Pierre Boulez celebrates his 90th birthday on 26 March. As a composer and conductor he is already an historic figure, not just for Universal Edition. His work has changed the world of music. This first edition of the MusikSalon, in which Boulez’ contemporaries and colleagues give us their thoughts, is dedicated to him.
“Parsing Boulez's complexity requires steady guidance, and they are two of the best at offering that.” (Dan Ruccia, Indy Week, 11.03.2015)
Find Dan Ruccia’s preview of Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich performing the music of Boulez on Indy Week.
Their tour started on 8 March at Cornell University, further performances take place at the University of California, Berkeley (12 March), Chicago Symphony Center (15 March), Carnegie Hall (16 March) and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (18 March). Find out more on Harrison Parrott.
Also, we highly recommend that you check out Explore the Score: Pierre Boulez: Douze Notations, a project that Stefanovich recently launched together with the Ruhr Piano Festival:
“In view of his almost overpowering esprit and charm, I was constantly asking myself how I could meet the challenge and contend with him and his works.” (Anne-Sophie Mutter)
Find out what Claudio Abbado, Irvine Arditti, Mojca Erdmann, Lucas Fels, Nicolas Hodges, Anna Prohaska, Jörg Widmann and Anne-Sophie Mutter have to say about the composer:
Spider's Web for harp and string orchestra by Paul Patterson will be performed for the first time in the UK on 14 March at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge.
Elizabeth Scorah plays harp, Timothy Redmond conducts the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tonight, John Fulljames presents a new production of Bertolt Brecht’s and Kurt Weill's “furiously impassioned operatic satire” Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Find out more on the website of the Royal Opera House.
On Wednsday 1 April, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny will be screened live in various cinemas all over the world – find out more with the ROH’s Screening search.
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).