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In Brief: And With Your Spirit Edition

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

  • From the Böllenfalltorhalle in Darmstadt, a most unusual concert combining music by Xenakis (Terretektorh), Anthony Cheung (Fog Mobiles), Thierry de Mey (Musique de tables for percussion), and Stockhausen's Gruppen, for three orchestras. [ARTE Live Web]

  • Olga Bloom, founder of the unusual Bargemusic series at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, passed away this week, at the age of 92. We have had the chance to review a concert on the barge only once, back in 2006, a visit that came to mind when we heard the news. [Ionarts]

  • With sadness we also note the passing of early music soprano and muse Montserrat Figueras this week. Celebrate her memory by listening to a concert she recorded last June in the Abbaye de Saint Michel en Thiérache. [France Musique]

  • Violinist Leonidas Kavakos is the soloist for Henri Dutilleux's L'Arbre des Songes with the London Symphony Orchestra. Valery Gergiev also conducts two Prokofiev symphonies, the first and fifth. [France Musique]

  • Why do the French call green beans haricots? Inquiring minds want to know. [Languagehat]

  • The Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR performs music by Debussy, Johannes-Maria Staud, and Philippe Manoury, with soprano Claudia Barainsky, from the Festival Musica Strasbourg. [France Musique]

  • Watch Myung-Whun Chung lead the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, in a Strauss program with mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier. [Cité de la Musique Live]

  • More Strauss, with sopranos Valentina Farcas and Cornelia Ptassek and mezzo-soprano Andrea Hill, under Kurt Masur and the Orchestre National de France at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. [France Musique]

  • This is just marvelous. What do we mean by the word "culture"? The French Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, spoke on a public panel with novelist Umberto Eco to answer that question -- and what the response might mean for European identity. Eco said that a European identity is "very difficult to define -- what cultural unity is there between Cervantes and Racine, the Chanson de Roland and Bertolt Brecht?" Preferring to speak of a "continental unity," Eco went on to say: "After two whiskeys, there is more in common between me and a Swede in our way of thinking than between me and an American. So I see an impalpable unity there, and I realize that in the end there is more similarity between Dickens and Balzac than between Balzac and Melville." [Libération]

  • From the Cité de la Musique, Alexei Lubimov plays a recital of 19th-century music by Dussek, Schubert, Beethoven, and Hérold, on reproductions of pianos from the period. [France Musique]

  • Listen to the winners of the 2011 Concours d’art lyrique de Bourgogne, mezzo-soprano Romie Esteves and baritone Rudi Fernandez-Cardenas. [France Musique]

  • You can also watch the finalists in the 66ème Concours de Chant de Genève. [ARTE Live Web]

  • From the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Reinhard Goebel leads the Orchestre Français des Jeunes Baroque in a program of Baroque dance music. [France Musique]

  • Isaac Celnikier, the Franco-Polish painter and engraver whose subject matter was often his own near-extermination in the Nazi concentration camps, died earlier this month in Ivry-sur-Seine. [Le Monde]

  • From the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, a concert of chamber music with violinist Lisa Batiashvili and friends. Music by Mozart, Prokofiev, and Britten. [France Musique]

  • Putting this on my wish list: Naïve releases Bertrand Chamayou's complete recording of Liszt's Les Années de Pèlerinage. The French pianist will play the work live tomorrow at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Christian Merlin speaks to him about working with Pierre Boulez. [Le Figaro]

  • The Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne presents a program of classical music paired with Hindemith's Trauermusik, from 1936. Isabelle van Keulen plays violin and viola. [France Musique]

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