Friday, October 28, 2016
Sunday’s LA Philharmonic matinee concert was dedicated by Gustavo Dudamel to the memory of Barry Socher, a violinist in the orchestra for 35 years and a life-force in the area. Barry had died the day before, at 68, of cancer. In a busy career, he had also served as concertmaster for the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, the Ojai Festival and Oregon Bach Festival orchestras. He was a founder of the Armadillo Quartet. There’s a lovely tribute on violinist.com.
Crossover projects usually leave me cold. The French producer Hughes de Courson had considerable success in the Francophone world with his Bach and Mozart crossover albums, but I would not grieve if I never heard any of them again. Except that is for one track from his 1997 album Mozart in Egypt. My involvement with Sufism may explain why the Dhikr Requiem Golgotha strikes a chord with me. Listen to it with no preconceptions while pondering on this wisdom from the early Persian Sufi Junaaid of Baghdad: "None achieves that Degree of Truth, until a thousand honest people have testified that he is a heretic". Also on Facebook and Twitter. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).
Warner are releasing a set of Bach's complete keyboard works played by Zuzana Růžičková to mark the harpsichordist's 90th birthday. Zuzana Růžičkováwas was married to the composer Viktor Kalabis (1923-2006), and in a 2013 post about Kabalis I said that the standout on a new 3 CD Supraphon anthology of Kalabis' concertos and symphonies was his Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings conducted by the composer with his wife as soloist. Zuzana Růžičková's advocacy of new music needs recognition. As well as performing her husband's works she collaborated with pioneering figures including Maurice Ohana and Iannis Xenakis. Moroccan-born Maurice Ohana in particularly remains a puzzlingly neglected composer; he was profiled here in a 2008 post which highlighted Zuzana Růžičková's advocacy. Let's hope that the well-deserved birthday accolades for Zuzana Růžičková draw some attention to these forgotten late 20th-century composers. No review samples or other comps used in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.
Venue: Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, California, 90012 Date: Wednesday, 26 October 2016 – 8:00 PM Presenter: Los Angeles Philharmonic 323-850-2000 www.laphil.com Artists: Hilary Hahn (Violin), and Robert Levine, piano Program: J. S Bach: Sonata No. 6 in G Major for Violin and Piano, BWV. 1019 Anton Garcia Abril: Solo Partita for Violin Mozart: Violin Sonata in E-flat Major for Violin and Piano, K. 481 Intermission Hans Peter Türk: Träume (solo piano, written for Robert Levin) Schubert: Rondo in B Minor for Violin and Piano, D. 895 Here is Hilary Hahn as soloist, performing the violin concerto by Johannes Brahms:
Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon English Touring Opera’s soloists were joined by local choirs and new English translations of Bach’s verses, both adding a vivid modern relevance English Touring Opera’s latest presentation is Bach’s St John Passion, but their approach is not operatic in the sense of staging the work with the trappings of costume and props. Neither is it touring in the conventional way of a production doing the rounds. Rather, ETO’s soloists and regular accompanists, the Old Street Band, are working at each venue with choruses from within that community, in a natural extension of the company’s outreach and education programme. The impact of the opening chorus Herr, unser Herrscher, delivered by the joint forces of the Cantamus Chamber Choir, the Wiltshire Music Centre Chorus and choristers from St Laurence School with a considerable body of sound, was testimony enough to a worthy endeavour. Continue reading...
The conductor and founder of the Tallis Scholars on the Beatles, Bruckner and Bryd, and why we should treat Bach with less respectWhat was the first record or cd you bought? Being born in 1953 I was exactly of the generation to grow up with the music of the Fab Four. I collected their singles in purchases of three – costing 6/8d meant you could get exactly three for a pound. The release of Ticket to Ride was the moment of greatest excitement for me and my friends down in the school locker room. 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