So what is this piece? This is a piece on Mona Lisa. It was premièred in 1915 and had well over 2000 performances between 1915 and 1933 – it was hit! It was a hit for well over a decade. We haven’t discovered this from some dusty shelf.
Leon Botstein brings Max von Schillings’ Mona Lisa to New York: the American Symphony Orchestra and the Bard Festival Chorale will perform a concert performance of the opera in 2 acts on 20 February at Carnegie Hall.
WQXR’s Elliott Forrest has recently interviewed Leon Botstein about Mona Lisa, watch the interview on YouTube:
Stockhausen’s early percussion music is among the most visionary of the percussion repertoire. This unique collection features some works which are almost impossible to find elsewhere. (Mode Records)
Mode Records has recently released “Karlheinz Stockhausen: Complete Early Works for Percussion”, which includes the UE works Mikrophonie, Zyklus, Refrain and Schlagtrio.
Among the performing artists are Steven Schick (percussion and director) James Avery, Pavlos Antoniadis, Katalin Lukács and the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.
The recording is available as 2-CD set or as a DVD, featuring a full video performance and interviews with Schick.
The Recording Academy has announced its Special Merit Awards recipients: among this year’s honorees is Pierre Boulez.
A special invitation-only ceremony will be held during Grammy Week on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
Walk up, walk up! and spend a pleasant hour,
Fair ladies, noble gentlemen, with me;
Inside my tent you'll thrill – and chill – to see
The beasts I have in my menagerie
Tamed by superior force of human power.
Barbara Hannigan gives everything she’s got and then some to the title role. Charles Workman is the finely lyrical Alwa; Dietrich Henschel, never bettered, the troubled Schoen. It’s nicely conducted by Paul Daniel, too.
Read Tim Ashley’s review of the DVD on The Guardian.
“Music says what I need to say. And it is dangerous to say anything, because if I’ve said it already in words there might be nothing left for my music.”
John Allison of The Telegraph has published an interview with Arvo Pärt. Find the full text on The Telegraph.
Opera News has announced that Teresa Stratas will be among five recipients of the tenth annual Opera News Awards. Congratulations!
To the right: Teresa Stratas in the première of Boulez’ and Chéreau’s production of Lulu (in Friedrich Cerha’s orchestration).
“It is deeply shocking that the musical decisions of the Third Reich should continue to influence the programming of today’s cultural institutions. But what other explanation is there for the relative obscurity of Verlobung im Traum?” (Financial Times, Shirley Apthorp, 26.10.2014)
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the murder of Hans Krása in Auschwitz, the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe hosted a new production of the long-thought lost opera Verlobung im Traum [Betrothal in a Dream]. Almost two months after its première, Ingo Kerkhof’s production now returns for a second season in Karlsruhe.
Hans Krása: Verlobung im Traum
opera in 2 Acts | 135'
12.12.2014, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe; Agnieszka Tomaszewska, Sina; Martina Borst/Dana Beth Miller, Marja Alexandrowna; Sofia Mara, Barbara; Badische Staatskapelle, cond. Justin Brown
Further performances: 17.12.2014, 6.1., 15.1, 21.1.2015
Together with HK Gruber, Hans Kann, H. C. Artmann, Gerhard Rühm, Fritz Wotruba and many others, Friedrich Cerha was a frequent guest at the Viennese Strohkoffer [straw case]. In 1987, he finished the 60 miniatures of Eine Art Chansons, most of which are based on texts by members of the Viennese Group.
Agnes Heginger and Studio Dan will present a selection of Friedrich Cerha’s Eine Art Chansons at the Sargfabrik in Vienna on 14 December. After having been encouraged by the composer to record the pieces, this will be a preview of their upcoming CD.
Tonight the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra will present the world première of the new critical complete edition of Bohuslav Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh, a unique, modern and monumental adaptation of a seminal work from the dawn of Babylonian history.
Although this musical work employs the text of the world’s oldest surviving piece of literature, its treatment of the questions of friendship, love and death remains topical to this day. The performance, involving more than a hundred top musicians, will be in English (with Czech surtitles) and semi-staged, as originally conceived by its composer Bohuslav Martinů.
Vítězslav Mikeš, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra Programmer, on The Epic of Gilgamesh:
The Epic of Gilgamesh consists of three parts of almost equal length: Gilgamesh, The Death of Enkidu, and Invocation. It is scored for soloists (soprano, tenor, baritone and bass), narrator, mixed choir and orchestra. Martinů wrote it for Paul Sacher’s chamber orchestra, a fact reflected in the score. Although Martinů said that he “would need to express himself with greater orchestral might”, the sound of Gilgamesh is monumental.
The work was premiered in January 1958 in Basil, Switzerland under Sacher’s baton. Before the premiere, Martinů presented his idea of semi-staging the work to the conductor, desiring to “animate” Gilgamesh, to create “an illusion of action”. However, Sacher rejected the idea and performed the work as a concert oratorio. The Brno performance will be an attempt to revive this forgotten idea of Martinů on the stage; this task has been entrusted to Radim Vizváry, a striking figure of contemporary mime theatre.
Bohuslav Martinů: The Epic of Gilgamesh
Oratorio in 3 parts | 50'
after the text of the new critical complete edition
world prem. 11.12.2014; 12.12.2014; Janáček Opera House, Brno; Brian Caspe, narrator; Adriana Kohútková, s; Martin Šrejma, t; Jiří Hájek, bar; Adam Plachetka, bar; Czech Philharmonic Choir choir, cond Petr Fiala; Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Aleksandar Marković
Find out more about Luke Bedford.
Luke Bedford on stages of composing:
Luke Bedford: Falling Falling
for clarinet, horn, violin and violoncello | 4'
world prem. 14.12.2014, Kings Arms, Berkhamsted; CHROMA
Happy Birthday Beat Furrer – composer, conductor, educator, and founder of Klangforum Wien and, together with Ernst Kovacic, “impuls” academy – and once more our warmest congratulations for winning the prestigious Grand Austrian State Prize [Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis]!
Also we’d like to make mention of Daniel Ender’s brand new book “Metamorphosen des Klanges”, a study of Beat Furrer’s compositional oeuvre that was presented on 4 December 2014 in Vienna.
Find out more about Beat Furrer on his website.
After highly acclaimed performances of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez (Pablo Heras-Casado conducted the CSO), the west coast première of A Pierre Dream will be performed at next year’s Ojai Festival by mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell and the International Contemporary Ensemble (cond. Steven Schick).
Find out more on the programme of the Oija Music Festival.
Watch the trailer of A Pierre Dream:
Thus did my wise longing, born in the mountains, cry and laugh in me; a wild wisdom, verily! –my great pinion-rustling longing.
And oft did it carry me off and up and away and in the midst of laughter; then flew I quivering like an arrow with sun-intoxicated rapture:
– Out into distant futures, which no dream hath yet seen, into warmer souths than ever sculptor conceived, – where gods in their dancing are ashamed of all clothes:
The world première of Alejandro del Valle-Lattanzio’s Flügelbrausend [pinion-rustling], whose title originates from a phrase of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, took place Tuesday night under the baton of Marie Jacquot at the MuTh in Vienna.
The 28-minute piece by the winner of the Ö1 Talentebörse composition prize 2013 is scored for flute, clarinet, electric guitar, marimba, violin and violoncello and was performed by Shkelzen Doli, Thomas Lechner, Sylvie Lacroix, Friedrich Kleinhapl, Hidan Mamudov and Edi Köhldorfer.
A recording of the concert will be broadcast on 7. December at 19:30 on Ö1. Listen live.