Many of us have written about Pärt, but one thing was missing, the view from within the Orthodox Christian tradition that has guided Pärt's work since the 1970s. This has now been provided by Peter Bouteneff, writing with clarity, precision, and the graceful authority of one who knows what he is talking about. (Paul Hillier)
“Arvo Pärt – Out of Silence” by Peter Bouteneff was recently published by SVS Press. Find out more on the publisher’s website.
Painter and artist Satsuki Shibuya, who designed the cover of the book, has written a short blog entry about the publication which you can find here.
All that said, Rihm’s trio is an exciting piece and definitely worth another hearing. The three soloists—violinist Ulf Schneider, cellist Martin Löhr and pianist Eckart Heiligers—make up the Trio Jean Paul and they did a heroic job of bringing the piece to life. (Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones, 18 April 2015)
Estonia’s Classical Radio created a survey to find out which is the favourite Estonian classical album. 2,000 classical albums were available for voting, out of which 730 received votes. Four albums by Arvo Pärt made it on the top 10 Estonian classical albums as voted by the public, and even five albums were among the critics’ top 10.
For me, the organ music by Friedrich Cerha and Johann Sebastian Bach is congenial. They are characterized by timeless features such as clarity, vitality, thinking in counterpoint, the economy of the compositional means and a pronounced sense of proportions. (Wolfgang Kogert)
On the CD, Kogert juxtaposes Cerha’s Neun Inventionen and Neun Präludien with pieces by Bach.
A live stream of the evening from the RadioKulturhaus will be available on 18 April at 19:30. Listen live.
Our new digital magazine, MusikSalon, was launched in time to celebrate Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday. Here we give a bit of background on how we made the new site.
In addition we wanted to create a repository for all the articles that had been published over the last years – quite an undertaking.
We put the project out to tender internationally, and finally joined forces with Egger & Lerch for the design, and pixelpoems for the code. We already had excellent experience with both companies, and here once again the advantage of knowing how we tick was useful.
Egger & Lerch came up with a beautiful design and a very clear way of presenting a potentially endless list of articles, without it looking too much like a normal blog.
We resisted the temptation to include all the standard trappings of a news or blog site, including branded share buttons, tag clouds and comment boxes. From our experience online, and with Facebook and YouTube, we didn’t want a long, thoroughly researched article on Bartók to be concluded with a comment saying “Bartók is awesome”. Maybe that’s snobbish, but we’ve opted for clarity over democracy.
The only concession to usability in this sense is a small margin at the top of each article with Facebook and Twitter links, but unbranded. It was also especially important to have a print button that renders a proper print version of the page, and a download PDF button.
As soon as we were agreed on the design, pixelpoems set up the site in the Contao content management system, which we were already using on the UE and Wiener Urtext sites. We were open to using a newer system like SilverStripe, but in the end the familiarity and power of Contao won.
Of course the greatest part of the preparation was manually creating the archive of over 50 articles, tweaking the categories, selecting and cropping the images and getting the whole thing ready for the launch date – Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday (a non-moveable feast). Egger & Lerch helped a lot with the older articles, and Johannes Feigl from UE’s promotion department spent many an hour preparing the new ones.
We think we’ve come up with a handsome and useful presentation of a collection of wonderful articles – and we’ve found ourselves rediscovering old articles that we hadn’t seen. We came in on time and on budget, and had a lot of fun on the way.
Head over to the MusikSalon and see what you think.
There is something about using a form that is based on metamorphosis that could be considered slightly manipulating – manipulating the audience to come with the composer in a certain direction. Although manipulation can be understood as negative in many contexts. Perhaps manipulation in this context could be understood as narrating or luring, so that a conscious voice exists and not merely a collection of coincidences or random events.
The Canadian première of Jay Schwartz’ Music for Orchestra III will be performed on 18 April at the Orpheum Annex in Vancouver.
The full programme is available on the website of Vancouver New Music.
Find an interview with the composer titled “Metamorphosis of sound” in our digital magazine MusikSalon:
Simon Rattle called it “one of the first great masterpieces of the 21st century” and we cannot recommend it highly enough:
When interviewed about the concerto grosso No. 1, Haas described the alphorns as “the source of another dimension of intonation (overtone chords), used to create contrast and to expand the traditional twelvetone tuning of the symphony orchestra.” Kent Nagano conducts the hornroh modern alphornquartet and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich.
Further performances of the piece take place on 23 and 24 April. The concert on 23 April will be broadcast live by SRF II at 20:00. Listen live.
fascinating percussion works, meticulously performed (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 7.1.2015)
Mode Records has recently released a trailer for their DVD “Karlheinz Stockhausen: Complete Early Percussion Works”, which includes the UE works Mikrophonie, Zyklus, Refrain and Schlagtrio. The recording is available as 2-CD set.
Watch the trailer on YouTube:
Peral Music has recently released the Vienna Philharmonic’s first recordings of Schönberg’s Piano Concerto with Daniel Barenboim under Pierre Boulez and the Violin Concerto with Michael Barenboim under the direction of his father.
Watch an interview with Daniel Barenboim on the new recordings:
PPP is a piece about pianos (or, the pianos in my life).
It’s a piece about tuning (or rather, being out of tune).
It’s about memory (or, more accurately, remembering).
It’s about personal connections with instruments (and the people who play them); their history (and mine) and their imperfections.
The Serbian première of David Fennessy’s PPP for ensemble and electronics will be performed tonight with the composer himself performing on electric guitar at Studio M in Novi Sad. Also on the programme: Palais de mari by Morton Feldman.
If people complain of its atonality and difficulty, they should think of music from other cultures, which can sound equally alien and provide unequivocal evidence for tonal systems being the result of cultural conditioning. In this way, Boulez’s music can be seen as a universal music, rooted in the equally universal language of mathematics. (Emiel de Lange, Felix Online, 5.4.2015)
On 23 April, Peter Eötvös conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a concert dedicated to Boulez, on 28 April a birthday salute by ensemble intercontemporain and Matthias Pintscher takes place. Read more about the concerts by clicking the respective links.
The choreographer succinctly summarized his ballet: “A man and a woman; death takes the man; they both return to her and at the end of the ballet, we find that in death there is the promise of renewal.”
Watch a video in which Royal Ballet principals Laura Morera, Nehemiah Kish and Edward Watson rehearse the piece with Monica Mason and notator Grant Coyle: