Browsing: La Scena Online

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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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Magic Modern Dance Meets Monteverdi by Philip Anson / August 29, 1999 On the Aisle August 1999. Innsbruck, Austria – 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 of around…

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Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg Festival, Austria (seen August 25, 1999 at 8:30pm) Riccardo Muti, boss of Milan’s La Scala Opera since 1986, has had a rocky relationship with Austria’s Salzburg Festival. Between 1971 and Karajan’s death in 1989, Muti was a regular Festival conductor and was so sure of succeeding Der Chef, as Karajan was called, that he bought a house close to this picturesque riverside town. But Karajan was succeeded in 1991 by the dynamic Belgian Gerard Mortier, with more modernist tastes that Muti. In 1992 Muti walked out of a modern staging of Mozart’s La…

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