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Maria João Pires

Sunday, April 26, 2015


The Opera Tattler

March 2

SF Symphony's 2015-2016 Season

The Opera Tattler August 20 2015: MTT conducts Schoenberg and Beethoven; Yuja Wang, piano August 21 2015: MTT conducts Schoenberg, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky; Yuja Wang, piano August 22 2015: MTT conducts Ives, Bartók, Mahler; Yuja Wang, piano August 27- September 14 2015: European Festival Tour September 24 2015: Opening Gala: MTT conducts TBA September 25-26 2015: MTT conducts Ravel, Chopin, Respighi; Daniil Trifonov, piano September 30- October 32015: MTT conducts Ted Hearne, Barber, Tchaikovsky; Susanna Phillips, soprano October 4 2015: András Schiff plays Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert October 7-10 2015: András Schiff conducts Mozart, Haydn, Schubert October 11 2015: Chamber Music with members of SFS October 13 2015: Manuel López Gómez conducts TBA; Lang Lang, piano October 21 2012: Susanna Mälkki conducts Mussorgsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev; Christian Tetzlaff, violin October 18, 2015: Paul Jacobs, organ and Christine Brewer, soprano October 22-24 2015: Susanna Mälkki conducts Jukka Tiensuu, Chopin, Sibelius October 28-30 2015: Andrey Boreyko conducts Prokofiev, Bartók, Tchaikovsky; Gidon Kremer, violin October 31 2015: Halloween Concert November 1 2015: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra November 1 2015: Chamber Music with members of SFS November 4-6 2015: Yan Pascal Tortelier conducts Bizet, Ravel, Saint-Saëns; Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano November 7 2015: Día de los Muertos Concert November 8 2015: Zubin Mehta conducts Israel Philharmonic Orchestra November 12-15 2015: MTT conducts Sibelius and Schumann November 18 2015: Leif Ove Andsnes plays Sibelius, Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin November 19-22 2015: MTT conducts R. Strauss and Schumann; Laura Claycomb, soprano November 27-28 2015: The Nightmare Before Christmas November 29 2015: Chamber Music with members of SFS December 5 2015: Music for Families TBA December 6 2015: Deck the Hall Concert December 11-12 2015: It's a Wonderful Life December 11-12 2015: SoundBox December 13 2015: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra in Peter and the Wolf December 31 2015: New Year's Eve Concert January 9-10 2016: Itzhak Perlman conducts Beethoven and Mozart January 14-16 2016: Krzysztof Urbańsk conducts Kilar, Beethoven, Dvořák January 15-16 2016: SoundBox January 18 2016: Itzak Perlman, violin & Emanuel Ax, piano January 21-24 2016: Marek Janowski conducts Beethoven and Pfitzner January 24 2016: Pinchas Zukerman conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Jonathan Biss, piano January 25 2016: Pinchas Zukerman conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra January 28-31 2016: Edwin Outwater conducts Weber, Saint-Saëns, Busoni, Hindesmith; Stephen Hough, piano February 5-6 2016: Masaaki Suzuki conducts Mendelssohn, Mozart, Stravinsky February 6 2016: Music for Families February 11-14 2016: Pinchas Zukerman conducts Elgar and Mozart February 12-13 2016: Vertigo February 13 2016: Chinese New Year Concert February 18-20 2016: Stéphane Denève conducts Nielsen, Guillaume Connesson, Prokofiev February 19-20 2016: SoundBox February 21 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS February 21-22 2016: Mikael Pletnev conducts Russian National Orchestra; Yuja Wang, piano February 25-27 2016: Herbert Blomstedt conducts Beethoven and Bruckner; Maria-João Pires, piano February 28 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS March 2-5 2016: Herbert Blomstedt conducts Mozart; Alexander Barantschik, violin March 5 2016: Music for Families March 6 2016: David Titterington, organ March 10-13 2016: Charles Dutoit conducts Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Fauré, Stravinsky; Nikolai Lugansky, piano March 13 2016: Igudesman and Joo: And Now Mozart March 17-19 2016: Charles Dutoit conducts Berlioz's Requiem; Paul Groves, tenor March 20 2016: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra March 20 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS March 20 2016: Jeremy Denk, piano March 23-26 2016: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial March 25-26 2016: SoundBox March 30- April 8 2016: MTT conducts Copland and Schumann April 3 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS April 6-10 2016: MTT conducts Schubert and Mahler; Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano and Simon O'Neill, tenor April 13-16 2016: US Tour April 20-23 2016: Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Rameau, Haydn, Biber, Beethoven; Ingrid Fliter, piano April 22-23 2016: SoundBox April 24 2016: Thierry Eschaich, organ April 26 2016: Hilary Hahn, violin April 27-29 2016: Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Bartók, Mason Bates, Ravel, Shostakovich April 30 2016: Music for Families May 6-7 2016: Alan Gilbert conducts New York Philharmonic May 12-14 2016: Juraj Valčuha conducts Prokofiev, R. Strauss, Webern May 12 2016: Yo-Yo Ma, cello and Kathryn Stott, piano May 15 2016: Donato Cabrera conducts SFS Youth Orchestra May 15 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS May 19-22 2016: MTT conducts Brahms and Schumann; Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano May 25-29 2016: MTT conducts On the Town June 2-4 2016: Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts Shostakovich and Elgar; Alexey Stadler, cello June 5 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS June 8-12 2016: James Conlon conducts Britten, Mozart, Dvořák; Jan Lisiecki, piano June 16-19 2016: MTT conducts Stravinsky and John Adams; Thomas Hampson, baritone June 23-25 2016: MTT conducts C.P.E. Bach, Jörg Widmann, Brahms; Yefim Bronfman, piano June 26 2016: Chamber Music with members of SFS June 29- July 2 2016: MTT conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 2; Karina Gauvin, soprano and Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano

Meeting in Music

November 30

Ein Bach wie ein Ozean (in dem wir versinken moechten...)

No matter how far we travel in our quest to discover new music, sooner or later we have to come back to these supreme summits of the musical mind... A little heartfelt tribute, a few classic recordings I cherish dearly. Johann Sebastian Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Teil 1 & 2 BWV 846-893 Walter Gieseking, Piano DGG 429 929-2 - 1950 Johann Sebastian Bach Six Partitas BWV 825-830 French Overture in B Minor BWV 831 Inventions and Sinfonias (2 & 3 parts-) BWV 772–801 Walter Gieseking, Piano DGG 453 980-2 - 1950 Johann Sebastian Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Teil 1 BWV 846-869 Friedrich Gulda, Piano Philips 446 545-2 - 1972 Johann Sebastian Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Teil 2 BWV 870-893 Friedrich Gulda, Piano Philips 446 548-2 - 1973 Johann Sebastian Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Teil 1 BWV 846-869 Keith Jarrett, Piano ECM 1362/3 - 1988 Johann Sebastian Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Teil 2 BWV 870-893 Keith Jarrett, Harpsichord ECM 1433/4 - 1990 Johann Sebastian Bach French Suites BWV 812-817 Keith Jarrett, Harpsichord ECM 1513/4 - 1993 Johann Sebastian Bach Goldberg Variations BWV 988 Keith Jarrett, Harpsichord ECM 1395 - 1989 Johann Sebastian Bach English Suites BWV 806-811 András Schiff, PianoDecca 421 640-2 - 1988 Johann Sebastian Bach French Suites BWV 812-817 Italian Concerto in F Major BWV 971 French Overture in B Minor BWV 831 András Schiff, Piano Decca 433 313-2 - 1991 Johann Sebastian Bach Goldberg Variations BWV 988 András Schiff, Piano Decca 417 116-2 - 1982 Johann Sebastian Bach Six Partitas BWV 825-830 András Schiff, Piano Decca 411 732-2 - 1983 Johann Sebastian Bach Six Partitas BWV 825-830 András Schiff, Piano ECM 2001/2 - 2007 Johann Sebastian Bach Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue BWV 903 Four Duets BWV 802-5 Italian Concerto in F Major BWV 971 French Overture in B Minor BWV 831 András Schiff, Piano Decca 448 908-2 - 1991 Johann Sebastian Bach Keyboard Concertos BWV 1052-1058 Chamber Orchestra of Europe András Schiff, Piano Decca 425 676-2 - 1989 Johann Sebastian Bach French Suites BWV 812-817 Joanna MacGregor, Piano Sound Circus 901 - 1993 Johann Sebastian Bach Goldberg Variations BWV 988 Angela Hewitt, Piano Hyperion 67305 - 1999 Johann Sebastian Bach Goldberg Variations BWV 988 Charles Rosen, Piano Sony 48173 - 1969 Johann Sebastian Bach Goldberg Variations BWV 988 Rosalyn Tureck, Piano DGG 459 599-2 - 1998 Johann Sebastian Bach Keyboard Concertos BWV 1052-54-56 Violin Concerto BWV 1042 Christophe Rousset, Harpsichord Jaap Schröder, Violin The Academy of Ancient MusicChristopher Hogwood Decca 448 178-2 - 1981/94/95 Johann Sebastian Bach Partita No. 1 BWV 825 English Suite No. 3 BWV 808 French Suite No. 2 BWV 813 Maria João Pires, Piano DGG 447 894-2 - 1995 Johann Sebastian Bach Partita No. 4 BWV 828 Partita No. 6 BWV 830 Italian Concerto in F Major BWV 971 Alexis Weissenberg, Piano DGG 423 592-2 - 1987 Johann Sebastian Bach Three Partitas for Solo Violin BWV 1002-4-6 Viktoria Mullova, Violin Philips 434 075-2 - 1993 Johann Sebastian Bach Three Partitas for Solo Violin BWV 1002-4-6 Three Sonatas for Solo Violin BWV 1001-3-5 Marco Rizzi, Violin Amadeus AM 148-2 - 2000 Johann Sebastian Bach Four Orchestral Suites BWV 1066-69 Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Frans Brüggen Philips 442 151-2 - 1994 Johann Sebastian Bach Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080 Kenneth Gilbert, Harpsichord DGG Archiv 427 673-2 - 1987 Johann Sebastian Bach Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080 Emerson String Quartet DGG 474 495-2 - 2003 Johann Sebastian Bach Musikalisches Opfer BWV 1079 Ensemble Sonnerie Virgin Veritas 45139 2 - 1994 Johann Sebastian Bach Musikalisches Opfer BWV 1079 Barthold, Sigiswald & Wieland Kuijken, Robert Kohnen, Marie & Gustav Leonhardt Sony SBK 63189 - 1974 Johann Sebastian Bach Violin Concertos BWV 1041-2 Concerto for 2 Violins BWV 1043 Concerto for Oboe and Violin BWV 1060 Nigel Kennedy, Daniel Stabrawa, Violin Albrecht Mayer, Oboe Berliner Philharmoniker EMI 57016 2 - 2000 Johann Sebastian Bach Violin Concertos BWV 1041-2 Violin Concerto BWV 1056 Concerto for Oboe and Violin BWV 1060 Viktoria Mullova, Violin François Leleux, Oboe The Mullova Ensemble Philips 446 675-2 - 1995 Johann Sebastian Bach Magnificat BWV 243aCantata 'Christen, ätzet diesen Tag' BWV 63Sanctus BWV 238 Catherine Bott, Elizabeth Scholl, Soprano Paul Agnew, Andrew King, Tenor Christopher Robson, Countertenor; Michael George, Bass New London Consort Philip Pickett Decca 452 920-2 - 1995 Johann Sebastian Bach Mass in B Minor BWV 232 Felicity Lott, Soprano; Anne Sofie von Otter, Mezzo-Soprano Hans Peter Blochwitz, Tenor William Shimell, Baritone; Gwynne Howell, Bass Chicago Symphony Chorus & Orchestra Georg Solti Decca 430 353-2 - 1990 Johann Sebastian Bach Motets BWV 225-30 Kammerchor des Augsburger Domsingknaben Reinhard Kammler DHM 77436 2 - 1989 Johann Sebastian Bach Motets BWV 225-30 Cantus CöllnKonrad Junghänel DHM 77368 2 - 1997 Flac & Scans




MMmusing

November 12

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...

My Classical Notes

October 26

Mendelssohn: Watercolor Painter.

Mendelssohn and Schumann: Music conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner . This recording presents the first in a series of CD’s, exploring the complete symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Also featured on this release is pianist, Maria João Pires , in the piano concerto by Robert Schumann . The tracks on this recording are: Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, Op.56, ‘Scottish’ Hebrides Overture, Op. 26 Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A-Minor, Op. 54 Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra , Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducting, and Maria Joao Pires, piano soloist. Inspired by his travels to the British Isles and full of the influence of the Scottish landscape, both Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’ and his Hebrides Overture were composed following these travels. What is less well known is that Mendelssohn was an outstanding landscape painter. He painted many scenes of his travels, and mostly in watercolor. (See photo, top left). Sir John Eliot Gardiner writes of this coupling of music by two German composers: “Even if they spoke with different accents, these genial Romantics were united in their ambitious fervor for ‘abstract’ music to be acknowledged as having the same expressive force as poetry, drama or the literary novel….” Here is the Mendelssohn: Symphony no. 3 in A minor, op. 56, with John Eliot Gardiner conducting the London Symphony Orchestra: And next, here is the Schumann Piano concerto in A minor, op. 54, with Maria João Pires, piano, and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Eliot Gardiner: Just for fun, here is another interpretation of the same Schumann Piano Concerto: Tags: Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, London Symphony, watercolor painter, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’



Arioso7's Blog

July 30

Going Solo with the Schubert Fantasie for 4-hands

I found the perfect solution to practicing the Schubert Fantasie in F minor without my duet partner, since she’s absent for 6 days of the week. While we rehearse on Thursdays, the piano bench literally shrinks putting us both at risk for hand collisions and body blows. In truth, the pushes and shoves have more to do with the way the composer has scored his music, doubling notes between players, and sometimes having one partner cross over the other’s arm. So when I’m alone at the bench mending my wounds on SECONDO, I do a lot of spot practicing, and scout a compatible You Tube recording of the Fantasie as a stand-in for Louise, my Primo. (When she’s propped up beside me using her two hands, she plays the upper part, notated with two treble clefs.) PHOTO: LOUISE, below, in a contemplative pose: Inconveniently, we both sit at my Steinway grand. *** Practicing Solo It’s not really a music minus one opportunity I’m seeking, but rather another experience to synch in my part and inch up tempo along the way. Of course, in practicality, one must work side-by-side with a LIVE musical partner to “feel” the pulse of a true collaboration. Therefore, trying to sniff out two overseas players who had their own breeding ground in the course of developing a personal ensemble, is a major challenge and accommodation. Just the same, I drew upon Pires and Castro, pianists, to help me hone one of the most difficult sections of the Schubert Fantasie–the final fugue section that leads to a big fortissimo climax with a pile-up of voices. While there were some synch issues, I still enjoyed playing along with these two fine musicians, though here and there, we were going our own separate ways.

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