A major, Mvt. 4 (Allegretto poco mosso) Edward Elgar: Salut d’Amour Sarah Chang, violin; Andrew von Oeyen, piano Recorded in WCRB’s Fraser Performance Studio, October 14, 2011. © 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation. http://www.classicalwcrb.org/podcasts
  • Ravel, with the Parker String Quartet

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    7 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Ravel, with the Parker String Quartet Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F major Parker String Quartet: Daniel Chong, violin; Karen Kim, violin; Jessica Bodner, viola; Kee-Hyun Kim, cello Recorded in WCRB’s Fraser Performance Studio, February 22, 2007 © 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation. http://www.classicalwcrb.org/podcasts
  • Chopin, with Daniil Trifonov

    WGBH Educational Foundation
    10 Mar 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Chopin, with Daniil Trifonov Frederic Chopin: Etudes, Op. 25 Daniil Trifonov, piano Recorded in WCRB’s Fraser Performance Studio, October 3, 2012 © 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation. http://www.classicalwcrb.org/podcasts Watch video of Daniil Trifonov in our studio Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni
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    JDCMB

  • Nepal: Marriner to conduct for appeal

    25 May 2015 | 3:11 am
    Past and present members of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and friends, are to give a fundraising concert for the people of earthquake-blighted Nepal on Wednesday evening, 28 May, under the baton of the ASMF's legendary conductor, Sir Neville Marriner - who is 91.Soloists are Nicholas Daniel (oboe) and Kenneth Sillito (violin), and John Suchet will speak. Tickets are priced £9-£35. The performers and organisers are giving their services free and all proceeds go to the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Appeal.Concert organiser and former ASMF violinist Enrico Alvares tells us that…
  • Groundbreaking projects from UK and Switzerland win Classical:NEXT Innovation Award

    23 May 2015 | 6:58 am
    Great, great news from Classical:NEXT! Southbank Centre's year-long festival of 20th-century music and culture, The Rest is Noise, has won the Innovation Award, together with the Lucerne Festival's Ark Nova, a mobile, inflatable concert hall that toured Japan's earthquake-blighted regions in 2013. More good news is that the first runner-up is the Morley College course for young women conductors. Cheers, all! Wish I was still there to help celebrate!Around 2000 participants from the three previous Classical:NEXT trade fairs voted for two winners from a list of 21 projects all around the world.
  • A pianist's victory for the right to speak out

    23 May 2015 | 6:08 am
    The pianist James Rhodes has won the right to publish his traumatic memoirs after a lengthy legal battle in which an injunction to prevent its release was raised by his ex-wife in the court of appeal. He was at Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam the other day and gave this interview to The Guardian while there.There's another significance for this besides freedom of speech. In a music world that has been riven by revelations of historic sexual abuse of schoolchildren and college pupils, for which several people have gone to jail in recent years, this memoir has not come a moment too soon.All too…
  • Just in: Chetham's pupil wins in Cleveland

    21 May 2015 | 11:44 pm
    Chetham's upper sixth-form pianist Yuanfan Yang yesterday won first prize in the senior division at the Cleveland International Piano Competition for young performers (12-18). Yuanfan is a former winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year piano section and is a fine composer as well as a brilliant performer. Congratulations!As part of his prize, Yuanfan wins a debut recital at the Frick Collection in New York. The concert will take place on 13 August.Greetings meanwhile from the seriously buzzy trade fair Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam. I'm here for a few days and presented a session on gender…
  • 'Politics and art are never as far apart as they seem'

    19 May 2015 | 12:42 am
    In today's Guardian, Polly Toynbee - who is chair of the Brighton Festival - has strong words for those in politics who would like to slash back the arts and the nation's children's education in them to starvation levels. You can't be good at anything, she suggests - including politics - if you have a one-dimensional brain. Please read.Yesterday along popped a press release from Sistema Scotland, with lots of facts and figures and quotes about Big Noise in  Raploch. You can read the Glasgow Centre for Population Health's findings here.I was going to add some commentary, but I think these…
 
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    Features - MPR News

  • School Spotlight: Mound-Westonka High School Concert Choir

    25 May 2015 | 10:01 pm
    School Spotlight highlights outstanding Minnesota school- and student-music ensembles during the academic year. Through this feature, Classical MPR hopes to expose listeners to the great music being made by young musicians across the state, and to generate more support for music education. This week's Spotlight is on the Concert Choir from Mound-Westonka High School.
  • Jonathan Biss and Beethoven's 32 sonatas

    25 May 2015 | 9:20 am
    Pianist Jonathan Biss is halfway through a nine-year recording project of all 32 of Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonatas. On this week's Learning to Listen, Biss explains why these pieces are special.
  • Morning Glories: Lakes

    24 May 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, when sunny days abound and minds turn to weekend escapes. With warmer weather ahead, we'll spark those thoughts all this week, with Morning Glory pieces about lakes.
  • Sing to Inspire: And So We Go On

    24 May 2015 | 5:00 am
    Each week, American Public Media/Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Choral Initiative Manager, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, travels across the country building community through choral music.
  • Tiny Desk: Jason Vieaux And Yolanda Kondonassis

    22 May 2015 | 11:50 am
    Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis and Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux recently paired up for new album, as well as a performance on NPR's "Tiny Desk" series of performances.
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    Ionarts

  • Heidi Melton Returns with Strauss

    Charles T. Downey
    25 May 2015 | 11:59 am
    Schoenberg, Gurrelieder, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, M. Stenz (Hyperion, 2015)Markus Stenz, the former Kapellmeister of the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, whom we have reviewed in Europe up to this point, will be Principal Guest Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra beginning next season. His tenure got a jump start with this week's concerts, on a German Romantic theme, heard on Saturday night
  • Dip Your Ears, No. 194 (Spohr Nonet & Sextet)

    jfl
    25 May 2015 | 11:22 am
    L.Spohr, String Sextet, Nonet, camerata freden Tacet L.Spohr, String Sextet, Nonet, camerata freden Tacet DVD-Audio SPOHR String Sextet in C, op.140. Nonet in F, op.31 ● Camerata Freden ● TACET 172 (58:22) Louis Spohr has always had a place in “The Art of the Clarinet” type of compilations and as a pleasant chamber music filler coupled with Brahms, Beethoven, or Schubert. Marco Polo
  • Perchance to Stream: Memorial Day Edition

    Charles T. Downey
    24 May 2015 | 4:21 pm
    Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to online audio and online video from the week gone by. After clicking to an audio or video stream, you may need to press the "Play" button to start the broadcast. Some of these streams become unavailable after a few days. Listen to the world premiere of the first symphony of Bruno Mantovani, plus music by Stravinsky and Berio, performed by the
  • Koh and Jokubaviciute

    Charles T. Downey
    23 May 2015 | 9:02 am
    Composer Kaija Saariaho Violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute (listen to her recital at the Freer Gallery of Art in 2004, and read Jens's review) may have played together before. The first time we heard them as a duo, in a concert last night at the Library of Congress, made it clear that, if they are not already, they should become regular collaborators. The revelation was made
  • Briefly Noted: Veracini's Sonate Accademiche

    Charles T. Downey
    22 May 2015 | 1:09 pm
    F. M. Veracini, Complete Sonate Accademiche, Trio Settecento (released on May 12, 2015) Cedille CDR 90000 155 | 186'48"The versatile American violinist Rachel Barton Pine leads an early music ensemble, Trio Settecento, heard at Dumbarton Oaks in 2011. The latest in the group's series of recordings of mostly 18th-century music for the Cedille label is a complete three-CD set of the Sonate
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    The Rambler

  • Save our Sounds at the British Library

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    19 May 2015 | 10:48 pm
    Email received today from the British Library: On the 12th January, the British Library launched a new initiative titled Save our Sounds.  One of the key aims of this programme is to preserve as much as possible of the nation’s rare and unique sound recordings, not just those in the Library’s collections but also key … Continue reading →
  • #promsnewmusic 2015

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    24 Apr 2015 | 2:15 am
    It’s Proms announcement time again. See below for the definitive list of new music in this year’s festival, or follow  #promsnewmusic on Twitter. Some brief observations. Last year it was all about the birthdays of Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. This year it’s Pierre Boulez’s turn. I had a bit of moan last 12 months ago that … Continue reading →
  • Icelandic Composer Watch

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    21 Apr 2015 | 1:55 am
    I happen to have heard two very good pieces by Icelandic composers this week. First is INTERWOVEN, by Úlfur Hansson, which opened the Tectonics Festival in Rejkjavik last week. A recording has just appeared on Hansson’s website. Textural/spectral, but with an unpredictable emotional ripple running through it. Second is Daníel Bjarnason‘s Five Possibilities, which I heard played … Continue reading →
  • A few music books/journals for sale

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:23 am
    Friends, readers, colleagues – I’ve been having a small clearout of books, and I have a number of items that probably aren’t much use to the average Oxfam or secondhand bookshop, but which I’d rather not chuck straight out. Mostly musicology/music related. All of the below are available for a few pounds each (mostly to … Continue reading →
  • Contemporary highlights in the ROH 2015/16 season

    Tim Rutherford-Johnson
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:43 am
    I don’t always pay attention to the season announcements from Covent Garden, but the release today of details of next year’s season caught my attention for two good reasons: 1) Georg Friedrich Haas: Morgen und Abend I have my reservations about Haas’s music, yes, but he also does the big and dramatic better than most at the … Continue reading →
 
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    Opera Today News Headlines

  • Bizet's Carmen | English National Opera

    Gary
    21 May 2015 | 8:36 am
  • Metropolitan Opera Stars Join Opera Las Vegas in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

    Gary
    19 May 2015 | 12:21 pm
    Four stars of the Metropolitan Opera will headline the Opera Las Vegas fully-staged, live orchestra production of Puccini’s tragic love story Madama Butterfly at Judy Bayley Theatre on the UNLV campus on June 12th and 14th. Click here for additional information.
  • Lowering the tone

    Gary
    11 May 2015 | 10:57 am
    By Laura Battle [FT, 8 May 2015] Given the enormous enthusiasm for countertenors and, increasingly, male sopranos that has flourished in recent decades, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to the female vocal range. Of course, the trend has been largely dictated by the range of available repertoire. Opera companies and period ensembles, keen to emulate the sound of 17th- and 18th-century castrati, are now spoilt for choice of high male voices. Over the same period of time, true contraltos, considered by many to mark the lower limits of the female vocal range, appear to have…
  • Celebrating Bidú Sayão's Birthday (11 May 1902)

    Gary
    11 May 2015 | 10:51 am
  • The Rake’s Progress, Metropolitan Opera, New York

    Gary
    4 May 2015 | 11:16 am
    By Martin Bernheimer [FT, 4 May 2015] The Met season is gasping to a close, but the final major gasp — a revival of The Rake’s Progress — offers some degree of exhilaration. Only “some degree”? Blame the qualification on the size of the house. Stravinsky’s quixotic faux-baroque masterpiece had its premiere, back in 1951, at La Fenice in Venice (with none less than Elisabeth Schwarzkopf heading the cast). At the time, the capacity of that theatre was 840. The all-too-mighty Met accommodates 4,000. Enough said, and, alas, enough badly heard. [More . . . . ]
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    Sounds & Fury

  • A Plea For Critical Sanity In Classical Music

    A.C. Douglas
    23 May 2015 | 5:53 pm
    Several years ago we made a New Year resolution that with each passing month since then, or so it seems, we find is becoming more...
  • Roger Scruton On Konzept Opera Regietheater

    A.C. Douglas
    19 May 2015 | 11:26 pm
    [NOTE: This entry has been updated (1) as of 2:01 AM Eastern on 21 May. See below.] The always worthwhile reading philosopher of aesthetics Roger...
  • Another Outrage Avoided

    A.C. Douglas
    16 Nov 2014 | 11:37 am
    Apparently determined to mount for the Bayreuther Festspiele an outrageous catastrophe even more egregious than the outrageously catastrophic 2013 Castorf Ring, Katharina Wagner signed up...
  • Concocted?

    A.C. Douglas
    5 Nov 2014 | 2:16 pm
    Critiquing a Critic". What's here described just HAS to have been concocted by the blog's author so lunatic is it.
  • The Most Devastating, Sly, And Intellectually Satisfying Putdown

    A.C. Douglas
    22 Aug 2014 | 8:59 am
    This 1996 New York Times piece by the awesome (literally) music scholar and critic Richard Taruskin (a piece included in his splendid 2009 collection The...
 
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    parterre box

  • A bridge too Farrar

    WindyCityOperaman
    23 May 2015 | 7:07 am
    On this day in 1430 Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2yFqaOunM Born on this day in 1893 soprano Rosa Raisa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yMKUD9F8dg Born on this day in 1894 baritone Heinrich Rehkemper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk_dA-uP5Fs Born on this day in 1913 baritone Horst Günter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfRRhQhf7yc Happy 87th birthday conductor Günther Wich http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DstkBwX7vhk Happy 83rd birthday soprano Ilva Ligabue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYwQ62GUZtU…
  • Up to speed

    La Cieca
    22 May 2015 | 11:46 am
    “New York is great. Opera is great. They deserve each other. So what can we do to get them together? Who can show us how it’s done? We need to ask the Germans.” [New York Observer]
  • A committee should be organized

    La Cieca
    22 May 2015 | 7:00 am
    On this day in 2015 it was announced that Cecilia Bartoli would sing the role of Maria in West Side Story at the 2016 Salzburg Pfingstfestspiele, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, no less! Born on this day in 1813 composer Richard Wagner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svMHBPed9Bs Born on this day in 1925 tenor James King http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA8jXx_Gp3Q Born on this day in 1900 soprano Vina Bovy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh-1PigewfA Born on this day in 1913 conductor Frantisek Jílek http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rr7goNed0w
  • My day at the polls has come to an end, I know

    La Cieca
    21 May 2015 | 12:56 pm
    The results are in for the 2015 Pubie Awards, cher public, and may La Cieca just say that you could knocked her over with featheras some of the results! Best New Production: Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, with 354 votes. (Write-in votes included La Donna del Lago, Bluebeard only, None, The Merry Widow, Pagliacci (not Cav), Le nozze di Figaro and “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Don’t argue with me.”) Worst New Production: The Merry Widow, with 384 votes. (Write-ins: Cavelleria Rusticana (numerous times), The Death of Klinghoffer, Iolanta/Bluebeard’s Castle and “The new…
  • How’s your head?

    La Cieca
    21 May 2015 | 9:24 am
    Now here’s a competition for a parterrian: the Bayerische Staatsoper is looking for a drag performer to lip sync the final scene from Salome! (“Für eine Lip-sync-Performance zu einer Szene aus Richard Strauss’ Oper Salome suchen wir Drag-Queens, Drag-Kings und gender bender, die eigenständig ein Playback der berühmten Schlussszene der Salome vorbereiten und Lust haben, diese vor Publikum zu präsentieren.”)
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    The Wagnerian

  • Richard Wagner’s revolution: “Music drama” against bourgeois “opera"

    17 May 2015 | 2:34 am
    Richard Wagner’s revolution: “Music drama” against bourgeois “opera"Dr Mark BerryContrary to widespread opinion, Richard Wagner started off his career as the most revolutionary composer of the nineteenth century, not just in a musical sense but also in a more straightforwardly political manner. Contemporary obsession with alleged anti-Semitism in his dramatic works, aided and abetted by the de facto prohibition upon their performance in Israel, has tended to drown out all other controversy, of which there should be more, not less, both in quantity and in quality.Wagner was not simply…
  • Wagner as Dramatist and Allegorist - Fredric Jameson

    16 May 2015 | 4:27 pm
    Wagner as Dramatist and AllegoristFredric JamesonModernist Cultures. Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 9-41, ISSN 2041-1022, May 2013Wagner’s architectonic and metaphysical excess, particularly in the Ring, does not encourage modesty in the critic, who also ends up wanting to say everything, rather than one specific thing. If I had to do the latter, like a good scholar or philologist, an erudite commentator, I would probably try to say something about the magic potions in Wagner; and may still briefly touch on that. But as a specialised topic that would also require us to deal more centrally with…
  • New Wagner Related Books: May 2015

    16 May 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Below is a list, and summary, of fours books either about or related to Wagner and his work that have been published this month or are about to be published.My Life with WagnerChristian Thielemann(English translation)13 Aug. 2015320 pagesISBN-10: 1780228376Over a distinguished career conducting some of the world's finest orchestras, Christian Thielemann has earned a reputation as the leading modern interpreter of Richard Wagner. My Life with Wagner chronicles his ardent personal and professional engagement with the composer whose work has shaped his thinking and feeling from early childhood.
  • One Apple a Day: Age and Ageing in Wagner’s Ring Dr Barbara Eichner

    16 May 2015 | 2:57 pm
    A fascinating paper by Dr Barbara Eichner, Senior Lecturer in Music at Oxford Brooks and among many other things contributor to The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia. RecommendedOne Apple a Day: Age and Ageing in Wagner’s Ring Dr Barbara EichnerWhen the Nordic god Thor visited the giant Utgard-Loki, he was invited to enter a series of contests. Having failed at emptying a drinking-horn and lifting a cat, his host suggested a wrestling match with his old nurse-maid. To everybody’s amusement the frail old lady wrestled the god to his knees, but of course there was a trick: As…
  • How Wagner Informed Russell Crowe's "Acting Technique"

    28 Apr 2015 | 12:18 pm
    At least we now know what is running through Crowe's mindduring all of those publicity shotsIn an interview with "Yahoo Movies", Russell Crowe gives a film by film "insight" into how he prepares  himself for each role . No method acting here it would seem,. Although, we can suppose one would struggle to apply that school of acting technique to either the roles of a gladiator or a singing police inspector during the Paris uprising of 1832.Turning to his "breakthrough", 1992 role in "Romper Stomper" he provides some interesting, if bewildering insights. For those that have not seen it,…
 
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    Naxos AudioBooks New Releases

  • PEPYS, S.: Diary of Samuel Pepys (The), Vol. 3 (1667-1669) (Unabridged) (NA0176)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the Navy Office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England, covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food, wine and his peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world-premiere recording of the diary in its entirety. It has been divided into three volumes. Volume III presents the last three years of Pepys’s diary. By now he…
  • KIPLING, R.: Man Who Would Be King and Other Stories (The) (Unabridged) (NA0209)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    In a remote part of 19th-century Afghanistan, two British adventurers pursue their ambition to rule an empire. Using betrayal, threats and guns they win the respect of a primitive tribe and become worshipped as gods, until one day they draw blood and the game is up. The Man Who Would Be King is an action-packed tale about the pitfalls of colonialism and the temptations and evils of power. This volume also includes the stories The Phantom Rickshaw, The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes, The Mark of the Beast and many more.
  • WOOLF, V.: Voyage Out (The) (Unabridged) (NA0208)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    The Voyage Out is Virginia Woolf’s haunting tale about a naive young woman’s sea voyage from London to a small resort on the South American coast. Told in symbolic, lyrical and intoxicating prose, her outward journey begins to mirror her internal voyage into adulthood as she searches for her personal identity, grapples with love, and learns how to face life, intellectually and emotionally. Its profound insight into human nature, together with its sheer exquisiteness, will capture the imagination of the listener.
  • HUGO, V.: Misérables (Les) (Unabridged) (NA0201)

    31 Mar 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Les Misérables is set in Paris after the French Revolution. In the sewers and backstreets we encounter ‘the wolf-like tread of crime’, and assassination for a few souls is all in a day’s work. We weep with the unlucky and heartbroken Fantine, and we exult with the heroic revolutionaries of the barricades; but above all we thrill to the steadfast courage and nobility of the soul of ex-convict Jean Valjean, always in danger from the relentless pursuit of the diabolical Inspector Javert.
  • PEPYS, S.: Diary of Samuel Pepys (The), Vol. 2 (1664-1666) (Unabridged) (NA0175)

    28 Feb 2015 | 4:00 pm
    The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the Navy Office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England, covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food and wine, and his numerous peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world première recording of the diary in its entirety. It has been divided into three volumes. Volume II covers some of the most famous passages in…
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    Kenneth Woods- conductor

  • KENNETH WOODS APPOINTED ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF COLORADO MAHLERFEST

    Kenneth Woods
    18 May 2015 | 3:42 am
    This is a Reblog: Read the original official press release from MusicCo International UPDATE- A new interview as Ken speaks to Peter Alexander at Sharps and Flatirons here.  Coverage from Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc here: “The Colorado MahlerFest in and around the city of Boulder is one of the boldest musical initiatives of modern times. ” News feature from ClassicalSource here Story from Colorado Public Radio here News from Boulder’s “Sharps and Flatirons” blog here Boulder Daily Camera story with coverage of final concert of MahlerFest XXVIII and…
  • BREAKING: Vftp 538’s the Berlin Philharmonic. We know for sure that the next Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic will be:….

    Kenneth Woods
    7 May 2015 | 12:23 pm
    Next week the Berlin Philharmonic picks a new Chief Conductor. Hans Gál and Robert Schumann- Third Symphonies £12.00 Add to cart There’s always bound to be curiosity about who is going to get the best job in any field of interest to the general public (there seems to be much curiosity this week over who will run the United Kingdom next week), so it’s encouraging that there is so much debate and discussion across the media and the blogosphere about who will succeed Simon Rattle in Berlin. It goes to show that classical music is still a “field of interest to the general public.”…
  • CD Review: Gramophone Magazine on English String Orchestra, “Wall of Water” by Deborah Pritchard

    Kenneth Woods
    26 Apr 2015 | 5:25 am
    From the May 2015 issue of Gramophone Magazine Deborah Pritchard- Wall of Water £7.00 Add to cart Pritchard Violin Concerto, “Wall of Water” Harriet Mackenzie vn  English String Orchestra / Kenneth Woods Nimbus Alliance (S) CD NI1555 (21’ DDD Every now and then, a new work comes along that simply takes one’s breath away. The Violin Concerto Wall of Water (2014) by Deborah Pritchard is one such. Composed last year “in response to the paintings by Maggi Hambling”—a sequence of at the time 13 paintings inspired by the Suffolk coast—the concerto is scored for a chamber…
  • VLOG: KW Decodes the Mozart Requiem

    Kenneth Woods
    23 Apr 2015 | 5:27 am
    Part of a series of vlogs exploring magical minutes in music history- here’s a quick look at the first few bars of the Agnus Dei from the Mozart Requiem.   The ESO will be performing the Mozart Requiem on the 24th of April at St John’s Smith Square. Tickets are available here:http://www.sjss.org.uk/events/mozarts… Concert information: 24 April, 2014 7:30 PM English Symphony Orchestra Kenneth Woods- principal conductor St John’s Smith Square Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA Academia Musica Choir Sofia Larsson- soprano, Emma Curtis- contralto, Matthew Minter-tenor, Brain…
  • The Dangerous and the Disastrous: Orchestrators to approach with caution

    Kenneth Woods
    20 Apr 2015 | 12:39 pm
    There’s no point in compiling a “worst orchestrators” list- the guilty parties would all be hopelessly minor and un-interesting composers. Far more interesting is to have a look at the who the great composers are who are most able to humble, wrong foot, humiliate or frustrate orchestras and composers.  Some ask too much, some didn’t know what to ask for. Either way, when you see their music coming on the season schedule, be sure to set aside a bit of extra preparation time. Please share your comments below- which composers’ use of the orchestra fills you with…
 
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    Iron Tongue of Midnight

  • Erin go bragh!

    22 May 2015 | 12:02 pm
    And if you want to sit sobbing at your desk - in a good way - take a look at the Twitter hashtag #hometovote.
  • London Friday Photo

    22 May 2015 | 12:01 am
    Former National Provincial Bank Building(now Gibson's Hall)Carved panel representing Shipbuilding.Bishopsgate and Threadneedle St.London, May, 2014
  • London Friday Photo

    15 May 2015 | 12:01 am
    Facade of St. Mary Moorfields, Eldon St., City of LondonMay, 2014
  • Composers in Alameda

    14 May 2015 | 7:43 am
  • And a Great Sigh of Relief was Heard All Around the Bay

    12 May 2015 | 8:40 pm
    Mark InouyeSFS PhotoMarvelous Mark Inouye, principal trumpet of SF Symphony, will be staying put. So says a tweet from Joshua Kosman, who has evidently heard from the orchestra on this important subject.
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    Musical Assumptions

  • An Intimate Tour of a Huge String Instrument Collection in South Dakota

    25 May 2015 | 11:21 am
    Luthier Korinthia Klein visited the national Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota last week, and she made an excellent and extensive post about her experience.You can take a series of virtual tours of the museum here, but the eye of a luthier adds a great deal of depth to the experience.Now that I have seen two of the greatest keyboard instrument collections in the world (in Ashburnham and in Newton), Vermillion is next on my list!
  • Why I (Still) Blog

    22 May 2015 | 4:00 am
    In the beginning of May, Fresca, a person who often comments on Michael's blog, posed a public question to people who continue to keep blogs on the internet. Michael answered promptly in this post, but it has taken me a while to come up with an appropriate response. I have decided to make my contribution in the form of an interview because I can. I have full editorial control of my blog. I'll even have an old alias (a name I used to use to deflect unwelcome male attention in public places) do the interviewing. Veranda Davenport hasn't been in my life for a long time. Veranda: I see that even…
  • Richard Kogan on Chopin and Rachmaninoff

    21 May 2015 | 6:31 am
    Richard Kogan combines the insight and experience of a psychiatrist with the musical sensibilities of a terrific pianist. Here's his take on Chopin: Here's his take on Rachmaninoff:
  • A Visit with Marlowe Sigal

    19 May 2015 | 1:28 pm
    A few weeks ago I made a post about a lush 300-page catalog containing photographs of and information about the hundreds of instruments in Marlowe Sigal's personal collection. This past weekend my father, Michael, and I went to Mr. Sigal's house and were able to see (and even try some of) the instruments in his collection.The house itself was built around a tracker organ. The console sits in front of a grand staircase, and the largest pipes are set into the wooden paneling. Some sets of smaller pipes peep out into rooms on the second floor. The instruments are everywhere: the basement and the…
  • The Master Singers of Lexington Celebrates Adam Grossman's 20th Year as Music Director

    19 May 2015 | 7:21 am
    Adam Grossman has been the conductor and music director of the Master Singers for 20 years, but I can proudly say that I have known Adam for nearly 40 years: we met in Junior High School. I have known violinist Frank Powdermaker, who played the violin solos on the program, for even longer than I have known Adam. When I was in fifth grade and he was in sixth grade, we were stand-partners in the All Newton Elementary School Orchestra.Adam and Frank were my friends and musical mentors through Junior High School and High School. The last time I heard Frank play or Adam conduct was some time in…
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    On An Overgrown Path

  • That's not entertainment

    14 May 2015 | 11:54 pm
    The initial spiritual idea, that music was an explanation of the divine universe, has a long and distinguished history. The symmetry of numbers presents itself as both an attractive way to account for an underlying structure in apparently chaotic nature and a fitting way to think of the beauty of God's creative mind; the important idea of music as perceptible numbers, which exemplifies this symmetry, thus stretches through history from Pythagoras and his followers to Plato, Boethius, the Corpus Hermeticum, the Camerati, Vincenzo Galileli, Ficino, Fludd, Kircher, Newton and Freemasonry. The…
  • Much ado about nothing in Berlin

    14 May 2015 | 12:46 am
    Am I the only person in the whole world who is not interested in which overpaid and over-hyped celebrity maestro will replace another overpaid and over-hyped celebrity maestro in Berlin three years hence? My photo was taken in Sidi Ifni, Morocco. For these jam session the audience is rewarded, but the musicians are not.Also on Facebook and Twitter. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).
  • Let's stop pretending classical music will change the world

    12 May 2015 | 7:22 am
    I’m not a fan of silence. Wait. Allow me, please, to clarify: I’ll take contemplative silence whenever I can, or the silence that comes from crisp mountain air or the hush that befalls your heart when gazing up at the galaxy of stars on a moonless night. Oh, I love that kind of silence. But silence in the face of oppression? Nope. Not a fan. Never have been. Can’t imagine I ever will be. That doesn’t mean that I always know how to speak up, that I always do speak up, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I always know the most effective way to speak up in order to actually invite…
  • Scriabin in the Himalayas

    11 May 2015 | 10:47 am
    I have a rule of not publishing press releases On An Overgrown Path. But this one just could not be ignored:Scriabin in the Himalayas is a tribute concert for the great Russian composer Alexander Scriabin taking place on the outdoor terraces of Thikse Monastery in India this June 21st for the Summer Solstice. The multi-sensory performance includes three world-class pianists and one tenor, an interactive light show based on Scriabin's colour tonal system, Himalayan Cham dance and an olfactory score of timed scent diffusions. A limited number of 100 concert tickets have just been released via…
  • I hear those voices that will not be drowned

    10 May 2015 | 4:18 am
    Peter Grimes sings of how “I hear those voices that will not be drowned” in the second act of Britten's eponymous opera. One voice that sings out against the tide while refusing to be drowned is worth one million parroting received wisdom on social media. Many lone voices have been featured over the years On An Overgrown Path, and today's article posthumously celebrates a very special voice. Temples, snake charmers, cows and call centres feature in the stereotypical Western image of India. But the reality is very different: India's economy is the seventh largest in the world measured by…
 
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    rogerbourland.com

  • Press conferences

    Roger Bourland
    23 May 2015 | 10:28 am
    Raúl Rico coordinated several press conferences for the opera. I was delighted to learn later that the premiere was widely publicized throughout Mexico. Scott Dunn and I had one interview with Raúl Rico as our faithful translator. (This has inspired me to become fluent in Spanish so that I don’t ever have to rely on translators, and besides, it’s a beautiful and great language.) The second interview involved town scholar, Enrique Vega, a professor and the go-to man with any questions regarding Mazatlán history, including Ángela Peralta. Raúl set up this little panel…
  • Meta meta

    Roger Bourland
    5 Feb 2015 | 1:20 pm
    My spouse kept telling people that my opera was a “meta opera” and by that, he meant: • this is an opera about an opera singer (Angela Peralta) • an opera that takes place in Mazatlán and that will be premiered in Mazatlán And there was another one. Act 1 involves a ship ride from La Paz to Mazatlán over the Sea of Cortez. Squalls, called “chubascos” can come up at any time and just as quickly go away. Just after this picture was taken (above) it started raining. It was Hurricane Vance going over. The streets outside our rehearsal turned into rivers. The room we…
  • Arriving early to listen to voices

    Roger Bourland
    13 Dec 2014 | 10:22 am
    [The next group of posts were written after the premiere of the opera.] Opera director and friend Peter Kazaras insisted that I meet with the singers as early as possible. As our performance was a combination of students and faculty it is especially important to have that early meeting. Peter explained that singers internalize their music, becoming a kind of muscle memory. It’s easy to make note changes for instrumentalists: “Clarinet, that is a B flat in measure 47″ and they change the note. Singers have to change a lot more making that change, it has to become part of…
  • Scott Dunn: The art of collaboration

    Roger Bourland
    7 Nov 2014 | 2:35 pm
    I have been blessed in my recent collaboration with pianist, conductor Scott Dunn who will be conducting the world premiere of my opera, La Paloma y el Ruiseñor at the Teatro Angela Peralta in Mazatlán, Mexico on November 14 and 15, 2014. Having scored several feature films, I have learned the value of “cutting”——this happens on all levels of the film industry, but in music it means that just because a composer provides good music for a scene, if, in the mind of the director, the music is not helping or doesn’t capture the mood, he asks that the music be rewritten. All…
  • My two favorite patter songs

    Roger Bourland
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:59 pm
    “Pick a little, talk a little” from Music Man by Meredith Willson. “Not getting married” from COMPANY by Stephen Sondheim. Both of these are inspirations for my patter song in LA PALOMA Y EL RUISEÑOR where Julián nervously reintroduces himself to Ángela as she returns to Mexico from Europe.
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    Naxos New Releases

  • ZHOU, Long / CHEN, Yi: Symphony, `Humen 1839` / ZHOU, Long: The Rhyme of Taigu / The Enlightened (New Zealand Symphony, Darrell Ang) (8.570611)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Widely regarded as one of China’s leading composers, Pulitzer Prize-winning Zhou Long writes music which is consistently compelling. The Rhyme of Taigu revives the spirit of Chinese court music from the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), drawing on traditional percussion instruments. Symphony ‘Humen 1839’, co-composed with Chen Yi, vividly commemorates the public burning of over 1000 tonnes of opium, an event that was to lead to the First Opium War between Great Britain and China.
  • CHIAYU: Journey to the West / Urban Sketches / 12 Signs (Members of the Curtis Institute of Music and Philadelphia Orchestra, The Ciompi Quartet) (8.559713)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Chiayu’s evocative music reflects her origins in Taiwan and responses to life in the West, an environment in which her career has been burgeoning with a remarkable number of commissions and awards. Zhi explores counterpoint and Taiwanese rhythmic patterns, the title meaning “to weave or to interlace”, while Huan conjures up sounds from nature. Employing virtuoso non-traditional techniques, the Twelve Signs of the Chinese zodiac portrays a complete cycle of character traits, while Journey to the West depicts an allegorical adventure towards enlightenment. The brilliance of…
  • ROSSINI, G.: La gazza ladra [Opera] (Moreno, Tarver, Regazzo, Praticò, Brno Classica Chamber Choir, Virtuosi Brunensis, Zedda) (8.660369-71)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) marked a culmination of the convergence of serious and comic elements in Rossini’s work. The result is an ideal hybrid: a tragic opera with a happy ending that rises to the status of true opera seria. With its outstanding dramatic and musical qualities it remains one of Rossini’s greatest and most successful operas, a constant presence in the repertoire since its triumphant 1817 première in Milan. This performance is conducted by Alberto Zedda, who made his conducting début in 1956, produced the first critical edition of La gazza…
  • FROTTOLE - Popular Songs of Renaissance Italy (Ring Around Quartet and Consort) (8.573320)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Set to vernacular texts dealing mainly with the theme of love, frottole were short, improvisatory polyphonic songs with instrumental accompaniment that flourished in the Renaissance courts of Italy for some forty years between c. 1480 and 1520. Despite its apparent simplicity, this completely new genre of song inspired some of Europe’s greatest vocal and instrumental musicians. The recent invention of movable type added further to its popularity. This recording explores a representative selection, including work published by the historically pivotal figure of Ottaviano Petrucci.
  • PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 3 / Scythian Suite / Autumnal Sketch (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Alsop) (8.573452)

    30 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    This fourth volume in Marin Alsop’s acclaimed Prokofiev symphonic cycle features two of his most viscerally exciting works. Using material salvaged from his opera The Fiery Angel, the Third Symphony was hailed by Serge Koussevitzky at its 1929 première as ‘the best symphony since Tchaikovsky’s Sixth’. Originally commissioned as a ballet by Sergey Dyagilev but rejected as un-danceable, the Scythian Suite has become a popular orchestral showpiece, while Prokofiev retained a lifelong fondness for his dark-hued early symphonic sketch Autumn.
 
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    The Naxos Blog

  • Podcast: Tower of strength

    Naxos-FC
    22 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    Based in the United States, Joan Tower is one of today’s most successful composers. A 2007 Naxos release of her orchestral music (8.559328) won 3 GRAMMY® awards. Rick Phillips introduces the latest disc to feature three more of her fascinating and varied compositions for orchestra: Stroke, the Violin Concerto and Chamber Dance. Tower’s flexible style gives hints of the numerous influences on her colourful imagination, from the rhythmic drive of her native South America to more impressionistic tones. Album details… Catalogue No.: 8.559775
  • Rebooting the ear

    Naxos-FC
    15 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    ‘New music’ doesn’t have to mean cacophonous ‘modern’ music: it can of course just be music we haven’t heard before. Nor does ‘modern’ music have to be particularly new. Even though we’ve had over 80 years to get used to Anton Webern’s Concerto for Nine Instruments, Op. 24 (1934), it can still seem like the most difficult and intractable stuff. Let’s take a few minutes to try and upgrade your interface with challenging music like this, and see how much of a difference there is between what you hear at the start of this blog and…
  • In the air

    Naxos-FC
    8 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    This week’s blog turned out to be Plan B. I’d originally looked forward to sharing with you the results of a bit of research into music at airports. Naxos has offices all over the world, but it’s headquartered in Hong Kong. That’s where I work, so I frequently find myself in the city’s rather splendid airport and I’m often pleasantly taken by the background music that soothes and smooths the way from check-in to boarding gate. The three composers I particularly recall hearing are J.S. Bach, Mozart and Gluck. I wondered how the airport managers arrived at…
  • Podcast: Handled with care

    Naxos-FC
    1 May 2015 | 12:00 am
    George Frideric Handel: impresario, performer, composer. The Great Bear, as he was referred to in his time, remains an Ursa Major of the musical firmament to this day. Raymond Bisha illustrates Handel’s creative genius with Vol. 2 in pianist Philip Edward Fisher’s recordings of his Keyboard Suites. Album details… Catalogue No.: 8.573397
  • Podcast: Courtly Couperin – ‘Les Nations’

    Naxos-FC
    24 Apr 2015 | 12:00 am
    Raymond Bisha presents a new recording of Couperin’s Les Nations, a truly international affair with the French composer’s genius expertly realised by Juilliard Baroque, a New York-based Who’s Who of early instrument performers. They bring to life the work’s four extended suites which meld French and Italian styles and are dedicated to four major European Catholic powers at the time of the work’s completion in 1726. Album details… Catalogue No.: 8.573347-48
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    The Berkshire Review for the Arts » Music

  • Excitement at the Boston Symphony—Lots of It! But Questions Remain

    Larry Wallach
    19 May 2015 | 6:51 am
    The perfect word to describe Andris Nelsons’ conducting is “exciting.” He elicits spectacular playing from the Boston Symphony and knows how to mold the sound of the orchestra to his taste. The strings now sound rich, deep, and solid rather than airy, transparent and elegant, as was their traditional, French–flavored style. This works well in a German-Russian program; I am curious to hear what they (Nelsons and the orchestra) will do with canonical French material such as the orchestral works of​ Ravel. The post Excitement at the Boston Symphony—Lots of It! But Questions Remain…
  • The Winter of Our Discontent: Classical Music in Boston 

    Lloyd Schwartz
    6 May 2015 | 8:33 am
    As everyone in New England knows, this winter was one long slog. But significant musical events actually got to take place, and some of these have been exceptional. But many have been frustrating and disappointing. The post The Winter of Our Discontent: Classical Music in Boston  appeared first on The Berkshire Review for the Arts.
  • Wagner, Tannhäuser Overture. Sibelius, Symphony No. 2 – the BSO’s first recording under Andris Nelsons

    Steven Kruger
    25 Jan 2015 | 9:17 am
    I don’t think I have heard the Boston Symphony sound this full and deep since Koussevitzky. This CD inaugurates Andris Nelsons’ era at the helm of the BSO and signals a reinforcement of the orchestra’s considerable strengths in the more brooding side of the continental repertory. The post Wagner, Tannhäuser Overture. Sibelius, Symphony No. 2 – the BSO’s first recording under Andris Nelsons appeared first on The Berkshire Review for the Arts.
  • Opera and Passion: Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Early Music Festival, and Odyssey Opera

    Lloyd Schwartz
    4 Jan 2015 | 4:54 am
    Is there a more passionate art form than opera? In what other mode is the uninhibited expression of feeling—tragic or comic—so central? More central than reason. Given the emotional liberation of great music, what can in a mere plot description appear to be absurd (a woman tossing the wrong baby into a fire; a “fallen woman” sacrificing her entire future and the happiness of her lover for the sake of her lover’s respectable sister; a man killing his best friend in a duel because he has flirted with his girlfriend; a nobleman secretly meeting his own wife in disguise—madness,…
  • The BEMF Chamber Operas 2014: Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Livietta e Tracollo

    Charles Warren
    9 Dec 2014 | 1:17 pm
    Pergolesi’s comic operas sound remarkably modern—which is to say, like Mozart. Recognizably human characters go through recognizable experiences, singing out their feelings very directly, which the music embodies in fluidly changing tempos and moods, stretching of harmony, changes of key and orchestral color. Much is accomplished through musically creative recitative—a half-spoken way of proceeding—as well as through song proper and duets (there are only two singers in each of these operas, though also some designated silent performers, to which this production added a few dancers).
 
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    Artiden

  • 6 Summer Jazz Piano Songs

    Grace Miles
    3 May 2015 | 10:02 am
    “Why are you wearing sandals?” “I’m dressing for what I want the weather to be,” I say. “Not what it is.” Megs and I inch our umbrellas closer to cross the street. I’ve collected some lazy summer songs, inspired by a cabaret-style performance I recently attended. These are great for jamming with a friend (or sister, in my case) as […]
  • 9 Grand & Flowing Piano Pieces: Popular Favourites

    Grace Miles
    26 Apr 2015 | 12:34 pm
    Grand, flowing, and fast. There is something to be said about an intricate melody, where a person can bang on the piano. When I shared my favourite piano solos, readers shared their beautiful favourites– here are some of the most popular piano solos from the community. Would you play any of these?   Polanaise in F Sharp Minor – […]
  • Finding Your Next Passion Project

    Grace Miles
    3 Apr 2015 | 10:09 pm
    These days, I only think about attending church when in need of kindness. Like, if I feel that I’ve let people down; but today, I’d rather hunt for Easter eggs. Which brings us to passion projects. A passion project gives you a glimpse into how a person manifest interests, takes control in an area they believe in. (Only new […]
  • How I Beat Stage Fright

    Grace Miles
    31 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
    While most people can play piano in their room, the magic of the stage can be too much to handle. Ten minutes before my design event, my hands were shaking at the thought of people having woken up on a Saturday morning because of me. I’d printed cue cards (which I have never done, and will likely never do […]
  • 6 Light & Expressive Piano Pieces for The “Easy Days”

    Grace Miles
    26 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    If you’re like me, a state of busy-ness doesn’t keep you away from music. In fact, it might turn you towards music for slight refuge. Today, I’d like to share some light and expressive piano pieces I’m itching to play this summer, plus my first composition in a long time (really, it’s more of a […]
 
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    Grand Piano Passion™

  • Why I’m Going to the HLAA Convention

    Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor
    11 May 2015 | 2:00 am
    As she gets ready to attend the HLAA convention, Nancy M. Williams reflects on how freeing it is to be part of this community of people with hearing loss.
  • American Grand, PBS Documentary, Created by Amateur Pianist

    Guest Writer
    27 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
    A film director and amateur pianist describes the making of American Grand, a documentary depicting the drama of taking apart and rebuilding a grand piano.
  • The Wurlitzer

    Guest Writer
    13 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
    In this literary short story by Christi Craig, a piano tuner reluctantly turns up at the house of a flighty woman who has no appreciation for her Wurlitzer.
  • Inaugural Conference for Musicians with Hearing Loss

    Guest Writer
    30 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    As the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss announces its first conference, the founder recounts growing up as a hearing-impaired music student.
  • Creating the Layers of an Intricate Painting

    Guest Writer
    16 Mar 2015 | 2:00 am
    Contributing Artist Annika Connor uncovers the process of how her painting Augustus was created, from outline to filling in negative space to adding color.
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    Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont | Pianist

  • The Beethoven album has a new face and gets re-released!

    Pierre-Arnaud
    18 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    Released in 2014 initially under Resonus Classics, Pierre-Arnaud’s album dedicated to 3 pivotal Beethoven sonatas opp 27 and 28 gets re-released this Monday by the pianist. Back after a few weeks of disappearance, the critically acclaimed recording is available again on major platforms with a new artwork and booklet. The new artwork is a picture by Arnout Willems taken in October 2014 in Flagey Studios during the recording sessions of Pierre-Arnaud soon to be released album. Here is a list of links where you can find the album: Bandcamp – iTunes – Google Play Those who…
  • Pierre-Arnaud now on Bandcamp!

    Pierre-Arnaud
    21 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    Find now Pierre-Arnaud’s albums on Bandcamp at http://dablemont.bandcamp.com ! From Bandcamp.com, you’ll be able to stream and download albums in various format (including HD, if available), buy CDs and other products released by Pierre-Arnaud. Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, the pianist first album, is already available here and very soon the Beethoven album will appear on Bandcamp in a new version, stay tuned! Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont | Pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +.! Related posts: What do Beethoven and a…
  • Dablemont to premier two pieces in a rare recital in York

    Pierre-Arnaud
    16 Feb 2015 | 4:45 am
    Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont will premier composer Marc Yeats‘ cycle for piano The Magical Control of Rain and David Dies‘ Arqueología de la razón de los sueños this spring as part of the official program of the York Spring Festival of New Music 2015. The pianist will appear on the stage of the National Centre for Early Music in York for a rare recital (the last was in 2012 in France) composed exclusively of works written after 1957 by Luboš Fišer, Olivier Messiaen as well as two world premiers by David Dies and Marc Yeats. This concert will be live streamed. The recital will take…
  • The new Beethoven album is out!

    Pierre-Arnaud
    1 Jul 2014 | 3:38 am
    Resonus Classics and Pierre-Arnaud are proud to announce today’s release of the pianist’s second album dedicated to Beethoven! The first Beethoven album finally hits the digital shelves and is available on all major platforms like iTunes, Google Play, AmazonMP3… You can download a CD quality or High Resolution (24bit/96kHz) version from Resonus Classics website . These lossless formats are also available on Linn Records website, Quobuz, highresaudio.com and many others! So head to your favorite online music service and get it now! Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont…
  • Beethoven – Sonatas opp. 27 & 28

    Pierre-Arnaud
    27 Jun 2014 | 11:12 am
    Audio CD | Duration: 62:18 | Released on July 1st, 2014 Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont plays Beethoven by Pierre-Arnaud DablemontPianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont releases here an album containing three pivotal sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven – the two Op. 27 sonatas labeled “Quasi una fantasia” in E flat major and C sharp minor (including the “Moonlight” sonata) and the Op. 28 sonata in D major (“Pastoral”). In these three sonatas we see Beethoven stretching and experimenting with both form and texture, and the Paris-born pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont…
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    Classical Commentary: Barry Lenson's Classical Music Blog

  • Unlimited Music Online vs. My Old Record Collection

    Barry Lenson
    23 May 2015 | 5:05 am
    I promise that I am not going to write a post today about how wonderful things used to be when I was young and how awful they are today.  You wouldn’t want to read that kind of BS and frankly, I’m not interested in writing about it either.What I do want to write about, however, is how today’s streaming and video access to classical music – all we could want, anytime – is changing the way people encounter classical music for the first time. And of course, how they continue to interact with it over the course of their lives. Is the “new order” better or worse than the old? I…
  • Earth, Wind & Fire and Baroque Performance Norms

    Barry Lenson
    13 Apr 2015 | 9:24 am
    A while ago I really enjoyed Les Intouchables, a charming French sidekick movie about an unlikely friendship that develops between a wealthy quadriplegic man and Dris, his African-born physical therapist. The theme music for the film is “September,” a song by the band Earth, Wind & Fire. And then later in the movie comes a feel-good scene when Dris leads a group of staid Parisians as they dance to that same song. It’s fun, right? I have to admit that until I saw that movie, I had hardly heard of Earth Wind & Fire.  I guess that during the years when they were topping the…
  • Did George Gershwin Orchestrate his Own Compositions? And Should We Care?

    Barry Lenson
    18 Mar 2015 | 8:40 am
    Back when I was in conservatory, I heard lots of students and faculty members dismiss George Gershwin (1897-1938) on the grounds that, “He couldn’t even orchestrate his own compositions.”I was reminded of that opinion the other day when I was listening on my car radio to “Catfish Row,” an orchestral suite from Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess. Boy, are those melodies wonderful. Boy, is that orchestration good. But I was unsettled to realize that the orchestration of that work simply sounds a lot different from that of An American in Paris,which has been getting a lot of air time…
  • Buy Your Tickets Today for the Chicago Bach Project’s St. John Passion on March 20

    Barry Lenson
    24 Feb 2015 | 7:11 am
    A year ago I encouraged my readers in Chicago to reserve tickets early for an upcoming performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion that took place at the Harris Theater. Some Chicagoans did just that and told me afterwards that the performance, conducted by John Nelson, was exceptionally inspiring.  Apparently John von Rhein, the music critic at the Chicago Tribune, agreed. In his review of Maestro Nelson and that performance, he wrote . . ."He led a splendid team of soloists, chorus and orchestra in a fervent, moving account of one of the great monuments of Western music. This was the…
  • Carl Orff, Hockey Composer

    Barry Lenson
    5 Feb 2015 | 1:57 pm
    I went to see the New Jersey Devils play the Pittsburgh Penguins last week, and I have a piece of advice to offer you. If you are a musician or a music-lover who values your hearing or your sanity, you should never attend a professional hockey game.  The volume of sound is cranium-cracking. The hair-curdling music and organ-playing and midi files pause only momentarily while the game of hockey – remember that was why you attended? – is actually taking place.  When play is not happening, there is not one second when fans are not being manipulated or motivated or marketed to with…
 
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    Stars & Catz » Classical Music & Opera Buzz

  • This week: concerts in New York (May 25 – May 31, 2015) + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    25 May 2015 | 4:14 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oramo review – embraces Nielsen at face value – www.guardian.co.uk Barbican, LondonConductor Sakaris Oramo showed Nielsen’s sixth symphony in its best light, while pianist Denis Kozhukhin’s Rachmaninov concerto was sure and soberNielsen’s sixth symphony, his last, composed in honour of his own 60th birthday celebrations in 1925, […]
  • Poliuto, Glyndebourne, East Sussex, UK — review + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    24 May 2015 | 3:43 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   Kevin Scott: Sun., May 31, U. of Kentucky Guitar Quartet will premiere my ‘Arabesques – Twilight Musings’ at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, 351 East 74th St., NYC at 1 PM – africlassical.blogspot.com Kevin ScottKevin Scott writes:Hello, all:It has been awhile since I have sent a mass mailing of my […]
  • Poliuto, Glyndebourne, East Sussex, UK — review + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    24 May 2015 | 3:43 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   Kevin Scott: Sun., May 31, U. of Kentucky Guitar Quartet will premiere my ‘Arabesques – Twilight Musings’ at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, 351 East 74th St., NYC at 1 PM – africlassical.blogspot.com Kevin ScottKevin Scott writes:Hello, all:It has been awhile since I have sent a mass mailing of my […]
  • Whispering or Yelling, Young Composers Tell It + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    23 May 2015 | 3:13 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   Tenor Ben Heppner lands at Titanic: The Musical. ‘I’ve avoided the word retirement. Everybody uses it’ – www.theglobeandmail.com In his first singing role since retiring from opera stage a year ago, Ben Heppner takes his high Cs to the high seas in Mirvish Production’s Titanic: The Musical. It’s a […]
  • Whispering or Yelling, Young Composers Tell It + MORE

    Oliver Braithwaite
    23 May 2015 | 3:13 pm
      Today’s News & Buzz   Tenor Ben Heppner lands at Titanic: The Musical. ‘I’ve avoided the word retirement. Everybody uses it’ – www.theglobeandmail.com In his first singing role since retiring from opera stage a year ago, Ben Heppner takes his high Cs to the high seas in Mirvish Production’s Titanic: The Musical. It’s a […]
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    The Violin Channel | The World's Leading Violin, Strings & Classical Music News Source

  • VC WEB BLOG | VC ‘Artist’ Noah Bendix-Balgley – “My Queen Elisabeth Comp Experience”

    admin
    24 May 2015 | 10:53 am
    As we standby in anticipation for tomorrow evening’s commencement of the final round of the 2015 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, each of the 12 finalists have now entered the isolation of the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth conservatory – to complete their final stages of preparation. Berlin Philharmonic 1st Concertmaster, VC ‘Artist’ Noah Bendix-Balgley guest blogs about his 2009 competition experience:   “I performed at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2009. At the time, I was living and studying in Munich, Germany. By that point, I had…
  • NEW TO YOUTUBE | Ida Haendel – Sibelius Violin Concerto, 1957 [AUDIO]

    admin
    23 May 2015 | 12:02 pm
    1957 studio recording of violin virtuoso Ida Haendel performing Sibelius Violin Concerto – with conductor Karel Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. IDA HAENDEL | SIBELIUS VIOLIN CONCERTO | ANCERL | CZECH PHILHARMONIC | 1957 The post NEW TO YOUTUBE | Ida Haendel – Sibelius Violin Concerto, 1957 [AUDIO] appeared first on The Violin Channel | The World's Leading Violin, Strings & Classical Music News Source.
  • VC WEB BLOG | VC ‘Artist’ Nikki Chooi – “Inside the Infamous Queen Elisabeth Comp Chapelle”

    admin
    22 May 2015 | 1:37 pm
    As we standby in anticipation for Monday evening’s commencement of the final round of the 2015 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, each of the 12 finalists have now entered the isolation of the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth conservatory – to complete their final stages of preparation. It is mandatory, as condition of the competition, for each finalist to spend the preceding 7 day within the closed confines of the school – so to focus physically and mentally and study the previously unpublished set work without external influence. During this isolation…
  • FLASHBACK FRIDAY | VC ‘Artist’ Andrey Baranov – 2012 Queen Elisabeth Comp 1st Prize [VIDEO]

    admin
    22 May 2015 | 12:22 pm
    Archival footage from the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition of the then 26 year old VC ‘Artist’ Andrey Baranov‘s 1st prize winning performance. Recorded at the Le Palais des Beaux-Arts, in Belgium – with conductor Gilbert Varga and the National Orchestra of Belgium. ANDREY BARANOV | SHOSTAKOVICH VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 1 | 4th MVT | QUEEN ELISABETH COMPETITION | 2012 The post FLASHBACK FRIDAY | VC ‘Artist’ Andrey Baranov – 2012 Queen Elisabeth Comp 1st Prize [VIDEO] appeared first on The Violin Channel | The World's Leading Violin, Strings…
  • Husband’s $1.5 Million Legal Battle to Keep Grand Piano

    admin
    21 May 2015 | 12:56 pm
    A millionaire American business man has won a $1,500,000 High Court legal battle with his fifth wife to keep custody of the family’s Steinway piano. Richard Fields, 59, and his estranged wife Ekaterina Fields, 42, could not agree on divorce custody of the baby grand instrument, valued at approximately US $80,000-100,000 – which was housed in the couple’s New York City penthouse, the London court was told. The court heard Mr Fields could not play the piano at all and Ms Fields, an ex-model was an “amateur pianist” but “could not manage a Beethoven Sonata.” Presiding…
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    Stephen P Brown

  • #PsalmQuest progress break 1

    SPB
    25 May 2015 | 4:00 am
    I am currently taking a short break from composing. In the meantime, here is one of my favorite #PsalmQuest compositions so far: #PsalmQuest 6 Warrior Peace
  • #PsalmQuest 45 progress 2: harmonic adjustments

    SPB
    22 May 2015 | 4:00 am
    Click on the image to enlarge   The last little piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is a musical composition, I altered the harmony. We change key. In the image above you can see how this is accomplished. First, if there is no empty piano line I create one, but that was not needed in this piece. Second, I then punch in the chord progressions that will take me to where I want to go, harmonically. Third, I can begin adding melody and accompaniment to flow with the chord progression. What may or may not happen is that the speed of the change could vary. Meaning, the chord progression above is…
  • #PsalmQuest 45 progress 1: generating excitement

    SPB
    21 May 2015 | 4:00 am
    Click on the image to enlarge   After its planning, this composition got off to a rocket start! You can see above how busy the piece is, but notice the long low note on the violin with twinkling piano accompaniment. This helps to generate a sense of excitement and energy: what’s next? There is a lot going on in the opening so to suddenly hear a long sustained note with an empty harmony and a decrescendo, it does cause listeners to wonder what is going on – will all the melee come back again, or will the piece calm down? Will it stay in the key or will the harmony move…
  • #PsalmQuest 45 artwork

    SPB
    20 May 2015 | 4:00 am
    In an unusual twist of process, the artwork for this composition has already been decided upon! It might actually help to create the piece itself… who knows? But here is the picture that will be used for this composition: The neck of a violin   The reason this works is because a violin is much bigger than what is represented in the photo. Also, the scroll of the violin’s neck somehow is associated with loyalty in my mind. Perhaps it is just an old-world fantasy, or that both scrolls and loyalty are of an age gone by. Regardless, I think this will be a perfect picture.  …
  • #PsalmQuest 45 planning

    SPB
    19 May 2015 | 4:00 am
    Having now established what psalm 117 is all about (its ‘theme’) it is time to plan the actual composition. Click here to see my plan notes The structure of this composition is not limited to the size of the psalm – with just two verses, it has no official structure. As a result, there are several possible combinations of chord progressions. It would be nice to get out of the major/ minor key modes for a change, and I believe the Lydian mode is a happy one. It’s primary difference is the raised fourth tone, which turns the Super Tonic chord (II – second chord in the…
 
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    The Amati Magazine

  • Two Nepal fundraising concerts this week

    Jessica Duchen
    26 May 2015 | 12:29 am
    At least these events raising money for the Nepal earthquake appeal are on consecutive days and not the same one, so it is possible to attend both. At St James, Piccadilly, Sir Neville Marriner (91) takes a trip down memory lane with past and present members of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and at St Barnabas, Ealing, a raft of excellent soloists, shepherded in by cellist Corinne Morris and pianist Alicja Fiederkiewicz, perform chamber music and works for solo piano.       The post Two Nepal fundraising concerts this week appeared first on The Amati Magazine.
  • COMMENT: A matter of luck?

    Madelyn Travis
    24 May 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Developing a child’s interest in music can’t just be left to schools, let alone the Ten Pieces, says journalist, musician and mother Madelyn Travis Samuel Travis and Joshua Bell in the Wigmore Hall green room When people ask my son what music he likes to listen to, they undoubtedly expect him to name the latest hit by will.i.am or Taylor Swift. His actual response – ‘the Dvorak “American” quartet’ or, perhaps, ‘the Schumann piano concerto’ – invariably startles them, because Samuel is only 11. Interestingly, it is adults rather than children who find Samuel’s…
  • REVIEW: Christian Tetzlaff (violin)

    Peter Quantrill
    23 May 2015 | 1:08 am
    LSO St Luke’s, 21 May 2015 At a lunchtime recital, Christian Tetzlaff let the wood and brick of LSO St Luke’s do the talking in effectively understated accounts of solo Bach, the D minor Partita BWV1004 and the C major Sonata BWV1005. Christian Tetzlaff. Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi The call to attention of the Partita’s opening Allemande was more decided than on his last recording of these works, made by Hanssler in 2005, and Tetzlaff permitted himself more vibrato throughout, but such details belong to the circumstantial conditions of a concert rather than a studio, where the aspiration is…
  • Concert of the Week: Duke Quartet/London

    Peter Somerford
    21 May 2015 | 8:07 am
    Duke Quartet Kings Place, London 22 May John Metcalfe. Photo: Tom Oldham After playing Steve Reich’s minimalist masterpiece Different Trains at the Kings Place Festival last September, the Duke Quartet returns for a full-length concert in the European strand of the north London venue’s Minimalism Unwrapped season. While not as strikingly innovative as Different Trains, two of the quartets on the Duke’s programme are their composers’ second for the medium, and both demonstrate a sense of adventure, and confidence in the handling of instrumentation. Gavin Bryars’s single-movement…
  • CD REVIEW: JS Bach – Complete Cello Suites

    Peter Quantrill
    20 May 2015 | 10:00 pm
    David Watkin (Baroque cellos) Resonus RES10147 As a soloist, scholar, member of the Eroica Quartet and section leader of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, David Watkin has been a vital presence in the UK’s historically informed performance culture for decades, but he has lately turned more to conducting. If this deeply considered and vitally conceived set of the Old Testament of the cello is an envoi to his instrument, it is a lasting one, well worthy of comparison with the high watermarks in the long history of the Cello Suites on record. The Preludes are shaped with a…
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    CMUSE

  • Is this man the worst critic in the history of music?

    Maureen Holland
    25 May 2015 | 6:59 am
    During the latter half of the nineteenth century, Eduard Hanslick enjoyed a position of great power and influence as one of the most widely read critics in Vienna (first at Die Presse, then with Die Neue Freie Presse). Nowadays, he is known mainly through biographies of Wagner as a narrow-minded twit unable to appreciate the genius of the “Music of the Future.” Born in Prague in 1825, Hanslick studied law but his love of music led him to a teaching position at the University of Vienna which culminated in a professorship in 1870. His most famous work, 1954′s The Beautiful in…
  • Six Interesting Facts About Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

    Tom Head
    25 May 2015 | 3:23 am
    Within his historical context, the music of Wilhelm Richard Wagner represented elemental chaos. Outside of his historical context, it reminds us more of order gone horribly wrong. It is not entirely Wagner’s fault that his music provided the soundtrack to the Third Reich, but the fact that it did is undeniably central to his legacy—just as the swastika, a design so ancient and so simple that it has been found carved on 12,000-year-old mammoth tusks, has rightly been rejected (at least in the West) as an execrable and irredeemably repulsive symbol of hatred. Our oldest religious metaphors…
  • Pianist brings hope through music in Syrian war-ravaged neighbourhood

    Jordan Smith
    25 May 2015 | 2:36 am
    As the civil war in Syria rages on, a 27-year-old pianist has begun to draw attention for his determination to bring music to a war-torn refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus. Ayham Ahmad began taking an old, battered piano on to the streets of Yarmouk in January 2014. The refugee camp was formerly home to over 800,000 mainly Palestinian refugees, but the population has since dropped to around 18,000 due to the war. Ahmad intended to bring some hope to this devastated neighbourhood with music. Ayham Ahmad continues to play the piano in spite of the challenges the civil war has put in his…
  • Five Striking Similarities between Wagner’s Ring and Game of Thrones

    Angelica Frey
    22 May 2015 | 4:55 am
    Truth be told, the first literary work that comes to mind when thinking about Wagner’s Ring is The Lord of The Rings: both reference Nordic mythology, both revolve around a powerful, dangerous ring, feature supernatural creatures such as dwarves and had a knack for fire (think of Mount Doom, the Magic Fire, the Ragnarok). However, we are A Song of Ice and Fire die-hard fans here, so, between watching an episode of the show and listening to the Ride of the Valkyrie while working on deadline, we couldn’t help noticing a series of similarities between Wagner’s Ring and George R R…
  • How Well Do You Know B.B. King? Take the Quiz!

    Tom Head
    21 May 2015 | 8:52 am
    How well do you know the King of the Blues? The post How Well Do You Know B.B. King? Take the Quiz! appeared first on CMUSE.
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