Related Links

Recommended Links

Give the Composers Timeline Poster



Site News

What's New for
October 2014?

Site Search

Follow us on
Facebook    Twitter

Affiliates

In association with
Amazon
Amazon UKAmazon GermanyAmazon CanadaAmazon FranceAmazon Japan

ArkivMusic
CD Universe

HBDirect

JPC

ArkivMusic

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

News & Information

Festivals & Concerts: August 2008 Archives

End of an Era

|

Pressler Bids Adieu To Beaux Arts Trio

By Tom Huizenga
NPR

If they had an Olympic medal for "Long-Distance Chamber Music," the gold would surely go to the Beaux Arts Trio. After a 53-year run, the ensemble – made up of one piano, one violin and one cello – takes the stage Thursday night at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, to give its final U.S. performance before calling it quits.

There is something Olympian about the Beaux Arts Trio. The group performed at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, just one of thousands of venues the ensemble has played during the last five decades.

It's fitting that the Beaux Arts Trio is returning to Tanglewood, because that's where it all began. The group gave its first public concert there on July 13, 1955. And for 53 years, one member of the Trio has remained constant: pianist Menahem Pressler. He's 84 now, but he still vividly recalls how that first concert launched a career for three separate musicians who quickly grew into a single musical unit.

Read more about this at the NPR website:

   http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93734452

Ravishing Spectralism

|
Kaija Saariaho

Compassion, Not Revenge, After a Rape in a War Zone

By Anthony Tommasini
New York Times

SANTA FE, N.M. – Contemporary composers looking for an easy way to create a big effect often turn to what could be called the orchestral pileup technique. Want to wallop your audience? Just add pummeling percussion, thick chords and more to create a barrage of noise. Or if the desired effect is ruminative, then lay on hazy harmonies and doodling melodic bits, though the result can sound like the mindless music a massage therapist employs to get clients to relax.

Something like the pileup technique is a basic component in the music of the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. But Ms. Saariaho uses it with ravishing subtlety and to haunting effect, as was clear from Wednesday night's performance of "Adriana Mater" here at the Santa Fe Opera. The production is the American premiere of this 2006 work, directed by Peter Sellars.

Ms. Saariaho is not a mere purveyor of coloristic orchestral effects. She spent formative years working at Ircam, the center for experimental music in Paris, where she has lived since 1992. She immersed herself in the school of French composers who practice spectralism, which isolates the higher overtones of pitch to create sonorities at once amorphous yet elemental. She has one of the most acute ears in contemporary music. And during long stretches of this bleakly humane opera, elegiac vocal lines spin out over the thick-textured, nervously undulant orchestra. Striking details in this multilayered music come through with uncanny clarity.

Read more about this at the New York Times website:

   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/arts/music/01adri.html?

Would You Like A Little Wobble With That?

|
Roger Norrington

Vibrato wars whip up a musical storm over last night of the Proms

Voices are raised in anger after a famous conductor decides to give a controversial performance of Elgar's classic crowd-pleaser

By Amelia Hill & David Smith
The Observer

When this year's BBC Proms climax with the traditional chorus of Elgar's 'Land of Hope and Glory', prommers expecting the traditional rousing sing-along could feel distinctly disappointed. For the first time in the Proms' 113-year history, the march – also known as Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 – is likely to be played without vibrato, an obscure and extreme performance style that lends an icy tone to music and divides classical music fans into opposing camps.

Vibrato, a musical effect produced by a regular pulsating change of pitch, is used to add expression and vocal-like qualities to instrumental music. On string instruments, the effect is created by the controlled vibration of the finger holding down the string.

'If the orchestra agree, as I hope and think they will, to my suggestion that we play one of Britain's most patriotic pieces as its composer intended, then the last night of the Proms will sound strikingly different to ever before,' said Sir Roger Norrington, one of Europe's leading conductors and founder of the London Classical Players.

Read more about this at the The Observer website:

   http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/aug/03/proms.classicalmusicandopera1

Bayreuth on Your Desktop

|
Manfred Honeck at the Verbier Festival

Taking a Dip in The Online Stream

Classical Music Makes A Play for Web Crowd

By Anne Midgette
Washington Post

Of all European summer music festivals, the Bayreuth Festival may be the hardest ticket. Devoted to the operas of Richard Wagner, presented in the theater that he built, it receives so many requests for its two-month season that people wait for years to get in. Last Sunday saw the first performance this year of "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" as produced by Katharina Wagner, the composer's great-granddaughter.

Last year, it was the talk of the season among those who had managed to see it. This year, it could be experienced live on your home computer.

For if you don't travel to Europe's festivals this summer, some of them will come to you. If the 49 euros (almost $80) that Bayreuth charged to log on to its first-ever live video transmission was too steep, you could go to the Web site Medici.tv, which this summer has featured live broadcasts from three festivals: Aix-en-Provence, Aspen and Verbier. That same afternoon, free of charge, it was offering a live webcast from Verbier of a chamber concert with violinist Julian Rachlin, cellist Mischa Maïsky and pianists Piotr Anderszewski and Nikolai Lugansky, among others.

Does anybody actually want to watch classical concerts on their computer screens? Evidently, yes. Last year, Medici.tv reached 150,000 unique viewers with its broadcasts from Verbier, according to Medici.tv's founder and director, Hervé Boissière. This year, he says, the numbers are even better. (Check the Medici.tv website for information on web cast availability.)

Read more about this at the Washington Post website:

   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/31/AR2008073101848.html

Trumpet