Arvo Pärt during rehearsals in Madrid with soprano Sylvia Schwartz and conductor John Storgårds
The Orquesta Nacional de Espana dedicates a retrospective to Arvo Pärt. The Spanish première of Swansong and a performance of Como cierva sedienta with Spanish soprano Sylvia Schwartz are among the highlights of the programme.
From 6 to 14 March, John Storgårds and Tõnu Kaljuste will conduct several orchestral works in Madrid, Arvo Pärt will be attending the festivities.
The problem with programming a day devoted to Wolfgang Rihm’s music is not deciding what to include, but what be can be excluded from an output of more than 400 scores. (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 2 March 2015)
Andrew Clements of the Guardian has reviewed the Wolfgang Rihm festivities that took place on 28 February at Wigmore Hall.
Read the full review on The Guardian.
Musical thought today must be able to interact with the new technologies and to adapt itself creatively to every kind of space, exploring and reshaping it acoustically. The image of music as sound architecture is no longer a mere metaphor: it represent a concrete possibility. (Luciano Berio)
Arturo Tamayo conducts the ensemble ’900 at the Swiss première of Luciano Berio’s Ofaním for 2 children's choir, 2 instrumental groups, female voice and live-electronics on 1 March at the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano.
Also on the programme: O’King and Thema (Omaggio a Joyce).
Wigmore Hall dedicates a focus day to composer Wolfgang Rihm on Saturday 28 February. Almost a dozen works from the UE catalogue will be played, among them the UK première of Rihm’s Sextett, which will be performed by clarinettist Jörg Widmann, hornist Bruno Schneider and the Quatuor Danel.
Furthermore, Wolfgang Rihm will discuss his life and works with broadcaster Tom Service (read Service’s excellent Guide to Wolfgang Rihm’s music).
Find the full programme on the Wigmore Hall website.
Blacher wrote the opera in 1944 during the Dresden bombing. He condensed the drama into a thrilling and lyric 75-minute opera for 9 instrumentalists, 2 soloists and one vocal ensemble. An intense and highly celebrated operatic event; Philippe Forget led the ensemble.
Further performances will take place on 26 – 28 February and 1, 3 and 4 March.
With Jakob Lenz, Wolfgang Rihm produced the perhaps most successful music theatre work of recent decades. On 27 February, the drama of an anguished, self-destructive psyche, which confuses dream visions with reality, is being given a new staged interpretation at La Monnaie / de Munt in Brussels with Georg Nigl as Jakob Lenz.
Andrea Breth’s highly acclaimed production premièred at the Oper Stuttgart in October 2014. Watch the trailer on YouTube:
Wolfgang Rihm: Jakob Lenz
chamber opera | 75'
27.02.2015 La Monnaie / de Munt; Georg Nigl, Lenz; Henry Waddington, Oberlin; John Graham-Hall, Kaufmann; La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra, cond. Franck Ollu
Further performances: 1., 3., 4., 6. and 7.2.2015
A full stream of Jakob Lenz will be available from 18 March – we’ll keep you posted.
Happy 100th Birthday, Maria Martin!
Watch a 15-minute interview/documentary with Maria Martin, which was conducted in the Frank Martin House in 2011:
John Neumeier has always anchored his work in his profound musicality but it is probably in the music of Gustav Mahler that he has found the most profound echo of his own preoccupations, of his artistic universe. Invited to create a new choreography for the Opera Ballet, he pursues his exploration of this composer’s work and tackles the grandiose Das Lied von der Erde, translating into dance its emotions and mysteries.
John Neumeier’s new choreography for Gustav Mahler’s The Song of the Earth will be premièred on 24 February at the Palais Garnier in Paris. Further performances take place on 24 – 28 February and 2 – 6 and 9 – 12 March. The music will be performed by the Paris Opera Orchestra (cond. Patrick Lange) and tenors Burkhard Fritz / Nikolai Schukoff and baritones Paul Armin Edelmann / Oddur Jönsson.
Watch an interview with ballet dancer and choreographer Brigitte Lefèvre on The Song of the Earth:
Inspired by the mystical visions of Blake and the grim world about us, Lentz's work has a certain apocalyptic force about it, but it's not in any way negative or intimidating. Instead, he carves these great chunks of sound from the madding crowd on stage in a way that is strangely gripping and coherent. I was deeply moved. (Harriet Cunningham, The Sydney Morning Herald, 19.01.2015)
Read the full review on The Sydney Morning Herald.
Read Georges Lentz’ work introduction to Jerusalem (after Blake).
A Day for Pierre Boulez should be one of the essential classical musical experiences of the summer.
Tom Service of The Guardian has reviewed this year’s programme of the Lucerne Festival in Summer, which will be running from 14 August until 13 September.
Lucerne is where Boulez has arguably contributed the most to the future of new music in recent years, in his coaching and commissioning of composers, his tutelage of conductors, and above all his performances of the music he knows and loves the best with groups of astonishingly talented young musicians. (Tom Service, The Guardian, 19.02.2015)
Read the full article on The Guardian.
Pierre Boulez’ Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna will be performed together with the Australian première of Georges Lentz’ Jerusalem (after Blake) and Debussy’s La Mer on 18 February as part of the Sydney Opera House's Pierre Boulez Composer Weekend. David Robertson conducts the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Congratulations to Pierre Boulez for being awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Martha Gilmer, a close colleague of Pierre Boulez, accepted the award on his behalf at yesterday’s ceremony.
On 7 February at 20:00 Czech radio station Vltava will broadcast a recording of the first performance of the new critical edition of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case, which was premièred at the Janáčkovo divadlo on 21 November 2014. Listen live.
If you want to browse through the study score while listening to the performance, you can do so: we’ve uploaded an excerpt of the score to Universal Edition.
Under the auspices of Universal Edition, the new edition of The Makropulos Case incorporates all the surviving sources for the first time, realising Janáček’s intentions on a well-founded scholarly basis. The autograph full score was compared with three copies made under the composer’s supervision. In addition, the new edition includes valuable notes on practical performance by the renowned Janáček conductor Sir Charles Mackerras.