Browsing: La Scena Online

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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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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Lucerne International Festival of Music 1999 by Philip Anson / August 31, 1999 On the Aisle Lucerne. Switzerland – 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, might be called the poor man’s Zurich, if the cost of living wasn’t so high. But with all of Europe’s top orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, stopping in, Lucerne’s music festival takes back seat to none in Switzerland.…

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Monteverdi : La Guerra d’Amore & Mozart: Cosi fan tutte Innsbruck Early Music Festival Rene Jacobs, conductor Schola Cantorum Basiliensis & Tanz Theatre Basel The Austrian city of Innsbruck, decoratively nestled in the Tyrolian alps along the river Inn, is best known as a ski resort and the site of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, but every summer since 1980 it has also hosted the two-week, 30-concert Innsbruck Early Music Festival, one of the most important pit stops for lovers of the baroque, medieval and renaissance rep. Concerts take place in cozy churches and palace halls with seating capacities…

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 Gyorgy Kurtag: Gravestone in Memory of Stephan Stein Vienna Philharmonic / Sir Simon Rattle, conductor (heard Aug 29, 1999 at the Grosses Festspielhaus of the Salzburg Festival, Austria) The Salzburg Festival has had its ups and downs over the decades (Nazi involvement, Herbert von Karajan’s plutocratic regime, current Intendant Gerard Mortier’s hit or miss modernism), but one thing never changes, the supremacy (at least in their own minds) of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO), which has been the Festival’s house orchestra since 1922. There is a local anecdote that illustrates the VPO’s sense of its own…

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