Sunday, May 28, 2017
Robert Porco will end his tenure as Cleveland’s Director of Choruses in September 2018, after 19 years. ‘Bob Porco has been a great musical partner of the Cleveland Orchestra,” says Franz Welser-Möst, music director. ‘At home in Cleveland, and on tour, he has been a driving force in bringing our choral works to life. He has taken on challenging repertoire from Mozart to Mahler, from Beethoven to Stravinsky, and for our annual opera productions across multiple languages and styles – and all with a group of dedicated volunteers. He has inspired thousands of singers to perform at their best.’
The Art of Expressive Conducting International Conducting Masterclass Rome (Italy) August 28 – 2 September 2017 Applications deadline: June 25, 2017 Apply at> https://www.atlanticoastorchestra.com/romemasterclass MASTERCLASS REPERTOIRE MOZART | Symphony 40 SCHUBERT | Symphony 5 BEETHOVEN | Coriolanus Ouverture BEETHOVEN | Symphony 5 (I mov) RAVEL | Ma Mere L’Oye (Suite) STRAVINSKY | Dumbarton […]
Like thousands of other Stravinsky fans, I listened to a live stream of the première, my anticipation heightened by descriptions that the composer had supplied later in life. (He called it “the best of my works before ‘The Firebird,’ and the most advanced in chromatic harmony.”) Like many others, I felt mild disappointment.
"Like thousands of other Stravinsky fans, I listened to a live stream of the première, my anticipation heightened by descriptions that the composer had supplied later in life. (He called it 'the best of my works before The Firebird, and the most advanced in chromatic harmony.') Like many others, I felt mild disappointment. Funeral Song contains no thrilling premonitions of the Stravinsky to come. ... Yet, after spending more time with the piece ... I felt a growing fascination. The music has a veiled power, and hints at otherwise hidden sources of inspiration. A spectre haunts the scene: the spectre of Wagner." (includes sound clip)
Metrics at the museum The Washington Post‘s Philip Kennicott decided to try visiting the popular Kusama exhibit at the Hirshhorn not as a critic, with all its special viewing privileges, but as an ordinary member of the public. The ... read more AJBlog: For What it’s Worth Published 2017-04-23 Recent Listening: Cuong Vu Plays Michael Gibbs Cuong Vu 4TET, Ballet (Rare Noise) Trumpeter Vu and three fellow Seattle adventurers explore pieces by Michael Gibbs. It was guitarist Bill Frisell’s idea to bring the British composer to the University ... read more AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-04-22 SHIFT — a weird PR gaffe Resuming my blog after a gap… I’m sorry that I said some provocative things about the SHIFT festival in DC, and then fell silent. I hadn’t planned that. But life intervened, taking me by surprise, ... read more AJBlog: Sandow Published 2017-04-21 Almanac: Igor Stravinsky on music critics “I had another dream the other day about music critics. They were small and rodent-like with padlocked ears, as if they had stepped out of a painting by Goya.” Igor Stravinsky (interviewed in the Evening ... read more AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2017-04-21 Smart Move In Brooklyn A lot of people today are interested in “design.” Unless they are furnishing a home, not all that many are interested in “decorative arts.” They are, of course, fraternal if not identical twins. Yet decorative ... read more AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-04-20
Thomas Adès © Brian Voce Thomas Adès ’s sources of inspiration have ranged from an anonymous medieval poem to a 1960s sex scandal. And the composer's music is just as varied as the subjects he chooses: one of few common threads running through his work is its consistent unpredictability. Here's a taster of his key works for both opera house and concert hall and what makes them so important: Powder Her Face Adès’s debut opera caused a stir in 1995 at its Cheltenham Festival premiere, thanks to its unabashed portrayal of Margaret Campbell , the ‘Dirty Duchess’ of Argyll, whose divorce proceedings in 1963 revealed details of her sex life that scandalized the nation. A full-length, chamber-scale work, the opera deploys three singers taking on a number of guises and a 15-strong chamber orchestra that veers from louche jazz pastiche to witty Stravinsky quotations. Asyla While Powder Her Face put Adès on the operatic map, it was Asyla, his orchestral work of 1997, that established him as a major orchestral composer. This four-movement work resembles a symphony in its dimensions, with a notorious third movement subtitled ‘Ecstasio’ replacing the conventional scherzo with music that evokes the world of contemporary nightclubs. The Tempest The Royal Opera’s first commission from Adès was The Tempest, which was first performed in 2004. With a libretto adapted from the Shakespeare play by Meredith Oakes , The Tempest draws on as wide a range of musical references as Adès’s other work, but channels them into a romantic form in keeping with large-scale opera’s rich heritage. Polaris Intriguingly subtitled ‘Voyage for Orchestra’, Polaris received its premiere in Miami in 2011 and has been widely performed since. Though just 14 minutes long, it is a work of enormous scale, whose title refers to the North Star . Polaris spirals out from intricate repeated phrases in the high winds to a cataclysmic climax involving groups of brass instruments stationed around the auditorium. It was memorably choreographed by Crystal Pite in 2014 and will be performed at the BBC Proms 2017 . Totentanz Adès’s 2013 BBC Proms commission was a 35-minute work for orchestra and vocal soloists that set an anonymous medieval text written under a 15th-century German frieze. This ‘dance of death’ depicts people from all strands of society, from the highest to the lowest, each claimed by the figure of death. With its enormous orchestra, it is his largest-scale orchestral work yet, and brings his theatrical experience to bear in its startlingly dramatic form. The Exterminating Angel ‘Why can we ever leave a room?’ asks Adès, re-working a question that lies at the heart of Luis Buñuel ’s Surrealist 1962 film El ángel exterminador . The guests of a dinner party appear mysteriously unable to leave, despite no physical barriers blocking the exit. First performed in Salzburg last year , Adès and librettist-director Tom Cairns ’s operatic version of the film features a magnificent ensemble cast of singers and has already been hailed as a defining opera of our time. The Exterminating Angel runs 24 April–8 May 2017. Tickets are still available. The production is a co-commission and co-production with Salzburg Festival , the Metropolitan Opera, New York , and the Royal Danish Opera and is staged with generous philanthropic support from Stefan Sten Olsson, the John S. Cohen Foundation and the Boltini Trust.
Igor Stravinsky (17 June 1882 - 6 April 1971) was a Russian-born, naturalized French, later naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music. He was a quintessentially cosmopolitan Russian who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century. He became a naturalized French citizen in 1934 and a naturalized US citizen in 1945. In addition to the recognition he received for his compositions, he also achieved fame as a pianist and a conductor, often at the premieres of his works. Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets: The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911/1947), and The Rite of Spring (1913). The Rite, whose premiere provoked a riot, transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure, and was largely responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of musical design. In the 1950s he adopted serial procedures, using the new techniques over his last twenty years. Stravinsky's compositions of this period share traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells, and clarity of form, of instrumentation, and of utterance.
Great composers of classical music