Saturday, December 10, 2016
Classical Music For Mindfulness Music is a perfect opportunity to practise mindfulness: to become fully aware of the present moment, opening ourselves to the physical and emotional experience of listening, here and now. ABC Classics has collaborated with mindfulness experts Smiling Mind to develop this collection of calming classical music: perfect both for experienced practitioners of meditation and for those simply looking for a moment of tranquillity to escape from the pressures of the day. Bach, J S: Adagio from Sonata No. 1 for solo violin Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV1007: Prelude Prelude in C major (from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I) Britten: Down by the Salley Gardens Debussy: Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque) Einaudi: I Giorni Glass, P: Opening Grieg: Peer Gynt: Morning Kats-Chernin: Butterflying The Rain Puzzle Marcello, A: Adagio from Oboe Concerto in D minor Nyman: Glooomy Winter (from The Piano) Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel Pari intervallo Price, Jonathan: Rustin Saint-Saëns: Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne Satie: Gymnopédie No. 1 Schubert: Ständchen ‘Leise flehen meine Lieder’, D957 No. 4 Skinner, J S: The Cradle Song From the intricate clarity of Bach to the pure stillness of Arvo Pärt and Erik Satie, this album offers a musical journey into the spirit of sound itself. Enjoy!
"Is music meant to be ephemeral or enduring? And indeed, are those two goals consonant with one another, or at odds? For those who take as their mentors, our sources of inspiration, and our measures of quality long-dead Germans like Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven, perhaps the ultimate goal would be to write, like they did, something of value that transcends our era. But can one write a piece with the goal that it become 'an important part of the repertoire'?"
Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s), London The pianist’s very fine recital featured a set of variations written for the festival’s former director, a birthday tribute to Tan himself, and Liszt’s Three Concert Études Melvyn Tan opened his Spitalfields Music recital with Variations for Judith, a set of variations on Bach’s Bist Du Bei Mir, each written by a different composer for Judith Serota, the Spitalfields festivals’ inspirational executive director from 1988 to 2007. Originally consisting of seven pieces, the set has grown over time to 12, with Tan giving the world premiere, on this occasion, of Rolf Hind’s new variation – a sombre, intense meditation on mortality, placed at the work’s centre. Despite the variety of styles – which range from Thea Musgrave’s linear elegance to Anthony Payne’s hard-edged assertiveness, via Stephen Johns’s baroque grandeur and Judith Weir’s glittering wit – the sequence has a wonderful cogency. It admirably suits Tan, whose playing combines intelligence, refinement and understated dexterity. Continue reading...
This is an interesting collection of music, all conducted by Mariss Jansons. Have a look at the contents: Dvorak: Carnival Overture, Op. 92 Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 Elizondo: Danza Latinamericanas Massenet: Don Quichotte: Interlude No. 2 Strauss, R: Don Quixote, Op. 35 Performed by Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Wen Xiao Zheng (viola) and Anton Barakhovsky (violin), with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mariss Jansons conducting. As an artist in residence with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, American cellist Yo-Yo Ma had the opportunity to do what is perhaps the second thing he loves the most after playing: sharing his love of music with others. During his residency, he transformed himself from sensitive teacher to inimitable Bach interpreter to first cello of a major symphony orchestra. Yo-Yo Ma doesn’t fade away into the music, nor does he take a worshipful attitude towards the pieces he performs. From the moment he walks onto the stage, he exudes charisma that immediately confirms his exceptional status as the ‘best cellist in the world’. With its ten variations on a theme of knightly character for full orchestra, Richard Strauss’ tone poem ‘Don Quixote’ not only depicts the colorful adventures of Cervantes’ hero, but also functions as a virtuoso display of glorious solo melodies embedded in stunning orchestral passages. It is, in a way, a second Strauss cello concerto. Joining ‘the Don’ later in this program is a viola solo that personifies the faithful Sancho Panza and is played by Wen Xiao Zheng. Here is Yo Yo Ma, performing the second movement from Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote:
An astounding display of musical talent was offered to guests and supporters at the festive 77th America-Israel Cultural Foundation Gala last Tuesday evening, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater under the auspices of Israel’s Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan. (Photo: Ilona Oltuski -Prize ceremony David Stern for Ivry Gitlis ) Honoring the memory of Vera Stern, the musical program unified three generations of virtuosi, all of whom had received support from AICF at the start of their careers. The partaking artists were friends, colleagues, students or protégés of the influential music power couple Vera and Isaac Stern, and included world-renowned performers Itzhak Perlman and Yefim Bronfman. The Sterns’ three children, David, Michael and Shira, guided audiences through the program, which was compiled according to Vera’s musical taste spanning works by Prokofiev, Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart, Bloch, Chopin, Bach and Brahms; the trio of siblings shared personal remarks and historic memories in between performances by ensembles of interchanging sizes and configurations. After saving Carnegie Hall and inspiring its development as one of the premier music institutions under his presidency, Isaac, the great performer and educator and the ever-energetic Vera, left their cultural legacy and a remarkable imprint that still holds its impact on today’s classical music scene. Vera became involved with AICF in 1960, realizing the dire need for support for local talent in Israel. Through AICF’s dual corresponding activities in Tel Aviv and New York, American patrons are able to actively support music and art education in Israel, making it possible to train aspiring talent “chuz la aretz,” outside of Israel, ultimately introducing new artists to international audiences, while helping them to forge the networks careers are built upon. In turn, some of its great artists return for performances in Israel, keeping the cultural exchange fluid. Although the opportunities to develop their talents and continue to build careers abroad represent an ideal for many capable Israeli musicians, the musical import of Israel’s talent – many of Russian heritage – to the US and Europe has also created a bit of a newly exiled generation. Less obvious perhaps in a profession that requires so much touring, but Israeli talent still aims to prove career-worthy outside of their native borders, which of course in Israel’s case spans a comparatively minuscule region, creating a difficult scenario for a performer. Given its small population, the amount of talent emerging in Israel is quite impressive, and many of the artists serve as Israel’s “ambassadors,” taking on the responsibility of presenting Israel’s strong embrace of international culture, while others rather distance themselves from being labeled. Under the leadership of its New York director, David Homan, AICF has expanded its outreach into all creative areas, including dance, fine art, theater, and to the media and production side of curating and performance, which made this year’s inaugural ‘Vera Stern King Solomon Award’ especially meaningful. Photo; Ilona Oltuski Alon Goldstein ( piano) Vadim Guzman ( violin) The prize was presented by Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, to media expert, producer, and President and CEO of WNET, Neal Shapiro, to reward visionary programming in support of the arts. The other award this evening, the ‘William A. Schwarz Aviv Award’ named for AICF’s previous longtime president William Schwarz, was presented by Vera Stern’s son, David, to a much-beloved figure of the music world, the violinist and perpetual enfant terrible, Ivry Gitlis, who embraced the audience saying: “Je vous aime le plus (you are my very favorite),” bringing the evening’s sentimental touch into the foreground. The opening work of the evening, Prokofiev’s Overture on Jewish Themes, op.34 provided an early ample outlook on the caliber of the evening’s performers, with Alexander Fiterstein (clarinet), Vadim Gluzman and Itamar Zorman (violins), Shmuel Katz (viola), and Yefim Bronfman at the piano. Other highlights included a perceptive rendering of Ernest Bloch’s From Jewish Life – Baal Shem: Nigun by pianist Alon Goldstein with Vadim Guzman, a velvety performance by soprano Rinat Shaham in Bach’s Erbarme Dich from St. Matthew Passion, with a trio accompaniment by Itzhak Perlman (violin), Amit Peled (cello) and Alon Goldstein, as well as the scorching finale of Brahm’s Piano Quintet in F minor with Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Guzman, Shmuel Katz, and Amit Peled, closing with another Opus 34. Pianist Tomer Gewirtzman represented the new generation of young Israeli artists. As winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Gewirtzman makes his New York recital debut on December 13th at Merkin Hall. He received the Audience Price at the AICF Aviv Competition in 2013.
Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Abba, Glass and the Legend of Zelda – the conductor tells us about the music and musicians who inspire himWhat was the first record or CD you bought?Actually I bought three at once, when I was seven. It must have been a bumper birthday! They were Abba Arrival, an LP of JS Bach’s organ music and Tomita’s The Engulfed Cathedral. I wanted to kiss Agnetha, play the organ in any gothic cathedral, and own a brace of Moog synthesisers. I had ambition. 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