Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Many recordings lately have featured a combination of well-known and also unknown pieces. In this new CD, we get to listen to the following: Panufnik, R: Four World Seasons, premiere recording Vivaldi: The Four Seasons As performed by Tasmin Little (violin & conductor), with the BBC Symphony Orchestra Capturing the sound of the BBC SYmphony’s strings, Tasmin Little is both the soloist and conductor in this unique combination: Vivaldi’s ever-popular ‘Four Seasons’ meets Roxanna Panufnik’s Four World Seasons, the premiere recording of a set of highly inspirational pieces. As a complete cycle, ‘The Four Seasons’ offers a set of imaginative, enticing, and wonderfully contrasted pieces, with ample chance for the violin soloist to display technique, sensitivity, and color. These are qualities that the British composer Roxanna Panufnik also sought for her own Seasons tribute, Four World Seasons, written for the violinist. Three of the pieces are dedicated to her, while the fourth, ‘Autumn in Albania’, is dedicated to the memory of Panufnik’s father, the Polish composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik. Here is Tasmin Little in highlights from this CD:
Vivaldi’s music provoked excitement, fear and wonder. That’s why we’re performing it today alongside Metallica and MuseThe Ospedale della Pietà was a convent, an orphanage and also a music school in Venice. It still stands today, although the niche in one of its walls, known as the scaffetta, where unwanted babies could be anonymously deposited, is gone. Like Captain Coram’s London foundling hospital, Italian orphanages were committed to providing an education for the children in their care. In Italy, however, there was a strong emphasis on vocational training in music. In fact, the modern word “conservatoire”, meaning an academy of music, derives from the Italian conservatorio, meaning orphanage.Antonio Vivaldi joined the Pietà in 1703 as a violin teacher, and worked there for the best part of 30 years as de facto director of music and composer in residence. The wonderful music he wrote to be heard there was all performed by female musicians, and that includes his sacred vocal music, in which every part was sung by women. The Sunday concerts he staged were a major attraction both for the Venetian nobility and the many foreign visitors who, then as now, flocked to the city. Continue reading...
Giuliano Carmignola, Amandine Beyer, Gli Incogniti (Harmonia Mundi)Are there still revelations to be heard in new Vivaldi concerto recordings? There certainly are in this dazzling, extrovert collection of concertos all for two violins – like a tennis match in music, the two protagonists toss figures, rhythms and phrases across the net with ever-increasing excitement and intensity. To imagine these virtuosic pieces played by Vivaldi’s girl pupils at the Ospedale della Pietà adds an almost erotic charge to the music-making. Many of the movements are flamboyant, like RV 507 with its initial solo flourishes, but others are sober and deep, like the Andante from RV 513. Giuliano Carmignola (who recorded with Abbado’s Orchestra Mozart) and Amandine Beyer match perfectly. A winner. Continue reading...
1 Mozart piano concert 27, K595 (Brendel) 2 Vivaldi Four Seasons, 1958 L’Oiseau Lyre 3 Elgar: Enigma Variations, with Sospiri 4 Barber Adagio 5 Mozart Requiem 6 Cosi fan tutte 7 Handel Messiah 8 Rossini: Messe solonelle 9 Schumann symphonies (SWR Stuttgart) 10 Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue (Philharmonia)
Musicians Against Gun Violence in America is holding a wave of events across the US on September 25 and classical musicians will be sounding off at the following locations. Go support them if you can. Cleveland, Ohio: At U.S. Bank Plaza in Playhouse Square, 12:30pm. Performers include musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, from the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, from the Cleveland Institute of Music, from Classical Revolution Cleveland, and from Quire Cleveland. (Below is a fuller list of performers.) The program features a mix of classical and popular numbers, many of which will be on the themes of peace and remembrance. The concert is hosted by Jeff Kurkjian, host of “The Jeff Show” on Q104, and Angela Mitchell, assistant producer for WCLV Classical 104.9. Both hosts also perform on the program. Mitchell is a board member of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and is organizing the event. Cleveland performers: Factory Seconds Brass Trio (made up of brass players from The Cleveland Orchestra) Singers from the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus Brett Mitchell (Associate Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra) String quartet from the Cleveland Institute of Music Classical Revolution Cleveland (graduates of CIM) duo In2ative (graduates of CIM) Cleveland Cello Quartet (current and former students of CIM) Singers from Quire Cleveland Angela Mitchell (singer, radio personality, board member of Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence) Jeff Kurkjian (host of “The Jeff Show” on Cleveland’s Q104) Danbury, Connecticut: At Danbury Music Center , presented by composer and Danbury native Paul Frucht in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise. The program, to be performed by recent graduates of the Juilliard School, will realize the mission of Sandy Hook Promise through music, featuring works by Jonathan Cziner, Miles Davis, Paul Frucht, Ives, Ravel and Vaughan Williams. Performers include: Katherine Lee Althen, flute Yuga Cohler, conductor Anastasia Dolak, violin Robert Fleitz, piano Molly Goldman, viola Isabel Hagen, viola Hannah Ji, violin Ben Laude, piano Emily Levin, harp Ariana Nelson, cello Andrew O’Donnell, clarinet Chelsea Starbuck Smith, violin Theo Van Dyck, trumpet Sebastian Zinca, double bass York, PA: hosted by Zion Lutheran Church and its Director of Music Ministries, Mark Mummert. Performers are 15 local professional vocalists (including 6 sopranos) and instrumentalists playing works by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Puccini, Copland, Bernstein, and Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton”, among others. An offering will benefit Everytown for Gun Safety. Ann Arbor, Michigan (details still tba): featuring Louis Nagel, piano, and a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony conducted by Kevin Fitzgerald, who led Mozart’s Requiem at the Requiem for Orlando. UPDATE: We have been asked to clarify that Musicians Against Gun Violence in America is one of dozens of organizations banding together under the banner of the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence.
Oboist highly regarded as performer and teacherThe fine playing of the oboist Neil Black, who has died aged 84, enabled him to make the most of the opportunities presented by concert life in the decades following the second world war. He joined the newly founded National Youth Orchestra in 1948, stayed for its first three years, and later became principal oboe of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1958-60). Albums were being recorded not only by symphony orchestras but also by chamber orchestras specialising in music from the 18th century and earlier – a more intimate type of performance that Black came to prefer. As a result, no oboist featured on more recordings than he did, and with the chamber orchestras of which he was principal he also appeared as a soloist.With the Academy of St Martin in the Fields he recorded concertos by Vivaldi and Mozart’s Concerto in C, and with its chamber ensemble Mozart’s Oboe Quartet and sonatas by Handel. He was principal with the English Chamber Orchestra during the 1970s, 80s and most of the 90s, initially sharing the post with Peter Graeme; he recorded the Concerto for Violin and Oboe by JS Bach with Itzhak Perlman, and the concertos by Richard Strauss and Ralph Vaughan Williams, with Daniel Barenboim conducting. With the pianist Murray Perahia, Black was one of the four wind soloists from the ECO in the quintets by Mozart and Beethoven, and he played on the complete cycles of Mozart piano concertos by Perahia, Barenboim and Mitsuko Uchida. His other main chamber orchestra post was with the London Mozart Players. Continue reading...
Antonio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 - July 28, 1741), was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over 40 operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons. Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi worked between 1703 and 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna hoping for preferment. The Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and the composer died a pauper, without a steady source of income. Though Vivaldi's music was well received during his lifetime, it later declined in popularity until its vigorous revival in the first half of the 20th century. Today, Vivaldi ranks among the most popular and widely recorded Baroque composers.
Great composers of classical music