Browsing: Romantic

Much the most admired of Beethoven’s 10 Violin Sonatas is the ninth, which we know as the “Kreutzer.” It could just as logically be called the “Bridgetower,” and might have been so, had an unfortunate disagreement not intervened. George Bridgetower (1778-1860) gave the first performance with the composer at the piano and was probably on track to be the first dedicatee. Our evidence for this is an inscription on the autograph1 by the composer, which can be translated as: “Mulatto sonata composed for the mulatto Bridgetower, great madman and great mulatto composer.”  Despite the apparently humourous tone, Beethoven’s admiration for…

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Musical lullabies can quickly outlast their welcome. Everybody’s had the Brahms Wiegenlied sung to them at some point in infancy and many have experienced the sleepy time duet in Hansel and Gretel, the one they sing just before the witch becomes their nightmare. But one hearing is usually all I can bear of these bonbons. The beauty of this compilation by the French pianist Bertrand Chamayou is that it leads the ear down unexpected paths – some overgrown like Janacek’s crystalline opener, others unexpected, neglected or altogether unknown. Two etudes by Sergei Liapunov are drops of perfect chamomile. A dollop…

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Here are today’s streamed concerts you shouldn’t miss! Enjoy. This feature will run until January 1, 2021. To submit your event, please email [email protected] The Orchestre de chambre de la Montérégie – Holiday Season Concert Nicolas Ellis and l’Orchestre de chambre de la Montérégie The Orchestre de chambre de la Montérégie, under the musical direction of Nicolas Ellis, accompanied by dancers from the École supérieure de ballet du Québec, are pleased to share their first webcast production. This initiative allows the organization to pursue its mission of providing access to music and the performing arts to a greater number of…

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A SPECIAL INVITATION FROM THE VSO Dear friends, colleagues, ticket holders and supporters, Last weekend the VSO opened BeethovenFest with Maestro Tausk leading a triumphant performance of Beethoven, Shostakovich, and our own Rodney Sharman. Monday saw a superb VSO chamber concert and Wednesday an innovative and vibrant VSO debut performance at none other than the Commodore. Then everything changed. On Thursday, as a result of the recent ban on mass gatherings implemented by BC Health, the VSO along with many BC arts organizations had to cancel our public performances. As we begin to come to terms with the immense impact…

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Toronto, February 16, 2020—The Toronto Symphony performed its Valentine’s program to a full house last night featuring some of the most romantic classical music ever written. What you missed? The concert opened with the Canadian premiere of American composer Elizabeth Ogonek’s “As though birds.” The work was inspired by a three-line stanza from a poem by Jonathan Dubow. Though only three-and-a-half minutes long, it is densely packed with an immense range of orchestral timbres, with moods alternating between melancholy and euphoria. Elim Chan, Stephen Hough, Photo: Jag Gundu Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, a work that epitomizes…

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His favorite repertoire includes works by great Russian composers including Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Mussorgsky and Borodin. “It’s in my blood. I grew up in Russia with this music,” says composer and conductor Airat Ichmouratov. He also admires romantics like Mahler, Strauss and Wagner: “The compositions of these great German musicians are enormously inspiring.” This brilliant representative of the new generation is entirely onboard the current trend of composers finding inspiration in works from the romantic tradition. Charms of Tonal Music Ichmouratov affirms his preference for tonal music, like many composers of his generation. “Obviously, the audience really enjoys tonal…

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NEW YORK – It is possible to lose a sense of perspective after a good night of Bruckner. The critic in me urges caution. Best live Fourth Symphony I have heard in months! My heart suggests something a little less guarded. Best in…well, quite a while. Certainly the performance ranks among the signal achievements in the history of the Orchestre Métropolitain, which on Friday made its third stop on a four-city U.S. tour and, not incidentally, its debut at Carnegie Hall. You can imagine a new punch line to the old gag about how you get there: by having Yannick…

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Thanks to amplification – yes, the Ballet has no qualms about using microphones to enhance choristers and soloists – the musical experience was satisfying, no, rewarding in normally dungeonous Wilfrid-Pelletier.Twenty years ago, ballet seemed to be third place behind the OSM and the Opéra de Montréal. No longer. This season’s opening production of Carmina Burana is fast selling out for its 9 performance run at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier’s 2552 seat configuration (the Balcon is closed off). That’s 22,968 seats versus 11,984 in Opéra de Montréal’s four performance productions (recently Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin) in SWP’s 2996-seat capacity, and 6,300 in the OSM’s…

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The near-symbiotic relationship between Mendelssohn and his older sister, examined in my forthcoming book Genius and Anxiety, was so central to both musicians’ lives that Felix was felled by a stroke on hearing of Fanny’s death and died before the year was out. Fanny, the first to evince musical talent, was silenced by their father as she neared puberty in order not to deflect attention from her genius kid brother. In her 30s she found a publisher and began – to Felix’s chagrin – to produce chamber music. His anger abated on finding that the music was of high quality.…

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The Canadian Opera Company has opened its season in Toronto with the North American premiere of Robert Wilson’s production of Turandot – and the world premiere appearances in this Puccini opera of Jim, Bob and Bill. Opera fans who do not recognize these roles might be more familiar with Ping, Pang and Pong, the court bureaucrats who add comic relief to the tale of love and death in ancient Beijing. Their names were judged potentially hurtful by the COC’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee, and particularly committee member Richard Lee, who is named in the credits as a production consultant. “This act…

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