Sunday, April 23, 2017
Perspectives: Hélène Grimaud Bach, J S: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier I, BWV846-869 (excerpts) Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances for piano, Sz. 56, BB 68 Brahms: Waltz, Op. 39 No. 15 in A flat major Chopin: Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 Prelude Op. 28 No. 15 in D flat major ‘Raindrop’ Debussy: Préludes – Book 1: No. 10, La cathédrale engloutie Liszt: Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este (Années de pèlerinage III, S. 163 No. 4) Prelude and Fugue in a minor, BWV 543 (J.S. Bach), S. 462/1 Sgambati: Melodie from Gluck’s ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’ Ms. Grimaud also plays individual movements from solo works and concertos by JS Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninov and Schumann. All performed by Hélène Grimaud (piano) For each successive Deutsche Grammophon release to date, pianist Helene Grimaud has created carefully considered (and occasionally provocative) contexts. For Hélène, this collection is a retrospective offering new perspectives through a very personal choice of repertoire which creates enlightening new echoes between works. From Bach to Rachmaninov, Mozart to Chopin, Hélène Grimaud’s own selection of highlights from her albums reflects her artistic journey through the piano’s most famous solo and concerto repertoire in a series of interpretations that never fail to offer new perspectives on even the most familiar music.
Formula saves the BBC Proms 2017! This may be the beginning of the end for Sir Henry Wood's dreams of the Proms as serious music. Fortunately The Formula, perfected by much-maligned Roger Wright, is strong enough to withstand the anti-music agendas of the suits and robots who now run the Proms. Shame on those who rely on formula instead of talent, but in dire straits, autopilot can save things from falling apart. So, sift through the detritus of gimmick and gameshow to find things worth saving (Read here what I wrote about The Formula) Danierl Barenboim is a Proms perennial, for good reason, so we can rely on his two Elgar Proms (16 and 17 July) especially the Sunday one which features a new work by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Deep Time, which at 25 minutes should be substantial Pascal Dusapin's Outscape on 19/7, 28 minutes, also substantial Anotherr "regular" Proms opera, Fidelio on 21/7, with a superlative cast headed by Stuart Skelton and Ricarda Merbeth, tho' Juanjo Mena conducts Ilan Volkov conducts Julian Anderson's new Piano Concerto on 26/7 , tho's the rest of the programme, though good isn't neccesarily Volkov's forte On 29/7 Mark Wigglesworth conducts David Sawer's The Greatest Happiness Principle On 31/7, Monteverdi Vespers with French baroque specialists Pygmalion On 1/8, William Christie conducts the OAE in Handel Israel in Egypt and on 2/8, John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists do Bach and my beloved Heinrich Schütz. On 8/8 Gardiner returns with Berlioz The Damnation of Faust, with Michael Spyres. First of this year's four Mahlers is Mahler's Tenth (Cooke) with Thomas Dausgaard and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Robin Ticciati, back with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on 15/8 with an interesting pairing, Thomas Larcher Nocturne-Insomnia with Schumann Symphony no 2. Throughout this season, there are odd mismatches between repertoire and performers, good conductors doing routine material, less good conductors doing safe and indestructable. Fortunately, baroque and specialist music seem immune. See above ! and also the Prom featuring Lalo, Délibes and Saint-Saëns with François Xavier-Roth and Les Siècles on 16/8 Perhaps these Proms attract audiences who care what they're listening to Schoenberg's Gurrelieder on 19/8 with Simon Rattle, whose recording many years back remains a classic but may not be known to whoever described the piece in the programme "Gurrelieder is Schoenberg’s Tristan and Isolde, an opulent, late-Romantic giant." Possibly the same folk who dreamed up the tag "Reformation Day" like Nigel Faarage's "Independence Day" Nothing in life is that simplistic The music's OK, but notn the marketing. Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC SO in Elgar Symphony no 3 (Anthony Payne) on 22/8 Potentially this will be even bigger than the Barenboim Elgar symphonies, since Oramo is particularly good with this symphony, which may not be as high profile but is certainly highly regarded by those who love Elgar On 26/8, Jakub Hrůša conducts the BBC SO in an extremely well chosen programme of Suk, Smetana, Martinů, Janáček and Dvorák More BBCSO on 31/8 when Semyon Bychkov conducts a Russian programme Marketing guff seems to make a big deal of national stereotypes, which is short sighted These programmes cohere musically, but that's perhaps too much to expect from the new Proms mindset On 1/9, Daniele Gatti conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Bruckner and Wolfgang Rihm An odd pairing but one which will come off well since these musicians know what they're doing They are back again on 2/9 with Haydn "The Bear" and Mahler Fourth which isn't "sunny" or "song-filled". It's Mahler, not a musical. Gergiev brings the Mariinsky on 3/9 with Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich Symphony no 5. Another huge highlight on 7/9 : The Wiener Philharmoniker, with Daniel Harding in Mahler Symphony no 6 - so powerful that nothing else needs to be added to sugar the pill For me, and for many others, that will be the real :Last Night of the Proms Party time the next day, with Nina Stemme as star guest
Lindsay Kemp visits Kobe to talk with the founder/director of the Bach Collegium Japan about the extraordinary (and excellent) 55-CD, 18-year project that Suzuki didn't expect he'd be undertaking when he started it.
The South Korean pianist - youngest ever winner of the Leeds – on his inspirations, from Abbado to Unsuk Chin, and Bach to BurgundyWhat’s been your most memorable live music experience as an audience member?There have been two unforgettable concerts for me. The first was at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2006. Alfred Brendel gave a recital whose programme included Schubert’s piano sonata D894. I was not a big fan of Brendel at the time but when he played this sonata, it sounded so miraculous and it just blew my mind. It was a very special experience and since then I have been an enthusiastic follower of his interpretations. The second concert was in Paris where Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra played Mahler’s 9th Symphony. I was absolutely speechless from the beginning to the very end. Continue reading...
Seriously, why? "The 'St. John' problem has become ever more troubling in the decades since World War II and the Holocaust. With the horrible potential latent in anti-Semitism ever more apparent, any performance or hearing of this work must be cause for sober reflection, not mere mindless pleasure."
Barbican, London Mark Padmore resurrected the role of Evangelist in an experimental staging of Bach’s choral masterpiece that included compelling readings by Simon Russell BealeBach performed his St John Passion four times between 1724 and 1749, and on each occasion it was somewhat different, with sections included or left out. Nowadays, as with his other major choral works, interpretations come in all shapes and sizes. Large-scale performances with big choirs and orchestras, though, are a good deal rarer than they once were, while the once-preposterous idea – first floated in 1981 by the Bach scholar Joshua Rifkin – that the composer intended only one singer to undertake each of the individual vocal lines has been widely taken up. Related: A Passion for Bach: why the St John belongs on the live stage at Easter Continue reading...
Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, - 28 July 1750) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although J.S. Bach did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time. Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.
Great composers of classical music