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10.12.17

#morninglistening to #Krenek w/@KennethWoods &...



#morninglistening to #Krenek w/@KennethWoods & @EnglishSymphon on @toccataMusicGrp :

http://a-fwd.to/54s0a63

#Adventskalender Day 10.

@SurprisedBeauty music!

#pianoconcertos #20thcenturyclassical #surprisedbybeauty
#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #sacredmusic #ErnstKrenek #czechmusic #AustrianMusic #americanclassicalmusic #BestoftheYear2017 material?



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Bach is for Dancing (Nacho Duato's Multiplicity)


“Multiplicity: Bach” is advertised as a “choreographic reflection inspired by the music and life of Johann Sebastian Bach.” Just based on that PR-description, it might be either terrifically right or terribly wrong. When I first recommended in 2010, on WETA’s website, I had banked on the indestructibility of Bach and the fact that it was commissioned by the culturally high-minded city of Weimar. When I then actually saw it – first at the Munich State Ballet, then Den Norske Opera & Ballett, my recommendation didn’t just stand, it was redoubled. “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness” (to give the full title of the two-partite work) is indeed terrifically right.

It’s a ballet inspired by a deep and abiding love for Bach, and it shines through every of the 22, mostly short, mostly unrelated, dance sequences; each set to a different piece of Bach’s music. The music comes out of the can, but that’s no loss because the recordings chosen (presumably by Duato) are excellent and show that he was (and is) a very discriminating collector. (It would, in any case, be unfeasible to perform that many completely different bits of Bach and get the exact tempi right for each one. I’ve put together a list with the exact recordings Duato chooses on ionarts.)

The first part, “Multiplicity”, looks at Bach’s life, at love, domesticity, and dance. Concertos, chamber music, and every piano student’s Minuet from the Notenbüchlein for Anna Magdalena make for 14 musical appearances the thrust of which is that this was dance music and that dancing to it is the most perfectly natural response to it. That Bach himself is presented—with powdered wig in a faintly baroque getup—isn’t hooey, and neither is the scene where he draws a bow across a female dancer’s body to the First Cello Suite: instead of being a painfully trite analogy for the cello as a woman’s body, it’s a joyous to-and-fro between music itself—embodied by that one particular dancer throughout the evening—and Bach. And instead of being erotic (though possibly that, too), it is playful in a good-humored, touching way. When the Suite is over and the dancer jumps on Bach’s lap, embracing him, she’s appears more a content little boy than some alluring sexpot. The collective “awwwwwwww” of the audience responded to the pervading sense of agápe, not éros.

The second part is titled “Forms of Silence and Emptiness”, and now the austerity of Bach comes to the fore. A visualization of music, notions of geometry and abstraction, fragility, infinity and finiteness are danced to The Art of the Fugue, several organ works, and the Sinfonia and “Seufzer, Tränen” aria from “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis”. Nacho Duato’s wonderful touch becomes most obvious when he turns the ‘dry magnificence’ of The Art of the Fugue (the beauty of which has been likened to that of solving a math problem) into two searing emotional episodes, including the near-finale of Contrapunctus 14.

Bring the spouse and bring the kids, and, if Bach has a deeper meaning for you, if he touches you profoundly, do bring the Kleenex—I wish I had.

Your next opportunity to hear and see "Multiplicity" seems to come March 22nd and 23rd of 2018 at St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre.





All Pictures © Wilfried Hösl courtesy Bavarian State Opera

#morninglistening to #Dvořák’s #StabatMater w/@czechphil,...



#morninglistening
to #Dvořák’s #StabatMater w/@czechphil, @spikelmyres et al. on @deccaclassics :

http://amzn.to/2BQ9PI6

#Adventskalender Day 9. (bit late, due to power outage.)

RIP #jiribelohlavek

#AntoninDvorak

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #sacredmusic #Dvorak #czechmusic #CzechPhilharmonic #jiříbělohlávek



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Not The Classical CD Of The Week: Rolando Villazon's Abduction Of Mozart

Happy Second Advent Sunday to You!


…“CD’s of the Week” are – quite obviously – recommendations. It makes little sense to write about ho-hum releases; it’s more fun to place the spotlight (if these posts can be called so much) on something deserving. But every once in a while I come across a clunker that bothers me particularly, for some reason or another; usually because of missed opportunities or a certain cynicism involved in the making. It’s fun writing about that, too, and more importantly I think it is necessary. The classical music world is one filled with an insufferable amount of fluff-jobs, notoriously dishonest, and sycophantic. The occasional dose of an inconvenient opinion can’t hurt. Consequently, this is “Not The Classical CD Of The Week”:…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Rolando Villazon's Abduction Of Mozart

9.12.17

#morninglistening to #TerryRiley’s “Dark Queen...



#morninglistening
to #TerryRiley’s “Dark Queen Mantra” w/@delsolquartet on @sonilummusic:

http://amzn.to/2kKuzxT

#Adventskalender Day 9.

#StringQuartet + #guitar (#gyanriley)

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #21stcenturyclassical #20thcenturyclassical #contemporaryclassical #americanclassicalmusic #stefanoScodanibbio



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8.12.17

New stage version of 'Private Confessions' at Kennedy Center


Private Confessions, National Theater of Norway (photo by Erik Berg)

Ingmar Bergman wrote the screenplay of Enskilda samtal (Private Confessions), a 1996 film directed by Bergman's muse, Liv Ullmann. Last year Ullmann adapted the script in a Norwegian stage version, premiered by the National Theater of Norway. In a co-production with Riksteatret, this new play is visiting the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater this week, where it opened on Wednesday evening. These performances are part of the centenary celebration of the Swedish film director, who died in 2007.

Bergman drew the story from his mother's diary, discovered and read only after she had died. In it she confided deep secrets of her life, including her unhappy marriage with Bergman's father and her attraction to another man. Ullmann has woven that diary more explicitly into the stage version, through a Narrator character, played with reserve by Kari Simonsen. Otherwise the play follows the same non-linear arc as the film, beginning with the confession of the wife, Anna, to her childhood pastor, Jacob, and then looping back to the origins of her infidelity and the tragic outcome of her decision to tell her husband everything.


Other Articles:

Nelson Pressley, Bergman’s ‘Private Confessions’: Portrait of the artist’s mother’s affair (Washington Post, December 8)

Jason Fraley, Liv Ullmann gives ‘Private Confessions’ during Kennedy Center’s ‘Bergman 100’ (WTOP, December 6)
The account of the emotional torment is unsparing. Marte Engebrigtsen is radiant and multifaceted as Anna. Her frankness in revealing the secret affair to her husband, the more staid Henrik of Mattis Herman Nyquist, is brutal and difficult to watch. The audience initially responded to this central scene with nervous laughter, as if the story were a sitcom, but that gave way to horrified gasps. Bjørn Skagestad was forthright as Jacob, the role played by Max von Sydow in the film, the upright moral voice who advises Anna to tell Henrik everything.

Liv Bernhoft Osa was the strongest in the supporting cast, as Anna's mother, Karin, while Anneke von der Lippe was a steady, somewhat quizzical presence as Anna's friend Märta. The last in the cast to take the stage, the young theology student Tomas, who falls into the romance with Anna, was the only slight disappointment, not given much individuality by Morten Svartveit. The Norwegian dialogue is miked discreetly, with English subtitles projected onto the austere wooden wall at the back of the small, nearly empty stage space (set design by Milja Salovaara). A beautifully realized love scene, equal parts awkward and intense, is the reason for the recommendation of this production only for ages 16 and above.

This production runs through December 9, at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater.

#morninglistening to #Prokofiev on #Audite w/@KKarabits &...



#morninglistening to #Prokofiev on #Audite w/@KKarabits & #StaatskapelleWeimar:

http://a-fwd.to/3ilSe5G

#Adventskalender Day 8.

#propagandamusic as a massive spectacle.
#sergeiprokofiev #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #cantata #symphony #RussianMusic #orchestralmusic #choralmusic #20thCenturyMusic #Prokofjew



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7.12.17

#morninglistening to #Handel on @DeccaClassics: “Ottone....



#morninglistening to #Handel on @DeccaClassics: “Ottone. Re di Germania”

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/6GPAgky

w/@ilpdo = #IlPomodOro, Max Cencic, George Petrou et al.

#Adventskalender Day 7.

#baroquemusic
#Englishbaroque #vocalmusic
#classicalmusic #opera #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #historicalinstruments #GeorgeFridericHandel #MaxEmanuelCencic #GeorgePetrou #DECCA #gutstrings #periodinstruments



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#morninglistening to #JakeHeggie’s #ItsAWonderfulLife on...



#morninglistening to #JakeHeggie’s #ItsAWonderfulLife on @PentatoneMusic

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7nBPreI

#Opera #contemporaryclassical #contemporaryopera #vocalmusic #GeeneScheer #classicalcdcollection #classicalmusiccollection #classicalmusic #Pentatone



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Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: Dudamel's Scherzo To Remember


…The Seventh is Mahler’s trickiest Symphony in almost every way. Baffling banalities next to arduous intricacies, questions of irony or naïveté, and turn-on-a-dime changes of mood. The rustic alpine sits next to an irregular waltz played like a Viennese Heurigen-orchestra that has collectively gone insane, sits next to Romeo and Juliet’s balcony in an overtly Italianate movement. The end is glorious-or-is-it-? splendor in Meistersingerish C-major.…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Dudamel's Scherzo To Remember

6.12.17

#morninglistening to @Debussy’s very late and very early...



#morninglistening to @Debussy’s very late and very early #ChamberMusic:

http://amzn.to/2kqz5kY

#Adventskalender Day 6

On @warnerclassics w/@RCapucon, @ChamayouB, @violacausse, @Epahud, @EdgarMoreau.

#classicalcdcollection
#classicalmusiccollection #classicalmusic #20thcenturyclassical #FrenchRomanticism #Harp #flute



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5.12.17

#morninglistening to early #Mozart #StringQuartets: Amazon:...



#morninglistening to early #Mozart #StringQuartets:

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4EMnyIw

#Adventskalender Day 5.

Supreme performances by the #LeipzigerStreichquartett that nudge lesser youthful works towards real deliciousness.

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #ChamberMusic #StringQuartet #mDG #classicalcdcollection #wienerklassik



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#morninglistening to & -viewing of #Schubert’s...



#morninglistening to & -viewing of #Schubert’s #Winterreise on @CmajorEnt1 w/#Hinterhäuser & #Goerne:

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4711hQp

as visualized by #WilliamKentridge @Festival_dAix

#franzschubert #liedmelodieartsong #vocalmusic #songcycle
#classicalmusiccollection
#baritone #bluray #matthiasgoerne



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Forbes Review: The Fastest B-Minor Mass On Record


…The fastest B-Minor Mass on record…

…was, for many years, Konrad Junghänel’s with the Cantus Cölln, on Harmonia Mundi[1]. And boy did it sound fast! When it was released in 2003, it made the ears flap in the wind and it was considered a wild, very alternative choice. Junghänel had shaved almost 23 minutes (!) off Karl Richter’s benchmark 1962 account (Archiv) and six and eight minutes respectively the classic HIP recordings of John Eliot Gardiner’s 1985 (Archiv, a classic) and Philippe Herreweghe’s second reading from 1996 (Harmonia Mundi). Sigiswald Kuijken (Challenge Classics, 2008) and Jonathan Butt (Linn, 2009), and Herreweghe again (Phi, 2012, his third recording)[2] have since come close, but not quite.…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: The Fastest B-Minor Mass On Record (Classical CD Of The Week)

4.12.17

#morninglistening to #Sibelius’ #violinconcerto...



#morninglistening to #Sibelius’ #violinconcerto w/@BerlinPhil:

http://a-fwd.to/elYbuxS

w/@ShlomoMintz1 under #JamesLevine on @dgclassics

For the “news” about #Levine, see my OpEd on #Forbes.com: https://t.co/cxTB8ob8kf “The Grand Moral Reckoning, Classical Edition. James Levine In The Soup”

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #deutschegrammophon #orchestralmusic #violinconcertos #romanticism #jeanSibelius #AntoninDvorak #Dvořák #classicalcdcollection #Dvorak @surprisedbeauty #surprisedbybeauty #20thcenturyclassical



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#morninglistening to #Pergolesi on @DeccaClassics:...



#morninglistening to #Pergolesi on @DeccaClassics: “Adriano in Siria”

http://a-fwd.to/6GPAgky

w/@capella_krk, @jantomaszadamus, brilliant @CigdemSoyarslan et al.

#Adventskalender Day 4.

#baroquemusic #nofilter
#Italianbaroque #vocalmusic
#classicalmusic #opera #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #historicalinstruments #GiovanniBattistaPergolesi #FrancoFagioli #Syria #CigdemSoyarslan #DECCA #capellacracoviensis



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3.12.17

On Forbes: The Grand Moral Reckoning, Classical Edition. James Levine In The Soup


Compassion might be the best answer to the muck and the mire that will unfold as part of this and future stories. It is cold-feet season in the upper echelons of classical music!

The New York Post reported yesterday that the legendary opera conductor James Levine has, as per a police report, “molested [a] teen for years”. Almost on cue the classical music community, which had watched the waves of accusations, allegations, admissions, unveilings of the last months (and for which “Harvey Weinstein” is now a byword), responded either with: “What’s new” or “And so it begins.” Everyone in the industry has either heard gossip of that nature – not just Levine, but across the whole industry and through all strata – or experienced incidents in that realm outright.

[tweet_quote display="Rumors were always rife as regards James Levine. So much so, that, barring any proof, they were considered gospel."]Rumors have always been rife with regards to James Levine’s predilections and alleged actions. So much so, that, even barring any proof, they were considered gospel in the industry.[/tweet_quote] All that was needed, in conversation, was a knowing nod and the faintest mention of a boy chorister. Usually, this was accompanied by talk or insinuation of the whole thing being covered up and hush-hushed. Now it will come to the surprise of no one if tiny skeletons come tumbling out of James Levine’s closet like candy from a piñata. At the same time, if any and all of those accusations were to be untrue, no one would stop for a second to consider that an allegation is hardly proof.

Full article at Forbes: The Grand Moral Reckoning, Classical Edition. James Levine In The Soup

#morninglistening to #Beethoven’s Third w/@LucerneFestival...



#morninglistening to #Beethoven’s Third w/@LucerneFestival Orchestra under #Furtwängler:

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/11KOEH9

#Adventskalender Day 3 + #Schumann’s #Manfred #overture

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #orchestralmusic #germanromanticism #symphonies #symphony #germanromanticism #Ludwigvan #ludwigvanbeethoven #RobertSchumann #HistoricalRecording #wilhelmfurtwängler



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Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: Bruckner from Deutsche Grammophon

Happy First Advent Sunday to You!



…Barenboim is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re gonna get : sloppy, uncaring in one concert, brilliantly shaped sumptuousness the next. Bruckner’s Fourth at this year’s Salzburg Festival was the former. The live recording of the Fourth with his Berlin Staatskapelle the latter. This is now joined by this Seventh of his third – uneven but intermittently brilliant – cycle*… and it also lands on the sunny Barenboim side:…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Bruckner from Deutsche Grammophon

#morninglistening to #LvB #pianoconcertos...



#morninglistening to #LvB #pianoconcertos w/@ChicagoSymphony:

http://a-fwd.to/28qb0Pv

w/#AlfredBrendel under #JamesLevine on @deccaclassics

#Adventskalender Day 3

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #Decca #orchestralmusic #pianoconcertos #germanromanticism #Ludwigvan #Beethoven #ludwigvanbeethoven #classicalcdcollection
For the “news” about #Levine, see my OpEd on #Forbes.



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#morninglistening to #Bruckner’s Third w/@Gewandhaus &...



#morninglistening to #Bruckner’s Third w/@Gewandhaus & @andris_nelsons:

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/5jAjX8W

#Adventskalender Day 3

+ #Wagner’s #tannhauser #overture

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #orchestralmusic #germanromanticism #symphonies #symphony #germanromanticism #AntonBruckner #RichardWagner



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2.12.17

#morninglistening to #MinguetQuartett in #RobertFuchs’...



#morninglistening to #MinguetQuartett in #RobertFuchs’ #stringquartets:

http://a-fwd.to/6HD1LO1

(still #Adventskalender Day 2)

Finally issued as a set. Splendid B+-composer that anyone enjoying the period and genre ought to explore!

#MDG #classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #chambermusic #classicalcdcollection #germanromanticism



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#morninglistening to @CzechPhil w/#SemyonBychkov in...



#morninglistening to @CzechPhil w/#SemyonBychkov in #Tchaikovsky’s Manfred #Symphony:

Anazon: http://a-fwd.to/PWAgbQj

#Adventskalender Day 2

@deccaclassics

☆☆☆☆

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #opera #CzechPhilharmonic #orchestralmusic #tonepoem #RussianClassicalMusic #Manfred #Byron



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1.12.17

#morninglistening/-viewing to @mariinskyen & @ValeryGergiev...



#morninglistening/-viewing to @mariinskyen & @ValeryGergiev in #RimskyKorsakov’s Tsar Saltan:

http://a-fwd.to/2P327jy

🐝👳🎻

Home of the flight of the bumble-bee.

#Adventskalender Day 1

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection
#dvdcollection #opera #Mariinsky #orchestralmusic #operaonfilm #vocalmusic
#TheTaleOfTsarSaltan #theflightofthebumblebee #ValeryGergiev #RussianClassicalMusic #RussianOpera



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#morninglistening to @surprisedbeauty composer #Martinu on...



#morninglistening to @surprisedbeauty composer #Martinu on #mDG

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4eMLShx

Complete works for Cello and Orchestra w/#PetrNouzovsky, #PilsenPhilharmonic & #ThomasBrauner

#Martinů #classicalcdcollection #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #CelloConcertos #noFilter #BohuslavMartinů #cello #orchestralmusic #



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