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Antonio Vivaldi

Friday, September 22, 2017


My Classical Notes

September 2

September CD of the Month: Nicola Benedetti

My Classical NotesThe CD of the Month for September is violinist Nicola Benedetti’s recording titled “My First Decade”. She performs the following for us: Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 5 Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26 – Adagio- with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jakub Hrusa conducting Chopin: Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. post., with Petr Limonov (piano) Gardel: Por Una Cabeza Hess, N: Ladies in Lavender – main theme Massenet: Meditation (from Thaïs), with the London Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding conducting. Monti, V: Csárdás Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: III. Allegro vivacissimo, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jakub Hrusa conducting Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Litton conducting Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Summer, RV315 – Presto- with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Williams, John: Schindler’s List: Theme, with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits conducting. All performed by Nicola Benedetti (violin). Just 26 years old, Nicola Benedetti has been making amazing recordings for 10 years. This album celebrates the best of those recordings, and her other successes – from winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2004, to her 2012 best-selling album ‘The Silver Violin’. A collection of great violin music – from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending to the Tchaikovsky and Bruch violin concertos and Arvo Part’s Spiegel Im Spiegel. The disc also features brand new recordings – Brahms’ invigorating Hungarian Dance no. 5, Monti’s ever-popular Czardas, and Chopin’s emotional Nocturne in C# minor. The album includes Nicola Benedetti performing with leading orchestras and conductors, as well as some of her favorite chamber players. This album showcases the incredible range of Nicola’s playing, and demonstrates her appeal to a wider audience. Here is Ms. Benedetti in Mozart’s Sonata in E-minor:

ArtsJournal: music

September 7

Study: Listening To Vivaldi Boosts Creativity

The key result: Compared to working in silence, listening to the uplifting Vivaldi was "associated with an increase in divergent thinking." Convergent thinking, on the other hand, was not significantly affected by background music. The researchers argue that this suggests the music inspired higher levels of "fluency and flexibility," which are needed to come up with original ideas, but are less important in the paring-down process.




My Classical Notes

August 1

August DVD of the Month: Martha Argerich

JS Bach Piano Concertos: Martha Argerich and friends The tracks on this recording are as follows: Improvisations I, performed by Gabriela Montero (piano) Improvisations II, performed by Gabriela Montero (piano) Bach, J S: Keyboard Concerto No. 3 in D major, BWV1054 Lilya Zilberstein (piano) Keyboard Concerto No. 4 in A major, BWV1055 Nelson Goerner (piano) Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV1056 Stephen Kovacevich (piano) Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G minor, BWV1058 Dong-Hyek Lim (piano) Concerto for Two Keyboards in C major, BWV1061 Dong-Hyek Lim & Frank Braley (pianos) Concerto for Two Keyboards in C minor, BWV1062 Khatia Buniatishvili, Gvantsa Buniatishvili (pianos) Concerto for Three Keyboards in D minor, BWV1063 Frank Braley, Michel Dalberto & David Kadouch (pianos) Concerto for Three Keyboards in C major, BWV1064 Dong-Hyek Lim, Mauricio Vallina & Akane Sakai (pianos) Concerto for Four Keyboards in A minor (after Vivaldi), BWV1065 Martha Argerich, Lilya Zilberstein, Mauricio Vallina & Dong-Hyek Lim (pianos) Concerto for Four Keyboards in A minor (after Vivaldi), BWV1065 Martha Argerich, Nicholas Angelich, Akane Sakai & Nelson Goerner (pianos) All selections are supported by the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne The great Martha Argerich and the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne leads a team of amazing pianists from all around the world. These major figures and young soloists at the edge of a promising career are gathered to glorify Bach. These piano concertos are ideal for many combinations: one, two, three or even four pianists. This brilliant formation includes amongst others Nicholas Angelich and Frank Braley, the gifted Michel Dalberto and Nelson Goerner, the classic master Kovacevich, the great Russian pianist Lilya Zilberstein, the South Korean Dong-Hyek Lim as well as the talented David Kadouch. Here are Martha Argerich and her friends in music by Johann Sebastian Bach:

Tribuna musical

June 28

The Mozarteum gives memorable concerts from Munich and Venice

The Mozarteum Argentino is now a venerable institution and no one doubts that its trajectory is matchless in our country. The first two items of this year´s season proved again the acumen of its Artistic Director Gisela Timmermann and the fine leadership of President Luis Alberto Erize, for they presented in their two subscription series at the Colón admirable interpretations of Mozart and Vivaldi respectively by the Munich Chamber Orchestra with violinist Veronika Eberle and by the Venice Baroque Orchestra with mezzo Romina Basso. The Munich outfit has visited us several times; founded by Christoph Stepp in 1950, its local debut was in 1955 led by its founder Christoph Stepp; they came back in 1960 at the Museo de Arte Decorativo in the eighth season of the Mozarteum and with Hans Stadlmair, who was their leader for almost four decades. They visited us for the Mozarteum two more times before the present one, who had the characteristic of coming without their current conductor, Alexander Liebreich. In this tour the concertino was the Oriental Soyeun Kang (in early announcements it was going to be Giglberger) and she ran the show from her post, with almost imperceptible gestural indications. But the other twelve violins plus four violas, three cellos, two basses, one flute, two oboes, two bassoons and two horns (not always the whole was used), a total of 29 counting the concertino, were unflinchingly together, as the true and stylish professionals that they are. There were two programmes where only Mozart´s Symphony Nº33 was played in both, with talented violinist Veronika Eberle making her local debut. In fact Symphony Nº 33 replaced the originally announced Nº 29, for this one collided with the Kammerakademie Potsdam´s programme scheduled for June 14; a pity that an early Mozart Cassazione (a type of Divertimento) mentioned to begin the first of two concerts wasn´t included. Symphony Nº 33 in B flat, K.319, is rarely played and less interesting than other symphonies before the big six (35, 36, 38 to 41) such as Nos. 25, 29, 31 and 34, but it is a work of charm and consumate ability in its four compact movements. It was beautifully played and served as an apéritif to one of the two great moments of the first concert: the immaculate reading of Mozart´s Violin Concerto Nº4, K.218 by Eberle and the orchestra. He wrote five in the brief time of nine months in 1775, when he was 19. Eberle, now 27, a disciple of the great Ana Chumachenco, showed grace, refinement and transparent articulation, as well as impeccable taste in the small cadenzas added at appropriate points where the orchestral music arrives to a pause. The encore was Kreisler´s "Liebesleid" ("Love´s sorrows"). After the interval I didn´t enjoy the première of "Hirta rounds" by the Irish composer David Fennessy (born 1976), for me it is boring minimalism. After the brief "Lyric Andante" for strings, an agreeable piece by Reger far from his usual dense writing, we came to the other high spot of the evening: a wonderful performance of that very special Symphony Nº45 ("Farewell") by Franz Joseph Haydn. It´s one of the "Sturm und drang" ("Storm and impulse") symphonies (44 to 49), a precocious harbinger of Romanticism during Classicism paralleled in literature by Schiller and Goethe. Written in 1772, indeed it starts with a stormy first movement in F sharp minor, a complex tonality rarely used at the time. Followed by a melancholy Adagio and a formal Menuet, the last delicate movement makes us understand the "Farewell" sobriquet, as players gradually leave their seats until the last phrase is played only by the concertino: it was the composer´s subtle way to suggest to his patron, Prince Esterházy, that it was time to leave their Summer Palace and go back to Eisenstadt, their winter home; and the Prince complied... The playing was exquisite and stylish throughout, and led to the encore, the last movement of, yes, Mozart´s Symphony Nº 29! The second concert started with Mozart´s Symphony Nº 33, followed by his Concerto Nº5 for violin, called "Turkish" because of an episode in the last movement that parodies that music. It innovates by interrupting the first movement´s Allegro by an elegiac violin Adagio before the return of the Allegro. Eberle was marginally less convincing, not so exact in her playing and with added cadenzas sometimes too exotic for comfort in Mozart, but still quite good, as was the orchestra (whose only flaw in both concerts came from small smudges from the horns). We had Eberle also after the interval, for she played three Kreisler pieces: "Schön Rosmarin" ("Beautiful rosemarie"), "Liebesleid" and "Liebesfreud" ("Love´s joys"), orchestrated simply, for the violin soloist always leads (orchestrations unidentified). These are charming tidbits justly famous, and Eberle played them with the care and distinction they merit. The lovely Symphony Nº5 by Schubert, written at 19 in 1816, is a homage to Mozart but with the harmonic and melodic sensitivity that distinguished the great Pre-Romantic of tragically short life. The performance was delightful though without personal touches . A pity that their encore was a repeat of the Menuet. The Venice Baroque Orchestra sports its English name though it should properly be called the Orchestra Barocca di Venezia. It was founded in 1997 by investigator and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon. Since their inception they have made pioneer work rediscovering and in certain cases recording operas by Cavalli, Vivaldi, B.Marcello and Boccherini. In this debut tour they didn´t come with Marcon but concertino Gianpiero Zanocco proved a splendid leader. And with them came a talented mezzo, Romina Basso (also debut) who has recorded five Vivaldi operas (!) and been a soloist with a redoubtable covey of specialist ensembles. Together thay gave a memorable all-Vivaldi programme presenting two Sinfonias, four Concerti and six opera arias. A veritable feast disproving the still existing prejudice about Vivaldi´s sameness, for the evening was a constant discovery of contrasting marvels. The group is basically a string ensemble (13) plus harpsichord, but one of the violinists, Anna Fusek, is also a virtuoso player of the sopranino recorder and she wowed the audience with the Concerto RV 443 (RV: Ryom Verzeichnis=Ryom catalogue). The other Concerti were for two violins, RV 516 (Zanocco, Giorgio Baldan) and the only one for two cellos, RV 531 (Massino Raccanelli Zaborra, Federico Toffano). Excellent playing save for some acidity in high long notes from the violins, probably because they use no vibrato at all (they are very historicist in style, with strong dramatic colors, though their strings are metallic, not guts). The two Sinfonias were brief, in G major (RV 146) and minor (RV 157); the sinfonias of that time were as the concertos but without soloists, nothing to do with classicist symphonies. The treat of the evening was the very different operatic arias: they were turbulent in "Bajazet", dramatic and slow in "Farnace", florid in "Orlando furioso", mild in "Atenaide", expressive in "Giustino" and fast, intense in "Argippo". Musso has a remarkable technique and range, as well as theatrical temperament. She proved adaptable to dissimilar mooods and capped the evening with that wonderful slow Händel aria, "Lascia ch´io pianga", from "Rinaldo". For Buenos Aires Herald



My Classical Notes

June 27

Volodos Plays in Vienna

In April of this year, I shared with you my reactions when I heard Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos play the music of Johannes Brahms on a Sony recording. He played some of my great favorites, including the three Intermezzos Opus 117, which I had used as introduction music for my radio show. One of my readers commented last night about his own great enjoyment of Mr. Volodos’ fine playing. So, today I bring you more music as performed by Arcadi Volodos, from his concert in Vienna several years ago: Mr. Volodos performs the following music: Sicilienne (after Vivaldi) (Encore) Bach Lullaby in a Storm (Encore) Tchaikovsky / Volodos Liszt: Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi sonata (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 7) Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales Schumann: Waldszenen, Op. 82 Scriabin: Prelude, Op. 37 No. 1 in B flat minor Prelude, Op. 11 No. 16 in B flat minor Danse languide, Op. 51 No. 4 Guirlandes, Op. 73 No. 1 Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 64 ‘White Mass’ Feuillet d’album, Op. 45 No. 1 (Encore) All performed by Arcadi Volodos (piano) Since his debut recording released in 1997, Arcadi Volodos continues to be celebrated as a keyboard genius, and is without a doubt one of today’s most outstanding and internationally interesting pianists. His unlimited virtuosity along with his unique sense of timing, colour and poetry made him a romantic narrator of intensive stories. Several years ago, Volodos played at the Musikverein in Vienna, and subsequently toured the Vienna concert program in several German cities. The BBC Music magazine wrote: “The performance is an awesome display of keyboard command…The recorded sound does gorgeous justice both to the playing itself, and to the surrounding Vienna Musikvereinsaal acoustic.” Here is the video of the concert from Vienna!

Antonio Vivaldi
(1678 – 1741)

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.



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