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In Brief: Memorial Day Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi, Leif Ove Andsnes : Brahms, Dvorak, concert enregistré à la salle Pleyel le 25 mai 2011
    Online video of the Orchestre de Paris, with Paavo Järvi conducting Leif Ove Andsnes, music by Brahms and Dvořák -- click on the image at right to start the video. [Cité de la Musique Live]

  • From bad to worse: in perhaps the least original move possible, Washington National Opera will go from Plácido Domingo as Artistic Director to opera director Francesca Zambello as "artistic adviser." This sounds like a terrible idea in so many ways: Zambello has many of the same negatives as Domingo -- her work as a director takes her all over the world, for example -- and none of the glamor. If she does indeed push the idea of an opera company mounting musicals -- imagine asking audiences to pay $200 a ticket for half-ass Broadway -- it might finally finish the job on WNO's subscriber base. [Washington Post]

  • Whoa -- with hat tip to Cronaca, Mexican researchers used a radar device to locate a previously unknown tunnel under the archeological site of Teotihuacan. Stay tuned -- it could lead to some major finds. [Vancouver Sun]

  • One of my favorite little historical sites in Paris, the Tour Jean-sans-Peur, has a new exhibit focused on images of beds and people in beds in medieval art. See this Web feature for some pictures. [Le Monde]

  • I reviewed a curious recital by Paul Appleby for Vocal Arts D.C. earlier this month. He also appeared this weekend on Prairie Home Companion, also singing Paul Simon. Noted without comment. [Wolf Trap Opera]

  • Kyle Gann: "I have often written about the 1989 review in which John Rockwell called my music 'naively pictorial', and the fact that I liked it so much that I’ve ever since adopted 'naive pictorialism' as my stylistic moniker." [PostClassic]

  • In case you missed it, the National Jukebox is exactly the sort of digital project that research institutions should be making available. I love it. [Library of Congress National Jukebox]

  • The wind has been switching directions in the Catholic Church as far as what happens musically during the Mass: witness the gorgeous polyphony and chant that was performed for recent papal visits Great Britain and other places. Now conductor Riccardo Muti comes down firmly for restoring the Catholic Church's musical heritage, saying that folk music lite and guitars at Mass show "a lack of respect for people's intelligence." [The View from Here]

  • The daughter of Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Colette Destouche, died recently: she had finished part of her memoirs, including some remembrances of her father. Here are some excerpts (in English). [Le Figaro]

  • Art criticism on the streets of Rome, as locals decry a fairly ugly statue of Pope John Paul II. [New York Times]

  • This sounds like good summer beach reading: Donna Leon's new book, Handel's Bestiary. [Parterre Box]

  • Martin Bresnick vs. Luigi Nono. [The Rest Is Noise]

  • For your online listening, Natalie Dessay, Simon Keenlyside, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and Laurent Naouri singing Pelléas et Mélisande with the Orchestre de Paris; Handel arias sung by Sandrine Piau, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Philippe Jaroussky, and Topi Lehtipuu, with Le Concert d’Astrée and Emmanuelle Haïm; French songs sung by Véronique Gens; Christoph Eschenbach conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with Gidon Kremer; and Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov playing Beethoven violin sonatas. [France Musique]


jfl said...

I understand Zambello's appointment, as many of her productions, as a "mixed metaphor". Irrelevance, here we come!

jcd said...

She's also been artistic adviser to the San Francisco opera, without it having resorted to doing Broadway lite. I'd be happy to have their 2011-12 season here. So it may work out well.