Browsing: Romantic

Daniil Trifonov: Chopin Evocations (DG) FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (Arr. By Mikhail Pletnev), Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” Works by Barber, Grieg, Mompou, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Daniil Trifonov, piano; Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Mikhail Pletnev, conductor 2 CDs, 0289 479 7518 2 The 2011 Tchaikovsky winner has lost none of his capacity to surprise. Daniil Trifonov thinks nothing of coming on stage with one wrist in a bandage, no explanation offered, or of asking the audience not to applaud at any time through a 90-minute recital. His powers of concentration are phenomenal and he expects no less from his listeners.…

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Musica Camerata kicked off its 48th season with an evening of quartets for piano, violin, viola, and cello. Respected as a premiere Canadian chamber ensemble, Musica Camerata is justifiably proud of its longevity. The concert was held in the resplendent Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur where the parterre seating area is usually hydraulically raised to provide theatre style seating. The roughly 100 attendees filled this venue. From this reviewer’s vantage point in the balcony, the acoustics were a little dry for a chamber string ensemble. The instrumentalists on this program were Luis Grinhauz (violin), Victor Fournelle-Blain (viola), Bruno Tobon (cello), and…

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RETROSPECTIVE: of the Bard SummerScape 2017 production of Antonín Dvořák’s 1882 opera Dimitrij (July 28 and 30 and August 2, 4 and 6) at the Sosnoff Theater of Bard College’s Fisher Center for the Arts, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. The Tsar is dead! Long live … who? That is the question. Doubts about just who it is who’s marched his army through the gates of Moscow and assumed the imperial Russian throne throng thick in Antonín Dvořák’s grandest of grand operas, Dimitrij – a work that was given handsome and full-throated new life by the recent Bard College SummerScape production in Annandale-on-Hudson,…

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James Campbell, clarinet; New Zealand String Quartet Naxos 8.573454, 76 min 36 s. For many Canadian music-lovers clarinetist James Campbell will be the main attraction on this new Naxos CD. Campbell was born in Leduc, Alberta and at the age of 22 won the CBC Talent Competition. During the 1970s through the 1990s he was a ubiquitous figure in concert circles in Toronto. Campbell has had a long association with the New Zealand String Quartet and he has often invited them to appear at the Festival of the Sound. At the age of 65, when this recording was made, Campbell…

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This fall, Grammy and ECHO Klassik Award-winning conductor Fabio Luisi launches his second season as the new Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (DNSO), and his sixth as General Director of Zurich Opera, which was named Best Opera Company at the 2014 International Opera Awards. In Copenhagen he opens the season with Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, and subsequent concerts throughout the season include Nielsen’s Fifth Symphony paired with Hans Werner Henze’s Second Violin Concerto; Franz Schmidt’s oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln; and concerts featuring Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies. He also acts as Jury Chairman for the DNSO’s Malko Competition for Young Conductors. At Zurich…

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One of the great delights of today’s viewer technology is sitting in your living room, a cup of chocolate in your hand, and, before you, a vibrant, young orchestra, a brilliant and famous conductor, and a dozen notable first-class singers embarked…eroticism…genius – in other words, Salome. Thanks to Medici.tv’s ample coverage of significant classical music events across the globe, we can attend landmark performances, live and in replay. The live concert performance appears on screen straight from the world-famous Verbier Festival in the Swiss Alps thanks to Medici.tv, the premier music live-streaming instrument for viewers. All I had to do…

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Now here’s a surprise. A new release from Opera Rara usually consists of some bel canto work that has languished forgotten in a vault since its premiere 160 years ago, and usually for good reason (as becomes apparent when you’re halfway through the unreviewable second disc). This package, though, is different: a pair of debut releases by two fast-rising singers, soprano and tenor, mingling well-known arias with the fairly obscure. El-Khoury, a Lebanese-Canadian, sticks mostly to well-trodden tracks, albeit with interesting variations. The Berlioz setting of a Freischütz piece is new to me, as is anything from Hérold’s Le Pré aux clercs, which turns out…

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Life, Death & Love: Puccini’s final opera Vancouver, BC – Colossal and colourful, spectacular and intimate—that’s a night at the opera as Vancouver Opera presents Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, the opening production of the company’s exciting 2017–2018 season. To stunning effect, Puccini’s final opera combines his musical mastery with a tale as old as time. Based on Persian legend, and set in ancient Beijing (Peking),Turandot is the dramatic story of an icy princess, emotionally imprisoned by her own vengeful cruelty, who sets herself and her people free when she opens her heart to love. Among the many highlights in Turandot is Calaf’s show-stopping aria “Nessun Dorma.” This…

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I spent a morning with the great baritone in his Berlin home a couple of years before he died. Fischer-Dieskau was in morose mood. His wife Julia was out teaching, he told me twice, seeming to resent her absence. ‘I did too much,’ he confessed, regretting his dominance in Lieder, a field in which he covered not just German song but English, Russian and French. Still, sometimes too much is not enough. The present release is a 1989 duet recital he gave with his wife and the pianist Robert Höll at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, expecting that it would be…

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Of the two UK finalists in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World last weekend, many felt the English soprano Louise Alder stood a better chance than the Scottish mezzo Catriona Morison. Alder commanded the stage with unfeigned confidence, a breeziness that shines through this, her well-timed debut recording. The repertoire is bold, as well. Songs by Richard Strauss are not for wallflowers. Everything has to be just-so, shimmering on the surface and hinting at Freudian urges below. Alder, who made an opera debut as Glyndebourne’s stand-in Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier in 2014, sounds undaunted by anything Strauss can throw at…

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