Browsing: Contemporary

Rufus Wainwright at the opening of his Prima Donna (Photo: courtesy of Luminato Festival) By Joseph K. So Wainwright/Colomine: Prima Donna Regine St. Laurent /Janis Kelly, soprano Marie / Charlotte Ellett, soprano Andre / Colin Ainsworth, tenor Philippe / Gregory Dahl, baritone Francois /Joe Bucci Sophie /Miranda Calderon Tim Albery, Stage Director Robert Houssart, Conductor Antony McDonald, Designer Thomas Hase, Lighting William Reynolds, Projection The much anticipated North American premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s opera, Prima Donna, had its opening last evening at the Elgin Theatre in downtown Toronto. The glitterati were out in force and and there was the obligatory…

Share:

by Paul E. RobinsonLast week, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony presented an all-Russian program: Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, followed by the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3, and closing with the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, the Russian composer’s most popular symphony.As always, Maestro Bay had prepared well and interpreted the music with assurance and without exaggeration of any kind. In the opening piece, Vocalise, Bay went for a nuanced, understated beauty that suited this slight work very well. Personally, I would like to hear more expansive phrasing in some sections, but then I may…

Share:

by Paul E. RobinsonThere are plenty of recordings of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 Op. 60 (Leningrad), but one rarely gets a chance to hear it in concert. The same could be said, only more so, for Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto Op. 15. To have them both offered on the same program is a special treat; thus, Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony (DSO) had me excited even before they played the first note of this concert at Morton Myerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. As it happens, these two works were composed within a few years of each other:…

Share:

Playing with Propaganda by Norman Lebrecht / March 22, 2000 IT would be easy to imagine, amid the hoo-ha and the hype, that the man born in Montbrison (Loire) 75 years ago this weekend was some kind of musical saviour. The birthday of Pierre Boulez is being serenaded on a scale that even Richard Wagner might have found embarrassing. The London Symphony Orchestra have been trailing his vapour since January, from the Barbican Centre to Carnegie Hall. Through the spring, Boulez is accepting bouquets at the South Bank (this weekend), the Parisian Cité de la Musique, Brussels, Cologne and beyond.…

Share:
This post is originally from the source

Dissident notes What Shostakovich is really all about, by Norman Lebrecht THERE is a striking symmetry between the Holocaust “denial” issues that are being heard in the High Court and the publication of a purportedly authoritative biography of Dmitri Shostakovich which argues that he was essentially an obedient Soviet citizen. The historian David Irving, who has acknowledged that millions of Jews were killed by the Nazis, maintains that this cannot properly be attributed to Adolf Hitler’s instigation since no one has ever seen a signed Führer order for the prosecution of genocide. The American musicologist Laurel Fay follows similar thinking…

Share:
This post is originally from the source

How will this century sound? Classical music faces a new age in unexpectedly buoyant form. It is livelier and more surprising than at any time since Rachmaninov, says Norman Lebrecht THE final decade of the 20th century brought a measure of relief to the agonised search for a musical identity. Warily, the art looked into a mirror and accepted what it saw, an image fractured and more complex than any in its history. Unlike former centuries which wore a uniform musical face – the 19th century being broadly Romantic, the 18th Classical, the 17th Baroque – the 20th century had…

Share:
1 41 42 43