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8.1.12

In Brief: Epiphany Was on Friday Edition

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The Liszt Project
Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • You can hear Pierre-Laurent Aimard play selections from his Liszt Project program (reviewed live in Washington last May), at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, recorded last month. [France Musique]

  • Riccardo Chailly directs the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Mahler's second symphony, with soprano Christiane Oelze and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly as soloists, and the MDR Radio Chorus, Berlin Radio Chorus, and Gewandhaus Chorus. [France Musique]

  • In Paris the Opéra-Comique has revived Johann Christian Bach's Amadis de Gaule, created for that city's Académie royale de Musique in 1778 (the new production, the first in Paris since the 18th century, was first given at the Opéra Royal de Versailles last month). Its libretto is a reworking of one written by Philippe Quinault for Lully, in 1684. Mozart heard the rehearsals on his visit to Paris, and scholars have noted its influence on operas like Mozart's Idomeneo. By all reports, it has been a success, not least due to the conducting of Jérémie Rhorer and his Baroque ensemble, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie. One hopes for a DVD to be released. [Le Monde]

  • Listen to the finals of the string quartet competition at the Concours de Genève last month. The Quatuor Hermés and Armida Quartet shared first prize, with the Girard Quartet taking third. [France Musique]

  • The Arditti Quartet and friends perform recent compositions by Mexican composers, at the Festival d'Automne in Paris. [France Musique]

  • The news for opera companies continues to be bad. After the closing of Opera Boston and apparent closing of the San Antonio Opera, the New York City Opera is at an impasse in contract negotiations with its musicians. [WQXR]

  • A blast from the past: pianist Claudio Arrau as soloist with the Orchestre National de la RTF, under Igor Markevitch, a concert recorded on September 29, 1958, at the Festival de Montreux. [France Musique]

  • A recital of Schubert and Liszt by pianist Philippe Cassard, from the Château Cheval Blanc in Saint-Emilion. [France Musique]

  • One may question the methodology of the now-infamous Stradivarius Test, in which musicians, in a blind comparison, almost all said that they preferred modern instruments to priceless Stradivari and Guarneri instruments. Still, modern instruments, and not just violins, tend to give a fuller, more vibrant sound than their historical forebears, and that sound is easier to produce. More than once, we have heard musicians, playing on historical instruments loaned at the Library of Congress, sound not quite as comfortable as on the instrument they regularly play. The relationship of instrument and player is a personal thing. [The Guardian]

  • Listen again to the Proms performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with Colin Davis directing the London Symphony Orchestra. [France Musique]

  • Watch pianist Mikhail Rudy with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, under conductor Alexander Vedernikov, playing Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. [Cité de la Musique Live]

  • Probably not for everyone: a whole concert of overtures and choruses by Verdi, by Daniele Gatti, the Chœur de Radio France, and the Orchestre National de France. [France Musique]

  • Didier Sandre reads excerpts from the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, alternating with music performed by cellist Alexander Kniazev, pianist Plamena Mangova, clarinetist Romain Guyot, and violist Andrei Gridchuk, from the Cité de la Musique. [France Musique]

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