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US, Florida; Festival of Orchestras closure [音楽時評]

アメリカのフロリダ州中央部で27年間にわたって開催されてきた Festival of Orchestras が,今年で打ち切られることになったそうです.

The organization, which has sold more than 250,000 tickets to more than 100 concerts, is the victim of the economic downturn and venue-scheduling difficulties, said executive director Susan Carey, one of the festival’s two employees.

とありますが,100 concerts を企画し,時に競合する orchestra の会場設定をするのは並大抵のことではなかったと思います.

The Festival of Orchestra’s board of directors voted last week to stop programming, rather than go into debt.                                   “It’s very sad but it was the right decision,” said board chairman Louis Supowitz. “We said we will not jeopardize the 27-year reputation of the Festival of Orchestras.”                                                      赤字を出して27年のFestival の名声を傷つけるよりは,いさぎよくFestival を打ち切る道を選んだということです.“They went out in the right way,” said Margot Knight, head of United Arts of Central Florida, which helped fund the festival. “They didn’t make promises for a season they can’t provide.

For fiscal year 2010, the festival had estimated income of about $677,000, including a $67,909 grant from United Arts. Ticket sales accounted for about 42 percent of that income.“They did a great job growing a subscriber base in Seminole County,” Knight said. “They just didn’t grow fast enough.”

Seminole County audiences proved important when the festival moved its concerts to Northland Church in Longwood this season after scheduling conflicts at Orlando’s Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.                       Orchestras generally book tours years in advance but the Bob Carr couldn’t guarantee its availability that far ahead, Carey said.

1. the change in venues turned off longtime subscribers, Carey said. New subscribers in Seminole County and farther afield, such as from The Villages in Lake County, helped make up for the drop, Carey said, but it wasn’t enough.

2. In addition, fewer orchestras tour these days — and those that do have limited schedules and are expensive to present. Most cost between $50,000 and $180,000 for a single concert, Carey said. “Tickets don’t sell enough to cover even half an orchestra’s cost,” she said, adding additional expenses are required for building rental and advertising.

3. A third factor was public radio station WMFE’s decision to end its classical-music programming, Supowitz said. “We lost our promotion vehicle,” he said. “It was just the perfect storm."

これまでに,began scheduling orchestras. Among them: The New York Philharmonic, the London-based Royal Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. This year’s season saw the BBC Concert Orchestra and concluded with a near sell-out performance by the Boston Pops.  “We filled a void that existed for bringing in world-class symphony music,” Supowitz said. “We brought that culture here.” とすごく有名な世界的Orchestra を招聘してきた実績があったのです,

But Carey was optimistic that classical-music tours aren’t gone for good. 
“I have faith that at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, these major touring orchestras will come back to Orlando,” she said. とこのFestival に尽くしてきた人が将来への夢を語っているのが,心温まります.

日本では,せいぜいNHK音楽祭が,このFestival を小規模にしたものといえるのでしょうか.あるいは,某エイジェントが毎年やっている,オーケストラ・シリーズ もやはり小規模版でしょうか. 

 

 

 

After 27 years of bringing the world’s classical musicians to Central Florida, the Festival of Orchestras has ceased operations.

The organization, which has sold more than 250,000 tickets to more than 100 concerts, is the victim of the economic downturn and venue-scheduling difficulties, said executive director Susan Carey, one of the festival’s two employees.

“It was a double whammy,” Carey said. She will spend a few weeks winding down the business, including preparing documents and photos for donation to the Orange County Regional History Center.

Leaders of other classical-music organizations saluted the tenure of the festival but said its mission of presenting out-of-town groups likely worked against it in tough times.

“There’s a great marketplace for classical music in Central Florida, but audiences like to be connected to the organization,” said David Schillhammer, executive director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. “They had a unique challenge in that regard.”

Elizabeth Gwinn, executive director of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, had similar thoughts.

“You just don’t have the same audience support for visiting artists,” she said. “The saving grace for organizations like us and the Orlando Philharmonic is we have roots in the local community.”

The Festival of Orchestra’s board of directors voted last week to stop programming, rather than go into debt.

“It’s very sad but it was the right decision,” said board chairman Louis Supowitz. “We said we will not jeopardize the 27-year reputation of the Festival of Orchestras.”

“They went out in the right way,” said Margot Knight, head of United Arts of Central Florida, which helped fund the festival. “They didn’t make promises for a season they can’t provide. Nobody’s left holding the bag.”

The Festival of Orchestras was the smallest of United Arts’ cornerstone cultural groups, the organizations with the most significant budgets. For fiscal year 2010, the festival had estimated income of about $677,000, including a $67,909 grant from United Arts. Ticket sales accounted for about 42 percent of that income.

“They did a great job growing a subscriber base in Seminole County,” Knight said. “They just didn’t grow fast enough.”

Seminole County audiences proved important when the festival moved its concerts to Northland Church in Longwood this season after scheduling conflicts at Orlando’s Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.

Orchestras generally book tours years in advance but the Bob Carr couldn’t guarantee its availability that far ahead, Carey said. Two seasons ago, the festival presented concerts at various locations, including the Osceola Center for the Performing Arts and the Chapin Theater at the Orange County Convention Center, before establishing a home at Northland.

Despite cooperation from Northland and critical praise for the acoustics there, the change in venues turned off longtime subscribers, Carey said. New subscribers in Seminole County and farther afield, such as from The Villages in Lake County, helped make up for the drop, Carey said, but it wasn’t enough.

In addition, fewer orchestras tour these days — and those that do have limited schedules and are expensive to present. Most cost between $50,000 and $180,000 for a single concert, Carey said.

“Tickets don’t sell enough to cover even half an orchestra’s cost,” she said, adding additional expenses are required for building rental and advertising.

A third factor was public radio station WMFE’s decision to end its classical-music programming, Supowitz said. “We lost our promotion vehicle,” he said. “It was just the perfect storm.”

The Festival of Orchestras was founded in 1984 under the name Orlando Community Concert Association. The group at first presented recitals by notable classical-music artists, but soon after began scheduling orchestras.

Among them: The New York Philharmonic, the London-based Royal Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. This year’s season saw the BBC Concert Orchestra and concluded with a near sell-out performance by the Boston Pops.

“We filled a void that existed for bringing in world-class symphony music,” Supowitz said. “We brought that culture here.”

Neither Gwinn nor Schillhammer thought their groups would be interested in presenting touring orchestras. The Bach Festival has a longstanding partnership with Rollins College, Gwinn said, and though it presents touring soloists and chamber groups, there isn’t a hall big enough at the college to support an orchestra performance. The Philharmonic’s mission is to support local musicians, Schillhammer said.

But Carey was optimistic that classical-music tours aren’t gone for good.

“I have faith that at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, these major touring orchestras will come back to Orlando,” she said.


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共通テーマ:音楽

London で内田光子とBRSO Solists の室内楽 [音楽時評]

この評論はさすがにイギリスのctitic らしく,文学的表現で書き出しています.after you've mauled a musician in review when guilt bubbles to the surface. Your inner nursery school teacher starts tugging at your conscience. This spell of wussiness is invariably broken by the arrival of someone who shows you just what can be done when care and intelligence are applied to a performance.  
この someone が大きめの写真の内田光子です,

2日前に,ヤンソンス指揮,Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra との Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto を演奏した内田光子が,この夜は,

Beethoven's Piano Quintet for oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon, in E flat           
Schubert's Octet in F, D 803 
clarinet, horn,bassoon,violin 2、viola, cello,double bass 

をいずれも絶品の名演奏を展開したそうです,それには勿論Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra の首席奏者たちもたいへん好演をしたわけで,The Berlin Phil could learn a thing or two from this self-effacement. と Berlin Phil も見習ったらどうかと示唆しています,

内田光子はその弱音について,Only when you return to someone like Mitsuko Uchida do you realise how few pianists can really distinguish between their pianos and their fortes. With Uchida, there were 10 gradations to each individual marking. と素晴らしい幅を賞賛し,反面で, The possibilities of touch were taken to their limits. She was as electrifying in her bold, desiccated thunderclaps of sound と絶賛しています,

Barbarian Radio Symphony の Solists たちについても, Her companions were not to be outdone. They may have been playing in her shadow somewhat but they never failed to match her subtlety of phrasing or dynamic control. The unifying theme to their manner was intensity. So concentrated were they all on what the music was saying, so focused in trying to eke out the right tone (oboist Ramón Ortega Quero was especially exquisite, Eric Terwilliger's horn impeccable in his few tricky flourishes), all ego was lost in communal effort.  と非常にと高く評価しています. 

 

Soloists of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Uchida, QEH

Written by Igor Toronyi-Lalic

Mitsuko Uchida: The consummate ringmaster                                                     Mitsuko Uchida: The consummate ringmaster

There is always a moment after you've mauled a musician in review when guilt bubbles to the surface. Your inner nursery school teacher (the little voice that thinks potato prints deserve Nobel Prizes) starts tugging at your conscience. This spell of wussiness is invariably broken by the arrival of someone who shows you just what can be done when care and intelligence are applied to a performance. That someone was Mitsuko Uchida, who last night shared the stage with soloists of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Their quietly sensational performance of Beethoven's Piano Quintet in E flat began sensationally quietly. Woodwind and piano creep in on the silence, intensely soft, cowed, blinking, as if they'd escaped a cave. Broken octaves from Uchida break off this grave comedy. As so often, piano takes the lead in whisking her companions in a new direction. Uchida played the consummate ringmaster to her four woodwind acrobats, feeding them new ideas, opening up new worlds, announcing oncoming storms, encouraging them to peel off into confessional sallies in the Andante cantabile and whipping them back into shape after moments of reverie.

'Schubert's Octet is really little more than 19th-century lift music'

To do all this herding, she deployed an array of dynamic calls. Only when you return to someone like Mitsuko Uchida do you realise how few pianists can really distinguish between their pianos and their fortes. With Uchida, there were 10 gradations to each individual marking. When the full rainbow was applied to a chord, a Piero della Francesca-like perspective was summoned up; finer voicing you will not find anywhere else.

The possibilities of touch were taken to their limits. She was as electrifying in her bold, desiccated thunderclaps of sound (for example, in those comically grouchy final bolts that announce the end of the work) as she was heartbreaking in the tender opening of the Andante. And let no one accuse her of not being bold. She snatched two extraordinary ritardandos (in the first movement and last) from the very edge of preposterousness and nudged them into heaven. Breathtaking stuff.
Her companions were not to be outdone. They may have been playing in her shadow somewhat but they never failed to match her subtlety of phrasing or dynamic control. The unifying theme to their manner was intensity. So concentrated were they all on what the music was saying, so focused in trying to eke out the right tone (oboist Ramón Ortega Quero was especially exquisite, Eric Terwilliger's horn impeccable in his few tricky flourishes), all ego was lost in communal effort. The Berlin Phil could learn a thing or two from this self-effacement.
Effortless musicianship continued into the second-half performance of Schubert's Octet in F, D 803. Cellist Sebastien Klinger's ungainly technique belied the sweetest of tones. First violinist Anton Barachovsky was fearless and crisp whenever fear and limpness could have overcome him. And there was never any concern over the lack of conductor - not always something you can take for granted. In short, here was an impeccable group of musicians delivering an impeccable performance. None of which could hide the elephant in the room. Was this piece really worth the effort? The tormented Schubert we all know and love rears his head but once, in those ominously atmospheric low trills in the final movement. They threaten (but fail) to sweep away the tidy, repetitious salony order of the preceding five movements. And one is left feeling Schubert's Octet is really little more than 19th-century lift music.

 


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Alan Gilbert のOpen な受容性 [音楽時評]

Looking for new ways to manage your troops? Some tips from New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert. という副題が付いていますが,これから指導者になる人には, Alan Gilbert がいろいろな意味で参考になるというのです.

Inspiration via democracy                                    The office door is always open                                                          Connect with your customers -- and actually listen to them on occasion Learn everything about the enterprise                          Managing mom

と5節から構成されています.

Inspiration via democracy では,he also had to follow, at a relatively young age, in the footsteps of legends like Leonard Bernstein and Gustav Mahler ということの実践として,楽員から学ぼうとする姿勢で,有名曲のリハーサルなどで,時には,まず主要パートに弾いて貰って,そこからinspiration を得ようとしていることが挙げられます.

The office door is always open は,指揮者の間では珍しいことですが,Gilbert はMusic Director 室のドアをオープンにして,楽員といつでも話し合う姿勢を明確にしています.

Connect with your customers -- and actually listen to them on occasion では,Gilbert は,就任後すぐNew York の5つの区の公園で演奏会を開いたほか,一貫して聴衆との結び付きに関心を強めています.                             During the concerts in the parks, he offered audiences the chance to vote via text message for the encore piece: Rossini's William Tell Overture vs. the "Toreador's Song" from Bizet's Carmen.

Learn everything about the enterprise では,Gilbert says aspiring conductors should apprentice in every part of the operation. In other words, get to know what the people in marketing actually do for a living. といっていますが,指揮者としては,貴方任せではなく,珍しく組織のあらゆる決定に関心を持っているそうです.これまでの教育課程で,経営の知識を深めたといわれています.

Managing mom では,母親が楽団のviolinist な訳ですが,とかくコンサート後の楽団員たちの演奏会談義から外されるそうなので,そのことに気を配っており,母親も音楽以外のことで気を配ってくれるそうです.

あとは,ご自由にご渉猟下さい.

 

 

Advice from a Maestro


 

Looking for new ways to manage your troops? Some tips from New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert.

Gilbert conducting, holding a penlight, which creates the effect in this photo.

It's not easy to find a management book that has anything approaching a fresh idea. Maybe that's why people looking to become change agents are turning to unusual sources for their leadership fix. Navy SEALS, chefs, and, of course, pro sports coaches have all weighed in with popular advice books.

Even musical maestros are getting in on the act. Ben Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, has devoted followers of his book, The Art of Possibility. And conductor Roger Nierenberg in his book, Maestro: A Surprising Story About Leading by Listening, "teaches executives how to turn a company into a euphonious symphony of work," says Publisher's Weekly.

Another conductor with a good management story to tell is Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic. Not only does he manage a large, creative crew in a pressure-cooker market, but he also had to follow, at a relatively young age, in the footsteps of legends like Leonard Bernstein and Gustav Mahler. The 44-year-old Gilbert's appointment in 2007 raised a few eyebrows, partly because his parents were career violinists with the orchestra. (Gilbert's mother, Yoko Takebe, continues to play under him.) Now in his second season with the philharmonic, Gilbert has won over critics, thanks in some measure to his skillful management of the 106 musicians who play for him. How does he do it?

Inspiration via democracy

In guiding the orchestra through a musical work, Gilbert has his own ideas about how it should sound, from the volume to the tempo. But his musicians have worked with many conductors and have experience playing popular classical works.

"I'd be an idiot not to make use of the experience," he says. Gilbert gets them to buy in by asking them for help. He meets with senior musicians and section leaders, saying, "This is the kind of thing that I'll be looking for over the next period of time from your section. Could you try to encourage that as well?" That gives the musicians a sense of ownership and responsibility, while also "planting seeds," as Gilbert says, that will help him achieve the effect he is aiming for.

Gilbert carefully avoids the perception that he is imposing his will. Sure, his musical choices or decisions about scheduling or personnel can ruffle feathers. But he explains that he's doing what he thinks is right "for the good of the music or the institution, rather than for some personal gratification." It's a delicate balance, because Gilbert knows he's been hired to put his stamp on the orchestra. Still, "the best conducting," he says, "happens when all the musicians are able to feel that they're accessing their own point of view about the music as well."

The office door is always open

Conductors and orchestras have traditionally kept a distance from each other. Many of Gilbert's musicians, in fact, had never been in the music director's office before he arrived.

But Gilbert doesn't work that way, partly because he knows many of the players from his days as an orchestra brat. Still, he actively works at being more accessible than his predecessors: "I actually think it's possible to get more out of the musicians by really showing them you know who they are and you identify with them and you trust them," he says.

Gilbert, for instance, sits in with his musicians. Last season he played viola in a sextet with philharmonic members, and he plans to play in a chamber ensemble with them again this year. He also has opened his home to his musicians, inviting them to informal dinner parties.

Connect with your customers -- and actually listen to them on occasion

Yup, it's a cliché. But it isn't always done in Gilbert's line of work. In 2009, before the official start of his first season as music director of the New York Philharmonic, Gilbert conducted all the parks concerts in each of New York City's five boroughs -- a first for a New York Philharmonic music director. Gilbert also conducted the annual school day concerts during the past two seasons, and teaches classes at Juilliard.

About his mother, Yoko Takebe, Gilbert says, "I hear things from her that no other musician would mention."

Classical music has a rep for being too buttoned-up, so Gilbert has also tapped more informal (and modern) modes of communication to make himself accessible. Last year he agreed to take part in a series of playful videos posted on YouTube TK to promote an upcoming performance. During the concerts in the parks, he offered audiences the chance to vote via text message for the encore piece: Rossini's William Tell Overture vs. the "Toreador's Song" from Bizet's Carmen.

Gilbert even tweets (his handle is GilbertConducts), TK and his blog on the website Musical America TK offers a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a musical director.

Learn everything about the enterprise

Gilbert says aspiring conductors should apprentice in every part of the operation. In other words, get to know what the people in marketing actually do for a living.

Gilbert had a little business-side experience going in. He was an assistant conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra for three years, and at Harvard he took a liking to marketing and the logistics of staging a production when planning performances on campus. To a greater extent than his predecessors, Gilbert weighs in on decisions across the organization.

Why should he waste his time fussing with marketing materials? Nothing better to do? Gilbert says such things as brochures play a large role in audience expectations. He adds: "It all is ultimately feeding into the musical product."

Managing mom

Given his long history with the orchestra, some might wonder how Gilbert separates the personal from the professional, especially since his violinist mother has a constant eye on his podium. Gilbert says that while he was conscious of her presence in the beginning, he rarely thinks about it anymore. Still, he admits, "occasionally I do go offstage and she'll say, 'You didn't shave' or 'Your shirt's not pressed.' I hear things from her that no other musician would mention."

He thinks the arrangement has actually been tougher on her. No matter how well things are going for an orchestra, it's common for musicians to complain about the conductor when they gather in their dressing room. Now his mother gets left out of such backstage banter. "She wants me to do well," Gilbert says, "and she wants her colleagues to like what I'm doing, so she must feel there's a pressure."

Also from Fortune:


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Charles Dutoit's 2 weeks Residency in Chicago [音楽時評]

Philadelphia 管でMusic Director になれないまま,Principal Conductor としてPhiladelphia を支えたCharles Dutois が,Chicago Symphony で2週間のresidency を勤めて,アメリカを楽しんでいるようです.

評論の初めに,興味深い記述があります.Some critics have observed that while Charles Dutoit's concerts are seldom, if ever, disappointing, few add up to truly extraordinary experiences either. Yet one had no hesitation in putting the concert he directed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night, concluding his two-week residency at Symphony Center, in the latter category.

つまり,Dutoitのコンサートでは滅多に失望することはないが,反面で,truly extraordinary experiences を加えることもほとんどない.と半ば賞賛し半ば並の指揮者だと書いています.しかし,residency 締めくくりのコンサートは,共演者がpianist Evgeny Kissin という大物だったこともあって,extraordinary experiences をもたらしたといっています.

そのKissin が弾いたのは,ちょっと驚きましたが,あまりにも有名な Grieg のピアノ協奏曲だったといいます.そこで個性を尊重し合って好演が生み出されたようで,私も.ぜひ一度聴いてみたいモノです.

満場の拍手に答えて,Kissin は同じ Grieg 自信が自分の歌曲をアレンジしたGrieg's solo piano arrangement of his famous song "Jeg elsker dig" ("I Love But Thee") をたいへん美しい演奏で聴かせたといいます.                                      とかく別人の曲をアンコールする人が多い中で,この選曲は素晴らしかったと思います.

締めくくりはDutoit 得意の Stravinsky's "Petrushka"だったようで,the original 1911 scoring を使って,存分に力を発揮して終わったそうです.

ヨーロッパに重心を移すといっているDutoit としても,思い出深い演奏会になったのではないでしょうか.

 

Dutoit concludes CSO residency with a fine flourish, with help from Evgeny Kissin

Kissin with CSO Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin accompanies the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall on Thursday. (Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune)

 

  • John von Rhein
  • John von Rhein
Some critics have observed that while Charles Dutoit's concerts are seldom, if ever, disappointing, few add up to truly extraordinary experiences either. Yet one had no hesitation in putting the concert he directed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night, concluding his two-week residency at Symphony Center, in the latter category.

Of course any conductor fortunate enough to have Evgeny Kissin as soloist already has a conspicuous ace up his sleeve. The celebrated Russian pianist is favoring Orchestra Hall with three appearances this season, each focusing on a different aspect of his remarkable artistry. The second of the three brings the eternally popular Grieg Piano Concerto, a warhorse that could only benefit from the fresh rethinking of Kissin and Dutoit.

The pianist did not set out to wow the audience with his colossal technique, but wow them he did, through an acute and caring sensitivity to matters musical. His performance reminded one why the Grieg concerto remains central to the romantic concerto tradition, looking backward as it does to Schumann's concerto in the same key and forward to the showier statements of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov.

From the pianist's commanding entry through the splashy cadenza, his first movement was by turns full-blooded and delicate, his gracious pianism alert to the scherzando qualities of Grieg's keyboard writing. Kissin made a really lovely lyrical interlude of the Adagio, closely attended by Dutoit, who held the orchestra at a rapt distance.

This led to a brisk, even impetuous finale in which both musicians honored the movement's marcato marking, though I found the apparent clicking of the pianist's fingernails on the keys somewhat distracting. Still, this was an exciting close to a warmly magisterial reading.

The audience rose to its feet to give Kissin a prolonged ovation. He smiled shyly and bowed deeply before rewarding them with an encore, Grieg's solo piano arrangement of his famous song "Jeg elsker dig" ("I Love But Thee"). It, too, was beautifully done.

Dutoit began his Scandinavian sojourn with the first CSO subscription series performance of Sibelius' "Karelia Suite." His performance breathed the fresh, clean air of Northern climes, from the horn calls of the opening march, echoing as if across a vast wooded landscape, through Scott Hostetler's mellow English horn solo in the central "Ballade," to the final festive march. One could not fail to notice the conductor's highly vocal encouragement of the players.

The Swiss maestro is a celebrated exponent of the Franco-Russian repertory, and the colorful yet refined account of Stravinsky's "Petrushka" with which he concluded the program reminded us why. Like many conductors, Dutoit opted for the original 1911 scoring over the somewhat leaner 1947 revision, playing up its sumptuous scoring and rich atmosphere. I have heard tougher readings but few that have better illuminated the ballet from within.

So keenly was each episode characterized that one had no trouble visualizing the poor puppet's saga in one's mind's eye. The Shrovetide fair, bustling with sharply drawn rhythms and meters hat turned on a dime, set the stage for what was to follow. At every juncture the orchestra's matching of sound to mood was on the mark, not least in the ballerina's dance as evoked by Mathieu Dufour on flute, Christopher Martin on cornet and David McGill on bassoon. Here was a performance to make you marvel anew at Stravinsky's genius as a conjurer of orchestral color.

Program note: Pianist Murray Perahia will replace the indisposed Maurizio Pollini in recital at 3 p.m. April 10 at Orchestra Hall. Perahia is performing again following his own cancellation earlier this season. His program will hold works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and Chopin.


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女流指揮者の(上昇)移動 [音楽時評]

フロリダ州のTallahassee Symphony Orchestra music director/conductor Miriam Burns が,2011~2012年を越えて契約更改しないと,辞任の意向を楽団側に伝えたといいます.        

そのpost への 200名に及び立候補者の中から抜きんでて選ばれてMusic Director になった彼女は,楽団側と対立があった訳ではなく,楽員ともよい関係にあって,Orchestraのレベル・アップにも大きな貢献をしたので,楽団はたいへん残念がっていますが,彼女は指揮者のスムースな移行には全面的に協力すると表明しています.

彼女は,元々はviolinist だったのですが,左腕に問題が生じて,指揮者に転向して成功した人です,                                                             今後は,Burns is a back-up conductor for the New York Philharmonic, and she serves as music director/conductor of the Kenosha Symphony in Wisconsin and the Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City.                         とますます活躍の場を広げようとしています,

今後いっそうの成長を大いに期待したいと思います.

 

Conductor resigns from TSO

Miriam Burns, conductor with Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra
Miriam Burns, conductor with Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra

Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra music director/conductor Miriam Burns has submitted her resignation, which will become effective at the end of the orchestra's 2011-2012 season.

Burns sent a letter dated Wednesday to the board of directors saying she had decided not to extend her engagement as music director at the end of her three-year term.

"I will work with you to make next season an outstanding postscript to my tenure here, and, if desired, will work with you after my term is over to facilitate the transition or even cover gaps beyond my contract until a new music director is on board," she wrote. "I would like the transition to be seamless and not only professional, but exciting; a public relations bonus to the TSO and a musical gift to our audience."

Nancy Bivins, a former board member, said she was sad to see Burns go. Bivins even wrote Burns a fan letter expressing her dismay.

"I thought Miriam was wonderful," Bivins said. "Everybody, I thought, was just happy as clams. She seemed to bring a new vitality."

TSO patron Dick Puckett also was crestfallen to hear Burns would be leaving.

"This is the worst thing that could happen to the TSO," Puckett said. "She's shown class in the time she's been there. I think so much of this group. My wish would've been that they renew her for another three years."

TSO board president Sean Singleton said the board would issue a statement Tuesday regarding the resignation.

"She just feels like it's time to do it," said Beverly Ewald, a board member who houses Burns when she's in town for rehearsals and performances.

In 2006, Burns beat out a crowded field of more than 200 applicants for the post after a two-year search, becoming the first female conductor of the orchestra. She was a hit with audience members and patrons as a guest conductor during the search, when she took the stage in a custom-fit tuxedo with tails. She stepped into a position vacated when former conductor David Hoose stepped down in 2005 after an 11-year tenure.

She began her music career as a violinist while growing up the daughter of a dentist and a music teacher in Columbus, Ohio. She studied at Ohio State University's well-known music school with every intention of becoming a professional violinist but was sidelined by persistent pain in her left arm, laying down the violin and taking up conducting.

Burns is a back-up conductor for the New York Philharmonic, and she serves as music director/conductor of the Kenosha Symphony in Wisconsin and the Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City.


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Detroit Symphonyに取って代わるかMichigan Philharmonic? [音楽時評]

写真のNan Washburnという女流指揮者がMusic Director を勤めるPlymouth symphony が,その名称を Michigan Philharmonic に変更して一段上のランク入りを狙うようです.

Michigan を代表すると思われていたDetroit Symphony (Leonard Slatkin,Music Director)が,2010~2011シーズンを楽団の strike で棒に振り,その存続が危ぶまれている中で,Michigan州Plymous で66年の歴史を誇るPlymous Symphony が,名称を州の名称に引き上げ,聴衆の集まる範囲を拡大して,Detroit Symphony に代わって,一躍,Michigan州を代表するOrchestra を志向する姿勢を示したのは,たいへん興味深いことで,その成果が期待されます.

関係者も,“In a time when many orchestras across the country are struggling, we have been successful,” said Beth Stewart, the Philharmonic’s executive director. “I think it’s because we offer something good to people,” she continued, adding later that the audience “is the most important part of what we do.” と並々ならぬ意欲を示しています,

 

Plymouth symphony changes name, bids for higher profile

Nan Washburn is now the conductor of the Michigan Philharmonic, the new name adopted by the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra.
Nan Washburn is now the conductor of the Michigan Philharmonic, the new name adopted by the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra. / Bill Bresler | Staff Photographer

The Plymouth Symphony Orchestra is now the Michigan Philharmonic, a name orchestra officials say reflects its increased professionalism and broadening reach.

The name change was announced, along with several new concert dates, late Wednesday afternoon during a wine-and-cheese event at the Plymouth Community Arts Council building, the orchestra’s headquarters.

“We’re on the move and I think we’re off to bigger and better things,” said Don Soenen, president of the Michigan Philharmonic’s board of directors. “This is a major chapter, I think, in the 66 years this orchestra has been in place.”

“In a time when many orchestras across the country are struggling, we have been successful,” said Beth Stewart, the Philharmonic’s executive director. “I think it’s because we offer something good to people,” she continued, adding later that the audience “is the most important part of what we do.”

Soenen attributed much of what he called the Philharmonic’s greater professionalism to the arrival of Nan Washburn, the conductor and music director.
Washburn, in her 12th season, said she was thrilled with the changes, and thanked those involved with the orcestra.

“It’s very exciting and I could not have done it without collaboration,” she said.

The Michigan Philharmonic added four dates to this season, starting with a Friday, May 6, concert at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton Township. The show will feature the music of Bollywood, the nickname for India’s movie industry.

The Philharmonic will also play at the Canton Libertyfest in June, at Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth in July, and at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, for the Fairy Tale Festival, also in July.

The organization also revealed a new website, www.michiganphil.org, that Stewart said should be launched by Thursday.

Soenen said the name change and higher profile for the orchestra had been planned for months, before the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s season was lost to a labor dispute

 

 


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Met Opera 指揮を減らすJames Levine [音楽時評]

Boston Symphony の Music Director を退いたJames Levine が,なおMusic Director として残っている Metropolitan Opera の出演回数を減少させる決断をしたそうです.

The Metropolitan Opera announced on Monday that Mr. Levine will withdraw from two upcoming operas: "Das Rheingold" and "Il Trovatore."

しかし,なお,He will conduct the new production of Wagner's "Die Walküre," opening April 22. Also still on: Berg's "Wozzeck," opening April 6, and two Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall, on April 10 and May 15. とPriority の高いオペラ2つの指揮には拘っているようです.

"We want him to be healthy and able to conduct," said Mr. Gelb(the Met's general manager) emphasizing that these changes did not immediately signal more. "He is our music director."  と Met Opera も強く望んでいます.

代役は,次の通りです.                                                 "Das Rheingold," which Mr. Levine already conducted in the fall, will now be led by principal guest conductor Fabio Luisi, who was hired a year ago in the wake of Mr. Levine's health issues. He last conducted the full Ring cycle in 2007 and 2008 at the Dresden Staatsoper.                                          Verdi's "Il Trovatore" was conducted in the fall by Marco Armiliato, who, as luck would have it, was in town for the current run of "Tosca" at the Met. He will pick up the four remaining performances of "Il Trovatore." (And he is also scheduled to conduct the Met's 2011-12 season opener, Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" on Sept. 26.)

James Levine の1日も早い快復を祈りたいと思います.

 

 

Conductor Levine Bows Out of Met Productions

It's shaping up as a season with fewer notes for renowned conductor James Levine.

View Full Image

LEVINE
Bloomberg News

James Levine leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2009.

In early March, the 67-year-old withdrew from remaining spring concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra—and then announced he would resign as its music director in September.

Now it's New York's turn. The Metropolitan Opera announced on Monday that Mr. Levine will withdraw from two upcoming operas: "Das Rheingold" and "Il Trovatore."

The cancellations, prompted by the advice of Mr. Levine's doctors, will allow him to recover from procedures related to the alleviation of back pain, the Met said in a statement.

The maestro is not out for the entire season: He will conduct the new production of Wagner's "Die Walküre," opening April 22. Also still on: Berg's "Wozzeck," opening April 6, and two Met Orchestra concerts at Carnegie Hall, on April 10 and May 15.

Choosing what to keep was a matter of balancing health and artistic priorities.

"It has to do with the importance of the repertory to him," said the Met's general manager, Peter Gelb.

"Die Walküre" is the second installment of the Met's new Ring cycle, which is a major commitment. And Berg's 20th-century opera was also a must-do. "'Wozzeck' is a work he has championed," said Mr. Gelb. "Those two seemed to be what he wanted to marshal his energy for."

The two operas that were cut will be in veteran hands.

"Das Rheingold," which Mr. Levine already conducted in the fall, will now be led by principal guest conductor Fabio Luisi, who was hired a year ago in the wake of Mr. Levine's health issues. He last conducted the full Ring cycle in 2007 and 2008 at the Dresden Staatsoper.

Verdi's "Il Trovatore" was conducted in the fall by Marco Armiliato, who, as luck would have it, was in town for the current run of "Tosca" at the Met. He will pick up the four remaining performances of "Il Trovatore." (And he is also scheduled to conduct the Met's 2011-12 season opener, Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" on Sept. 26.)

"One of the advantages of having a big repertory is the great reservoir of talent," said Mr. Gelb of the musical bullpen.

The dates of the operas Mr. Levine will conduct do not allow for one long break, but rather they allow him to conserve energy. "We want him to be healthy and able to conduct," said Mr. Gelb, emphasizing that these changes did not immediately signal more. "He is our music director."


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【論説】東電は福島原発の最終処理方針公表を:[追記] [論説]

東北関東巨大地震から既に10日を過ぎますが,どうも政府と東京電力の対応に大きな疑問を感ぜざるを得ません.

巨大地震が世界に報じられた直後から,アメリカ,ドイツ,フランスから原子力発電の専門家派遣の申し出がありながら,それらがいずれもチェルノブイリやスリーマイル島方式の,廃炉→コンクリート遮蔽であったため,政府と東電はそれらを謝絶したと報じられています.

しかし,周辺地域への放射能汚染の危険性,あるいは原乳や野菜の汚染が報じられる事態になっても,東北に設置した原子炉についてあらかじめ用意されていてしかるべきであった地元電力会社からのバックアップ電源を泥縄で引っ張るのに10日も要しては,それもどこまで使い物になるのでしょう?

ここまで放射能汚染の危険性が広がった状況で,東京電力は多くの人的,物的資源の投入を続けていったい福島第1原発を最終的にどう処理しようとしているのでしょう.

復旧作業という言葉が踊っていますが,復旧(以前の状態に回復する)など誰が可能だと信じているのでしょう.事故直後から米国のマス・メディアは危機(world crisis)の深刻さを連日大きく報じるとともに、日本政府や東電が危機を過小評価しようとしていると批判し,それが日本社会の“隠ぺい体質”に根ざすと疑いの目を向ける分析も少なくないのです.   

誰の目にも,海水を投入した原子炉は廃炉が必然的な処理法だとするなら,明らかな選択肢は,福島第1原発の速やかな廃炉→コンクリート遮蔽 しかないのではありませんか!!!

外国紙には,東京電力が既にコンクリート遮蔽の準備を進めていると報じられているのです.

政府主導の演出にのみ熱心な政府や東京電力は,速やかに主体性を発揮して,最終処理方針を明確化すべきですし,その迅速な実行を切望するモノです.

時間や人材,物材を,すべてが想定外だったという不確実性のなかで,いつまでも無用に使い続けるのは,この非常事態には許されることではないはずです.

これを教訓に,早急にやるべき事は,日本中の電力の相互融通システム構築ではないでしょうか. 東西で交流電流のサイクルの違いはありますが,それは技術的に解決可能でしょう.         もう1点,東京電力や政府が明確化すべきは,計画停電なるものは文字通り計画的であるべきですから,一体いつごろそれを解消できるのかを情報公開すべきです.

緊急事態は,本来,緊急に解消されるべきモノです.                              私はかねて日本経済の支え手として外国人を大量に招聘することを主張していますが,既にダラダラと続けられる日本の緊急事態;深刻化する汚染や先の見えない計画停電に愛想を尽かした在日外国人のエクソダスが始まっていると報道されているのは,まことに残念でなりません.

 

追 記巨大地震後2週間の3月25日夜,管首相がメッセージを読み上げた後,短時間,質疑に応じていましたが,記者の「福島原発をどうするのか?」という質問に,BBC World News は次のような答えを報じていました,  
In a televised address, Prime Minister Kan said: "The current situation is still very unpredictable. We're working to stop the situation from worsening. We need to continue to be extremely vigilant."                                       「状況は未だまったく予測困難であり,今は状況の悪化を止めるのに懸命になっている.さらに大変注意深く警戒を続けなければならない.」                                     これが一国の首相のまともな答弁といえるでしょうか???  

なお,BBC World News のタイトルは,                                      Japan investigation into nuclear plant radiation leak                                    です,


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共通テーマ:音楽

消滅の危機から復活のToronto Symphony [音楽時評]

このToronto Symphony の復活の主役が,Tokyo String Quartet で一時期メンバーだった Peter Oundjian(Violin) であったという記述に興味を覚えて,この記事を取り上げました.
小澤征爾も一時この楽団に身を寄せたことがあったはずです.

                                                                                                                      Toronto Symphony は1990年代に一度労働紛争に見舞われて,ほとんど消滅したかに見えたOrchestra ですが,丁度左手の故障で,東京クァルテットを離れたOundjian が,指揮者転向を考えていた時期と重なって,2002年にその指揮者に迎えられてから著しい躍進を遂げて,アメリカ大陸で一流の域に達したと認められるに至っています.

Its roller-coaster ride was in general perhaps no wilder than that of most other North American orchestras in the 20th century, but as the Toronto Symphony entered the 21st, many were giving it up for dead. とあるように,1度は皆が死んだと思ったほどだったのです.

                                                                                                                        The previous decade had been a particularly tough haul. Responding to threats of bankruptcy in the mid-1990s the players had taken a 15 percent salary cut, but when their contract expired in 1999, they staged a 74-day strike, complete with the usual animosities and budgetary strains. Then in 2001, with little more than a year’s notice, the Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, who had been the orchestra’s music director since 1994, left.

The Rebirth of an Orchestra” ...when Peter Oundjian took over as music director. The signs of rebirth that it trumpeted were evidently audible when the Toronto Symphony last appeared at Carnegie Hall, in 2008. Allan Kozinn, in The New York Times, found it to be “in superb shape.”

最初は団員とのもめ事もあったようです.He conducted often, and although there were early grumbles from players about his raw technique, few could question his musicianship or the force of his personality. と受け容れられていったようです.

コンサートマスターと最初は確執があったそうですが,弓の bowing を巡って自分でやって見せたことから信頼を勝ち得たといいます.その後コンマスは定年退職し,目下その他を含め,数人の欠員だそうですが,

“Under Mr. Oundjian,” he said, “the orchestra has maintained its shine, but now it packs a firm punch as well.” As it prepares to return to Carnegie on Saturday evening, the Toronto Symphony appears to be flourishing at a time when many North American ensembles are struggling.

 

Orchestra, Back From the Brink
Ryan Hughes for The New York Times
Peter Oundjian, the Music Director of The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in rehearsal at Roy Thomson Hall.
                                      Ryan Hughes for The New York Times                                                                                          
Peter Oundjian, the Music Director of The Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

                                                                                                                                                            THE cryptic title of Richard S. Warren’s history of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, “Begins With the Oboe,” refers to the note A that the principal oboist of a symphony orchestra traditionally sounds to give the other players concert pitch. When the book was published in 2002 (University of Toronto Press), different titles might have suggested themselves: for one, “Ends With a Whimper.”  

Mr. Warren, the orchestra’s archivist from 1976 to his death in 2002, dutifully chronicled the artistic and financial ups and downs of the Toronto Symphony, which recently announced its 2011-12 season, its 90th. (Better to take that number on faith than to try to puzzle through the orchestra’s discontinuous history, which is traced to 1908 despite abortive earlier efforts and a period under the name New Symphony Orchestra.) Its roller-coaster ride was in general perhaps no wilder than that of most other North American orchestras in the 20th century, but as the Toronto Symphony entered the 21st, many were giving it up for dead.

Even Mr. Warren, who was not among them, titled the last chapter of his book “Toward the Unknown” and headed it with a fretful epigraph from Whitman:

... toward the unknown region,

where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

No map, there, nor guide,

Nor voice sounding....

The previous decade had been a particularly tough haul. Responding to threats of bankruptcy in the mid-1990s the players had taken a 15 percent salary cut, but when their contract expired in 1999, they staged a 74-day strike, complete with the usual animosities and budgetary strains. Then in 2001, with little more than a year’s notice, the Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste, who had been the orchestra’s music director since 1994, left. His tenure, Mr. Warren wrote, “had been one of administrative turmoil.” Now the orchestra was in deep financial waters and essentially rudderless.

The next major public look at the orchestra’s condition came in 2005, with the documentary film “Five Days in September: The Rebirth of an Orchestra” (now on DVD from Rhombus), based on the opening week of the 2004 season, when Peter Oundjian took over as music director. The signs of rebirth that it trumpeted were evidently audible when the Toronto Symphony last appeared at Carnegie Hall, in 2008. Allan Kozinn, in The New York Times, found it to be “in superb shape.”

“Under Mr. Oundjian,” he said, “the orchestra has maintained its shine, but now it packs a firm punch as well.”

As it prepares to return to Carnegie on Saturday evening, the Toronto Symphony appears to be flourishing at a time when many North American ensembles are struggling. On my recent visit here, for the opening of a lively annual contemporary-music festival, New Creations, instituted by Mr. Oundjian immediately on his arrival, the orchestra sounded excellent in concert and in rehearsal, and it had clearly tapped into an enthusiastic and notably young audience.

Mr. Oundjian, now 55, seems to have been a canny choice to direct the orchestra. A violinist born in Toronto and educated in London and New York, he played first fiddle in the Tokyo String Quartet during its heyday, from 1981 to 1996, when he was forced to give up steady performance because of a repetitive-stress injury to his left hand. With some training as a conductor in his background, he decided to take up the baton.

His first prominent podium appearance was at the Caramoor International Music Festival in Katonah, N.Y., in 1996, conducting the resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s as a late substitute for an indisposed André Previn. He became artistic director of the festival from 1997 to 2002, and artistic adviser from 2003 to 2007. He conducted often, and although there were early grumbles from players about his raw technique, few could question his musicianship or the force of his personality.

All this proved attractive to Andrew R. Shaw, who, as the Toronto Symphony’s president and chief executive since 2002, was the one who had to find a way out of the stagnant interregnum. Even Mr. Oundjian’s relative inexperience with major orchestras at a slightly advanced age was useful.

“Peter had music in his bones,” Mr. Shaw said in an interview at the orchestra’s offices in a stately building across King Street from its performance home, Roy Thomson Hall. “He had the highest standards. All this requires a little bit of gray hair, but he also had an enthusiasm to grow. He wasn’t in a position to say, ‘Oh, another music directorship.’ He wants to grow as a music director.”

Mr. Shaw, who was himself something of an outsider to orchestras, having worked in music publishing and education, is in large part the explanation for what happened between the book’s gloomy ending and the film’s highly charged opening. In addition to hiring Mr. Oundjian, he provided a wealth of fresh ideas on different ways to present concerts for expanded audiences.

“Five Days in September” depicts Mr. Oundjian as a dynamo. Early on, in a prickly private dispute (oops, no longer private) with the longtime concertmaster Jacques Israelievitch over a bowing in Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances,” Mr. Oundjian reaches for Mr. Israelievitch’s instrument to demonstrate. “Are you going to show me up?” Mr. Israelievitch asks.

Mr. Oundjian does take the instrument and demonstrate, and — as conductors will — he evidently wins the argument. He is next heard telling the orchestra: “If you don’t like the bowing, you blame me, because it’s my bowing. But I love it.”

Conciliatory remarks follow in the film, and Mr. Israelievitch offers a rosy summation: “In the end, you know, I think the soup is going to turn out quite delicious.” Presumably his retirement in 2008 simply reflected a fullness of time.

The orchestra has been without a permanent concertmaster since, though a search is said to be proceeding promisingly. With four or five other vacancies to fill, the orchestra is now operating with a streamlined membership of 88.

But Mr. Oundjian has a fondness for blockbuster works, as the first CDs on the orchestra’s new TSO Live label show. They include Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, Mahler’s Fourth, Shostakovich’s Seventh and, just out, Holst’s “Planets.” Like New York, Toronto has a rich pool of fine freelance musicians who can be hired as extras.

“I’m only worried when I start to see too many people I don’t recognize,” Mr. Oundjian said in an interview, though in truth he didn’t seem worried at all.

Not that success has come easily or cheaply. In addition to streamlining in personnel and other areas, funds have had to be raised in economic times scarcely less difficult in Canada than they have been in the United States. On an annual budget of $23 million, the orchestra reported a deficit of $483,000 last June, relatively modest these days. And its endowment is not huge, some $27 million. More government financing is available in Canada: about 25 to 30 percent of the budget, said Mr. Shaw, the president. But “the Canadian context for philanthropy is difficult,” he added, “more conservative, less aggressive.”

In trying to pry funds from donors, Mr. Shaw could hardly have found a more useful ally than the unfailingly personable Mr. Oundjian. “Peter could talk almost anybody into anything,” said Andrew McCandless, the superb principal trumpeter.

Mr. McCandless should know. He was one, he admits, who had written off the orchestra’s future a decade ago. “I ran for my life,” he said. He took a job with the Dallas Symphony, and one of Mr. Oundjian’s early achievements was to coax him back to Toronto.

Mr. McCandless seemed to speak for many (and others spoke for themselves) when he described how happy he was to be working with Mr. Oundjian. Against all odds, the honeymoon between music director and players has apparently lasted these seven years.

And audiences respond to Mr. Oundjian’s festivals (Mozart as well as contemporary music) and to his onstage commentary and explications. They have also turned out for the concerts of different lengths at unconventional starting times that Mr. Shaw has devised to suit varied lifestyles. His dream, he said, is to have one-hour concerts at any time of the day.

Given this sea of good will, it seems unkind to point out that common wisdom nowadays holds that a music directorship almost inevitably turns stale after 10 years.

Mr. Oundjian, who was principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2010, and who recently accepted the additional post of music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow as of next year, expresses no desire to leave his hometown.

“I don’t think about my career that much,” Mr. Oundjian said. “It’s much more important for me to have an impact on the community. I will know when it’s time to move away.”

In the meantime everyone seems to be enjoying artistic prosperity, without taking anything for granted. “We can’t figure out what we’re doing right,” said the Canadian composer Gary Kulesha, who works closely with Mr. Oundjian in planning the New Creations festival. “If we could bottle it, we’d be rich.”

But with New Creations as with their many other innovations, Mr. Oundjian and Mr. Shaw seem to know precisely what they are doing. And given what they have already accomplished, who could be surprised if they found a way to bottle it?


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Andris Nelsons, an auspicious BSO debut [音楽時評]

いくつか前のこのblog で紹介した若手のホープAndris Nelsons. At 32, Latvian-born conductor が,Boston Symphony の指揮 debut を Carnegie Hall で木曜日の夜に果たしたそうです.New York Times の Review はかなり抑制されたモノでしたが,Boston Symphony の地元紙 Boston Globe はかなり高い評価をして, Symphony management にNelsons の次の再演機会設定を求めています.

私としては,Boston の音に慣れた Boston Globe のReview をご紹介します.

演奏曲目は,難局中の難局,Mahler の交響曲第9番だったのです.                   そもそもBirmingham Symphony のPrincipal Conductor として売れっ子のNelsons がこの時期 New York で時間をとれたのは,Metropolitan Opera で ”Queen of Spade"の指揮にNew York に来ていたからで,従って通常の半分の時間のリハーサルしかできなかったといいます.それも水曜日に午前,午後2回,そして木曜日にCarnegie Hall で1回しかやれなかったそうです.

in the post-Levine era at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, every guest conductor appearance can be seen as a de facto audition for the top job. But that’s not really true, as the season has always depended on a stable of guest maestros filling out the open weeks. Not all of these guests can possibly be contenders even for a potential interim appointment. 

A protégé of the estimable Mariss Jansons, he is now music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a post held for almost two decades by Simon Rattle, and it seems clear he is destined for even bigger things. Just over a month after his critically lauded New York Philharmonic debut, he scored a triumph on Thursday night in his BSO debut, leading the orchestra in a thoughtful and enthralling performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony in Carnegie Hall.

有名曲の演奏内容の詳細は省略して,この Review の結論を引用しておきますと,the full partnering of conductor and ensemble in the creation of a vibrant performance. と絶賛した後に,It was sheer luck that Nelsons was available in New York this week, as he is leading Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades’’ at the Met. BSO administrators should not count on luck to bring Nelsons back again. They should do so as soon as possible.               
と,今回のようなluck に依存しないで,Management がきちんとBoston への再演の機会を作るように促しています

あとは,長文をご自由にご渉猟下さい.

 

MUSIC REVIEW
 

For guest conductor Andris Nelsons, an auspicious BSO debut

Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall.              Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. (Richard Perry/The New York Times)
By Jeremy Eichler
Globe Staff / March 19, 2011
 
NEW YORK — Some have said that in the post-Levine era at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, every guest conductor appearance can be seen as a de facto audition for the top job. But that’s not really true, as the season has always depended on a stable of guest maestros filling out the open weeks. Not all of these guests can possibly be contenders even for a potential interim appointment.  

                                                                                             BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Andris Nelsons, conductor

At: Carnegie Hall, Thursday night

But here is one who is — or should be: Andris Nelsons. At 32, this Latvian-born conductor has emerged as one of the most closely watched young maestros in the business. A protégé of the estimable Mariss Jansons, he is now music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a post held for almost two decades by Simon Rattle, and it seems clear he is destined for even bigger things. Just over a month after his critically lauded New York Philharmonic debut, he scored a triumph on Thursday night in his BSO debut, leading the orchestra in a thoughtful and enthralling performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony in Carnegie Hall.

One could nitpick aspects of his interpretation, but I have rarely seen this ensemble so responsive to a debuting guest or heard it play with more commitment to his vision. The performance earned an ovation that was more than pro forma from the large New York audience. And in what is high praise from this orchestra, the BSO musicians stayed seated during one of Nelsons’s bows and joined the crowd in applauding him, shuffling feet vigorously on the stage of Carnegie Hall.

The BSO first met Nelsons on Monday of this week, when they had two rehearsals in Symphony Hall, though Nelsons unfortunately will not lead the Mahler in Boston. These rehearsals apparently went very well; afterward a longtime BSO player described Nelsons to me as one of the most exciting young conductors he had encountered. All signs pointed toward a rewarding first public meeting.

And so it was on Thursday night. On stage Nelsons is youthful but unflashy, leading with a podium technique that is far from conventional. During the Mahler he often leaned in toward the orchestra, hunching over with shoulders raised, arms and hands doing just about anything necessary to coax the sound he was looking for, whether waving a fist at the brass to muster intensity or swooping upward to cap a violin phrase in one of Mahler’s de-glossed rustic dances. But he also seemed to know when to step back and give the orchestra its space to step forward, which it did. A few spots notwithstanding, this was some of the strongest playing of the season.

The first movement was notable for the organic quality of the music-making, a sense of deep and thoughtful immersion in the musical moment at hand. The opening drifted off the stage with an air of autumnal calm, and with Nelsons conferring a gentle swaying quality on the so-called farewell theme. Climaxes were forceful but never overbearing. And most striking of all were several of Mahler’s remarkable transitional passages, in which the music seems to wander through a shadowy netherworld. These came across as hushed and searching, with Nelsons wedding mystery with textural transparency, all the while preserving the tension in the musical line.

In the two inner movements the conductor never slipped into autopilot. In matters of phrasing he was unafraid to take risks, and the orchestra — in the vigor of some of the solo playing — seemed emboldened by him. These movements brim with Mahler’s sardonic and sometimes slashing wit, qualities that some performances tend to hurl in your face. But here even Mahler at his most sarcastic was painted with poised brush strokes. In the work’s moving final adagio, Nelsons let the music build slowly and drew out some silken pianissimo playing along the way. Mahler’s soulful string chorales unfurled with a sense of both freedom and inevitability.

No one would expect from a 32-year-old conductor an interpretation of Mahler’s late masterpiece with nowhere left to grow. And it’s true that Nelsons proved more adept at capturing the score’s moments of localized magic than in projecting a larger sense of structure. And the pacing at the very end — in which a deep silence presses in and eventually claims the music as its own — can be executed with more shattering force. Yet it should also be noted that Nelsons had roughly half of the rehearsal time that would go into a typical subscription program.

Indeed, the chemistry on view Thursday night is not to be taken lightly. The BSO has in recent seasons seen a wide array of guest conductors, some of whom project what might be described as a false sense of command, leading vigorously from the podium yet too often without genuine felt contact with the orchestra. Here was the opposite phenomenon: the full partnering of conductor and ensemble in the creation of a vibrant performance.

It was sheer luck that Nelsons was available in New York this week, as he is leading Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades’’ at the Met. BSO administrators should not count on luck to bring Nelsons back again. They should do so as soon as possible.


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共通テーマ:音楽

NHK Symphony's American Tour!!! [音楽時評]

NHK交響楽団,視聴者に契約料を強制的に払わせているNHKが母体の楽団が,なんとこれほどの被害の出た東北関東大震災の後始末に国全体が追われている中で,アメリカ東海岸の演奏旅行を強行していると知って大変心外に思いました.それも2人の楽団員が東北の家族の被災を理由に居残ったのに大震災5日後の3月16日からのツアーを強行したというのです.

来日しながら母国からの帰国命令で,日本公演をキャンセルして帰ったいくつかの外来演奏家を尻目に,なぜ,毎度の酷評を受けにアメリカ.カナダに行ったのでしょう.                     1,2,例を挙げますと,3月16日(水)に予定していた「チョンミョンフン指揮 チェコフィルハーモニー管弦楽団」による「東芝グランドコンサート金沢公演」は、チェコ政府よりオーケストラに帰国命令が発令されたため、,,,                                           
3月13日に開幕したフィレンツェ歌劇場2011年日本公演は、東北関東大震災の影響を受け、今朝フィレンツェ市長より、フィレンツェ歌劇場に対して帰国命令があり、今後予定しておりました全6公演(下記参照) を中止することになりました....

以下は,Washington Post の Anne Midgette の批判的評論です.
なによりも.タイトルの下に,102枚もの東北関東大地震の悲惨さを示す写真を集めたGallery が配されているのが印象的ですが,メガ数の関係でここでは説明だけにして写真は省略しました.

It’s an article of faith that music has a universal power to touch the heart. “Music,” in this context, usually means Western classical instrumental music, the kind of music played at formal occasions in times of mourning.

This is the kind of music that the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of Japan’s state broadcasting network and one of the country’s finest ensembles, is playing on its North American tour this month; the kind of music that impelled the group not to cancel its plans after the devastating earthquake and tsunami last weekend (though two musicians whose homes were destroyed stayed behind); and the kind of music that is keeping them going.

Before the tour’s first concert, which WPAS presented at Strathmore on Wednesday night, Naoki Nojima, the chairman of the orchestra, said to the audience, “We are playing not only for you, but for ourselves, and for our loved ones back at home.

But at such times, the universality of this kind of music becomes a paradox

many Japanese residents of the D.C. region turned out to hear an orchestra that appears to be entirely made up of Japanese musicians; there was palpable emotion, concern, thought about the current dire situation in Japan. And yet an orchestra is eminently international, and thus above local concerns. This tour is led by the orchestra’s principal guest conductor, Andre Previn, with Daniel Mueller-Schott, the German cellist, as soloist; and the program focused mainly on non-Japanese composers. In short, it was a standard international-level orchestral program.

The musicians were ready to play their hearts out; the audience was ready to weep; yet somehow the program was an imperfect outlet for the emotion it should eminently have been able to convey.

Though the real fault lay, I fear, in the conducting of the very frail Previn, 81. .. The problem is what he does when he’s on the podium: almost nothing. He seems to skirt the problem of interpretation altogether by simply beating time and not taking any kind of stand on the content of what he is leading — which could be charitably taken as an attempt to let the music speak for itself but unfortunately, in practice, simply muffles it.

Bach’s “Air on the G String,” a piece that’s become a veritable classical music convention in times of trouble. Unfortunately, it was played so mechanically that it became no more than a signifier of mourning.

プログラムは,                                                  “Green,” by Toru Takemitsu in 1967,                               Elgar’s Cello Concerto                                         Prokofiev’s popular Fifth Symphony                                    だったようです.

しかし,この武満作品は, showed the fallacy of thinking that a Japanese composer represents Japan; influenced by Debussy.

The rest of the program certainly had plenty of emotional content; it’s just that it didn’t always fully blossom... しかし,Mueller-Schott(vc) は第2楽章から,コンマスとアイコンタクトを取って,協演に苦心したようです,    
しかも,Mueller-Schott のアンコールは,an arrangement of Bloch’s “Prayer,” in tribute not to the Japanese but to the conductor Yakov Kreizberg, who died on Tuesday at 51. That’s a lot of mourning for one concert.

Prokofiev’s popular Fifth Symphony is a quintessential example of a piece that can be taken either as pure music or as representing a specific program: Written in 1944, it is often seen as representing some of the ravages of war, though ending on a hopeful note for the future. It was here that Previn’s lack of interpretation was most evident: と演奏は決して好演ではなかったのです.         He generally failed to draw distinctions between one movement and another, and the first section of the Adagio sounded not searing and tragic, but more like a lumbering country waltz.                         

それでも評者は,The fine orchestra, however, was able to make a mark, finding the taut energy in the second movement, and rising to a close that was undeniably moving. Triumphing over obstacles not of one’s own making: Perhaps this was the best message that Japan’s broadcast orchestra could have transmitted, after all. と,指揮者を越えてProkofievを盛り上げたNHK交響楽団に,皮肉を込めたせめてもの賛辞を呈しています.

 

Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra puts on a good face at Strathmore

Gallery: Death, devastation grip Japan following quake: A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and several powerful aftershocks struck the eastern coast of Japan on Friday afternoon, triggering tsunamis that devastated the coastline north of Tokyo.

It’s an article of faith that music has a universal power to touch the heart. “Music,” in this context, usually means Western classical instrumental music, the kind of music played at formal occasions in times of mourning.

This is the kind of music that the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of Japan’s state broadcasting network and one of the country’s finest ensembles, is playing on its North American tour this month; the kind of music that impelled the group not to cancel its plans after the devastating earthquake and tsunami last weekend (though two musicians whose homes were destroyed stayed behind); and the kind of music that is keeping them going.

Before the tour’s first concert, which WPAS presented at Strathmore on Wednesday night, Naoki Nojima, the chairman of the orchestra, said to the audience, “We are playing not only for you, but for ourselves, and for our loved ones back at home.

But at such times, the universality of this kind of music becomes a paradox. An orchestra, however cosmopolitan, has an aspect of civic pride; particularly on tour, it is positioned to act as a galvanizing, representative force. At Strathmore, many Japanese residents of the D.C. region turned out to hear an orchestra that appears to be entirely made up of Japanese musicians; there was palpable emotion, concern, thought about the current dire situation in Japan. And yet an orchestra is eminently international, and thus above local concerns. This tour is led by the orchestra’s principal guest conductor, Andre Previn, with Daniel Mueller-Schott, the German cellist, as soloist; and the program focused mainly on non-Japanese composers. In short, it was a standard international-level orchestral program.

I’m by no means saying that a Japanese orchestra should play only Japanese music. But on Wednesday, the result of this dichotomy was an odd sense of a commemorative occasion fused with business as usual. The musicians were ready to play their hearts out; the audience was ready to weep; yet somehow the program was an imperfect outlet for the emotion it should eminently have been able to convey.

Though the real fault lay, I fear, in the conducting of the very frail Previn, 81. That he walks with a cane and requires assistance to get on and off the podium is no indictment (James Levine, after all, is often in the same situation these days). The problem is what he does when he’s on the podium: almost nothing. He seems to skirt the problem of interpretation altogether by simply beating time and not taking any kind of stand on the content of what he is leading — which could be charitably taken as an attempt to let the music speak for itself but unfortunately, in practice, simply muffles it. The orchestra opened with an unscheduled work to honor the people of Japan, Bach’s “Air on the G String,” a piece that’s become a veritable classical music convention in times of trouble. Unfortunately, it was played so mechanically that it became no more than a signifier of mourning.

The lone Japanese work on the program, “Green,” was commissioned by the NHK from the late Toru Takemitsu in 1967, and showed the fallacy of thinking that a Japanese composer represents Japan; influenced by Debussy, it revels in timbre and rhythmic subtlety, sending shoots of sound curling out of the winds, emerging from the strings. The effect is both springlike and somber, like green sprouts growing out of blasted earth.

The rest of the program certainly had plenty of emotional content; it’s just that it didn’t always fully blossom. Elgar’s Cello Concerto is searching, dark, light-dappled and poignant. If it seemed muted here, it wasn’t the fault of Mueller-Schott, a clean and accurate player who definitely had his head in a reading marked with some coordination problems (something he countered with heavy eye contact with the concertmaster at the start of the second movement, as if working to keep things on track without reference to the conductor). He followed his strong performance with a somewhat more maudlin approach in an encore, an arrangement of Bloch’s “Prayer,” in tribute not to the Japanese but to the conductor Yakov Kreizberg, who died on Tuesday at 51. That’s a lot of mourning for one concert.

Prokofiev’s popular Fifth Symphony is a quintessential example of a piece that can be taken either as pure music or as representing a specific program: Written in 1944, it is often seen as representing some of the ravages of war, though ending on a hopeful note for the future. It was here that Previn’s lack of interpretation was most evident: He generally failed to draw distinctions between one movement and another, and the first section of the Adagio sounded not searing and tragic, but more like a lumbering country waltz. The fine orchestra, however, was able to make a mark, finding the taut energy in the second movement, and rising to a close that was undeniably moving. Triumphing over obstacles not of one’s own making: Perhaps this was the best message that Japan’s broadcast orchestra could have transmitted, after all.

 


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共通テーマ:音楽

綱渡りの代役で順調なBoston Symphony [音楽時評]

James Levine がBoston Symphony のMusic Directorを辞任してから,Orchestra は運用にたいへん苦労しているようですが,一応,これまでのところ,それなりの成果を挙げているようです.

最初の試練は,ボストンでのJames Levine& Maurizio Pollini という特筆すべき組み合わせが両者とも降りてしまったので,結局,Roberto Abbado(Claudio Abbado の甥) とPeter Serkinの組み合わせで, Haydn’s Symphony No. 93 as well as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and he partnered with pianist Peter Serkin in Bartok’s Third Piano Concerto. が演奏され,特に Bartok が好評だったようです,                                   敢えて代役に立った両者に敬意を表したいと思います.

次の演奏会はCarnegie Hall 公演でした.ここでは,Taking Mr. Levine’s place was Marcelo Lehninger, 30, a Brazilian-born assistant conductor at the Boston Symphony, who led the program this month in Boston. He was terrific, conducting all three works with impressive technique, musical insight and youthful energy.とブラジル生まれの Assistant Conductor, Violin soloist に German violinist ’Christian Tetzlaff という組み合わせでした.

Tetzlaffが前面に出て,初演を含む3つのViolin concertos を演奏したそうです.Before his intensely affecting performance of Mr. Birtwistle’s daunting new concerto, he gave a lithe, elegant account of Mozart’s Rondo in C for violin and orchestra. He concluded the evening with Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2, offering a dazzling yet probing performance of this difficult piece.

なかなかの実力者のAssistant conductor と,前面に出てくれたTetzlaff のお陰で,この Carnegie Hall 公演の初日も好評で終わったようです,

あと2回のCarnegie Hall 公演を切り抜ければ,あとはボストンで,やりくりがずっと楽になることと思います.

あとは,どうぞご自由にご渉猟下さい.

 

Music Review

BSO improvises with eloquent performance of a Bartok concerto

Abbado and Serkin step in to fill program

Roberto Abbado (left) and Peter Serkin performing Thursday night.        Roberto Abbado (left) and Peter Serkin performing Thursday night. (Michael J. Lutch)
By Jeremy Eichler
Globe Staff / March 12, 2011
 

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Roberto Abbado, conductor  
At: Symphony Hall, Thursday night (repeats tonight)

Even by recent Boston Symphony Orchestra standards, this week’s program required some major administrative improvisation, after both conductor (James Levine) and soloist (Maurizio Pollini) withdrew.

The Mozart-Schoenberg pairing these two had devised looked extremely promising, but it was also the kind of program that would have required its original personnel to be fully realized. So the BSO made the logical choice and started from scratch with this week’s repertoire.

The orchestra brought in the Italian conductor Roberto Abbado (Claudio Abbado’s nephew) to preside over Haydn’s Symphony No. 93 as well as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and he partnered with pianist Peter Serkin in Bartok’s Third Piano Concerto.

Thursday night, it came together reasonably well given the circumstances. Most distinctive was the Bartok, a remarkable work the composer wrote at the very end of his life as a gift for his wife, a pianist, to perform after his death. The final 17 bars were left incomplete and were later finished by Bartok’s colleague Tibor Serly.

Compared to the composer’s first two piano concertos, it is a work that speaks in a gentler, more intimate tone, notable from its very first bars. The pointed percussive qualities of Bartok’s other forays in this genre, with their densely knotted chords and irruptive runs, feel quite distant here, as lambent strings greet the piano’s first entrance, a line at once open and singing.

The slow movement — marked Adagio religioso — begins with a chorale of otherworldly tranquility, indebted to the luminous slow movement of Beethoven’s A-minor Quartet (Op. 132).

Abbado here was at his best in drawing from the BSO strings textures of uncommon sensitivity and refinement.

Serkin too played with lucidity and great eloquence in this middle movement, and in the concerto as a whole. The outer movements benefited in equal parts from this soloist’s incisive technique and musical intelligence.

Prior to the Bartok, Abbado’s Haydn had energy, vigor, and moments of impressive dynamic control, though a few of the grandly scaled swoops and flourishes in his conducting seemed to hinder more than they helped.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, closing the program, received a robust and muscular account, with tempos at times too fast to achieve maximum impact.

 

Boston Symphony Shows Verve Even Without Levine

No one would have blamed the Boston Symphony Orchestra for feeling demoralized when it appeared at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday night. This was the first of three programs at the hall that its music director, James Levine, was to have conducted.

But early this month, coping with a lingering back pain and related health issues, Mr. Levine withdrew from the rest of the Boston Symphony season and, as expected, resigned as music director effective Sept. 1, leaving the orchestra in a leadership crisis.

Warming up on stage before the concert, the Boston musicians did seem subdued. Still, there was nothing subdued about their playing. This unusual and fascinating program offered three works for violin and orchestra, including the New York premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s new Violin Concerto, featuring the brilliant German violinist ’Christian Tetzlaff. Taking Mr. Levine’s place was Marcelo Lehninger, 30, a Brazilian-born assistant conductor at the Boston Symphony, who led the program this month in Boston. He was terrific, conducting all three works with impressive technique, musical insight and youthful energy.

The orchestra sounded great. And Mr. Tetzlaff had a triumphant night. Before his intensely affecting performance of Mr. Birtwistle’s daunting new concerto, he gave a lithe, elegant account of Mozart’s Rondo in C for violin and orchestra. He concluded the evening with Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2, offering a dazzling yet probing performance of this difficult piece.

Mr. Birtwistle, 76, is a towering figure in British music. His language, though complex and modernistic, is distinctive and exhilarating. In his 40s, he wrote a great deal of incidental music. He is also a significant opera composer. So even his thorny pieces have dramatic sweep and flair.

Most of his instrumental works bear descriptive titles, many drawn from Greek drama. But not this concerto, which is written in one continuous episodic movement of nearly 30 minutes. Many composers draw on the David and Goliath potential of the concerto genre to generate conflict between soloist and orchestra. Yet there is little sense of conflict in Mr. Birtwistle’s concerto. Rather, this moody, shifting piece comes across like an involved, intense, sometimes tortured but always respectful conversation. During five stretches of the work, the violin engages in sort of sub-talks with a series of solo instruments: flute, piccolo, oboe, cello and bassoon.

But the concerto does not begin like a conversation. The orchestra emits a murky mass of soft, tremulous sounds, like some primordial stew, from which the violin emerges, posing the first thoughts, the first questions. Soon the orchestra breaks into spurts, echoing the rhythmically restless violin lines, as if reframing or rebutting the statements.

Throughout the piece the violin plays a stream of jagged chords, gnarly intervals, and twisted thematic flights. Then something will happen in the orchestra — a pungent harmony, a twitch of somber counterpoint — and the violin responds with a wafting melodic line in its shimmering high range. You know that this elusive yet organic concerto is coming to an end when the music breaks into circular riffs and then spins itself out, settling into a piercing, pensive final episode. The violin cannot stop fidgeting but finally does, ending the conversation, for now, with a few plucked clusters.

After the Birtwistle, I thought the Bartok was going to sound like a folk music concerto. Not so. The first movement is fitful, the second a theme and variations. Even the chirpy finale keeps being interrupted by virtuosic excursions and a ruminative, radiant timeout. Mr. Tetzlaff and Mr. Lehninger emphasized the work’s wildness and fractured character in a riveting performance.

In a way, Mr. Levine was present here. He fostered a relationship between Mr. Tetzlaff and the Boston Symphony, devised this program with him and commissioned the Birtwistle work. He brought Mr. Lehninger to Boston and deserves enormous credit for reinvigorating this eminent orchestra. Perhaps this was a night to think about the positive impact of Mr. Levine’s tenure at the Boston Symphony.


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共通テーマ:音楽

【短信】Muti のローマでの完全復帰 [音楽時評]

アメリカ・シカゴで,心臓の鼓動のペースの乱れから失神して真正面に指揮台から落下し,顎と頬の骨の骨折の手術を経て,心臓にペースメーカーを装着したRiccardo Muti が,Chicago Symphony Orchestra ではなく Verdi’s “Nabucco” at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera で完全復帰公演を飾ったようです.

聴衆の shouts of “bis!” (encore!)に答えて,ステージに上がり,聴衆にOpera chorus の一節を歌うように仕向け,Appearing full of energy, Muti said he would oblige only if the audience sang “Va’ pensiero” with a patriotic spirit. Those who knew the words did. とアンコールにしたといいますから,完全復帰といってよいでしょう.

いずれにしても大変喜ばしいことです.

 

Muti gets audience to join in encore

ROME — It isn’t every day that a conductor asks the audience to sing an opera chorus’ encore, but Riccardo Muti did just that.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director swirled about on his podium Saturday to face the crowd during Verdi’s “Nabucco” at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera when shouts of “bis!” (encore!) rang out.

Appearing full of energy, Muti said he would oblige only if the audience sang “Va’ pensiero” with a patriotic spirit. Those who knew the words did.


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【短信】公演中止の判断! [音楽時評]

今日,3月15日に予定されていたツェムリンスキー弦楽四重奏団の公演中止の速達を武蔵野文化会館から受け取りました.その文面に感ずるところがありましたので,ここにご紹介します.

弊財団では3月15日(火)に武蔵野文化会館小ホールで「ツェムリンスキー弦楽四重奏団」公演を開催する予定でした.しかし11日に東北地方太平洋沖地震が発生した事で,メンバーの中から来日を望まない声が出て苦慮していると連絡が入りました.来日実現に向けて協議を重ねていた最中の日本時間12日夕刻,福島原子力発電所爆発のニュースが欧州でも流れました.「大変申し訳ない.武蔵野で演奏したい思いは強いが,今回だけは来日をキャンセルさせて欲しい」旨の連絡が入りました.状況に鑑み,「ツェムリンスキー弦楽四重奏団」の公演を中止させていただくことになりました.

と書かれています.

電話では,さらに3月17日のクリストフ・ゲンツの「冬の旅」公演についても公演中止のお知らせが留守電に入っていました.

最近のサントリーホールの公演で,中止を決定したのは,「読売日本交響楽団」の定期はじめ2,3件に止まっていますが,当面の関東地方の電力事情,それに付随した交通事情を考えますと,もっと多くの演奏会が中止されてしかるべきではないかと愚考するものですが,いかがなモノでしょうか.

武蔵野文化会館の葉書では,東北地方太平洋沖地震と書かれていますが,かなり前から「東日本大地震」ないし「東北関東大地震」とも呼ばれてきたのを知らなかったのでしょうか.

福島原発がもっと地元のための原子力発電だったら,冷却装置その他の緊急装置への送電や応急修理が確保されていて,これほどまでの大災害に発展するのを無事に食い止められたのではと考えますと,関東は預かり知らないなどと言えた義理ではないことを,もっと自覚すべきではないのでしょうか.

もっと多くの公演中止,たとえば3月中休演を打ち出してしかるべきではないかと考えますが...


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Boston Symphony のMusic Director 探し [音楽時評]

下の写真は4月に来日して「ローエングリン」のステージ公演を予定されている Andris Nelsons, music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra です.彼は今週末, Carnegie Hall で,今シーズンの残りをキャンセルしたJames Levine に代わって,当のBoston Symphony Orchestra を指揮 debut 予定です. 

BSO の次期 Music Director 候補として,どうやら有力視されそうです.

以下の長文の英文は地元 Boston Grobe の記事ですが,前回のJames Levine の選任に当たっては,players の投票では Simon Rattle,  Michael Tilson Thomas も挙がっていたそうですが,大多数が James Levine を挙げたのだそうです.ひょっとしたら,Metropolitan Operaを退いて専任で来てくれると期待したのでしょうか.

今度は,団員の中には Gustavo Dudamel or Robert Spano の名前も挙がっているようですが,ちょっと難しいでしょうね.Mark Elder, the former English National Opera music director and current leader of the Halle Orchestra in Manchester も有望ですが,彼もMichael Tilson Thomas も引き受けないだろうと考えられています.

その後の議論のなかで,BSO は,下の写真のSerge Koussevitzky, who served as music director of the BSO from 1924 to 1949 and developed the symphony’s summer home at Tanglewood. を懐かしんで,“I don’t think the Boston Symphony has had a music director in the true sense of the word since Koussevitzky,’’ said Zander. “Somebody who is the key musical figure in the town. Taking care of every aspect of the community’s musical life. [Former music director Seiji] Ozawa was not at the heart of musical life in Boston. I was introduced to him 10 times and he never knew who I was. とKoussevitzky以後地域に溶け込んだまともな指揮者がいなかったとして,小澤征爾を例に挙げて,手ひどく批判しています.自分は10回も彼に紹介されたけれども,いつまでたっても彼は自分を誰だか思い出してくれなかった,というのです.

小澤のお陰で,当分,2度と日本人のチャンスはないでしょうが,個人的には Andris Nelsons の指揮するBSO をぜひ聞いてみたいと思います.

 

After the maestro

The BSO faces the daunting challenge of finding a new leader

Andris Nelsons, music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the first time later this week at Carnegie Hall.           Andris Nelsons, music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the first time later this week at Carnegie Hall. (Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times)
By Geoff Edgers
Globe Staff / March 13, 2011
In 2001, the last time the Boston Symphony Orchestra needed a leader, the players were given a blank sheet of paper on which to write their choice for music director. A few called for the British master of Mahler, Simon Rattle. A handful suggested Michael Tilson Thomas, the onetime BSO assistant who had made a name for himself in San Francisco.
Past BSO conductors

But the vast majority of the 100 players polled wrote the name of James Levine for the orchestra’s 14th music director. 

Levine’s roller-coaster tenure ends officially in September, when the ailing maestro steps down from the BSO. And with his premature exit comes what is either being called a crisis (by outsiders) or an opportunity (by BSO officials).

Except this time, there’s no front-runner.

Horn player Jonathan Menkis, who serves as chairman of the Boston Symphony players’ committee, chuckled when told of some of the names being bandied about. Take Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly.

“He’s a guy I’ve never worked with,’’ said Menkis.

Sir Colin Davis?

“He’s fantastic,’’ Menkis said of the longtime principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. “And he’s not going anywhere.’’

Asked whom he would favor to replace Levine, Menkis shied away from the idea of a young leader such as Gustavo Dudamel or Robert Spano.

“I’ve been here for 27 years,’’ said Menkis. “I’ve seen the finest conductors that have come to the BSO and I have identified with a small handful of them. There aren’t any young ones yet that I’ve seen that do it for me. It’s going to be a very difficult thing.’’

Whom would he prefer? Menkis mentioned Bernard Haitink, the BSO’s principal guest conductor from 1995 to 2004, and “Lenny.’’

Haitink was born in 1929. Leonard Bernstein died in 1990.

“I chuckle at that not because of the absurdity of it but because musicians really want to have a great artist that they know they can work with and their ensemble can grow with,’’ said Deborah Rutter, the president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, when told of the interest in “Lenny.’’ Chicago undertook a more than two-year search before selecting its current music director, Riccardo Muti, 69, whose own health problems have kept him off the podium in recent weeks. “We had those conversations. The person at the top of the list to be music director would be Carlos Kleiber’’ who, she noted, was already dead.

Benjamin Zander, the longtime conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, said, “There’s just no one out there quite like Levine. So it’s a rather bleak situation and I don’t know what the answer is.’’

Zander is one of the local music lovers who longs for a different era, when conductors considered the community they were working in as much as the podium. For that reason, in part, Zander loves Mark Elder, the former English National Opera music director and current leader of the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, England. Elder is known for his outspoken nature, desire to draw more people to classical music, and his orchestra building.

Zander concedes that he has doubts Elder or Tilson Thomas would be interested in the job. He also doesn’t think that Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, or even Dudamel, the phenomenon who serves as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, feel right for the BSO.

Then Zander evokes the name of another long-dead conductor, Serge Koussevitzky, who served as music director of the BSO from 1924 to 1949 and developed the symphony’s summer home at Tanglewood.

“I don’t think the Boston Symphony has had a music director in the true sense of the word since Koussevitzky,’’ said Zander. “Somebody who is the key musical figure in the town. Taking care of every aspect of the community’s musical life. [Former music director Seiji] Ozawa was not at the heart of musical life in Boston. I was introduced to him 10 times and he never knew who I was. Levine simply wasn’t here enough.’’

It’s an idea echoed by Boston Conservatory president Richard Ortner.

“I’m one of those people who longs for the days of the stay-at-home music director,’’ he said. “Somebody who does 36 weeks a season.’’

Levine’s schedule typically found him in Boston for 12 weeks, though his health problems made even that unreachable. That commitment is fairly standard in the era of the modern maestro, where it is typical to hold down two music directorships.

And while the idea of a stay-at-home-maestro might sound appealing after watching Levine struggle to juggle his time between the BSO and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, don’t count on it as a possibility, said Henry Fogel, the former president of the League of American Orchestras and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

“If you do have a conductor and, let’s say this is his only job, do you really think on the days he’s not conducting in Boston he’s going to be sitting around the house?’’

The days of Koussevitzky were different, he said.

“That all happened before the jet plane,’’ said Fogel. “So it wasn’t so easy to conduct around the world in a lot of places. It meant spending a week on a boat.’’

Fogel has no idea how long it will take the BSO to find a successor to Levine. But he’s also not concerned about time.

“It’s more important for Boston to get it right than to get it fast,’’ he said. “I guess I can make the case that given the amount of absences they had from Levine that there may be a public perception they need someone quickly. But I’m not sure that’s real. Of course, they don’t want to go four years without one, but Chicago did quite well in that period.’’

From here on out, the BSO process is straightforward. A search committee, made up of players, trustees, and management, will be in place by the end of the month. There will be discussions about conductors the BSO has played with, and talks about new faces such as Andris Nelsons, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra music director who will lead the orchestra for the first time later this week at Carnegie Hall.

It’s also possible, managing director Mark Volpe said, that the BSO might bring in a principal guest conductor or composer-in-residence during the interim period.

“We’re not wedded to anything right now,’’ he said. “Everything’s on the table.’’

BSO officials, who continue to praise Levine’s musical acumen while acknowledging his physical limitations, say the maestro’s exit has not left the BSO in the lurch.

In fact, with the music director missing large chunks of time over the last four years, Volpe said the BSO had already planned to form a search committee in April. Now, they’ll create one immediately.

“It was clear Jimmy’s physical limitations were getting to be more of a challenge,’’ said Volpe. “I think he understood that. We were hoping in this time, with him on the podium, to announce a change in role and a change in title. Obviously that got preempted.’’

Volpe cautions symphony-watchers not to read too much into guest conducting spots. Those aren’t necessarily auditions. The BSO has always had a healthy slate of name-conductors coming through town. That will continue.

As for the search, many music directors have contracts and commitments stretching two and three years out. That means that even if the BSO makes a hire, the orchestra may be waiting for several years for the new maestro’s arrival. That’s what happened with Levine, hired in 2001 but not on the podium as music director until 2004.

Isaiah Jackson, the former conductor of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston and a teacher at the Berklee College of Music, said he’s willing to wait.

“It’s like any luxury,’’ he said. “You go to Shreve’s and they say, ‘Which diamond necklace do you want?’ You’re not going to know until the beautiful woman who gets it tries it on.’’


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NY:St. Lawrence String Quartet;One Fresh Score in Place of Another [音楽時評]

St. Lawrence String Quartet が,New York で新作を引っさげて演奏会を開く予定だったのですが,新作が間に合わなかったために,John Adams’s String Quartet (2008)を代わりに演奏したそうです.

St. Lawrence String Quartet は,結局,The St. Lawrence — Geoff Nuttall and Scott St. John, violinists; Lesley Robertson, violist; and Christopher Costanza, cellist — surrounded the Adams with Haydn’s Quartet in D (Op. 20, No. 4) and Schubert’s Quartet in G (D. 887), both in highly polished, thoroughly unified performances. と,Haydn’s Quartet in D (Op. 20, No. 4), John Adams’s String Quartet (2008), Schubert’s Quartet in G (D. 887) の順で好演を展開したようです.

この評論では,弦楽四重奏の新曲は,初演されては消えてしまうという常識からすると,John Adams’s String Quartet は例外で,St. Lawrence が2009年にJuilliard で初演して,同年暮れにAxiom, a student ensemble at the Juilliard School によって再演され,2年後の今回のSt. Lawrence の演奏がby far the bestだったそうですが,これによってAdams の曲が3度目の演奏で大きな注目を浴びることになりますが,評者は未だ分かりにくいところがあり,さらなる推敲が望まれると書いています.

 

Music Review

One Fresh Score in Place of Another

The centerpiece of the St. Lawrence String Quartet’s program at Zankel Hall on Tuesday evening was to have been a new work by Osvaldo Golijov, whose music this ensemble has championed since its (and his) early days. But the piece was not ready, so the St. Lawrence players revived another recent acquisition,John Adams’s String Quartet (2008).

Joe Kohen for The New York Time                                                                                                                                                         The St. Lawrence String Quartet featuring, from left, Geoff Nuttall, Scott St. John, Christopher Costanza and Lesley Robertson, at Zankel Hall.
Here is an exception to the generally valid complaint that new scores vanish after their first performances. I heard the St. Lawrence play the premiere of this quartet at a Juilliard Focus! concert in early 2009, and that December I heard it again, played by Axiom, a student ensemble at the Juilliard School. Now, 15 months later, it is back, and so far it stands the test of time. Not surprisingly, given that the St. Lawrence musicians have had the work in their hands for more than two years, the Zankel account was by far the best.

Where the first two readings introduced the piece’s continuously shifting contours and revealed the breadth of Mr. Adams’s current style — unrestrained eclecticism, with only occasional reminders of his Minimalist roots — this time the ensemble added a visceral dimension that put the score’s ample drama in high relief. The transition from the shimmering, repetitive figures that open the piece to the angular counterpoint that follows sounded smoother, and the first movement’s journey had an inexorable quality — a combination of tension and drive — that suggested a temperamental kinship with the late Beethoven quartets.

There are still points in the quartet that remain puzzling. After so much electrifying interplay Mr. Adams provides a contrastingly relaxed section that seemed oddly diffuse. Perhaps further hearings will clarify the need for this anticlimactic retreat. In any case, it does not last long before it gives way to trilled sparring between the lines. In the second movement Mr. Adams uses a Morse-code-like opening passage as a way back to the heated, luminous writing that made most of the first movement so gripping.

The St. Lawrence — Geoff Nuttall and Scott St. John, violinists; Lesley Robertson, violist; and Christopher Costanza, cellist — surrounded the Adams with Haydn’s Quartet in D (Op. 20, No. 4) and Schubert’s Quartet in G (D. 887), both in highly polished, thoroughly unified performances.

There have been times, in past seasons, when energy and enthusiasm have come close to swamping fastidiousness in this group’s readings, and generally the results were exciting enough that the tradeoff was acceptable. Now the ensemble’s accuracy matches its vitality.

In the Haydn a fluid approach to tempos and dynamics yielded an organic, supple rendering that coalesced brilliantly in the speedy, hard-driven finale. And in the Schubert (for which Mr. St. John took over as first violinist), gravity, warmth and textural richness illuminated the composer’s luxurious meditation.


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Baltimore Symphony focusing the season on women [音楽時評]

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra はアメリカでは Major の1つに数えられるOrchestra ですが,女流指揮者 Marin Alsop がMusic Director として活躍していることでも知られています.

そのBSO が2011~2012シーズンを「女性」に焦点を当てようということです.その1つが西海岸ツアーと Carnegie Hall (Alsopとして4度目の)公演で,a semi-staged version of Honegger's "Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher," a Joan of Arc oratorio that's a centerpiece of this year's "woman" theme, coinciding with the 600th anniversary of Joan's birth in 2012. ということです.

その他では,女流作曲家とソリストの発掘にも力を入れていくようで,Joan Tower (with her ubiquitous "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman"), Jennifer Higdon (with her percussion concerto), and Carmen -- Sarasate's "Carmen" Fantasy, that is, but performed by a woman, Madeline Adkins.

Richard Einhorn's choral-orchestral hit "Voices of Light".The orchestra has also commissioned a new "women's work" from a local composer: James Lee III has written "Chuphshah! Harriet's Drive to Canaan," about Harriet Tubman

the BSO can make a virtue of introducing new female soloists: Olga Kern and Lise de la Salle on piano, Arabella Steinbacher on violin, and sopranos Joyce El-Khoury and Layla Claire. Hilary Hahn (both local and a woman) will play the Mendelssohn concerto at the season-opening gala on September 10, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will play the Tchaikovsky concerto at the season's last subscription concert on June 7-10.

Hilary Hahn (both local and a woman) will play the Mendelssohn concerto at the season-opening gala on September 10, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will play the Tchaikovsky concerto at the season's last subscription concert on June 7-10.

多士済々ですが,1つ欠けているモノとして,One thing missing from the focus on women: although Alsop is certainly conducting the lion's share of this season's programs, there are no other female guest conductors. とAlsop 以外の女流指揮者の登場がないことが指摘されています.

 

 

Posted at 8:55 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

BSO does strong woman number in 2011-12

By Anne Midgette

The good news is that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is focusing its 2011-12 season on women. The bad news, which the orchestra is tacitly trying to address with this good season, is that women are still enough of a breed apart in classical music that they count as a theme rather than, well, 50% of the offerings.

If anyone's aware of this, it's Marin Alsop, the first woman to serve as music director of a major American orchestra (though JoAnn Falletta, of the Virginia and Buffalo orchestras, would contest the definition of "major"). Alsop is using her podium cannily, extending the initial buzz around her appointment in 2007-08 with canny programming that helps get the orchestra exposure. The upcoming season sees both a West Coast tour and another Carnegie Hall appearance -- the orchestra's fourth since Alsop took over -- with a semi-staged version of Honegger's "Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher," a Joan of Arc oratorio that's a centerpiece of this year's "woman" theme, coinciding with the 600th anniversary of Joan's birth in 2012.

Richard Einhorn's choral-orchestral hit "Voices of Light" is the season's other Joan highlight; it will be played as live accompaniment to Carl Dreyer's magisterial silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc," its original inspiration. The orchestra has also commissioned a new "women's work" from a local composer: James Lee III has written "Chuphshah! Harriet's Drive to Canaan," about Harriet Tubman.

Other featured women include Joan Tower (with her ubiquitous "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman"), Jennifer Higdon (with her percussion concerto), and Carmen -- Sarasate's "Carmen" Fantasy, that is, but performed by a woman, Madeline Adkins.

Because it's a women's season, the BSO can make a virtue of introducing new female soloists: Olga Kern and Lise de la Salle on piano, Arabella Steinbacher on violin, and sopranos Joyce El-Khoury and Layla Claire. Hilary Hahn (both local and a woman) will play the Mendelssohn concerto at the season-opening gala on September 10, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will play the Tchaikovsky concerto at the season's last subscription concert on June 7-10.

Alsop has developed a number of programming elements at the BSO which continue as a feature this season. There are four "Off the Cuff" concerts, in which Alsop discusses and parses a single significant work (this year's focuses are Copland's "Appalachian Spring," Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra," Prokofiev's 5th symphony and Shostakovich's 7th). There is also a focus on living composers (Kevin Puts's 4th symphony, James MacMillan's "The Confessions of Isobel Gowdie," a new work called "Charm" by David T. Little); there are more multimedia performances (Philip Glass's LIFE: A Journey Through Time, as well as the "Voices of Light" concert); and there are more circuses ("Holiday Cirque de la Symphonie" in December).

One thing missing from the focus on women: although Alsop is certainly conducting the lion's share of this season's programs, there are no other female guest conductors.

By Anne Midgette  | March 2, 2011; 8:55 AM ET


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Tokyo String Quartet in New York [音楽時評]

先月王子ホールで名演を聴かせてくれた東京クァルテットが.本拠のNew York で,2008年から続けてきたBeethoven Cycle の追い込みに入ったようです.

このCycle では,Quartet を年代順にやりながら,それと並行して,ピアニストを招いてPiano sonata を演奏して貰って,Beethoven 理解を深める試みを続けてきています.

3月5日の後1回だけを残すことになる演奏会では,Quartet がBeethoven’s Op. 132 String Quartet,それにピアニスト,Robert Levin による Piano Sonata in A (Op. 101),そしてクァルテットのCellist,Clive Greensmith を加えた Cello Sonata in C (Op. 102) が演奏されたようです.

Quartet, which he(Beethoven) titled “A Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Deity, in the Lydian Mode.” The Tokyo String Quartet offered an elegantly wrought interpretation of the work, which Beethoven composed after recovering from a severe illness in 1825.と東京クァルテットらしい好演を聴かせたようです.

ピアノ・ソナタでは,played with clarity and pointed articulation, deftly revealing the complexities of this complicated sonata, particularly in the fugal.と好演だったようですし,チェロ・ソナタでは, They elegantly conveyed the varying moods, from introverted lyricism to urgent outbursts. と好評を得ています.

日本でもこうした部厚い室内楽演奏会がもっともっと増えると良いと思いますが,いかがでしょうか.

 

Music in Review

Music in Review: Tokyo String Quartet

Some of the most poignant moments in the chamber music repertory are in the Adagio of Beethoven’s Op. 132 String Quartet, which he titled “A Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Deity, in the Lydian Mode.” The Tokyo String Quartet offered an elegantly wrought interpretation of the work, which Beethoven composed after recovering from a severe illness in 1825, on Saturday evening as part of its cycle of Beethoven’s complete string quartets at the 92nd Street Y. The Tokyo began the series in 2008, organizing the quartets by period and pairing them with Beethoven piano sonatas performed by various artists.

The program on Saturday, the next to last in the series, was dedicated to late Beethoven. Robert Levin offered a nuanced and thoughtfully conceived (if occasionally heavy-handed) rendition of the Piano Sonata in A (Op. 101). The opening movement sounded rather matter of fact. But Mr. Levin, a musicologist and performer who specializes in Baroque and Classical repertory, which he often performs on fortepiano, played with clarity and pointed articulation, deftly revealing the complexities of this complicated sonata, particularly in the fugal fourth movement. Mr. Levin joined Clive Greensmith, the Tokyo String Quartet’s cellist, for a colorful rendition of Beethoven’s volatile Cello Sonata in C (Op. 102). They elegantly conveyed the varying moods, from introverted lyricism to urgent outbursts.


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紀尾井ホール:YUJA WANG ピアノ・リサイタル [音楽時評]

3月5日,午後5時過ぎに終わったサントリーホールから紀尾井ホールに回って,YUJA WANG の素晴しいピアノ・リサイタルを聴いてきました.

未だ弱冠23歳の才媛ですが,テクニックも曲の深い解釈もまことに見事なモノで,Wang impresses by her natural intellectual capacity to express musical structure in combination with powerful technique. と賞賛された通りでした. 

最近,アンドラーシュ・シフのオペラ・シティでのシューベルト,そしてNHKTV で視聴したオール・ベートーヴェン(作品109,110&111)が,いずれもまことに個性的にゆっくりし過ぎたテンポで,いたく失望していたのですが,今夜の目のさめるようなYUJA WANG のシューベルト;ピアノ・ソナタ第19番D.958 の名演で大いに救われました.

さすが1流国家にのし上がった中国から,相次いで素晴しいピアニストが登場していますが,Lang Lang, Yundi Li(2000年ショパン・コンクールの覇者), という美しい音色と確かなテクニック、そして深い音楽性の3つを備えたピアニスト2人に続く俊才の1人として,このYUJA WANG が挙げられるのではないでしょうか.ほとんどを北京での勉学で過ごしたあと,カナダのマウント・ロイヤル・カレッジ音楽院,続いてアメリカのカーティス音楽院で学んだそうですが,その前後から既に広く国際的な活躍の場に恵まれている弱冠23歳の女流ピアニストです.

プログラムは,                                                       ラフマニノフ: コレルリの主題による変奏曲 op.42                                                シューベルト: ピアノ・ソナタ第19番 ハ短調 D958 (遺作)                                 ※※※※※※※※                                                                             スクリアビン: 前奏曲 ロ長調 op.11-11                                                                                   練習曲 嬰ト短調 op.8-9                                                                              前奏曲 ロ短調  op.13-6                                                                               前奏曲 嬰ト短調 op.11-12  
                練習曲 嬰ヘ長調 op.42-3                                                                             詩曲第1番 嬰ヘ長調 op.32-1                                        メンデルスゾーン(ラフマニノフ編):「夏の夜の夢」からスケルツオ                        サン=サーンス(V.ホロヴィッツ編):死の舞踏 op.40                                   でした.

コレルリの主題による変奏曲は,主題と20の変奏と間奏曲とコーダから成り、たいへん緻密な構成で作られています.アンダンテの主題にはじまり、それぞれリズムやテンポを変化させながら、第20変奏のクライマックスへ向かい,コーダで再びアンダンテとなり静かに曲を閉じます.       YUJA WANG は確実なテクニックと深い曲の構成の解釈にたって,実に見事にこの名曲をつまびらかにしてくれました.

それに続く大曲,シューベルトの第19番ソナタは,4楽章構成ですが,ベートーヴェンの影響を色濃く残しており,第1楽章 Allegro ハ短調,半音階的に上昇する力強い第一主題は創作主題による32の変奏曲に、厳粛な平行調の第二主題は悲愴ソナタに類似しているといわれています.第2楽章 Adagio 変イ長調は,悲愴ソナタの中間楽章に似た穏やかな楽章です.第3楽章 Minuetto ハ短調は,右手オクターブ奏法を左手が支える簡潔な楽章,第4楽章 Presto ハ短調は,ロンドソナタ形式タランテラですが,リート形式の嘆きの歌が籠められています.                 YUJA WANG は,着実,丁寧に,そして構成力豊かに,この曲を名演してくれました.これほど見事な演奏は予想しなかったほどで,驚嘆しました.

スクリアビンは前奏曲,練習曲,詩曲を選別して弾いてくれましたが,スクリアビンの小品集を,端正に弾き分けてくれました.

メンデルスゾーン,サン=サーンスはいずれもホロヴィッツ編曲のモノで,彼女のピアノの高度で確実なテクニックをひけらかす作品群でした.本当にビックリするほど早い手さばき,指さばきに見とれるような演奏でした.ちょっと,Lang Lang のこれでもかというキラビヤカサに類似したモノを感じました.                                                        個人的にはそんなにひけらかさなくとも十分に分るので,もっと本格的なピアノ・ソナタ,例えばシューベルトの第20番,21番などを並べて聴かせて貰いたかったと思いました.

将来のマルタ・アルゲリッチだという呼び声があるようですが,本当に物凄い秀才ピアニストで,今後の成熟が大きな楽しみです.

 


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共通テーマ:音楽

サントリーホール:シャイー指揮ライプチッヒ・ゲヴァントハウス管 [音楽時評]

3月5日,マチネーでサントリーホールでのリッカルド・シャイー指揮,ゲヴァントハウス管弦楽団のオール・ドヴォルザーク・プログラムを聴きに行ってきました.

シャイーの指揮を聴くのは久しぶりでしたが,まことに着実で,細かな指示も含めて,ダイナミックな指揮を展開して好演を聴かせてくれました.ゲヴァントハウスは250年以上の歴史を持つドイツ最古のオーケストラで,ベルリン,ミュンヘンなどに並ぶドイツを代表するオーケストラです.

プログラムは,オール・ドヴォルザークで,                                  序曲『謝肉祭』 op.92
ヴァイオリン協奏曲 イ短調 op.53  solist:カバコス(vn)                                           ※※※※※※※※
交響曲第7番 ニ短調 op.70                                                                        でした.

謝肉祭というのはカーニバルのことで,その間は肉断ちをするので,その前に肉,酒を溢れるほど食べ飲むのだそうです.そうした賑やかな光景を彷彿させるきびきびした好演でした.

ヴァイオリン協奏曲は,スラブ地方に没頭した時代の作品で,急,緩,急の3楽章構成ですが.第1楽章のカデンツァから続けて第2楽章に入ります.Allegro ma non troppo - Adagio ma non troppo - Finale: Allegro giocoso ma non troppo ですが,その第2楽章の叙情的なメロディが,ああ,この曲だったのかと思い起こさせてくれる曲ですが,未だ若いレオニダス・カヴァコスが確かなテクニックと音量豊かにたいへんな名演を展開してくれました.                  アンコールにイザイ作曲無伴奏ヴァイオリン・ソナタ第4番ホ短調op.27-4から「アルマンド」をしっとりと聴かせてくれました.

交響曲第7番は,「新世界」ほどの有名さはないのですが,民族色を薄めたなかにも,オーストリア・ハンガリー帝国に反抗するチェコの民族性が随所に盛り込まれた作品です.             第1楽章 Allegro maestoso,第2楽章 Poco adagio,第3楽章 Scherzo: Vivace - Poco meno mosso,第4楽章 Finale: Allegro の急-緩-スケルツオ-急の構成ですが,第1楽章の民即的音楽挿入は有名です.第2楽章で,ドヴォルザークらしい美しいメロディがふんんだんに導入されており,第3楽章では,ああこの曲だったかと思い出させる特有のリズムが,一貫して現われています.フィナーレでは,対照的な第1,第2主題が提示され,展開されて,最後は第1主題が壮大に反復されて曲を閉じます.                                              ドヴォルザークの作品のなかで,最近,この第7番交響曲の評価が高まっているといわれます.

とにかくシャイーの的確な指揮のもと,いわば絢爛たる音楽が華麗に展開されて,なかなかの名演奏でした.

外来オーケストラがとかくポプラー路線をとるなかで,こうした大作曲家に絞った演奏会を聴かせてくれたことには敬意を表したいと思います.

アンコールがあったようですが,マチネーから18時からのソワレ(紀尾井ホール)に急がねばならなかったため,終演後,1度ステージに迎えたあと,席を立ちました.          


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共通テーマ:音楽

東京文化小ホール:吉野直子レクチャー・コンサート [音楽時評]

3月4日,東京文化会館小ホールに,吉野直子レクチャー・コンサート「ハープ諸国めぐり」を聴きに行ってきました.

この日は,「ハープ諸国めぐり」とあるように,チェコ,フランス,イギリス,アメリカ,日本,イスラエル,重ねてフランスの計7カ国の作曲家の作品が紹介されました.

プログラムは次の通りでした.                                                 J.L.ドゥシュク:     ハープのためのソナタ ハ短調                              G. フォーレ:     塔のなかの王妃 Op.110                                    B. ブリテン:     ハープのための組曲 Op.83                                                     N.ロータ:      サラバンドとトッカータ                                                     ※※※※※※※※                                                                            M.グランジャニー: コロラド・トレイル Op.28                                                       C.サルツェード:    夜の歌                                                                           細川俊夫:      回帰Ⅱ~ハープ独奏のための~                           A.マヤーニ:    トッカータ                                              G. ピエルネ:    アンプロンプチュ・カプリース[奇想的即興曲]                     でした.

作品の生まれた国のことは2国について説明があり,王朝文化の花開いたフランスがハープの王道だという話があり,イスラエルではこの40年ほどハープ国際コンクールが続けられているということでした.

曲の解説は省略しますが,ハープのメカニズムについて, 
1.弦は47本あること, 
2.オクターブごとに同じ色の弦があること,
3.ペダルは7本あること,                                            が説明されました.                                                7本のペダルがオクターブ;ド,レ,ミ,ファ,フォ.ラ,シの弦に対応していて,各3段階あり,♯,ナチュラル,♭に対応しており,,ペダル操作で調性を合せ,ピアノの黒鍵の役割を担わせていると言うことでした.

弦が原則としてガット弦なので,湿度変化に弱く,毎度たいへん神経を使うと話していました.また,ハープはおよそ40kgもあるので,運搬がたいへんだと言う話でした.

今日はここまでにします.

 


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共通テーマ:音楽

Takacs Quartet played all Schubert program [音楽時評]

Takacs Quartet がかなり希な演奏会といえるSchubert の中期,後期,晩年のQuartet を1夜で演奏するコンサートをNew Yorkで開いたそうです.

メンバーは原文の写真に並記されていますが,Edward Dusinberre(vn), Karoly Schranz(vn), Andras Fejer(vc) and Geraldine Walther(va), プログラムは,All Schubert で,             String Quartet No.8 in B flat (D. 112), composed in 1814, when he was 17.                    String Quartet No.13 in A minor (D. 804, “Rosamunde”), composed in 1824                      String Quartet No.15 in G (D. 887), from 1826  (遺作)                                          だったようです.

3回シリーズの2回目で,前回はシューベルトの影響を受けた作品を1曲含んでいたそうですが,Midway through a three-concert series devoted almost entirely to Schubert’s music — a previous program included a new piece inspired by a Schubert work — this consistently invigorating, satisfying ensemble offered three distinct views of a singular creator.                                       とこのクァルテットがシューベルトについて,3つの見方を明らかにしたと評価しています.

最初の曲で,Already evident in the piece is a propensity for surprising shifts between major and minor keys. を挙げています. 

D. 804, “Rosamunde” では,Schubert prematurely grown up and virtually unmatchable in his ability to mingle light and shade, joy and heartbreak. Properly poised in the earlier piece, the Takacs players adopted an earthier sound and a volatile temperament that suited Schubert’s mood swings and nervous fits without selling short his delicacy or serenity. This was an account of rare insight and passion, red-blooded but never reckless.と Takacs players を賞賛しています.

With the String Quartet in G (D. 887), from 1826, came Schubert the ailing visionary who may well have sensed his looming demise. (He died two years later, at 31.) Like Beethoven in his contemporaneous late quartets Schubert here grapples with the eternal, at epic length: 45 minutes or more. 

The work’s boldness still astonishes. An opening movement that anticipates Bruckner’s sensations of tremulous piety and majestic ascent gives way to a clockwork ballad, a show of blithe spirits and an acidic jollity that borders on mania.

あとはどうぞご自由にご渉猟下さい.日本でもぜひこうした深みのある演奏会をやって欲しいモノです.

 

Music Review

Interpreting Several Phases of a Singular Creator

Brian Harkin for The New York Times

The Takacs Quartet at the 92nd Street Y on Saturday night. From left, Edward Dusinberre, Karoly Schranz, Andras Fejer and Geraldine Walther.

Schubert was the only composer represented in the program that the Takacs Quartet offered at the 92nd Street Y on Saturday night, but in no sense was there too much of a muchness about the affair. Midway through a three-concert series devoted almost entirely to Schubert’s music — a previous program included a new piece inspired by a Schubert work — this consistently invigorating, satisfying ensemble offered three distinct views of a singular creator.

Schubert the Wunderkind was represented by the String Quartet in B flat (D. 112), composed in 1814, when he was 17. Already evident in the piece is a propensity for surprising shifts between major and minor keys. Near the start of the introductory Allegro a bucolic B flat opening is swept aside by torrential triplets in G minor; dissonant chords prick the bittersweet Andante shortly before its close. The charming Menuetto and Presto are tame by comparison.

From the arresting opening of the String Quartet in A minor (D. 804, “Rosamunde”), composed a decade later, you heard a Schubert prematurely grown up and virtually unmatchable in his ability to mingle light and shade, joy and heartbreak. Properly poised in the earlier piece, the Takacs players adopted an earthier sound and a volatile temperament that suited Schubert’s mood swings and nervous fits without selling short his delicacy or serenity.

In playing so gritty, minor scuffs and blemishes were inevitable. So what? This was an account of rare insight and passion, red-blooded but never reckless.

With the String Quartet in G (D. 887), from 1826, came Schubert the ailing visionary who may well have sensed his looming demise. (He died two years later, at 31.) Like Beethoven in his contemporaneous late quartets Schubert here grapples with the eternal, at epic length: 45 minutes or more.

The work’s boldness still astonishes. An opening movement that anticipates Bruckner’s sensations of tremulous piety and majestic ascent gives way to a clockwork ballad, a show of blithe spirits and an acidic jollity that borders on mania.

Again the Takacs players took risks with their exertions. And again the result was a performance that conveyed superlatively Schubert’s inimitable entwinement of filigree and frenzy.


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共通テーマ:音楽

James Levine leaves Boston Symphon [音楽時評]

先週予定されたBoston Symphony の Mahler 9th の指揮をキャンセル(Assitant Conductor が代演)したJames Levine が,これ以上Metropolitan Opera とBoston Symphony 双方のMusic Director を継続するのは困難と告げて,2004年以来のBonston Symphony を辞任しました(9月1日付け).

Things went well at first. He reinvigorated the Boston orchestra, which had grown dispirited after three decades under Seiji Ozawa, and poured his intellectual energy into programming new and ambitious works, specializing in contemporary composers like Elliott Carter, John Harbison, Charles Wuorinen and others. Overseeing the Tanglewood Music Center, the symphony’s summer home and a training center, came with the job, and Mr. Levine jumped into it with vigor. (He is still on the schedule to be there this summer.)

For the first couple of years “it was glorious, and things artistically were incredibly satisfying,” Mr. Volpe said. He dismissed the idea that the orchestra’s playing had slipped, praising a singing quality and emphasis on upper voices brought by Mr. Levine. “The personnel of the orchestra is probably as good as it’s ever been.”  

と小澤征爾が低下させた演奏水準を超一流に復活させたのでしたが,その後,指揮台から落ちて腰を痛め,その手術を繰り返しながらやってきたのでした. 
昨年春の手術は大成功で,昨年秋のシーズン開幕からは,1日にBoston & Met Opera の双方を指揮するという離れ業をこなしたりしていたのですが,そこいウイルス性疾患が重なって,今回の辞任に至ったのだそうです.

今後はMet Opera に専念するそうです.

これから来シーズンに向けたMusic Director 探しになりますが,James Levine の後任というのはなかなかたいへんな人選が難しいと考えられます.

 

 

Levine, Citing Health, Says He’ll Leave Boston Symphony

James Levine, dogged by a relentless series of health problems, said on Wednesday that he would resign as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, concluding that he could no longer handle the job along with his duties in the same post at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

James Levine has missed about a fifth of his Boston Symphony concerts.

Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times   
James Levine leading the Boston Symphony at Carnegie Hall in February. He could still return as a guest conductor.

Mr. Levine, 67, plans to step down on Sept. 1, after seven seasons at the symphony, a tenure marked by artistic leaps but also by repeated cancellations and frustration among orchestra players, management and patrons over his absences.

Mr. Levine said he was just as frustrated as everybody else.

“This has been brewing in my mind for a long time,” Mr. Levine, who was in New York, said in a telephone interview. “Each time that I had to cancel because of illness, or each time that I arrived and wasn’t my best, I kept thinking we can’t keep this up. This isn’t right for the orchestra or the audience or me.”

The orchestra said it was a joint decision.

Mark Volpe, the Boston Symphony’s managing director, said that in November he and Mr. Levine began discussing an “evolving artistic role.” Mr. Volpe has not hidden his frustration in the past, once calling the concert to concert uncertainty “slow torture” and saying the situation was “not tenable” in the long-term.

Last week the lingering effects of a procedure related to Mr. Levine’s most recent surgery, compounded by a virus, forced him to cancel performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. That was a signal to both that the time had come.

“We said, ‘It’s clear to us you should be focusing on your health,’ ” Mr. Volpe recounted, adding that he told Mr. Levine that it was time to move forward with a search for his successor. “He fully understood,” Mr. Volpe said.

Mr. Volpe told the orchestra on Wednesday afternoon at rehearsal. “Frankly, no one was shocked,” he said.

A committee was being formed to find a new conductor, but it was highly unlikely anyone would be in place by next season, Mr. Volpe said.

Mr. Levine’s medical history includes sciatica, a hand tremor and weight problems. He has had a succession of operations in the last five years: repair of his rotator cuff, removal of a kidney and two back surgeries.

While he missed many Met performances, the impact seemed greater in Boston.

Orchestra music directors, as opposed to those at an opera company, generally have a greater influence on a season, shaping repertory, approving guest conductors and soloists, and overseeing new orchestra hires. At the Met, however, the conductor is one element in a huge machine that includes stage directors, production designers, star singers, a chorus and its director, and a large staff of assistant conductors, rehearsal pianists and coaches.

The work at an orchestra is also more intense: a week can be packed with rehearsals, meetings and back to back concerts. Rehearsals, preparation and performances at an opera house are more spread out over time. Mr. Levine said his health would still allow him to handle that kind of life. He also pointed out that he had been at the Met for 40 years, lived in New York and had a reliable music staff at the opera house. “I’ve been at the Met for such a long time that everything about it is comfortable to me and familiar to me, and I’m at one with it,” he said, “whereas in Boston, unless I’m 100 percent well and rested, then I can’t give them the work they deserve.”

Orchestra officials will work to replace the seven or eight weeks of programs Mr. Levine was to conduct. Both Mr. Volpe and Mr. Levine left open the possibility that Mr. Levine could return as a guest conductor.

From the outset Mr. Levine’s health drew scrutiny over concerns he would have difficulty juggling both music directorships. Things went well at first. He reinvigorated the Boston orchestra, which had grown dispirited after three decades under Seiji Ozawa, and poured his intellectual energy into programming new and ambitious works, specializing in contemporary composers like Elliott Carter, John Harbison, Charles Wuorinen and others. Overseeing the Tanglewood Music Center, the symphony’s summer home and a training center, came with the job, and Mr. Levine jumped into it with vigor. (He is still on the schedule to be there this summer.)

For the first couple of years “it was glorious, and things artistically were incredibly satisfying,” Mr. Volpe said. He dismissed the idea that the orchestra’s playing had slipped, praising a singing quality and emphasis on upper voices brought by Mr. Levine. “The personnel of the orchestra is probably as good as it’s ever been.”   

Mr. Levine acknowledged that he might have bitten off too much. “From the very beginning I didn’t handle both jobs completely smoothly,” he said. “There was always for me a tightness in the schedule between finishing a group of things here and then having to go right away to another group of things somewhere else.” As a younger, healthier man, he said, he could handle that.

Peter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager, said Mr. Levine had not cut back on his plans at the house. He will maintain a pace of four to five productions and 30 or more scheduled performances through the 2014-15 season, the extent of the Met’s fixed plans so far.

According to statistics provided by the Met, Mr. Levine had roughly 50 scheduled Met performances in each of the first three seasons starting in September 2004, when he joined the Boston Symphony; his load fell to an average of 35 after that. Of 285 total performances scheduled, the operations, recuperations and other medical issues caused him to miss 55. The Boston Symphony said he missed about a fifth of its concerts.

Mr. Levine is next due for a Met orchestra rehearsal on March 29, and a performance of “Das Rheingold” the next day, the start of a performance-packed period. In April and May he is set to conduct another “Rheingold”; four performances of “Wozzeck”; four of “Il Trovatore”; seven of a new production of “Die Walküre”; and two Met orchestra concerts in Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Levine’s health problems sometimes seem to be scrutinized like those of a political leader or pope because he is an enormously influential figure in classical music. He plays a central role in one of the world’s leading opera houses, has the devotion of many major singers and directs one of the top orchestras around.

He has a large fan base and attracts donors. Administrators rely on his leadership to keep their institutions musically excellent. Audience members buy tickets for him, not — at least not yet — for the likes of his substitutes, including Sean Newhouse, an assistant conductor for the Boston orchestra who led Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 last weekend.

On Tuesday, before the announcement of Mr. Levine’s resignation, the Boston Symphony said he was also pulling out of all 12 remaining concerts this season, including three high-profile dates at Carnegie Hall, March 15 to 17. The orchestra said an assistant conductor, Marcelo Lehninger; Roberto Abbado; and Andris Nelsons would be substitutes at Carnegie.

Mr. Levine’s first extended absence came after a Beethoven Ninth performance in Boston almost exactly five years ago, when he tripped on the stage and landed on his right shoulder. The result: a torn rotator cuff and surgery to repair it. Until then he had been remarkably durable, missing perhaps a dozen performances out of 2,000 at the Met.

In July 2008 he had surgery to remove a kidney because of a malignant cyst. The 2009-10 season brought an operation to fix a herniated disk near his neck and a 10-hour surgery to correct curvature of the spine and compression on his spinal cord. A lingering problem with a nerve from that operation caused continuing discomfort and a procedure to fix it led to the latest round of absences, and ultimately, his departure from the Boston Symphony.


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Detroit SO: Too little, too late? [音楽時評]

Detroit Symphony Orchestra のMusicians は,オーケストラが2010~10シーズンをキャンセルするという楽団側の発表があってから,俄に契約なしで職場に復帰すると言い出したそうです.

それについてAnne Midgette は Too little, too late? と論評しています.

The question is whether the season, and the orchestra, can be saved. It's a question that's far from rhetorical. There seems no solution to the standoff, and lots of Detroit players are looking for other jobs. Mark Stryker, in the Detroit Free Press, reports that the whole percussion section is leaving.

彼女はドイツ統合後の自治体財政逼迫時の情況を思い起こして書いています.           At that time, Munich's daily newspaper ran a series of opinion pieces in which dozens of prominent artists, administrators and politicians debated the degree to which the arts were actually necessary to a community, when the choices are between, say, funding hospitals or the opera house.

さらに第2次大戦後,Orchestra はビルの地下室で演奏会を開いていた当時を回顧して,postwar performances in the basements of bombed-out buildings, playing to rapt audiences of people who welcomed the chance to enter another realm for a few hours. That, they said, demonstrated the kind of spiritual sustenance that the arts can provide. と論じています.

そして,Detroit のMusicians には,次のように忠告しています.                     a city in which entire blocks are sitting vacant. Yet an orchestra is not necessarily providing the kind of sustenance that people in crisis today turn toward. It has a different relationship to the culture; to a lot of people, it still has to demonstrate what it can offer, before it can begin the work of offering it.

As I see it, the DSO management sought to respond to the changing landscape -- of orchestras, as well as of Detroit -- by expanding the definition of the players' role, introducing into the contract mandatory outreach activities which many of the players already participate in, but which would now be part of the job. But changing their job descriptions was one of the aspects of the proposed contract that players objected to most.  

newspaper coverage of the players' complaints -- including the decline in base salaries down to around $80,000, a 30% decrease -- has not won them new fans in a city where most salaries are a lot lower than that and lots of people have lost their jobs altogether.

結論として,Is there an answer? Can music demonstrate that it is spiritually sustaining to an American city in trouble? Can a city like Detroit still afford an orchestra? And what do you think the DSO should do, moving forward, to start rebuilding?

客観的に見ると,Detroit Symphony には,将来性がないということでしょうか..... 
経済的沈滞を続ける日本のOrchestra も,他山の石として,真剣に検討すべき問題ではないでしょうか.....

 

Posted at 3:41 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

DSO: Too little, too late?

By Anne Midgette

On February 19, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's management announced the cancellation of the season after players voted against a final contract proposal, continuing what has stretched into a 23-week strike.

Now, the players say they're ready to return to work, without a contract.

The question is whether the season, and the orchestra, can be saved. It's a question that's far from rhetorical. There seems no solution to the standoff, and lots of Detroit players are looking for other jobs. Mark Stryker, in the Detroit Free Press, reports that the whole percussion section is leaving.

Given the stalemate that's reigned for weeks, the players' action now looks like a belated realization that their futures are very much at risk.

I lived in Germany during the period when the costs of reunification were playing havoc with arts budgets, and cities that had previously been able to afford lavish arts institutions were suddenly finding themselves strapped. (One of my first articles for the Wall Street Journal was about the city of Frankfurt going bankrupt.) At that time, Munich's daily newspaper ran a series of opinion pieces in which dozens of prominent artists, administrators and politicians debated the degree to which the arts were actually necessary to a community, when the choices are between, say, funding hospitals or the opera house.

One element that kept recurring in these essays was reminiscences of people who had lived through World War II, and seen postwar performances in the basements of bombed-out buildings, playing to rapt audiences of people who welcomed the chance to enter another realm for a few hours. That, they said, demonstrated the kind of spiritual sustenance that the arts can provide.

That image sticks with me as I think of Detroit, a city in which entire blocks are sitting vacant. Yet an orchestra is not necessarily providing the kind of sustenance that people in crisis today turn toward. It has a different relationship to the culture; to a lot of people, it still has to demonstrate what it can offer, before it can begin the work of offering it.

As I see it, the DSO management sought to respond to the changing landscape -- of orchestras, as well as of Detroit -- by expanding the definition of the players' role, introducing into the contract mandatory outreach activities which many of the players already participate in, but which would now be part of the job. But changing their job descriptions was one of the aspects of the proposed contract that players objected to most.

The problem is that art can't respond to crisis effectively if people don't want to hear it. Meanwhile, newspaper coverage of the players' complaints -- including the decline in base salaries down to around $80,000, a 30% decrease -- has not won them new fans in a city where most salaries are a lot lower than that and lots of people have lost their jobs altogether.

Is there an answer? Can music demonstrate that it is spiritually sustaining to an American city in trouble? Can a city like Detroit still afford an orchestra? And what do you think the DSO should do, moving forward, to start rebuilding?

By Anne Midgette  | March 1, 2011; 3:41 PM ET


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Anne Midgette: NEA survey の音楽参加の解釈 [音楽時評]

NEA(National Endowment for the Arts) Announces Highlights from 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts についての記事です.

評者のAnne Midgette はクラシック音楽の聴衆が減り続けていると論じてきたのですが,2008年の調査結果では,クラシック音楽への参加度合いは反って増加しているという数字を公表しました.

それについて Ann Midgette は,調査結果では参加の度合いが増加しているが,それは参加様式の多様化を反映したモノで,クラシック音楽の聴衆はやはり減り続けていることが読み取れると主張しています.

when the definition of "participation" is expanded to include more than simply buying a ticket to something. The 2008 survey told us that only some 35% of adults attended a performance or visited a museum; but the new survey pulls the lens back and realizes that 75% of adults interacted with art in some form via their computers.

people will continue to find new ways to discover it, hear it, make it.

But it also proves that the old institutions are being left in the dust. Classical music has the highest participation of any art, and ticket sales are still tanking (as the same data demonstrates)? This is more evidence, say I, that orchestras in particular are going to have to continue to work to expand their role if they want to stay alive in an era that loves classical music more than ever but is happy to pursue it without them.

と警告しています.

 

 

Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 02/25/2011

NEA survey: good news - bad news

By Anne Midgette

Whenever I express my concerns about the declining audiences in classical music, people rush to inform me that I’m quite wrong and there’s more interest than ever before. The NEA’s latest figures on participation in the arts, released Thursday, prove that we’re both right.

A survey released in 2008 indicated a steep decline in audience participation in the performing arts. But it turns out the data paints quite a different picture when analyzed differently -- when the definition of "participation" is expanded to include more than simply buying a ticket to something. The 2008 survey told us that only some 35% of adults attended a performance or visited a museum; but the new survey pulls the lens back and realizes that 75% of adults interacted with art in some form via their computers.

And classical music is leading the way: 18% of that audience participated in classical music, more than any other kind of art (Latin music, visual and literary arts followed: 15% each). That’s notable because classical and Latin are thought of as niche genres. This is the best concrete demonstration I’ve seen of the long-tail theory of the Internet, the idea that the Internet enables people with specialized interests to find and cultivate their interests more easily.

This is really great news. It proves that there is, indeed, a healthy interest in classical music. As I’ve said all along, the field itself isn’t endangered: the music will prevail, and people will continue to find new ways to discover it, hear it, make it.

But it also proves that the old institutions are being left in the dust. Classical music has the highest participation of any art, and ticket sales are still tanking (as the same data demonstrates)? This is more evidence, say I, that orchestras in particular are going to have to continue to work to expand their role if they want to stay alive in an era that loves classical music more than ever but is happy to pursue it without them.


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トッパンホール:ペリアネス・ピアノ・リサイタル [音楽時評]

3月2日,トッパンホールに1978年スペイン生まれのハヴィエル・ペリアネス・ピアノ・リサイタルを聴きに行ってきました.                                                 近年シューベルト晩年のピアノ作品に強い関心を持つようになったのですが,今日は,そのなかの2曲がプログラムに挙っていたからです.

プログラムは,                                                        シューベルト: アレグレット ハ短調 D.915                                     シューベルト: ソナタ第21番 変ロ長調 D.960
                ※※※※※※※※                                                                         ショパン:    2つのノクターン 作品48    ハ短調&嬰へ短調  
ショパン:    子守歌 変二長調 作品57                                  ショパン:    バラード第4番 へ短調 作品52                               でした.

ペリアネスはたいへんしっかりした打鍵で,ppからff まで厚み,深みのある音楽を聴かせてくれました.それは第1曲目のアレグレットから,まことにシューベルト晩年の曲,三部形式に相応しい,短いながら,叙情性に富んだ好演でした.

長大なソナタ第21番を,第1曲への拍手がないまま直ぐ弾き始めましたが,第1楽章Molto moderato では,そのメロディックな第1主題と低音と高音の応答形式の第2主題がまず提示され,それが複雑,豊かに展開されて静かに終わります.第2楽章Andante sostenutoは三部形式の緩徐楽章で,主部では民謡風の左手,右手の2重唱が,中間部ではバスの反復の上で,ロマンティックなメロディが歌われます. 
第3楽章Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezzaでは,幅広い音域を一杯に移ろうメロディが展開され,トリオでは叙情的なメロディとリズムを刻む左手の伴奏のコントラストが強調されています.第4楽章Allegro ma non troppo - Presto は,ソナタ形式で躍動的な第1主題,大らかなメロディの第2主題,そして第1主題を元にしたファンファーレによって構成されたテンポの速いフィナーレで終わります.

まことに表情豊かに,このシューベルト最後の大作が好演されました.

後半のショパンは丁寧に弾いていましたが,D.960ソナタで既に十分満足していました.

 


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V.Gergiev conducted London Symphony;Mahler's 9th & 10th [音楽時評]

Mr. Gergiev’s latest survey of the Mahler symphonies, begun at Carnegie Hall with the Mariinsky Orchestra in October and concluding with three London Symphony concerts last week.                                                                   と今世界で最も多忙な指揮者と言われるValery Gergiev がMahler 交響曲全曲演奏会を,No.1,2,4,5,6,8 を at Carnegie Hall with the Mariinsky Orchestra in October そして,No,7,3,9,10 を at Avery Fisher Hall with London Symphony Orchestra で演奏して,今年2月末で完結したそうです.

Marinsky Orchestra と London Symphony 両者のMusic Director を兼任していて,とにかく多忙な指揮者ですから,後半のLondon Symphony Orchestra との3日間の演奏にも,若干ムラがあったようです.                                                7番はMahler のなかでは最も演奏機会の少ない曲ですが,その新鮮な解釈を示したと絶賛されましたが,3番は,かなり平凡な演奏に終わったようでした.

それが最終日の9番と10番では高い評価を得ています.                        Mr. Gergiev’s moving but unsentimental interpretations, however, avoided any simplistic or programmatic, and certainly any schmaltzy, narrative. Nothing felt, as it often can in Mahler performances, contrived or done simply for effect. The climaxes were blazing yet never over the top, and textures were carefully layered: in the Adagio from the 10th, the horns formed a liquid foundation for the leaps in the strings.

It was in certain ways a softening of Mahler, sincere rather than saccharine or sarcastic. You were less aware than usual of the composer’s abrupt shifts — of style, dynamics, tempo — not because those shifts weren’t present but because they occurred so seamlessly. In the second movement of the Ninth, which begins with a spirited dance and turns stranger and darker, the music seemed to transmute fluidly rather than simply switch.

Despite his emphasis on accuracy, Mr. Gergiev was flexible in the rondo’s big lyrical theme, which anticipates the sublime final Adagio, played here with eloquence and dignity.

Avery Fisher Hall の音響効果の悪さはつとに知られていますが,in the lengthening silences that gradually overcome the music at the end of the symphony, the London players made Avery Fisher Hall sound more alive than most orchestras do at their loudest.

ほとんど原文のままですが,高い評価を,どうぞご自由にご渉猟下さい.

 

 

Music Review

A Conquering Climax to a Tribute to Mahler

Avery Fisher Hall can be hard on an orchestra. Lush sound sometimes turns arid in the big box, and even the loudest, most dramatic moments can feel flat. The tough part isn’t exactly filling the space but rather making the sound seem to live.

Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times  
Valery Gergiev conducted London Symphony Orchestra through Mahler’s 9th and 10th Symphonies at Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday.

 

In a powerful performance on Sunday under Valery Gergiev, the London Symphony Orchestra solved Avery Fisher. Its clear, muscular playing was ideally suited to the troublesome hall, and its shining brasses, focused strings and utter clarity enlivened a space that rarely rewards other orchestras.

The concert concluded Mr. Gergiev’s latest survey of the Mahler symphonies, begun at Carnegie Hall with the Mariinsky Orchestra in October and concluding with three London Symphony concerts last week. He chose to end on Sunday with Mahler’s end: the 9th Symphony and the Adagio from the unfinished 10th, two profound works that have usually (and conveniently) been interpreted as valedictory and focused on death.

Mr. Gergiev’s moving but unsentimental interpretations, however, avoided any simplistic or programmatic, and certainly any schmaltzy, narrative. Nothing felt, as it often can in Mahler performances, contrived or done simply for effect. The climaxes were blazing yet never over the top, and textures were carefully layered: in the Adagio from the 10th, the horns formed a liquid foundation for the leaps in the strings.

It was in certain ways a softening of Mahler, sincere rather than saccharine or sarcastic. You were less aware than usual of the composer’s abrupt shifts — of style, dynamics, tempo — not because those shifts weren’t present but because they occurred so seamlessly. In the second movement of the Ninth, which begins with a spirited dance and turns stranger and darker, the music seemed to transmute fluidly rather than simply switch.

Even in the third-movement “Rondo-Burleske,” Mahler’s trademark dizzying transitions of mood felt organic. There were no exaggerated accents (the cheap way to channel this music’s eerily jaunty quality) or artificial spirit, just rhythmic precision in both the brass and the strings, more difficult but ultimately far stranger and more potent than blatant, easy grotesquerie.

Despite his emphasis on accuracy, Mr. Gergiev was flexible in the rondo’s big lyrical theme, which anticipates the sublime final Adagio, played here with eloquence and dignity.

And in the lengthening silences that gradually overcome the music at the end of the symphony, the London players made Avery Fisher Hall sound more alive than most orchestras do at their loudest.


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