Steve Reich turns 80 today – Universal Edition wishes him a very, very Happy Birthday!
“This work belongs on every stage.” (Eleonore Büning, FAZ)
Frank Martin’s secular oratorio Le Vin herbé – based on Joseph Bédier’s novel Romance of Tristan and Iseult – will be performed today and on 1 and 9 October at the Chicago Opera Theater.
After its first staged performance at the 1948 Salzburg Festival a critic of the Neues Österreich newspaper described the work as “A Tristan with a difference”. The concert version had already been premièred six years previously in Zurich. In its more than 60-year history Le vin herbé has enjoyed countless concert performances and several staged productions.
Congratulations to Victoria Borisova-Ollas, whose work Vinden som ingenting minns has been nominated for this year’s Swedish Music Publishers Association Prize in the category “Classical Music Award of the Year – orchestra/opera”.
Victoria Borisova-Ollas has previously received Swedish MPA Awards for The Ground Beneath Her Feet (2008) and Golden Dances of Pharaohs (2010), her work Open Ground was nominated in 2007.
The award ceremony will take place on 11 November in Stockholm.
David Sawer’s orchestral piece the greatest happiness principle is featured on a new CD included with the October issue of the BBC Music Magazine, titled “Best of British: Modern masterworks commissioned by Radio 3”.
The work was inspired by the utopian ideas of the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham and by his application of the panoptic principle to prison design.
It was recorded by Mark Wigglesworth and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Soprano Cornelia Ptassek, violist Danka Nikolic, the Heinrich-Kaminski-Chorgemeinschaft and the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss (cond. Fred Buttkewitz) will perform Heinrich Kaminski’s Magnificat on 24 September in the frame of the Internationalen Musiktage 2016 – Dom zu Speyer (22 September – 8 October).
Kaminski’s composed the Magnificat in 1925 and said that it was “… Mary’s hymn of praise, elicited by the shining message of the Annunciation and thus the rejoicing of every soul illuminated by that light.” It was frequently performed – sometimes paired with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – until the Nazis banned Kaminski’s works.
The composer about the works, which were composed for the six musicians of the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart:
For the most part, Stramm does away with syntax in his poems; he orders words to words into an expressive series of substantives, adjectives and pronouns, predominantly conditioned sonically and rhythmically, whereby neologisms may result. He may shape grammatically complete sentences but, if so, they convey nothing contextual; they formulate metaphors and images, linked together in a freely associative manner.
The torn echo of one of the most dramatic forms of Andalusian Flamenco Singing: the ‘Seguiriya’, revolves at the centre of gravity of our composition for orchestra. A centrifugal movement in the form of a spiral of the musical mass of the orchestra leads us slowly towards a kind of vibrant rhythmic texture in a ternary rhythm: Bulería de sombras. (Mauricio Sotelo on Muros de dolor... III)
Thomas Søndergård and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra present the Dutch première of Mauricio Sotelo’s Muros de dolor... III on 22 Septemberat HET Concertgebouw.
Baritone Georg Nigl and pianist Alexander Melnikov will be performing the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s dort wie hier today at the Kölner Philharmonie – together with Lieder by Franz Schubert, Alban Berg and Johannes Brahms.
The Dutch première will take place tomorrow at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ.
David Fennessy’s choir work Letter to Michael will be performed today at “Composing the Island: Choirland | 100 years of Irish Choral Music”.
David Fennessy on the piece:
”A few years ago I came across an extraordinary piece of art by a woman named Emma Hauck. She was admitted to a German psychiatric ward about a hundred years ago diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whilst a patient there she produced pages and pages of text – thousands of lines in pencil which were addressed to her husband who had ceased to visit her. She simply wrote the words ‘Sweetheart Come’ [Herzensschatzi komm] over and over again or sometimes just the word ‘come’. Every page is thick with overlapping text and some are so condensed as to be illegible.
I was deeply moved by these repeated pleas and feel strongly that the desperate passion that can be seen on these pages could only really be expressed with voices. I imagine a dense layering of a simple line; each voice adding to the power of the plea…”
We just sent out our latest newsletter:
– The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra presents Weill’s and Brecht’s The Lindbergh Flight in St. Louis.
– The Zuger Sinfonietta premières Paul Leonard Schäffer’s instrumentation of Alban Berg’s 7 Early Songs for chamber orchestra.
– Belgian première of the new critical edition of The Makropulos Affair at the Opera Vlaanderen.
The Othmar Schoeck Festival (1 to 11 September 2016) is currently running in Brunnen. A highlight of the festival will be an international symposium dedicated to Schoeck’s final opera Das Schloss Dürande [Dürande Castle] after Joseph von Eichendorff’s novella of the same name.
Find a detailed programme of the symposium on the website of the Bern University of the Arts:
Surely there’s an irony in the fact that some of the sweetest love music ever written was penned by the man blamed for the collapse of romanticism. (Kate Molleson, The Guardian, 29 August 2016)
The grand finale of the Edinburgh International Festival’s Usher Hall concerts: on 28 August Donald Runnicles conducted Arnold Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder.
When listening, one completely forgets that these single movements are in fact interludes and extracts from an opera. The captivating beauty of Berg’s absolute music belies the underlying substance of the opera.(Willi Reich on Lulu-Suite)
Tonight conductor and soprano Barbara Hannigan will sing with and conduct the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in performances of Alban Berg’s Lulu-Suite and works by Debussy, Sibelius, Haydn and Gershwin at the KKL Luzern.