Friday, October 28, 2016
Typisch Neubeuerrn afternoon For Georg Enoch Robert Prosper Philipp Franz Karl Theodor Maria Heinrich Johannes Luitpold Hartmann Gundeloh Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, the conductor of the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra and the Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuern (Chorus), a Telefon may be just as mighty as a baton. Since 1997, Guttenberg has been calling friends in “leading orchestras to gather part-time over their shared love of performing excellent music at a world-class caliber.” On Wednesday the ensembles carried Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Magnificat to Symphony Hall. It was their final outing in a six-city tour organized by Attila Glatz, the originator of the notable “Salute to Vienna” (which features made-to order orchestras with imported conductors and soloists at 25 simultaneous New Years Eve gigs). One wondered about the coals-to-Newcastle gift of these two pieces to a city with a very rich tradition of fine community and professional choral singing. In this room only a couple of weeks ago, your reviewer enjoyed a very fine take on the Magnificat from the forces of Handel + Haydn [here ]. Aiming, according to the PR, to” thrill the avid classical music lover and casual concert-goer alike,” Friday’s readings neither quite thrilled nor very much displeased. To begin with it was charming to see the 89 Trachtenanzug– and Dirndl-clad singers from the picture-postcard Bavarian village of Neubeuern saunter ever so slowly onto their platforms. The orchestra of something less than half that number marched out in close formation having tuned ever so correctly off-stage. Possessing neither the clarity of articulation of Boston’s best period instrument orchestras nor the sumptuousness of our best modern ones, the KlangVerwaltung produced reliable, spruce, and well-tuned tones. Unfortunately, slow tempi often lost tension and fast passages often lurched rather than skipped. The clean, generic, modern compromise style differentiated but little other than in size of forces between Mozart and Bach. Two players deserve especial notice, though: Makiko Katoka sounded out without fear on the C-trumpet in the Bach, and the strokes of Babette Haag on Baroque cans radiated confidence and period insight all through the night. The basic choral sound of the Neubeurn villagers was solid but they achieved no real fffs or ppps. In our best local groups, virtually any singer can step out for an aria; I did not have that sense with Neubeurners. And Guttenberg imposed many post-modern hairpins (mini crescendo-decrescendos) and strange stabbing deconstructions of words, along with seemingly arbitrarily accented phrases. This tended to obscure destination and attract unnecessary notice. The four vocal soloists formed something of a misalliance in their ensembles. To begin with both Anke Vondung and Susanne Bernhardt produced mezzo-soprano coloration, even though one was billed as a soprano. Each projected an attractive instrument with pleasant timbre and clear enunciation, but one wanted more contrast between vocal types. A habit of beginning almost every phrase with a forte-diminuendo marred Daniel Johannsen’s bright production. The very tall basso Tareq Nazmi commanded the stage with huge low notes that boomed out in keeping with his stature. Before he plays Sarastro, though, he needs to brighten and unlock the top of his range and learn to support quieter dynamics. The energy that Guttenberg brings to touring seemingly overcomes huge logistical hurdles year after year. Next time let him bring a more novel program. How about the Mozart orchestration of Messiah? Afterword: The Globe’s feature/interview by Zoë Madonna [here ] may have inadvertently elevated this ad hoc touring orchestra into an established entity, which deserves a probing spotlight. For me it left unanswered questions about the periodic entity that none of my German friends have heard of. Mies van der Rohe wrote that God is in the details. For Enoch zu Guttenberg, God is in the notes. Only when he is beating time does his spirit ascend from atheism to agnosticism. He further told Globe readers that he is not prepared to conduct a piece until he and his players are entirely in accord on interpretation. Could one conclude then that that God is a democrat? And if two players had been contrarians, maybe that is why there are now only 48 and not 50 in the touring company. When 100% consensus is necessary, how does spontaneity arise? Enoch von und zu Guttenberg at his ease. Guttenberg also told Globe readers that his Mozart and Bach readings were informed by his understanding as a German of what religious thoughts might have been in the composers’ minds, but is Lutheran music really so different from Catholic music as to cause struggles for composers or interpreters? Were Bach and Mozart on a “du” basis with their players, as Guttenberg claims to be with his touring groupings? Was von Karajan equally deferential to his 100 powerful bosses in the player-run Berlin Philharmonic? One doubts it, certainly not after the brouhaha erupted upon his inviting clarinetist Sabine Meyer. Enoch G is ardent in many ways. For instance, he is gravely concerned about human environmental depredations. After hearing his enthusiastic performance here, though, we dispense plenary indulgences for his carbon contrails. Lee Eiseman is the publisher of the Intelligencer. The post Consensual Bach and Mozart from Germany appeared first on The Boston Musical Intelligencer .
Patrick Valentino (file photo) The Brookline Symphony proudly wears its status as a community orchestra, and can hold its own with any of the fine semi-professional orchestras in the area. It was particularly impressive that the overall age of the packed crowd on Oct 22nd at All Saint’s Church Brookline skewed a good 15 or more years younger than the average classical crowd. Since its reorganization in 2009, the ensemble has done quite a few things right. The orchestra is strong in all sections, not displaying weakness in the upper strings or in the wind sections which can often be the tell-tale sign of devoted but less skilled amateurs. Intonation is clean, the brass section powerful and well-balanced, and the strings play with a warm, blended sound. Currently in the process of searching for its next music director, BS has first turned to Patrick Valentino, who currently directs the Boston New Music Initiative, the Bay Colony Brass, and the choir of St. Mary Star of the Sea. From my seat in the back, his beat seemed clear and easy to follow, not overburdened with excessive gestures or fussiness. His strong and fresh interpretations owed little to tradition. He set the bar high for the subsequent candidates. In Guiseppe Verdi’s Overture to I Vespri Siciliani, intonation and dynamics were excellent, and the acoustics of the church supported the brass. Dramatic tension came in the section where the violins sang their melody over menacing undertones in the brass section. The cello section solo sang with especial distinction. In general, fortes impressed in fullness and volume, especially in contrast to the well-controlled pianissimos. Mozart’s Flute Concerto in D, K 314 featured the winner of the 2016 concerto competition, Weronika Balewski, a local flutist who combines an intriguing teaching career with award winning chamber playing. She produced a lovely, a bird-like, silvery tone. The familiar K314 possessed a lightness of touch which showed off both soloist and tutti. A few very slightly wobbly joints when the orchestra joined the soloist only slightly marred a fine performance. Weronika Balewski (file photo) Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, op. 64 allowed Valentino to make a well-known chestnut his own. His tempi overall were far brisker than any I’m used to. The Valse in particular was romantically dizzying; the violins and violas acquitted themselves admirably in the difficult passage work. The brass were in their glory throughout. The Finale, Andante Maestoso-Allegro vivace was seriously vivace, with a forward drive did not always allow the relentless music to breathe. The orchestra seemingly followed the conductor’s vision impeccably. This decidedly un-Romantic, very clean, un-embroidered modern performance earned a roaring standing ovation. Overall, this was an impressive outing by an ensemble that would be very easy to overlook among the wealth of offerings in the area. Elisa Birdseye, executive director of the Boston Chamber Ensemble, is an active freelance violist and principal violist of the New Bedford Symphony. Additionally, she has worked as the general manager of the New England Philharmonic and Boston Musica Viva. The post A Community Orchestra That Can Hold Its Own appeared first on The Boston Musical Intelligencer .
Works of Sweelinck, Bull, Buxtehude, Eben et alGerrit Chr. de Gier, Organs Stevenskerk NijmegenThe Best of MendelssohnMargreeth Chr. de Jong, Nieuwe Kerk, MiddelburgWorks of Franck, Saint Saëns, Andriessen, KlopToon Hagen, Adema organ, RaalteWorks of Andriessen, de Klerk and othersCoebergh & Heerink, Adema organ, Haarlem KomponistenbespiegelingOrgan works of Sweelinck, Bull,Buxtehude, Eben, Bach, vdHorst,Mozart and Liszt Gerrit Chr. de Gier - organistChoir Organ, unknown builder 17th CenturyMain Organ, König 1776 - Stevenskerk, NijmegenLabel: Lindenberg LBCD50Recorded November 1993 [Flacs & scans]Download Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)Six Sonatas Opus 65Three Preludia & Fuges Opus 37Fuga, Passacaglia, Allegro,Choral Variationen Margreeth Chr. de Jong - organisteVan Leeuwen Organ, 1954Nieuwe kerk - MiddelburgLabel: Den hertog DH8208012 (2CD)Recorded May 2006 & May 2008 [Flacs & scans]Download PrièreOrgan works of Franck, Saint-Saëns,Hendrik Andriessen and Henk Klop Toon Hagen - organistAdema Organ, 1927Basiliek - RaalteLabel: B&A Records 04051975Recorded April 2009 [Flacs & scans]Download Haarlemmer OrgelboekOrgan Works of Andriessen, de Klerk,Raas, Bartelink, Manneke and others Gemma Coebergh & Mark Heerink - organistsAdema organ, 1906St. Josephkerk - HaarlemLabel: Tulip Records TURE 201207Recorded November 2011 [Flacs & scans]Download
While I’ve posted a good number of operas written in the last 50 years since I began my Mixcloud site, music from the pre-Mozart era is distinctly lacking. Accordingly, I am pleased to offer a simply gorgeous performance of Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice starring Juan Diego Flórez. The youngsters at Parterre may not know this, but the proscenium of the old Met (1883-1966) held tributes to six prominent composers. Along with the no-brainers of Mozart, Wagner, and Verdi, there was, somewhat oddly, the name of Gluck (even odder: that of Beethoven, but no bel canto composers). While that house stood, the company presented only four of his nearly-50 operas. In its Italian version, Orfeo ed Euridice led the way with 67 performances (some of them sung in German); Alcest followed with 16 performance between 1941 and 1961 (most of them in English); Armide was given seven times between 1911 and 1912; Iphigénie en Tauride was on the bill for only five performances in the 1916-1917 season (all in German). This week’s performance is of the French version with all the inherent ballet music, from a 2015 Covent Garden performance with John Eliot Gardiner leading the English Baroque Soloists. The casting of Flórez may at first seem strange: it took the Met till 2007 to present a male Orpheus, countertenor David Daniels; the role had strictly been the property of mezzos for more than a century. There is also an edition for low voice which I heard performed in Klagenfurt with a baritone and in Bratislava with a bass. While I can’t promise Ipermestra or Le nozze d’Ercole e d’Erbe, you can look forward to more Gluck in the coming months (Iphigénie en Aulide was posted in 2014).
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:
Ten Questions with Liam Moran, bass Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet 1. Where were you born / raised? I was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, but am now a proud Dairy Stater. I live with my family in La Crosse. 2. If you weren't a singer, what profession would you be in? I'd want to be a pro soccer player, but that probably wouldn't have panned out! I suppose I'd be a lawyer or work in the mental health field. 3. The first opera I was ever in was... Falstaff. I sang in the chorus at Tanglewood when I was in high school. I got the bug for sure. 4. My favorite opera is... ...the hardest question to answer. Depends on what day you ask, could be any or some combination of Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro, L'Incoronazione di Poppea, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Don Carlo, Eugene Onegin, you get the idea. 5. My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is... My favorite pre-show meal is light, roasted vegetables or an omelette. Post-show I love a salty snack and a beer. This is Wisconsin, right? Ha! 6. People would be surprised to know that... I've never joined Facebook. Well, people who know me aren't surprised, they just roll their eyes. But nope, never did. 7. A few of my favorite books are... ...also hard to narrow down. Today let's say: Anna Karenina, All the King's Men, Catcher in the Rye, The Blind Assassins, Thinking: Fast and Slow; The Rest is Noise... I could go on! 8. What do you like to binge-watch? Lately I've been binge-watching both of the OJ Simpson projects, the miniseries The People vs. OJ Simpson (outstanding) and the ESPN six-part documentary, OJ: Made in America. Both are extraordinary. Talk about operatic... 9. What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party? Again, I'm sure if you ask me later today you'll get three new answers (I'd always say my grandma). But for now let's say: Mozart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Einstein, and my grandmother. Lots of people I'd like to meet, but suspect they'd be downers at a dinner party (Dostoevsky, Kant, Beethoven...). 10. Everyone should see Romeo and Juliet because.... It's a different way to experience a piece we all think we already know. There are several departures from Shakespeare, but the central story remains intact. But more important, with opera the music gives the audience a chance to experience the emotional undercurrent of each scene at the same time, adding a visceral element to the narrative arc of the piece. Plus there are loads of great tunes and, really, do you ever need an excuse to come to the Overture Center? Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer): We have two kids under the age of five, so.... Q: Would you like some coffee? A: Yes, yes I would. Don't miss the chance to see Liam in Romeo and Juliet, as Shakespeare's classic work comes to ravishing operatic life. Performances are November 4 and 6 in Overture Hall. Tickets start at $18; visit madisonopera.org for more information.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 - 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. Mozart composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers. Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of Mozart's death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons. Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate. His influence on subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, of whom Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."
Great composers of classical music