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22.7.09

William Christie

It is well known how much we love William Christie here at Ionarts, so much so that we have suggested he be appointed American ambassador to France. Now that he is a French citizen, perhaps he should be the French ambassador to the United States. If it meant having him and Les Arts Florissants resident in Washington for a change, I'm all for it. Do not miss Christie's interview with Norman Lebrecht, broadcast on Monday night on BBC Radio 3 and available by streaming webcast for five more days. Memorable moments include Christie's memories, mostly bad, of studying with Ralph Kirkpatrick (with reference to Kirkpatrick's bad memories of studying with Wanda Landowska), the recounting of how he came to leave the United States because of his opposition to the Vietnam War, his near-miss with Nadia Boulanger, and especially his account of working with Peter Sellers on that infamous production of Handel's Theodora (in which he more or less accuses Sellars of provoking his mild heart attack just before that production's premiere, by sending him a book on The Art of Dying).

After you listen to the interview, tune in for Christie's appearance at this year's Proms, last night's semi-staged performance of Purcell's The Fairy Queen, with Carolyn Sampson and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. It will also be available, along with the rest of the Proms concerts by webcast, but only for a week after the radio broadcast.

Other Prom webcasts not to miss this week before they disappear: Paul McCreesh's performance of Haydn's Creation (the same cast as his gorgeous recording except a different Gabriel and different Eve, through July 25); Handel's Partenope with the Danish Opera cast, including Andreas Scholl, under Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Concerto Copenhagen (through July 26); music for the Henry VIII anniversary, with Andrew Carwood and the Cardinall's Musick (through July 26); Bernard Haitink's Mahler 9 with the London Symphony Orchestra (through July 27); and two settings of the Seven Last Words, by Haydn and James Macmillan, with Manchester Camerata (through July 27).

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