Friday, February 24, 2017
Interesting things coming up with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival, in contrast to the sad blandness that marks the South Bank's antipathy to serious music. Next for e will be Esa-Pekka Salonen's concert on 19th Feb with Pierre-Laurent Aimard playing Ligeti's Piano Concerto, The complete Debussy Daphnis et Chloé and .Stravinsky's "lost" Funeral Song - read more here about the premiere where Gergiev conducted it in context with Eimsky-Korsakov and The Firebird. On 2nd March, Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Stravinsky The Firebird complete 1910 version with de Falla and Ravel. Preceding this an early evening concert with Pascal Rophé featuring Isang Yun whose music isn't heard nearly as often as it should be. Benjamin Zander returns to London after along absence on 13th March in an all-Beethoven concert which includes Beethoven 9. Then Jakub Hrůša conducts Brahms on 23/3 and Dvořák 6 on 6/4. The early evening concert that day features Bent Sørensen who's very good. Salonen and Pierre Laurent again on 4/5 and 7/5 first with Debussy and Boulez, then with Bartok and Mahler 6.Veteran Philharmonia emeritus Christoph von Dohnányi conducts Schumann and Mendelssohn on 8/6. Elgar and RVW Sea Symphony with Roderick Williams on 29/6. The Philharmonia's 2017 2018 season kicks off on 28/9 with an unusual concert in which Salonen will conduct Sibelius 6 with Thorvaldsdottir and Bjarsen. Since Sibelius so dominates music in Finland, Salonen avoided conducting him until he felt he had something original to express. When Salonen did turn to Sibelius his insights were a revelation. I'll never forget his series at the Barbican a dozen years ago. Infinitely better that a conductor should approach things like that rather than churn things out on autopilot like some wildly popular conductors I won't mention. Equally exciting, Salonen conducts Mahler 3rd on 1st October, which he conducted when the Royal Festival Hall reopened 10 years ago after renovations. What a revelation that was, too, full of energy, light and freshness ! He's conducting Mahler 9 on 30 November, another must go. Also a must for me, on 8/10 Smetana Ma Vlast with Jakub Hrůša. Lots more, too much to write about. And then it's Xmas all over again.
Gerhardt/Becker (Hyperion)Cellists are lining up to pay tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich in what would have been his 90th year, but Alban Gerhardt’s is an especially apt homage, showcasing the Russian master’s commitment to expanding his instrument’s repertoire and popularity, at the same time as celebrating his sense of fun. It’s not a bad vehicle for the sparky Gerhardt and pianist Markus Becker, either. Rostropovich, with his knack for making the cello seem to sing, would surely have approved of their seamless playing of Glazunov’s arrangement of Chopin’s C sharp minor Etude, Op 25 No 7, in which the German cellist’s dark timbre engenders a very Russian sense of yearning. Amid miniatures by Scriabin, Stravinsky, Popper and Ravel, there are Rostropovich’s own arrangements, including a riotous March by Prokofiev and a slidy, twangy version of Debussy’s Minstrels. The disc is bookended by two rare pieces by Rostropovich himself, a scurrying Humoresque and an intricate Moderato for cello alone. Continue reading...
Dates: Friday, Feb. 24 at 11:00 AM, and Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8:00 PM Venue: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California ARTISTS: Los Angeles Philharmonic, James Gaffigan, conductor Hélène Grimaud, piano PROGRAM: BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2 MATHESON: ‘UNCHAINED’ (LA Phil commission; world premiere) RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 Here is Helene Grimaud, performing the Piano Concerto number 2 by Johannes Brahms:
From the BSO: Due to the severe weather conditions forecasted for the greater Boston area tomorrow, the Thursday, February 9 Boston Symphony Orchestra concert, featuring BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, countertenor Bejun Mehta, and the Lorelei Ensemble, has been postponed. Programme: RAVEL Le Tombeau de Couperin (February 9 & 11) BENJAMIN Dream of the Song (BSO co-commission) BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique
Last year the government of the town where the museum (in the composer's former house) is located forbade France-TV to film there; last month a local official called the police on Charles Dutoit and Martha Argerich while they were visiting; last week the custodian, on the job for 30 years, was fired; there are concerns that objects and archives are missing. Sanjoy Roy looks into the situation and explains why losing the museum permanently would be a tragedy.
The charming, eclectic museum in the French composer’s house at Montfort-l’Amaury has been abruptly closed and its future is in doubtAn eccentric little house called Le Belvédère – shaped like a narrowboat and perched on the edge of the small town of Montfort-l’Amaury, 40km south-west of Paris – is among the world’s most rare and enchanting musical museums: the Musée Maurice Ravel. The house, in which the composer lived from 1921 until his death in 1937, is as exquisitely crafted and uncannily affecting as his music. Filled with mechanical toys, offbeat furnishings and eclectic curiosities, and backed by a stylised miniature garden, it offers the visitor a delightful diversion and a glimpse into the soul of this most private of composers. Continue reading...
Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 December 28, 1937) was a French composer of Impressionist music known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects. Much of his piano music, chamber music, vocal music and orchestral music has entered the standard concert repertoire. Ravel's piano compositions, such as Jeux d'eau, Miroirs, Le tombeau de Couperin and Gaspard de la nuit, demand considerable virtuosity from the performer, and his orchestral music, including Daphnis et Chloé and his arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, uses a variety of sound and instrumentation. Ravel is perhaps known best for his orchestral work Boléro (1928), which he considered trivial and once described as "a piece for orchestra without music."
Great composers of classical music