Browsing: La Scena Online

Russian National Orchestra Mikhail Pletnev, Conductor Avery Fisher Hall New York, N. Y. Great Performers at Lincoln Center Series Jan. 21, 2000. New York – The fall of Soviet Bloc communism and the subsequent drying up of government subsidies stimulated the creation of several new orchestras along the lines of privately sponsored western institutions. Hungary’s Budapest Festival Orchestra was founded in 1983 by conductor Ivan Fischer and pianist Zoltan Kocsis. The Moscow-based Russian National Orchestra was created in the former Soviet Union in September 1990 by pianist Mikhail Pletnev, bringing together what promotional literature describes as “the finest musicians in…

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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…

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House Proud : The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra¹s Refurbished Severance Hall Is Ready For Another Century of Service by Philip Anson / January 12, 2000 On the Aisle The smell of fresh paint was still perceptible as champagne corks popped to celebrate reopening of the Cleveland Orchestra’s sparklingly renovated Severance Hall on the weekend. Politicians, wealthy patrons, and a bevy of journalists gathered under the foyer’s glowing gilt plasterwork and brightly restored Egyptian Revival frescoes to celebrate the conclusion of an ambitious two-year, $36 million (all amounts in U.S. dollars) facelift that enlarged and improved almost every part of the stately…

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A great time to give Norman Lebrecht on how the Gordon Brown is about to create a Third Way of paying for the arts THIS may not be the first place you would come looking for tax advice, but a couple of tips that have come my way could be worth a fortune to the performing arts, if they play their cards right. In last November’s pre-Budget report, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced a number of measures, to take effect this spring, that will help national charities stricken with Lottery blight. Among them were two concessions for givers, great and…

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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…

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A Song of Hope for Classical Music.? N orman Lebrecht, noted music columnist, sounds the alarm with his “Requiem for the classical record” that appeared recently in La Scena Musicale Online. He reports that major labels now shun new recording projects. Budgets are being slashed in most recording studios, and Tower Records wavers on the brink of bankruptcy. The Internet, once the great hope for artists and the arts, suffers from a withering drought of new investment. The public responds with cynicism about subscriptions to online music and e-commerce in general. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra offers a concert version of…

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Montreux-Vevey International Music Festival 1999 Montreux, Switzerland One of Europe’s best kept classical music secrets is the Montreux-Vevey International Music Festival (MVIMF) in Switzerland, a 19 day celebration that presents top notch artists in a town of unequalled charm. Bathed in the balmy microclimate between the vine-covered mountains and the calm blue waters of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva), the sleepy resort of Montreux is gorgeous and restful. Along the 11 km Quai des Fleurs, wealthy widows walk their Yorkies and tourists feed the swans in the shade of a thousand blooming subtropical plants. The pace is of yesteryear, as paddleboat…

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The Venerable Montreux Festival is Renewed by Stars of Early Music and Opera by Philip Anson / September 8, 1999 On the Aisle Montreux-Vevey International Music Festival Montreux, Switzerland One of Europe’s best kept classical music secrets is the Montreux-Vevey International Music Festival (MVIMF) in Switzerland, a 19 day celebration that presents top notch artists in a town of unequalled charm Bathed in the balmy microclimate between the vine-covered mountains and the calm blue waters of Lac Leman, the sleepy resort of Montreux is like a little bit of San Francisco in the Swiss alps. Along the 11 km Quai…

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Struggling to break free of the past, the Salzburg Festival is poised to become truly contemporary with the millennium. Sept. 1, 1999 Salzburg, Austria The 1999 Salzburg Festival wound down last week with plenty of soul searching on stage and off. Barely had the dust settled on the July scandal of Festival artistic director Gerard Mortier accusing Austrian President Thomas Klestil of meddling, when local authorities banned under-16s from ‘Schlachten! (Battles!)’, a Shakespeare-inspired theater piece with full-frontal nudity. This summer Mortier caused a scandal by calling his enemies the Viennese critics fascists. In America these scandals would probably result in…

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Lucerne International Festival of Music: Berlin Philharmonic Lucerne Switzerland (heard Aug. 31, 1999) An almost tropical sun shines on Lucerne, Switzerland, now in the middle of its 61st annual International Music Festival. The quaint city, with its 200-year old wooden bridges spanning the swiftly flowing River Reuss, usually plays second fiddle to Zurich. But with all of Europe’s top orchestras – including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra – stopping in this month, Lucerne takes back seat to no one in Switzerland. The 4-week, 71-event Festival has a US $10 million budget and sold some 80,000…

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