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Maria João Pires | News, Schedule, Biography, Discography, Cds, Review, Videos (Pires piano)

Classical Music online - News, events, bios, music & videos on the web.

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Maria João Pires

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The Well-Tempered Ear

February 1

Classical music: Here is update and analysis of this year’s Grammy Award winners in classical music. Plus, the Madison Symphony Chorus under conductor Beverly Taylor will sample American choral traditions this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Overture Center.

The Well-Tempered EarBy Jacob Stockinger The Ear’s friends at the Madison Symphony Orchestra have sent in the following announcement: “Can you name all the different distinctly American choral traditions? “Director Beverly Taylor (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot) and the Madison Symphony Chorus will answer that question this Sunday afternoon, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m., when they’ll appear in “Apple Pie America: A Slice of Choral Americana” in Promenade Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts . (Taylor is also the head of the choral department at the university of Wisconsin-Madison , where she directs the UW Choral Union and UW Concert Choir , and is the assistant conductor of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. And sorry, I have so specific titles of works on the program but I have been told that the concert is closing in on being sold-out, with only a few tickets remaining.) The concert will start with classical music selections from Charles Pachelbel, Lukas Foss , Randall Thompson and others, while the second half will be dedicated to folk songs, hymns, and spirituals. Many of the works will be accompanied by Madison Symphony Orchestra principal pianist Daniel Lyons (below). Tickets are $15, and are available at http://madisonsymphony.org/Americana or at the Overture Center Box Office at (608) 258-4141 or 201 State Street. Formed in 1927, the Madison Symphony Chorus (below, in a photo by Greg Anderson) gave its first public performance in 1928 and has performed regularly with the Madison Symphony Orchestra ever since. It was featured at the popular Madison Symphony Christmas concerts in December, and it will be joined by four soloists for the MSO’s performance of Mozart’s Requiem on April 4, 5 and 6. The Chorus is comprised of more than 125 volunteer musicians from all walks of life who enjoy combining their artistic talent, and new members are always welcome. Visit http://madisonsymphony.org/chorus for more information. CATCHING UP WITH THE GRAMMY WINNERS Last Sunday was the Grammy Awards . Here is a complete list of the nominees and the winners. It makes for a good listening list or buying list. 73. BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE WINNER Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 Osmo Vänskä, conductor (Minnesota Orchestra) Label: BIS Records Atterberg: Orchestral Works Vol. 1 Neeme Järvi, conductor (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra ) Label: Chandos Lutosławski: Symphony No. 1 Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic) Track from: Lutosławski: The Symphonies Label: Sony Classical Schumann: Symphony No. 2; Overtures Manfred & Genoveva Claudio Abbado, conductor (Orchestra Mozart) Label: Deutsche Grammophon Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps Simon Rattle, conductor (Berliner Philharmoniker) Label: EMI Classics 74. BEST OPERA RECORDING WINNER Adès: The Tempest Thomas Adès , conductor; Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard , Audrey Luna & Alan Oke ; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus) Label: Deutsche Grammophon Britten: The Rape Of Lucretia Oliver Knussen, conductor; Ian Bostridge, Peter Coleman-Wright , Susan Gritton & Angelika Kirchschlager; John Fraser, producer (Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble) Label: Virgin Classics Kleiberg: David & Bathsheba Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor; Anna Einarsson & Johannes Weisser; Morten Lindberg, producer (Trondheim Symphony Orchestra ; Trondheim Symphony Orchestra Vocal Ensemble) Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd) Vinci: Artaserse Diego Fasolis, conductor; Valer Barna-Sabadus, Daniel Behle, Max Emanuel Cencic, Franco Fagioli & Philippe Jaroussky; Ulrich Ruscher, producer (Concerto Köln; Coro Della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Lugano) Label: Virgin Classics Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen Christian Thielemann, conductor; Katarina Dalayman, Albert Dohmen, Stephen Gould, Eric Halfvarson & Linda Watson; Othmar Eichinger, producer (Orchester Der Wiener Staatsoper; Chor Der Wiener Staatsoper) Label: Deutsche Grammophon 75. BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE WINNER Pärt: Adam’s Lament Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor (Tui Hirv & Rainer Vilu; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis) Label: ECM New Series Berlioz: Grande Messe Des Morts Colin Davis, conductor (Barry Banks; London Symphony Orchestra; London Philharmonic Choir & London Symphony Chorus) Label: LSO Live Palestrina: Volume 3 Harry Christophers, conductor (The Sixteen) Label: Coro Parry: Works For Chorus & Orchestra Neeme Järvi, conductor; Adrian Partington, chorus master (Amanda Roocroft; BBC National Orchestra Of Wales; BBC National Chorus Of Wales) Label: Chandos Whitbourn: Annelies James Jordan, conductor (Arianna Zukerman; The Lincoln Trio; Westminster Williamson Voices) Label: Naxos 76: BEST CHMABER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE WINNER Roomful Of Teeth Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth Label: New Amsterdam Records Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Leonidas Kavakos & Enrico Pace Label: Decca Cage: The 10,000 Things Vicki Ray, William Winant, Aron Kallay & Tom Peters Label: MicroFest Records Duo Hélène Grimaud & Sol Gabetta Labe;: Deutsche Grammophon Times Go By Turns New York Polyphony Label: BIS Records 77. BEST CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL SOLO WINNER Corigliano: Conjurer – Concerto For Percussionist & String Orchestra Evelyn Glennie; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony) Track from: Corigliano: Conjurer; Vocalise Label: Naxos Bartók, Eötvös & Ligeti Patricia Kopatchinskaja; Peter Eötvös, conductor (Ensemble Modern & Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) Label: Naïve The Edge Of Light Gloria Cheng (Calder Quartet) Label: Harmonia Mundi Lindberg: Piano Concerto No. 2 Yefim Bronfman; Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic) Track from: Magnus Lindberg Label: Dacapo Records Salonen: Violin Concerto; Nyx Leila Josefowicz; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra) Label: Deutsche Grammophon Schubert: Piano Sonatas D. 845 & D. 960 Maria João Pires Label: Deutsche Grammophon 78. BEST CLASSICAL VOCAL SOLO WINNER Winter Morning Walks Dawn Upshaw (Maria Schneider; Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough & Scott Robinson; Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra) Label: ArtistShare Drama Queens Joyce DiDonato (Alan Curtis; Il Complesso Barocco) Label: Virgin Classics Mission Cecilia Bartoli (Diego Fasolis; Philippe Jaroussky; I Barocchisti) Label: Decca Schubert: Winterreise Christoph Prégardien (Michael Gees) Label: Challenge Wagner Jonas Kaufmann (Donald Runnicles; Markus Brück; Chor Der Deutschen Oper Berlin; Orchester Der Deutschen Oper Berlin) Label: Decca 79. BEST CLASSICAL COMPENDIUM WINNER Hindemith: Violinkonzert; Symphonic Metamorphosis; Konzertmusik Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Label: Ondine Holmboe: Concertos Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor; Preben Iwan, producer Label: Dacapo Records Tabakova: String Paths Maxim Rysanov; Manfred Eicher, producer Label: ECM New Series 80. BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION WINNER Schneider, Maria: Winter Morning Walks Maria Schneider, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough, Scott Robinson & Australian Chamber Orchestra) Track from: Winter Morning Walks Label: ArtistShare Lindberg, Magnus: Piano Concerto No. 2 Magnus Lindberg, composer (Yefim Bronfman, Alan Gilbert & New York Philharmonic) Track from: Magnus Lindberg Label: Dacapo Records Pärt, Arvo: Adam’s Lament Arvo Pärt, composer (Tõnu Kaljuste, Latvian Radio Choir, Vox Clamantis & Sinfonietta Riga) Track from: Arvo Pärt: Adam’s Lament Label: ECM New Series Salonen, Esa-Pekka: Violin Concerto Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer (Leila Josefowicz, Esa-Pekka Salonen & Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra) Track from: Out Of Nowhere Label: Deutsche Grammophon Shaw, Caroline: Partita For 8 Voices Caroline Shaw, composer (Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth) Track from: Roomful Of Teeth Label: New Amsterdam Records And here is an excellent analysis of the classical Grammy winners that appeared on NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog and the rise of new music — including work by the relatively unknown Minnesota composer Maria Schneider (below, in a photo by Michael Buckner for Getty Images), whose “Winter Morning Walks,” using the poems of Ted Kooser and the voice of soprano Dawn Upshaw, capture three Grammy Awards. You can hear a sample of the moving songs and accessible songs by the three cancer survivors in a YouTUbe video at the bottom: http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2014/01/24/265699972/new-music-shines-at-classical-grammy-awards Tagged: Alan Gilbert , Alan Oke , Arts , Arvo Part , Bach , Bartok , Beethoven , Berlioz , Britten , Cage , Classical music , Daniel Lyons , Dawn Upshaw , Franz Schubert , Grammy Award , Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance , Isabel Leonard , Jacob Stockinger , John Corigliano , Jonas Kaufmann , Leila Josefowicz , Lukas Foss , Madison , Madison Symphony Chorus , Madison Symphony Orchestra , Magnus Lindberg , Maria Schneider , Metropolitan Opera , Mozart , New York Philharmonic , NPR , Orchestra , Overture Center , Palestrina , Paul Hindemith , Peter Coleman-Wright , Randall Thompson , Requiem , Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra , Schubert , Schumann , Sibelius , Sunday , Ted Kooser , Thomas Ades , United States , University of Wisconsin–Madison , UW Choral Union , UW Concert Choir , Wagner , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Yefim Bronfman , YouTube

Tribuna musical

December 21

A change of guard at Nuova Harmonia

The Teatro Coliseo is a special case, for it is the only one owned by the State of Italy out of that country. It is in fact the second Coliseo in the same place, and was inaugurated on different architectural lines during 1961 with symphonic concerts led by Nino Sanzogno. The first Coliseo was basically an opera theatre; the second instead has been fundamentally a concert auditorium, with its big capacity of about 2.000 seats. Not only classical concerts, also quality popular. And many seasons of Les Luthiers, as well as "Rugantino" (Manfredi, Vanoni and Fabrizi) and Gassman. It was used very sparsely for chamber opera without pit (Vivaldi, Pergolesi), but in 2007 and 2009, as a result of the Colón´s search for an alternative during closure, the people at the Coliseo remembered that the original pit of the first Coliseo still was extant and could be used with some retouching; and indeed it was, witness no less than Strauss´ "Elektra", proof of a 100-player pit. As the years went by, there was a growing acknowledgment from the Italian community both here and in Italy that the Coliseo was a natural place for a classical music cycle of international quality, to compensate the underuse of the theatre and to have a proper balance in the city´s offer in that field. It was about 30 years ago. The Coliseo had provided an alternative to the Colón and facilitated things by its mere availability, even if its rather dry acoustics wasn´t to all tastes (dry but clean, not boxed in). And now it would have its own cycle, Harmonia. Well-funded, it presented traditionally-oriented concerts of high level. Its President from the start was Dino Rawa-Jasinski, who proved dynamic and efficacious in the hard logistics of providing a cycle with minimal hitches. In a few years Harmonia was solidly installed, bringing over outstanding artists in instrumental, chamber and symphonic music. But the crisis of 2002 proved too much for its financial structure based on local sponsoring, and the Italian Government came to the rescue providing most of the money and renaming the institution Nuova Harmonia. Rawa remained stalwartly at the helm, and so it was until this year. 2002-4 were basically Italian, and then Rawa (as he had done before) brought the musical association to what I feel is only sane and logical, a cosmopolitanism that gave us the best from many European countries. Though always with Italian representation. And so it was until late this year, when I was invited to the traditional end-of-year lunch in which Rawa chatted with local critics and unveiled the plans for the next season. Only this time it wasn´t Rawa, but two young and beautiful ladies that will lead Nuova Harmonia from now on. The long and prestigious Rawa cycle was over. The two ladies are called Marta Pires (of Portuguese origin) and Elisabetta Riva, current leaders of the Fundación Cultural Coliseum, which has controlled the Coliseo during the Rawa years. I had an excellent conversation with them, and was assured that, though they will bring more Italian numbers, they will do so well balanced with the artists from other countries. Meanwhile, 2014 will be a transition season, with 70% planned by Rawa and 30% by Pires and Riva. I do hope for a more adventurous view of programming in 2015, the only defect during the Rawa era being that he played too safe. Some opera and ballet might be present. (The Coliseo has in recent years presented, outside the Rawa cycle and in association with other organizers, several ballet galas). As in former years, seven concerts will take place at the Coliseo and three at the Colón. Coliseo: the splendid duo of Boris Belkin (violin) and Michele Campanella will give on April 24 Mozart, Schubert and Franck. May 5: L´Arte del Mondo Orchestra (German in spite of its title) will be led by Werner Ehrhardt with violinist Daniel Hope in Mozart (Symphony Nº 29 and First Violin Concerto), Mendelssohn (the early Concerto for violin and strings) and Johann Christian Bach (the rarely heard Double Concerto). The Stradivarius Sextet plus Argentine pianist Eduardo Hubert (of Argerich Festivals fame) on May 22 have programmed Brahms´ marvelous First Sextet and works by Hubert and Bacalov. Then, a curious concert of arrangements on June 10 by Concerto Pianoforti, a group of three Italian pianists (there´s almost no repertoire for three pianos): transcriptions of the suite from Shostakovich´s "Moskva, Chernomushki", an operetta; of the 1919 suite from Stravinsky´s "The Firebird"; of Debussy´s "La Mer"; and of fragments from the Offenbach-Rosenthal ballet "Gaîté Parisienne". Sole piece originally for three pianos: Boccadoro´s "Vaalbara". The Camerata (or is it Cappella?; both appellations are present in the information) Istropolitana will be back on August 14 playing Janácek, Vivaldi, Sammartini, Torelli, Donizetti and Shostakovich. The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra led by James Gaffigan will be heard on September 12 with Renaud Capuçon in Mendelssohn´s Violin Concerto, plus Weber´s "Oberon" Overture and the beautiful Dvorák Sixth Symphony (good choice). October 8: Swiss Piano Trio (Beethoven, Wettstein and Dvorák). At the Colón. September 29: Bruno Walter Symphony (Jack Martin Handler) with Stefan Stroissnig in Beethoven´s "Emperor" Concerto. October 20: Moscow Soloists (Yuri Bashmet) in Mozart, Schubert, Bruch and Schubert-Mahler ("Death and the Maiden"). November 8: Beijing Symphony (Tau Lihua) with Chinese music and Prokofiev (a suite from "Romeo and Juliet"). For Buenos Aires Herald




The Well-Tempered Ear

December 14

Classical music: Here are the new 56th annual Grammy Award nominees for Classical Music as a guide for holiday gifts.

By Jacob Stockinger As I usually offer readers for the holiday season, here is the list of the 56th annual Grammy nominations for classical music. It can serve as a good guide for giving holiday gifts, and readers have said they like it and find it both interesting and useful. Don’t forget: The list of categories has been pared back from what it used to be – a sign of the transcendence of other forms of music. After all, these are industry awards. Some of the latest trends seem to continue to hold up. The nominations reflect several things: a fostering of lesser known groups and labels; more new and contemporary music; a couple of superstars thrown in. I am somewhat surprised that certain recording are not in the running, especially pianist Jeremy Denk’s CD and DVD set of Johann Sebastian Bach ’s “Goldberg” Variations and violinist Hilary Hahn’s CD of the 27 encores she herself commissioned and performed. Well, we all have our own preferences. And maybe they were released too late. O r maybe they are too mainstream, whatever that means these days. So what does the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences think of this year’s classical crop? The Ear’s sentimental favorite is “Winter Morning Walks” (below) since all of the main parties involved — American poet Ted Kooser, American soprano Dawn Upshaw and American composer Maria Schneider – are cancer survivors, and their album speaks quietly but eloquently of their ordeals. They do what too much music doesn’t do any longer in an irony-drenched, postmodern age: Speak directly to the heart. “Winter Morning Walks” is Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise” updated for our time. (You can hear samples in a YouTube video at the bottom.) Here is a link to the general Grammy Awards home page. They make it hard to find, despite the gimmicky hype of a countdown clock, but the Grammy Awards will be given out live on Sunday, January 26,2014, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on CBS starting at 7 p.m. CST. http://www.grammy.com And here is a list to the complete list of classical nominees in all categories: http://www.grammy.com/nominees 71. BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL Hymn To The Virgin, Morten Lindberg , engineer (Tone Bianca Sparre Dahl & Schola Cantorum) Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd) La Voie Triomphale, Morten Lindberg, engineer (Ole Kristian Ruud & Staff Band Of The Norwegian Armed Forces) Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd) Roomful Of Teeth, Mark Donahue & Jesse Lewis, engineers (Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth) Label: New Amsterdam Records Vinci: Artaserse, Hans-Martin Renz, Wolfgang Rixius & Ulrich Ruscher, engineers (Diego Fasolis, Philippe Jaroussky, Max Emanuel Cencic, Daniel Behle, Franco Fagioli, Valer Barna-Sabadus, Yuriy Mynenko & Concerto Köln) Label: Virgin Classics Winter Morning Walks, David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Dawn Upshaw, Maria Schneider, Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra ) Label: ArtistShare 72. PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, CLASSICAL Manfred Eicher • Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen (András Schiff) • Canto Oscuro (Anna Gourari) • Pärt: Adam’s Lament (Tõnu Kaljuste, Latvian Radio Choir, Vox Clamantis, Sinfonietta Riga, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra) • Tabakova: String Paths (Maxim Rysanov) David Frost • Andres: Home Stretch (Timo Andres, Andrew Cyr & Metropolis Ensemble) • Angel Heart, A Music Storybook (Matt Haimovitz & Uccello) • Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 (Jonathan Biss) • Ben-Haim: Chamber Works (ARC Ensemble) • Celebrating The American Spirit (Judith Clurman & Essential Voices USA) • Elgar: Enigma Variations; Vaughan Williams: The Wasps; Greensleeves (Michael Stern & Kansas City Symphony) • Guilty Pleasures (Renée Fleming, Sebastian Lang-Lessing & Philharmonia Orchestra) • Verdi: Otello (Riccardo Muti, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Krassimira Stoyanova, Carlo Guelfi, Chicago Symphony Chorus & Chicago Symphony Orchestra ) • Winter Morning Walks (Dawn Upshaw, Maria Schneider, Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra) Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin • Bizet: Symphony In C; Jeux D’Enfants; Variations Chromatiques (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra) • Traveling Sonata – European Music For Flute & Guitar (Viviana Guzmán & Jérémy Jouve) • Voyages (Conrad Tao) • Zia (Del Sol String Quartet ) James Mallinson • Berlioz: Grande Messe Des Morts (Colin Davis, London Symphony Chorus , London Philharmonic Choir & London Symphony Orchestra ) • Bloch: Symphony In C-Sharp Minor & Poems Of The Sea (Dalia Atlas & London Symphony Orchestra) • Fauré: Requiem; Bach: Partita, Chorales & Ciaccona (Nigel Short, Tenebrae & London Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble) • Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 (Colin Davis & London Symphony Orchestra) • Wagner: Das Rheingold (Valery Gergiev , René Pape, Stephan Rügamer, Nikolai Putilin & Mariinsky Orchestra ) • Wagner: Die Walküre (Valery Gergiev, Anja Kampe, Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape, Nina Stemme & Mariinsky Orchestra) • Weber: Der Freischütz (Colin Davis, Christine Brewer, Sally Matthews, Simon O’Neill, London Symphony Chorus & London Symphony Orchestra) Jay David Saks (below) • Adams: Nixon In China (John Adams, Russell Braun, Ginger Costa-Jackson, James Maddalena, Janis Kelly, Richard Paul Fink, Robert Brubaker, Kathleen Kim, The Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra) • Adès: The Tempest (Thomas Adès, Audrey Luna, Isabel Leonard , Alan Oke , Simon Keenlyside, Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra) • The Enchanted Island (William Christie, Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, Danielle De Niese, Luca Pisaroni, Lisette Oropesa, Plácido Domingo, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus ) • Handel: Rodelinda (Harry Bicket, Renée Fleming, Andreas Scholl, Joseph Kaiser, Stephanie Blythe, Iestyn Davies, Shenyang & The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ) • Live At Carnegie Hall (James Levine, Evgeny Kissin & The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) • Verdi: Rigoletto (Michele Mariotti, Željko Lu_i_, Diana Damrau, Piotr Beczala, Oksana Volkova, Štefan Kocán, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus) 73. BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE Atterberg: Orchestral Works Vol. 1, Neeme Järvi, conductor (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra ) Label: Chandos Lutosławski: Symphony No. 1, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic), Track from: Lutoslawski: The Symphonies, Label: Sony Classical Schumann: Symphony No. 2; Overtures Manfred & Genoveva, Claudio Abbado, conductor (Orchestra Mozart), Label: Deutsche Grammophon Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4, Osmo Vänskä, conductor (Minnesota Orchestra) Label: BIS Records Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps, Simon Rattle, conductor (Berliner Philharmoniker) Label: EMI Classics 74. BEST OPERA RECORDING Adès: The Tempest, Thomas Adès, conductor; Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard, Audrey Luna & Alan Oke; Luisa Bricetti & Victoria Warivonchick, producers (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus) Label: Deutsche Grammophon Britten: The Rape Of Lucretia, Oliver Knussen, conductor; Ian Bostridge, Peter Coleman-Wright, Susan Gritton & Angelika Kirchschlager; John Fraser, producer (Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble) Label: Virgin Classics Kleiberg: David & Bathsheba, Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor; Anna Einarsson & Johannes Weisser; Morten Lindberg, producer (Trondheim Symphony Orchestra; Trondheim Symphony Orchestra Vocal Ensemble) Label: 2L (Lindberg Lyd) Vinci: Artaserse, Diego Fasolis, conductor; Valer Barna-Sabadus, Daniel Behle, Max Emanuel Cencic, Franco Fagioli & Philippe Jaroussky; Ulrich Ruscher, producer (Concerto Köln; Coro Della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Lugano) Label: Virgin Classics Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen, Christian Thielemann, conductor (below); Katarina Dalayman, Albert Dohmen, Stephen Gould, Eric Halfvarson & Linda Watson; Othmar Eichinger, producer (Orchester Der Wiener Staatsoper; Chor Der Wiener Staatsoper) Label: Deutsche Grammophon 75. BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE Berlioz: Grande Messe Des Morts, Colin Davis, conductor (Barry Banks; London Symphony Orchestra; London Philharmonic Choir & London Symphony Chorus) Label: LSO Live Palestrina: Volume 3, Harry Christophers, conductor (The Sixteen) Label: Coro Parry: Works For Chorus & Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, conductor; Adrian Partington, chorus master (Amanda Roocroft; BBC National Orchestra Of Wales; BBC National Chorus Of Wales) Label: Chandos Pärt (below): Adam’s Lament, Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor (Tui Hirv & Rainer Vilu; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis) Label: ECM New Series Whitbourn: Annelies, James Jordan, conductor (Ariana Zukerman; The Lincoln Trio; Westminster Williamson Voices) Label: Naxos 76. BEST CHAMBER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE Beethoven: Violin Sonatas, Leonidas Kavakos & Enrico Pace Label: Decca Cage: The 10,000 Things, Vicki Ray, William Winant, Aron Kallay & Tom Peters, Label: MicroFest Records Duo, Hélène Grimaud & Sol Gabetta, Label: Deutsche Grammophon Roomful Of Teeth, Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth, Label: New Amsterdam Records Times Go By Turns, New York Polyphony, Label: BIS Records 77. BEST CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL SOLO Bartók, Eötvös & Ligeti, Patricia Kopatchinskaja; Peter Eötvös, conductor (Ensemble Modern & Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) Label: Naïve Corigliano: Conjurer – Concerto For Percussionist & String Orchestra, Evelyn Glennie; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony) Track from: Corigliano: Conjurer; Vocalise Label: Naxos The Edge Of Light, Gloria Cheng (Calder Quartet) Label: Harmonia Mundi Lindberg: Piano Concerto No. 2, Yefim Bronfman (below, in a photo by Dario Acosta); Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic) Track from: Magnus Lindberg, Label: Dacapo Records Salonen: Violin Concerto; Nyx, Leila Josefowicz; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra) Label: Deutsche Grammophon Schubert: Piano Sonatas D. 845 & D. 960, Maria João Pires Label: Deutsche Grammophon 78. BEST CLASSICAL VOCAL SOLO Drama Queens, Joyce DiDonato (Alan Curtis; Il Complesso Barocco) Label: Virgin Classics Mission, Cecilia Bartoli (Diego Fasolis; Philippe Jaroussky; I Barocchisti) Label: Decca Schubert: Winterreise, Christoph Prégardien (Michael Gees), Label: Challenge Wagner, Jonas Kaufmann (Donald Runnicles; Markus Brück; Chor Der Deutschen Oper Berlin; Orchester Der Deutschen Oper Berlin) Label: Decca Winter Morning Walks, Dawn Upshaw (Maria Schneider; Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough & Scott Robinson; Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra) Label: ArtistShare 79. BEST CLASSICAL COMPENDIUM Hindemith: Violinkonzert; Symphonic Metamorphosis; Konzertmusik, Christoph Eschenbach, conductor Label: Ondine Holmboe: Concertos, Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor; Preben Iwan, producer Label: Dacapo Records Tabakova: String Paths, Maxim Rysanov; Manfred Eicher, producer Label: ECM New Series 80. BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION Lindberg, Magnus: Piano Concerto No. 2, Magnus Lindberg, composer, (Yefim Bronfman, Alan Gilbert & New York Philharmonic) Track from: Magnus Lindberg Label: Dacapo Records Pärt, Arvo: Adam’s Lament, Arvo Pärt, composer (Tõnu Kaljuste, Latvian Radio Choir, Vox Clamantis & Sinfonietta Riga) Track from: Arvo Pärt: Adam’s Lament Label: ECM New Series Salonen, Esa-Pekka: Violin Concerto, Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer and conductor, below (Leila Josefowicz, Esa-Pekka Salonen & Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra) Track from: Out Of Nowhere Label: Deutsche Grammophon Schneider, Maria: Winter Morning Walks, Maria Schneider, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough, Scott Robinson & Australian Chamber Orchestra) Track from: Winter Morning Walks Label: ArtistShare Shaw, Caroline: Partita For 8 Voices, Caroline Shaw, composer (Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth) Track from: Roomful Of Teeth Label: New Amsterdam Records

MMmusing

November 21

Concerto Mixup Mashup (sprong ze in paniek op)

A couple of concerto mixup stories have been making the rounds. First, for some reason, this video from 1999 recently attracted some Internet buzz. It features pianist Maria João Pires realizing only as the orchestra begins playing that they're playing a different Mozart concerto than she'd expected! The story is not told very clearly in that video, but apparently this was a sort of open dress rehearsal in front of a live audience. Pires definitely looks distressed, but the calm conductor talks her into giving it a go (they'd played the piece before and he knew it was securely in her repertoire) and she apparently came through with flying colors. So next, Norman Lebrecht posts about how the Berlin Philharmonic intentionally started in on the wrong concerto as a prank in a Prokofiev rehearsal with their concertmaster. Not too surprisingly, the violinist was able to react on a dime and come in on time with Mendelssohn's great tune, though they only play a few bars. I think even I could make it that far into the Mendelssohn concerto, albeit with my patented one-finger L.H. technique. The Lebrecht post spawned a whole series of commenters retelling other stories about concerto mixups. It's likely that most of these stories are at least partly fabricated, but that doesn't mean they're not good stories! The eminent Martin Bookspan recounts that a pianist expecting to play Beethoven's 5th sat confused waiting for the opening orchestral chord while the orchestra waited for him to begin the piano intro to Beethoven's 4th. Bookspan couldn't recall who the pianist was, which made me wonder if his story had descended from this one described by Gary Graffman regarding Rachmaninoff's second concerto (which begins with piano chords) and the "Paganini Rhapsody" (which begins with violins): "Years ago in Los Angeles I was scheduled to perform the Piano Concerto No 2. Unfortunately, my manager had told me it was the Variations. Having just arrived in the city, I dashed to the rehearsal in the morning, took my place, and waited for the downbeat of the conductor. He turned around expectantly, stared at me quizzically, and waited. I waited. He waited. I waited. Where were the violins stating the familiar theme? Finally, in a burst of excitement and confusion we untangled the misunderstanding. ‘If you are set to play the Variations we can change our program,’ the conductor soothed. ‘Oh no, it really doesn’t matter to me at all,’ I stubbornly countered, ‘I know them both equally well.’ A few hours later we performed the Concerto.”I remembered this story because I read it at least 100 times on the back of this much-loved LP that belonged to my parents. (You can read the liner notes here.) I could make the case that this is the single most important record in my own musical life, as it's the first music I really fell in love with (first the rhapsody, and then some time later when I "discovered" the other side), so perhaps it can be blamed for all the words I'm spilling here. So there's that. Both I and another commenter chimed in with an old story about a conductor surprising a soloist by giving the orchestral downbeat too soon in the Schumann concerto (in which the pianist comes in right after) with the pianist getting revenge by starting the 2nd movement before the conductor was ready. I also like the version in which the unprepared pianist manages the cascade of Schumann chords and then promptly throws up. (My wife just told me her youth orchestra conductor used to tell that version of the story as well.) But my favorite commenter story was this: ....In the cello circles the famous Wierzbiłłowicz, a heavy drinker himself, asked the conductor: what key we are in? A minor, came the reply. Unfortunately, it was Schumann, not Saint-Saens.Here's how Schumann's cello concerto begins: Here's how Saint-Saëns' begins: And here's how I'd like to think Mr. Wierzbiłłowicz's apocryphal performance might've sounded, with the soloist suddenly sobering up 10 seconds or so in: You know what? It kinda works...



MMmusing

November 21

Concerto Mixup Mashup

A couple of concerto mixup stories have been making the rounds. For some reason, this video from 1999 recently attracted some Internet buzz. It features pianist Maria João Pires realizing only as the orchestra begins playing that they're playing a different Mozart concerto than she'd expected! The story is not told very clearly in that video, but apparently this was a sort of open dress rehearsal in front of a live audience. Pires definitely looks distressed, but the calm conductor talks her into giving it a go (they'd played the piece before and he knew it was securely in her repertoire) and she apparently came through with flying colors. So next, Norman Lebrecht posts about how the Berlin Philharmonic intentionally started in on the wrong concerto as a prank in a Prokofiev rehearsal with their concertmaster. Not too surprisingly, the violinist was able to react on a dime and come in on time with Mendelssohn's great tune, though they only play a few bars. I think even I could make it that far into the Mendelssohn concerto, albeit with my patented one-finger L.H. technique. The Lebrecht post spawned a whole series of commenters retelling other stories about concerto mixups. It's likely that most of these stories are at least partly fabricated, but that doesn't mean they're not good stories! The eminent Martin Bookspan recounts that a pianist expecting to play Beethoven's 5th sat confused waiting for the opening orchestral chord while the orchestra waited for him to begin the piano intro to Beethoven's 4th. Bookspan couldn't recall who the pianist was, which made me wonder if his story had descended from this one described by Gary Graffman regarding Rachmaninoff's second concerto (which begins with piano chords) and the "Paganini Rhapsody" (which begins with violins): "Years ago in Los Angeles I was scheduled to perform the Piano Concerto No 2. Unfortunately, my manager had told me it was the Variations. Having just arrived in the city, I dashed to the rehearsal in the morning, took my place, and waited for the downbeat of the conductor. He turned around expectantly, stared at me quizzically, and waited. I waited. He waited. I waited. Where were the violins stating the familiar theme? Finally, in a burst of excitement and confusion we untangled the misunderstanding. ‘If you are set to play the Variations we can change our program,’ the conductor soothed. ‘Oh no, it really doesn’t matter to me at all,’ I stubbornly countered, ‘I know them both equally well.’ A few hours later we performed the Concerto.” I remembered this story because I read it at least 100 times on the back of this much-loved LP that belonged to my parents. (You can read the liner notes here.) I could make the case that this is the single most important record in my own musical life, as it's the first music I really fell in love with (first the rhapsody, and then some time later when I "discovered" the other side), so perhaps it can be blamed for all the words I'm spilling here. So there's that. Both I and another commenter chimed in with an old story about a conductor surprising a soloist by giving the orchestral downbeat too soon in the Schumann concerto (in which the pianist comes in right after) with the pianist getting revenge by starting the 2nd movement before the conductor was ready. I also like the version in which the unprepared pianist manages the cascade of Schumann chords and then promptly throws up. (My wife just told me her youth orchestra conductor used to tell that version of the story as well.) But my favorite commenter story was this: ....In the cello circles the famous Wierzbiłłowicz, a heavy drinker himself, asked the conductor: what key we are in? A minor, came the reply. Unfortunately, it was Schumann, not Saint-Saens. Here's how Schumann's cello concerto begins: Here's how Saint-Saëns' begins: And here's how I'd like to think Mr. Wierzbiłłowicz's apocryphal performance might've sounded, with the soloist suddenly sobering up 10 seconds or so in: You know what? It kinda works...

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