Browsing: Classical Music

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…

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Musique, théâtre, arts visuels et danse à Montréal cette semaineMusic, theatre, visual arts and dance in Montreal this weekArts visuels : Le verre selon Tiffany. La couleur en fusion » Montréal, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, du 12 février au 2 mai 2010Danse : Dès le 4 et jusqu’au 21, Tangente y va d’une programmation tous azimuts avec, notamment Caroline Dubois, Andrew Turner et Isabel Mohn. Du 5 au 20, Paula de Vasconcelos revient séduire avec sa danse-théâtre en racontant l’histoire de la découverte de la route des Indes dans Boa Goa tandis qu’Isabelle Van Grimde présente Bodies to Bodies,…

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by Giuseppe PennisiGenerally, Strauss-Hofmannsthal’s “tragedy for music” Elektra is normally performed in comparatively small opera houses in Germany and in a few Central European countries. Most administrators and musical directors are scared by the thought of assembling a 115-piece orchestra, five Wagnerian singers, a large number of soloists in smaller roles and keeping the audience enthralled in their seats for nearly two hours of extreme tension and emotion.Well, this season two different productions of Elektra can be seen in Italian Provincial theatres. They are quite successful and surprisingly attract also a new and younger audience, and they are likely to be revived next season.Italy…

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by Giuseppe PennisiIn 2009, the death of Giuseppe Martucci was an important centenary that received scant notice, even in Italy. The main event was a series of concerts by Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma (OSR; see La Scena’s blog on December 18th) in the gardens of the Caserta’s Royal Palace. Caserta is near Capua, where Martucci was born in 1856. Its Royal Palace is the Southern Italian equivalent of Versailles. Naxos and the OSR have taken a major step to preserve the memory of Martucci with the release of an elegant blue and gold box set of four CDs containing Martucci’s complete…

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by Paul E. Robinson The Dallas Opera has a long and illustrious history. It was founded in 1957 and its first presentations featured the legendary Maria Callas in a Zeffirelli production of La Traviata, as well as in Medea, and Lucia di Lammermoor. Other big stars followed, including Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Joan Sutherland and Jon Vickers.Those were Dallas Opera’s Golden Years; unfortunately, the money just wasn’t there to sustain the company at this level, especially when performances had to be given in the enormous and inhospitable Music Hall at Fair Park. Today, over 50 years after its inception, with…

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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:…

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Musique, théâtre, et danse à Montréal cette semaineMusic, theatre, and dance in Montreal this weekOrchestral Music: Kent Nagano leads the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in a varied programme on February 15 and 16 at Place des Arts. Austrian pianist Till Fellner (pictured here), a protégé of Alfred Brendel, will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #1. Fellner is currently recording all five Beethoven Piano Concertos with Nagano and the OSM. Also on the programme is the world premiere of Gilles Tremblay’s L’Origine, featuring mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier. 514-842-2112, www.osm.ca – Hannah RahimiThéâtre : En février, le Théâtre du Rideau vert met à l’affiche…

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by Paul E. RobinsonAnton Kuerti arrived in Canada in 1965, and Toronto has been his home base ever since. In that span of 45 years, this extraordinary artist has demonstrated time and again that he has no peer in the performance of the piano music of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. In Canada, Kuerti is a national treasure; in the United States, he has had an illustrious career, stemming from his student days in Cleveland and Philadelphia, to his now regular concertizing in America’s major cities. Those fortunate enough to be in McCullough Hall at the University of Texas (Austin) last…

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The Battle for Berlin’s Heart by Norman Lebrecht / April 19, 2000 THE battlefront has finally reached Berlin. After two decades in which London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Rome and even Paris have witnessed hand-to-mouth combat over public subsidies, the role of the state in funding the arts is now being fought out in the would-be capital of European culture. Berlin has, for the second time in six months, lost its cultural senator. Christa Thoben had been hauled in from the Construction Ministry to run an iron sliderule over boom-town arts budgets. What she found to her horror was a black-hole deficit…

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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.…

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