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トッパンホール:マーティン・ヘルムヘン(pf)リサイタル [音楽時評]

4月30日,トッパンホールにドイツマーティン・ヘルムヘンのピアノリサイタルを聴きに行ってきました.不勉強で初めて聴いたピアニストですが,その素晴らしさに圧倒されました.

何といっても明快なピアノ・タッチと高度のテクニックが基本にあって,音量の幅を広く使い,アクセントを含めた明快なリズム感で,構成力豊かに曲を描き出して聴かせる素敵なピアニストです.

プログラムは,ベートーヴェンの大曲「ハンマークラヴィーア」を中心に,                       バッハ:       パルティータ第1番 変ロ長調 BWV825                                                シェーンベルク:  6つのピアノ小品 Op.19                                                          メンデルスゾーン: 無言歌集 第6巻 Op.67    
       Ⅰ変ホ長調 《瞑想》, Ⅱ嬰へ短調《失われた幻影》,Ⅲ変ロ長調《巡礼の歌》,                 Ⅳハ長調 《紬歌》, Ⅴロ短調《羊飼いの嘆き》,Ⅵホ長調《子守歌》                       ※※※※※※※※                                                                                  ベートーヴェン:  ピアノ・ソナタ第29番 変ロ長調 Op.106 《ハンマークラヴィーア》  
でした.

明快なピアノ・タッチと軽快なリズムは,バッハのパルティータをたいへん新鮮な響きで聴かせてくれました.                                                       次のシェーンベルクでも,6つの小品が鮮明なピアノで演奏されて,バッハとシェーンベルクの差違を明快に示してくれました.                                               メンデルスゾーンは,全8巻,46曲から成る《無言歌集》を残しています.小品を連ねたピアノ曲集の系譜の中期に位置するといえるのでしょうが,名手の演奏でたいへん心地よく聴けました.後から命名されたのでしょうが,最後の《子守歌》は絶品でした.

後半の大曲《ハンマークラヴィーア》はまことに圧巻でした.                        喜びに溢れたファンファーレで始まるソナタ形式の第1楽章Allegroは,この人の鮮明なピアノ・タッチと研ぎ澄まされたリズム感で,第1主題と第2主題の対比が鮮明に示され,展開部のフーガは再現部を経てもう一度展開部になり,充実したソナタを示していました.第2楽章Scherzo,Assai vivace はスケルツオですが,中間部ではリズムが変化しています.大曲のなかでも長大な第3楽章Adagio sostenuto は,ピアノの持つ表現能力の可能性を極限まで追求しているといわれますが,低音から高音までの幅が一段と広がって,たいへん豊かな楽章を構成しています.       第4楽章Largo-Allegro risoluto は,幻想曲風の序奏と、3声のフーガ、コーダから成っており,この内容豊かな曲が,ドラマティックに閉じられます.

とにかくヘルムヘンの確かなテクニックと豊かな表現力にすっかり堪能したマチネーでした.

 

 


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共通テーマ:音楽

オペラシテイ:河村尚子のB to C [音楽時評]

4月26日,オペラシティへ河村尚子のB to C を聴きに行ってきました. 
既に相当な売れっ子の河村尚子が,歴代の中堅どころに倣ってこのイベントに挑戦したのが,たいへん斬新なことのように思われました.

プログラムもたいへん斬新で,次の通りでした.
K.デフォールト: デディカツィオVi(2006)  
J.S. バッハ: (平均律クラヴィーア曲集第2巻)から「プレリュードとフーガ第11番」 
                    へ長調 BWV880  
トローヤン: (ピアノのためのプレリュード)(2006-08)から「ノクチュルヌー春の薄明かりははや」 
                    「引き裂かれた山」
フランク:  プレリュード,コラールとフーガ  
          ※※※※※※※※   
J.S.バッハ/F.ブゾーニ編: シャコンヌ 
G.コネソン:イニシャルダンス(2001) 
ショパン:  アンダンテ・スピアナートと華麗な大ポロネーズ 変ホ長調 op.22  
でした.なんと21世紀の曲が3曲含まれ,そのうちの1曲コネソンは,河村尚子が世界初演したものだそうです.

デフォールトの曲はジャズ・ピアにストキース・ジャレットに献呈された曲だそうで,「感情の宝物」というサブタイトルを持つ,ジャズ調の即興的変化に富んだ曲でした.高い流動性と柔軟性を持って演奏するようにという指示が付いているそうです.

バッハのプレリュードは流れるような旋律ですが,フーガは快活な舞曲です.
ドイツのトローヤンの2つのプレリュードの前者は「さくらさくら」のモチーフを用いているそうですし,後者はドビュッシーからとられたものといわれます.             

フランクの曲は,バッハへのオマージュとして書かれたもので,BACHのドイツ音名からのモティーフ(嬰へ,ホ,ト嬰へ)が用いられ,循環形式で三位一体を構成しているそうです.

バッハのシャコンヌは説明するまでもありませんが,前に聴いた(ブログに書いた)かなり生ぬるいシャコンヌと違って,河村尚子は確実なテクニックでまことにダイナミックなメリハリの効いた名演奏を聴かせてくれました.

コネソンのイニシャル・ダンスは,クロス・オーバーというよりもうジャズそのものといった趣がある楽しい曲で,河村尚子の斬新さに感嘆しました.

ショパンについては何も付け加えることはありません.とにかく華麗な好演でした.

B to CはバロックからContemporary という趣旨なのでしょうが,今夜はその超現代作品に果敢に取り組んだ河合尚子の多彩さに,改めて彼女への期待が一段と膨らんだ気持でした.

秋にはNHK音楽祭でベルリン放送響と「皇帝」を協演するそうですが,これもまたいっそう楽しみが増した感じです.

 


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共通テーマ:音楽

Met Opera;J.Levine の後継候補 F.Luisi [音楽時評]

The New York Times の Music Review が Fabio Luisi (52歳)が近い将来に James Levine のあとを次いでThe Metropolitan Opera の Music Director に就任する日が来るのではと書いています.もともと,Levine が不調の時の代役として,Principal Guest Conductor の地位に置かれており,彼が最短距離にいるという趣旨のようです.

HE is moving to an apartment off Central Park and paring down his European conducting dates. But never, ever, imply that Fabio Luisi is preparing to take on one of opera’s most important jobs: music director of the Metropolitan Opera. と,現在,たいへん微妙な位置にあるといいます. Just discussing the matter was inappropriate, he argued. Being principal guest conductor was honor enough. “I’m helping Jimmy and whatever they need,” he said of the Met.           It is like the palace of an aging monarch, where courtiers shuffle and whisper behind velvet curtains.

Yet Mr. Luisi is clearly the heir apparent, and many signs point to a Metropolitan Opera someday under his baton.  

Mr. Luisi shares with Mr. Levine the qualities it takes to run the Met: a wide-ranging repertory that makes him equally comfortable with Wagner and Verdi, Strauss and Puccini; respect and admiration from both singers and orchestra players (two constituencies whom surprisingly few conductors satisfy simultaneously); and accomplished pianism, which helps in accompanying and coaching singers.

“He’s like James Levine, an all-arounder,” the German soprano Diana Damrau said of Mr. Luisi. “He loves voices, and he listens and he reacts.”           If you mean, ‘Could he do it,’ no doubt,” Mr. Levine said.

とにかく Fabio Luisi が,今は微妙な立場ですが,数年後のJames Levine の後継者として有力視されているようです.

あとは,長文のなかから,ご自由にご渉猟下さい.

 

On Deck, the Met’s Pinch-Hitter

Ruby Washington/The New York Times

Fabio Luisi is the principal guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, where he will begin performances of Verdi's “Rigoletto” on Tuesday.

HE is moving to an apartment off Central Park and paring down his European conducting dates. But never, ever, imply that Fabio Luisi is preparing to take on one of opera’s most important jobs: music director of the Metropolitan Opera.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times                                                      Fabio Luisi, leading a rehearsal at the Metropolitan Opera, has climbed a ladder of conducting positions in Europe.

“It’s a very delicate situation,” Mr. Luisi, 52, said in an interview before a run of performances of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at the Met, starting on Tuesday. “I ask you really to understand my position, which is not easy.”

How many ways could he deflect the idea?

Just discussing the matter was inappropriate, he argued. Being principal guest conductor was honor enough. “I’m helping Jimmy and whatever they need,” he said of the Met.

Jimmy is James Levine, the Met’s music director and artistic backbone. A barrage of health problems have forced Mr. Levine to scale back his conducting and give up the music director’s job at the Boston Symphony after this summer. That development has given rise to thoughts of his departure from the Met, although any public talk of succession is taboo. It is like the palace of an aging monarch, where courtiers shuffle and whisper behind velvet curtains.

Yet Mr. Luisi is clearly the heir apparent, and many signs point to a Metropolitan Opera someday under his baton. That would be an epochal changing of the guard.

Mr. Levine is celebrating 40 years at the house, and you can hear the hum of the hagiography machine. A coffee-table book about his career is out, and a documentary film is on the way. He has signed a contract for his autobiography.

Mr. Levine is an outsize presence who has come to symbolize a significant slice of the arts in New York, as much a part of the city’s cultural landscape as the fountain at Lincoln Center or the lions at the New York Public Library. He is cherished at the Met and among opera lovers, an effusive personage born in Cincinnati but a quintessential New Yorker, a rotund man given to wearing open-necked polo shirts in rehearsal.

Outwardly, the two men could not be more different. Mr. Luisi is a slim and reserved, almost self-effacing Italian who was formed musically in German-speaking lands and wears ties to rehearsals. He exudes Germanic seriousness and speaks German so well that the language accents his English more than his native Italian does.

Yet Mr. Luisi shares with Mr. Levine the qualities it takes to run the Met: a wide-ranging repertory that makes him equally comfortable with Wagner and Verdi, Strauss and Puccini; respect and admiration from both singers and orchestra players (two constituencies whom surprisingly few conductors satisfy simultaneously); and accomplished pianism, which helps in accompanying and coaching singers.

“He’s like James Levine, an all-arounder,” the German soprano Diana Damrau said of Mr. Luisi. “He loves voices, and he listens and he reacts.”

Musicians who have played with Mr. Luisi praise his crystalline technique, firm ideas about the score and excellent preparation. “In his head there is a very clear idea of how he wants things to sound,” said Gergely Sugar, a horn player in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Luisi sounds especially at home in the pit, added Mr. Sugar, who has played operas with him. “He owns the stage, “ Mr. Sugar said. “He owns the singers, in a very nice, not aggressive, way but very demanding.”

On the down side, some have noted a certain humorlessness and lack of assertion as a local cultural figure. His last-minute absences to bail out the Met have rankled at other places where he conducts.

For now and perhaps for years to come, Mr. Levine is not going anywhere, and he threw himself into preparations for a new production of Wagner’s “Walküre,” which opens on Friday. He is planning performances, although at a reduced clip, for at least five seasons into the future.

“My body’s still getting stronger,” Mr. Levine said in a recent interview, despite continuing problems stemming from major back surgery last year. If health problems force him to withdraw, so be it. “There isn’t any talk of that yet,” Mr. Levine said.

He said he was thrilled to have Mr. Luisi at the Met but would not plant the “kiss of death” on him by anointing him as a successor when the situation could be different years from now. “If you mean, ‘Could he do it,’ no doubt,” Mr. Levine said.

Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said there was no discussion of Mr. Levine’s departure. “In fact, we want quite the opposite,” Mr. Gelb added. “We want him to continue to conduct.” But Mr. Gelb acknowledged that Mr. Luisi was a “logical choice” to succeed the maestro.

“The fact that we chose him as principal guest conductor is the answer to that question,” Mr. Gelb said. “We wouldn’t have chosen him if we didn’t think so highly of him.”

Mr. Luisi did not shy away when asked about his qualifications to help run a house that gives more than 200 performances a season and has a budget of nearly $300 million. He has been a music director before, he noted, and served as general director of the Saxon State Opera in Dresden, a major company.

“I think I have the experience to take over an opera house, of course,” he said with a characteristic mix of self-deprecation and quiet confidence, “but it doesn’t depend on me.”

Mr. Luisi spoke by telephone from Vienna just after the movers had emptied his home there. He and his wife, Barbara Luisi, a former violinist and now a photographer, and their 13-year-old son are moving to New York in May, to an apartment on West 96th Street. Two other sons are out of the house.

Mr. Luisi has reduced his schedule at the Vienna Symphony and declined to extend his contract as chief conductor past the 2012-13 season. “The orchestra needs someone new, someone fresh,” he said. Moving to New York is purely practical, Mr. Luisi added, since his schedule calls for him to spend the longest periods here and elsewhere in the United States. He has an eight-city American tour next fall with the Vienna orchestra, including two dates in New York.

Mr. Luisi made his Met debut in 2005, with Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” and he has conducted more than 50 Met performances. Among them were emergency substitutions for Mr. Levine, in Puccini’s “Tosca” and Berg’s “Lulu” last season and Wagner’s “Rheingold” a few weeks ago. Along with “Rigoletto,” he has a run of Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos” in May, also previously scheduled.

Mr. Luisi has two or three operas scheduled at the Met for each of the next five seasons, including five new productions: testament to the value that the Met places on him. They include a new staging of Massenet’s “Manon” in the 2011-12 season, when he will also lead a revival of Verdi’s “Traviata” with one of the Met’s current stars, Natalie Dessay.

He feels at home. “The Metropolitan is a little bit like my house now,” Mr. Luisi said. “The relationship is really outstanding.”

Naturally, Mr. Luisi is comfortable with Puccini and Verdi. “As a young Italian conductor, your destiny is to conduct Italian operas,” he said. Years working in Austria and Germany helped him gravitate toward the operas and orchestral works of Strauss, the symphonies of Mahler and Bruckner, and the little-known music of Franz Schmidt, a Mahler rival who is appreciated mainly in Austria.

Mr. Luisi has recorded most of Schmidt’s major works and plans to perform his Symphony No. 4 in New York with the Vienna Symphony. He programmed a Schmidt opera, “Notre Dame,” in Dresden.

Schmidt has other prominent supporters among conductors, like Franz Welser-Möst, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Neeme Jarvi, but his reputation was tainted by Nazi associations late in his life. He worked on a cantata glorifying the “German resurrection” in the late 1930s but abandoned the project, possibly because it became distasteful. Performances of his music can raise the issue of how to approach the work of a politically or morally tainted artist (as with Wagner, Strauss and others).

“It’s a very, very ugly thing,” Mr. Luisi said of Schmidt’s obeisances to the Nazis. “We have to assume that he had to write it in order to keep his position as an important composer,” he added, referring to the cantata.

Schmidt was apolitical and lived in his music world, Mr. Luisi said, “which is a very naïve position.”

“It doesn’t justify mistakes,” he added. But unlike Strauss, who held an official position in Nazi Germany, Schmidt was not important, Mr. Luisi said. “He didn’t do anything evil, not like other conductors or composers who ignored the destiny of Jewish musicians.”

In planning his Vienna Symphony concerts with Lincoln Center programmers, Mr. Luisi, realizing the potential for controversy, said he raised the issue and suggested a public discussion of Schmidt’s politics and the dichotomy between the person and the music.

Born in Genoa in 1959, Mr. Luisi graduated from the local conservatory in 1978 and moved to Graz, Austria, in 1980 to study conducting. He made his conducting debut there in 1984, founded the Graz Symphony Orchestra in 1990 and became artistic director and chief conductor of the Tonkünstler Orchestra, the No. 3 orchestra in Vienna, after the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony.

Since 1989 he has been a regular presence at the Vienna State Opera, where he made his biggest mark in the city, said Wilhelm Sinkovicz, the music critic for Die Presse, the Viennese daily. “If a conductor like Luisi enters the pit, you really feel something special is going on,” Mr. Sinkovicz said.

And up the ladder Mr. Luisi went: music and artistic director of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva; principal conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig and general music director of the Saxon State Opera and its orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle. Mr. Luisi showed a flash of either self-assertion or wounded pride in Dresden. Claiming that his authority had been flouted by management in the appointment of Christian Thielemann to lead a televised New Year’s Eve concert, he resigned in anger.

“It was a very painful situation,” Mr. Luisi said in the interview last week. “They took positions behind my back, and this was the problem.”

The Met musicians seem to have taken to Mr. Luisi. Elaine Douvas, a principal oboist, said his beat was “clear as could be.”

“He conveys so much with gesture,” she added. “He’s very easy to follow. I definitely think he’d be a great music director.”


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共通テーマ:音楽

サントリーホール:ハンヌ・リントウ指揮,都響プロムナード [音楽時評]

4月24日午後,サントリーホールフィンランドの指揮者ハンヌ・リントウ指揮の東京都響プロムナード・コンサートを聴きに行ってきました.

開演に先立って,バッハのアリアが演奏され,聴衆を含めた全員が30秒の黙祷をしました.東京都響としては4月の定期に次いでの黙祷でした.

リントウは,都響には2度目の登場だそうで,2013年からフィンランド放送交響楽団の音楽監督就任が決まっており,ヨーロッパアメリカの主要オーケストラにも客演を重ねてきた実力はです.特にフィンランドの作曲家シベリュースの指揮には抜きんでたモノがあります.

なおコルンゴルドのヴァイオリン協奏曲のソリストに来演する筈だったゾフィア・ヤッフェが,放射能汚染の広がりを懸念してか,来日を断念したため,わが国では数少ないコルンゴルドの協奏曲を弾いたことのある経験者ということで豊嶋泰嗣が代役に登場して,たいへん好演していました.

プログラムは,                                                       シベリュース:  交響詩「タピオラ」 作品112                                             コルンゴルド:  ヴァイオリン協奏曲 ニ長調 作品35  
                ※※※※※※※※                                                                         シベリュース:  交響曲第5番 変ホ長調 作品82                                 シベリュース:  交響詩「フィンランディア」 作品26                                                  でした.

まず,指揮者のリントウは非常に分りやすくしかもダイナミックな指揮をする人で,特に地元のシベリュースは得意とする指揮者と見受けられました.                               都響もこのリントウ得意のシベリュースに柔軟かつ的確に対応して,好演を反復していました.

交響詩「タビオラ」は,シベリュース最後の作品ですが,タビオラはフィンランド伝承叙事詩《カレワラ》の中の森の神タビオの土地を指すモノだそうです.若い頃はこの《カレワラ》のエピソードを扱った表題音楽を書いていたシベリュースが,長い中断を挟んだ最後の作品では,抽象化し象徴的に表現しているのが特徴的です.

コルンゴルドはウイーンで活躍しながら,ユダヤ系だったためアメリカ,ハリウッドに渡り映画音楽で名をなしますが,このヴァイオリン協奏曲は1937年の作品を1945年に校訂してクラシック音楽に回帰させた作品です.映画音楽と古典的協奏曲の調和した曲といえます.随所に映画音楽からの主題が見られ,ロマンティックな側面を持ち,第2楽章は美麗なカンタービレとなっています.終楽章は技巧をこらした華麗なフィナーレを形成して終わります.                           豊嶋泰嗣は,ソロを始めた当時はノミの心臓といわれ,名曲をそれほど名演しなかったのですが,指揮者も経験して,今日は,見違えるほど堂々とした好演を聴かせてくれました.

シベリュースの5番はたいへん有名な曲ですが,指揮者の得意な曲らしく,實に抑揚のついた表情豊かな曲として好演されました.フィナーレで6回のトッティで終わるところが象徴的に耳に残っています.

「フィンダンディア」はあまりにも有名な代表作ですが,これも實にダイナミックに各楽器を受け渡して,見事なクライマックスを作って終わりました.

都響のプロムナード・コンサートでは出色の出来だったと思います.


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共通テーマ:音楽

トッパンホール:岡田博美ピアノ・リサイタル [音楽時評]

4月21日,トッパンホールにイギリス在住の岡田博美のピアノリサイタルを聴きに行ってきました.岡田さんは,桐朋学園在学中,1979年日本音楽コンクールで優勝し,その後海外でも優勝歴を重ね,1984年からロンドンに在住とあります.                                 年齢は50台前半でしょうか.一番充実した時期を迎えていると見られました.

毎年のように日本に帰って演奏会を開いているそうですが,私には初めての人でした.ベートーヴェンのディアベリ変奏曲を弾くというので聴きに行ったのです.

プログラムは,オール・ベートーヴェンで,                                      ピアノ・ソナタ第12番 変イ長調 Op.26《葬送》                               ピアノ・ソナタ第30番 ホ長調 Op.109  
               ※※※※※※※※                                                                        ディアベリの主題による33の変奏曲                                      でした.

第12番は,第1楽章に主題と5つの変奏が持ち込まれており,第2楽章はScherzo,第3楽章は葬送行進曲,第4楽章が明快なロンドという斬新な曲です.                           第30番は最晩年の有名な3曲の最初の曲ですが,第1楽章がかなり自由なソナタ形式,第2楽章はがっちりしたソナタ形式,第3楽章で変奏曲形式が取られており,主題と6つの変奏から成っています.                                                         つまり,変奏曲形式の序奏として選ばれた感じでした.

ここまでの岡田さんの演奏は,なかなか堅実なモノでしたが,少しこぢんまりまとまった感じを持ちました.岡田さんらしい個性を読み取れなかったのです.

ディアベリの主題による33の変奏曲は,演奏会で聴くのはもう10年以上前のポリーニが,ベートーヴェンのピアノ曲を理解したければ,ピアノ・ソナタOp.111以降のピアノ作品,変奏曲を聴くべきだといって弾いて聴かせたモノにいたく感動した記憶が蘇ります.

岡田さんは,ここでも非常に着実に33曲をテンポ指示に従って弾き分けてくれました.抑揚も明快でなかなかの好演だったと思います.ただ,堅実だけれども,もっとスケール大きく聴かせて欲しかったと思います.                                                    それでも,ディアベリは改めてたいへんな名曲だと実感させて貰いました.

 


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JTアートホール:堀米ゆず子;Beethoven室内楽の極み [音楽時評]

4月20日,JTアートホールに,堀米ゆず子を中心とした「ベートーヴェンの極みⅢ」とタイトルされた室内楽を聴きに行ってきました.

プログラムと出演者は,オール・ベートーヴェンで,                             ピアノ三重奏曲第7番 変ロ長調 Op.97「大公」:野平一郎,堀米ゆず子,山崎伸子                     ※※※※※※※※ 
弦楽四重奏曲第12番 変ホ長調 Op.127:堀米ゆず子,山口裕之,川崎和憲,山崎伸子 
でした.

2曲ともたいへん有名な曲ですが,作品番号から見て,その最後が135ですから,後半生に作曲されたもので,特に127は晩年といえるのでしょうか.

常設のトリオやクァルテットではありませんが,いずれも日本を代表する演奏者が揃っていましたから,ミス・タッチがなかった訳ではありませんが,一級の名演奏でこのそれぞれ4楽章構成の名曲2曲を,JTアートホールのこぢんまりとした響きの良い会場で聴くことが出来,大いに堪能したコンサートでした.                                          


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Anne Midgette:Orchestra の将来 [音楽時評]

Anne Midgette が Philadelphia Symphony の破産申請を取り上げています.

まず,ホールの新築コスト問題を挙げています.                         Montreal is eagerly hoping for its new concert hall. In Hamburg, costs for the shining new Elbphilharmonie are far outstripping projections. And -- the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in the country, which moved into a new concert hall a mere years ago, has filed for bankrupcy.

日本の乱造されたホール,松本やびわ湖,横須賀の4面舞台ホールなど,これからずしりと負担が重くなるでしょうが...                                               

it didn’t sound as if classical music were in very much trouble after all, with so many new performing venues, now did it?                           there’s no denying this is a big wakeup call in a long string of wakeup calls (see Syracuse, Honolulu, Louisville, Florida). And that other orchestras -- Baltimore, Detroit -- have been visibly struggling with existential crises, more or less or entirely (in Baltimore’s case) financial in nature.

The Denver Symphony, which folded in 1989, is an example of an orchestra whose players were able to regroup; the Colorado Symphony almost immediately sprang up to carry the torch, and is doing well. The Honolulu Symphony may be following suit. 

for many people, speaking of orchestras’ problems seems to be construed as attack on classical music — rather than a way to help it. と,orchestra で問題が起こると,人々はクラシック音楽を責めていると嘆いています.

New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s,a tight-knit and well-organized freelance ensemble, has just opened its own new home this spring;... With this home, rather than erecting a beautiful new performance venue, the orchestra actually addressed a dire need for freelance musicians and ensembles all over the New York area. It offers rehearsal spaces, practice studios, a place where out-of-town musicians can warm up, change between gigs, give lessons, make recordings, even give free concerts

Expensive new concert halls are a wonderful thing. But they don’t always help the musicians who play in them. The DiMenna Center seems like a much more productive edifice than even the Elbphilharmonie, or the Kimmel Center, for classical music’s future.

概略,以上が,Anne Midgette がPhiladelphia の破産申請に寄せた評論です.

 

 

Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 04/19/2011

Orchestral futures: is Philly’s tragedy a harbinger or merely a warning?

Montreal is eagerly hoping for its new concert hall. In Hamburg, costs for the shining new Elbphilharmonie are far outstripping projections. And -- the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in the country, which moved into a new concert hall a mere years ago, has filed for bankrupcy.

People often misconstrue my concerns about classical music’s future as a kind of ill will toward the field. Someone wrote me gleefully, after my article outlining the large number of new regional performing arts centers in the Washington region, to say that it didn’t sound as if classical music were in very much trouble after all, with so many new performing venues, now did it? Others point out that people have always worried about the future of classical music and predicted its demise: they did it in 1795, and they did it in 1969, and therefore we shouldn’t worry too much that some people are doing it now.

Let me be clear: I don’t think classical music is going to die. And I, personally, would love it if every orchestra in the United States, and in the rest of the world, were able to continue playing forever, in beautiful new concert halls with fantastic acoustics. I am deeply saddened by the news from Philadelphia, and I hope the orchestra, which has been struggling for years, is able to turn things around.

But there’s no denying this is a big wakeup call in a long string of wakeup calls (see Syracuse, Honolulu, Louisville, Florida). And that other orchestras -- Baltimore, Detroit -- have been visibly struggling with existential crises, more or less or entirely (in Baltimore’s case) financial in nature.

The Denver Symphony, which folded in 1989, is an example of an orchestra whose players were able to regroup; the Colorado Symphony almost immediately sprang up to carry the torch, and is doing well. The Honolulu Symphony may be following suit. The moral: it isn’t necessarily that a community doesn’t want an orchestra, or can’t carry one. It’s that the organization wasn’t able to continue.

Orchestras are institutions, like businesses. Like businesses, not all of them are equally healthy. There’s a life cycle to businesses: they start, they flourish or fold they continue for generations or close up shop. So it’s unrealistic to expect all orchestral institutions to live on indefinitely.

In the business world, you wouldn’t condemn the whole field because a few businesses folded. But you would laugh at a field that clung to traditional business models even when they were proving not to work very well in a changing economic climate. You would also laugh at anyone who confused an institution with its product (just because Kodak is doing badly doesn’t mean that the future of photography is at risk). Yet for many people, speaking of orchestras’ problems seems to be construed as attack on classical music — rather than a way to help it.

My husband, Greg Sandow, has been writing lately about the need for orchestras to find a new business model. One that springs to mind and that I’ve certainly mentioned before here is New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s. That orchestra, a tight-knit and well-organized freelance ensemble, has just opened its own new home this spring; I have been delinquent in not yet visiting the DiMenna Center. With this home, rather than erecting a beautiful new performance venue, the orchestra actually addressed a dire need for freelance musicians and ensembles all over the New York area. It offers rehearsal spaces, practice studios, a place where out-of-town musicians can warm up, change between gigs, give lessons, make recordings, even give free concerts (the orchestra has a new series called OLS@DMC).

Expensive new concert halls are a wonderful thing. But they don’t always help the musicians who play in them. The DiMenna Center seems like a much more productive edifice than even the Elbphilharmonie, or the Kimmel Center, for classical music’s future.

By Anne Midgette  |  10:25 AM ET, 04/19/2011


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Muti, Chicago Symphony at Carnegie Hall [音楽時評]

Chicago Symphony のMusic Director に昨年秋に就任しながら,シーズン開幕時には過労ということで休演してしまい,今年に入って,リハーサルまで行いながら,その途中に指揮台から失神状態で前に倒れて,顎と頬の骨折を負ってしまい,その治療と,そもそも失神の原因として心臓のペースの乱れが発見され,ペースメーカーを埋め込んでから,すっかり回復して,まずイタリアでオペラで完全復帰してから,ようやくChicago Symphony の指揮台に立ったRiccardo Muti が,かねて予定されていたCarnegie Hall 公演に登場して,Muti フアンを大いに安心させたようです.

時恰も,Muti がかつてMusic Director を勤めたPhiladelphia Symphony の破産宣告が報じられて,いっそうMuti-Chicago Symphony の関係に関心が高まっていたこともあったのです. 

The main thing a listener wanted from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s visit to Carnegie Hall this weekend was a sense of how this great ensemble was faring under the baton of Riccardo Muti, whose tenure as its music director began in September. You had to have a strong set of mental blinders not to think, in the moments before Mr. Muti walked onstage, about the alarming illnesses that have kept him off the podium much of the season, and that naturally brought to mind the health problems that led James Levine to give up his directorship of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Those concerns were amplified by the news, announced just hours before the Saturday evening concert, that the Philadelphia Orchestra — Mr. Muti’s previous American podium — had declared bankruptcy.

演奏曲目は,日曜日が                                                 Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” at the start                      Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, at the end                            土曜日は All Berlioz で,                                   “Symphonie Fantastique,”                                        “Lélio, ou le Retour à la Vie” (“Lélio, or the Return to Life”)               だったようです.

Mr. Muti, lithe and energetic, drew such a glorious sound from his players, and interpreted the music with such insight and clarity, that a listener had to be fully in the moment.  とすっかり聴衆を満足させる素晴しい演奏だったそうです.

the Shostakovich brought the best out of the orchestra. The strings were lush, the woodwind playing was beautifully chiseled, and the brasses had the kind of spectacular power and precision that made the section legendary during the Fritz Reiner and Georg Solti eras. と,細かな点は別として,絶賛しています.

 

Music Review

Berlioz, Shostakovich and Gérard Depardieu

Daniel Barry for The New York Times

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by Riccardo Muti at Carnegie Hall on Sunday. On Saturday, the orchestra performed an all-Berlioz program.

The main thing a listener wanted from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s visit to Carnegie Hall this weekend was a sense of how this great ensemble was faring under the baton of Riccardo Muti, whose tenure as its music director began in September. You had to have a strong set of mental blinders not to think, in the moments before Mr. Muti walked onstage, about the alarming illnesses that have kept him off the podium much of the season, and that naturally brought to mind the health problems that led James Levine to give up his directorship of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Those concerns were amplified by the news, announced just hours before the Saturday evening concert, that the Philadelphia Orchestra — Mr. Muti’s previous American podium — had declared bankruptcy.

So one measure of Mr. Muti’s triumph at these concerts was that from the moment he cued the orchestra’s flutes and clarinets, in the opening of Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” at the start of the Saturday evening performance, to his final downbeat on the plangent chord that closed Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, at the end of the Sunday afternoon concert, worries about the state of American orchestras and those who lead them disappeared.

Mr. Muti, lithe and energetic (the Shostakovich included a balletic leap or two, both feet off the podium), drew such a glorious sound from his players, and interpreted the music with such insight and clarity, that a listener had to be fully in the moment.

The Saturday evening concert was a repeat of the all-Berlioz program that Mr. Muti offered as his season opener in Chicago, a pairing of the “Symphonie Fantastique” and its rarely heard sequel, “Lélio, ou le Retour à la Vie” (“Lélio, or the Return to Life”).

From the start, “Symphonie Fantastique” benefited from the keen sense of drama Mr. Muti has developed as an opera conductor: moments of dreamy introspection were calm, leisurely and unusually serene in Mr. Muti’s reading, and the more passionate sections that propel the work (including the hallucinatory execution and the Witches’ Sabbath) were played with all the tension, drive and volume you could want. Beyond those broad contours, Mr. Muti dealt in nuance, focusing on voicings and details that are often lost in Berlioz’s narrative sweep.

“Lélio” is more diffuse; in fact, it is actually a handful of pieces — songs with piano accompaniment, larger orchestral and choral fantasies — strung together with a narration that includes reflections on Shakespeare, semiautobiographical musing (in the character of the artist-hero of “Symphonie Fantastique”) and even comments on the music at hand. In 19th-century terms, it is completely loopy. But nowadays orchestras and new-music groups that present similar quasi-theatrical, mixed-genre programs are praised as groundbreaking.

As in Chicago, Gérard Depardieu gave an alternately manic and depressed reading of the narration, in French. Mario Zeffiri sang the tenor arias with a sweet fluidity, and the bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen gave a strong account of the “Song of the Brigands.” In the larger pieces, particularly the fantasy on Shakespeare’s “Tempest,” the orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus were solid and supple.

The Sunday afternoon concert was originally to have included Varèse’s “Arcana” and a new work by Anna Clyne, as well as the Shostakovich. Mr. Muti’s recent illness kept him from rehearsing the Varèse and Clyne works, so he substituted Cherubini’s Overture in G, an alternately graceful and splashy curtain-raiser that Mr. Muti made into a smart, trim glimpse of early Romanticism, and a dazzling, cohesive performance of Liszt’s symphonic poem “Les Préludes.”

There was room to quibble about Mr. Muti’s reading of the Shostakovich. Whenever a tempo was slower than Allegro, Mr. Muti lingered over it, replacing its tartness with an unwarranted beauty. Those touches created a striking contrast with the fast, loud and intensely bitter sections that invariably followed, but Shostakovich’s slow music should not be defanged.

That said, the Shostakovich brought the best out of the orchestra. The strings were lush, the woodwind playing was beautifully chiseled, and the brasses had the kind of spectacular power and precision that made the section legendary during the Fritz Reiner and Georg Solti eras. All that made it easy to forgive a touch of interpretive oddness. But the way I see it, Mr. Muti still owes us an “Arcana.”


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【短信】名門Philadelphia 管が破産申請へ [音楽時評]

ここ数年,音楽監督不在のまま,Dutoit がPrincipal Conductor の地位でなんとか維持してきたPhiladelphia Symphony が,とうとう4月16日に破産 Bankruptcy 申請を決定したそうです.

The acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra said Saturday it would file for bankruptcy, the first major US performance ensemble to do so during the nation's current economic turmoil.                                              the “solid gold Cadillac of orchestras,” the internationally revered ensemble built by Stokowski and Ormandy, says it is headed for bankruptcy.

しかし,地元紙は The board voted to file for a Chapter 11 reorganization, although assets will be listed at triple its liabilities. といいますから,財政的にはまだ十分再建の見通しがありそうです.

現実に,今シーズンのスケジュールはそのまま維持されるそうで,事実,週末の演奏会(Mahler 第4番)は開催されたようです.

疑問点として,endowment が$140millionもありながら,It is management’s position that the $140 million in orchestra and Academy of Music endowment is donorrestricted, therefore untouchable. という事情があるようで,management は$$214million の寄付集めキャンペーンをやるそうですが,アメリカの経済事情が事情だけに,その成果は未知数です.

楽員達は破産に反対で,そんな状態で他のorchestra に応募する者が出たら,Philadelphia Symphony の質が低下してしまうと危機感を募らせているようです.楽員がこぞって反対すれば,破産申請が却下される可能性があるという指摘もあります.

名門 Orchestra の今後がたいへん懸念されるところです.

 

 

Philadelphia Orchestra declares bankruptcy

Philadelphia Orchestra declares bankruptcy                                                                     AFP/Getty Images/File – In this 2010 photo Aretha Franklin is pictured performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann …

PHILADELPHIA (AFP) – The acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra said Saturday it would file for bankruptcy, the first major US performance ensemble to do so during the nation's current economic turmoil.

"The Philadelphia Orchestra Association can confirm that its Board of Directors voted today, April 16th, to file for bankruptcy protection," it said in a statement.

Kate Johnston, a spokeswoman for the 111-year-old orchestra, said however that programming was unaffected for now.

"All concerts are going on as scheduled, including a concert tonight," she told AFP. The orchestra was performing Mahler's Symphony No. 4.

The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper quoted orchestra officials as saying that legal papers seeking bankruptcy protection would be filed shortly.

The orchestra is nevertheless fighting for its life and plans a $214 million fundraising attempt within the next few days, according to the report.

Board chairman Richard Worley said earlier this week that income and expenses faced a "fantastic imbalance" and that although the rescue plan would be difficult, "I believe we can do it."

A number of prestigious arts groups, including museums and opera companies, have faced financial strain since the recession and weak economic recovery in the United States.

The crisis announcement came as the city was hosting the inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. The massive festival features over 135 events and 1,500 artists spread over 25 days.

Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra considers itself one of the world's leading ensembles, with acclaimed performances, major world tours and best-selling recordings.


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トッパンホール:高橋望ピアノ・リサイタル [音楽時評]

4月16日,トッパンホールに高橋望のピアノリサイタルを聴きに行ってきました.最近シューベルト最晩年のピアノ・ソナタ3曲にたいへんのめり込んでいものですから,D.959に惹かれて出かけました.                                                          トッパン・ホールに2台のバスが駐まっていて,録画かと思いましたら,1台は地元秩父から聴衆を乗せてきた観光バス,1台は後援のスタインウエイの車だったようです.

プログラムは,                                                      バッハ:      パルティータ第2番 ハ短調 BWV 826                                                シェーンベルグ: 6つのピアノ小品 Op.19                                                             シューベルト:   楽興の時(全6曲) Op.94 D 780  
               ※※※※※※※※                                                                           シューベルト:  ピアノソナタ第20番 イ長調 遺作 D 959                                          でした.

この人の演奏はたいへん端正なのですが,没個性的で,いささかメロディやリズムに抑揚が不足気味で,かつ日本人ピアニストにありがちな,どの作曲家も同じように聞えてしまうような演奏でした.

前半のバッハに始まって短い6分前後のシェーンベルグとシューベルトは間隔を置かずに弾いたので,余計弾きわけの不足が気になりました.後者は,原則無調ないし調性をないまぜたものなのですが...

シューベルトの2曲も,遺作の方がずっと構成内容が豊かで,色合いに特色のある全4楽章なのですが,そのせっかくの豊かさを十分に響かせてくれたとは思えませんでした.

外来演奏家のコンサートのキャンセルが続いていますから,もっと集客力があって然るべきでしたが,地元からのバスによる送迎にもかかわらず,残念ながら8~9割の入りだったのではないでしょうか...

 

 

 

 


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サントリーホール:都響定期,アツモン指揮,竹澤恭子vn [音楽時評]

4月14日,サントリーホール東京都交響楽団B定期を聴きに行ってきました.指揮者はモーシェ・アツモン,Violin に竹澤恭子が協演していました.

最初に東日本巨大地震の犠牲者に捧げるといって,バッハの「G線上のアリア」が薄暗いステージで演奏され,終わって,聴衆に起立を求め,全員で黙祷を捧げました.ホールの全員で黙祷を捧げるという経験は初めてでしたが,それだけこの巨大地震の被害が大きかったことからすれば,当然の儀礼だったと思います.

プログラムは,                                                         エルガー:    ヴァイオリン協奏曲 ロ短調 作品61                                         ※※※※※※※※                                                                                         ブラームス:   交響曲第2番 二長調 作品73                               でした.

エルガーのヴァイオリン協奏曲はなかなかの大曲で,3楽章で約50分かかる協奏曲ですが,エルガー自身がヴァイオリンに精通していたこと,Violinist,ロンドン交響楽団のリーダーだったビリー・リードの助言,さらには作曲の依頼者で,エルガーの指揮で初演者となったフィリッツ・クライスラーの助言を得て作曲されただけに,ヴァイオリンのテクニックが鏤められ,流麗な奏法の移行やフレージングが際立つ傑作です.                                                         急-緩-急の3楽章の構成で,第1楽章は切迫感,悲壮感に満ちた第1主題,対照的に穏和で叙情的な第2主題が相次いで提示されたあと,独奏ヴァイオリンが2つの主題を基に華麗に主導して曲が展開されます.ルバートが多用され,豊かな表情が示されて終わります.第2楽章は「感傷的な告別」と形容された楽章で,優美なメロディーと高度の技巧が醸し出す叙情的楽章です.第3楽章は,軽快,快活なロンド風楽章ですが,ヴァイオリンの多彩な技巧が披瀝される独奏パートに,カデンツァが加わって,それを支える弦楽器群にもエルガー創案のピチカート・トレモロが駆使されて,華やかに曲を閉じます.                                                     竹澤恭子さんはこの傑作をすっかり手中のものとして,華麗に名演を展開してくれました.

ブラームスの交響曲第2番の楽章説明は省きますが,急-緩-セミ急-急の4楽章構成ですが,指揮者アツモンは,比較的小さな動きの指揮ですが,たいへんメリハリを付けた指揮ぶりで,この名曲を端正に好演してくれました.ちなみに,アルモンは1978~83年に都響の首席指揮者を勤めたといいますから,相性が良かったのだと思います.

 


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Met Opera 管で完璧な指揮を見せたJ.Levine [音楽時評]

Boston Symphony のMusic Director を辞任し,Metropolitan Opera のMusic Directorに専念することにした James Levine が,予定通り,Metropolitan Opera Orchestra のCarnegie Hall 公演を指揮して,その好演振りが評論されています.

when he does mount the podium — as he did last week to conduct “Wozzeck” at the Metropolitan Opera, and again on Sunday afternoon, when he led the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hallhis performances are invariably so finely polished and intensely communicative that you cannot doubt that he is at the top of his game.

彼の指揮台への歩行,礼をする仕草などが,次のように紹介されています.he now walks on and off the stage with a wheeled walker (which lets him move at a speedy clip); he uses a cane during his bows; and he leads his players from a swivel chair. But once he begins to conduct, his gestures are clear and energetic, and the power of the musicians’ response is something to behold.

プログラムは,                                                   Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra                             Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Evgeny Kissin &                                 Brahms’s Symphony No. 2                                                                        だったようです.

Schoenberg はBrahms のムードで指揮したそうで,Levine の解釈として興味深い点です.  He made a more subtle connection too, focusing on Schoenberg’s often fluid, sometimes tactile use of tone color in presenting slowly but inexorably unfolding musical ideas  

Evgeny Kissin はすっかり大家になったようで,Levine と見事な競演を展開したそうですが,Levine はBrahms を演奏するようにオーケストラの音を張り上げていたようです.それでも,  Mr. Kissin’s contribution was a pure-toned, poetic line, driven but singing, with an almost narrative directness and momentum. He showed an entirely different side of his interpretive personality in his encore, an incendiary, deeply personalized account of Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2.

後半がBrahms の2番だったのですが,The Brahms offered other joys all its own, not least the kind of sweeping phrasing that, in hands as deft as Mr. Levine’s, makes the most familiar scores sound fresh and vital. And section for section, the orchestra played with a virtuosity and unity that are prerequisites for that kind of performance. とたいへん新鮮な名演を聴かせたといいます.

なによりも James Levine が,身軽になって,Levine らしさに溢れた演奏を展開したことをたいへん嬉しく思います.

 

Music Review

The Brahms Behind the Schoenberg

Whatever toll James Levine’s health problems have taken on his conducting schedule, and his career more generally, when he does mount the podium — as he did last week to conduct “Wozzeck” at the Metropolitan Opera, and again on Sunday afternoon, when he led the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall — his performances are invariably so finely polished and intensely communicative that you cannot doubt that he is at the top of his game.

Daniel Barry for The New York Times

The Met Orchestra, with the pianist Evgeny Kissin and the conductor James Levine, at Carnegie Hall.

Yes, he now walks on and off the stage with a wheeled walker (which lets him move at a speedy clip); he uses a cane during his bows; and he leads his players from a swivel chair. But once he begins to conduct, his gestures are clear and energetic, and the power of the musicians’ response is something to behold. That was not lost on the Met Orchestra’s audience on Sunday, which gave Mr. Levine a standing ovation and had him return to the podium three times before he had the concertmaster follow him offstage.

Mr. Levine seemed in a Brahmsian mood, and not only because the second half of the program was devoted fully to Brahms’s Symphony No. 2. He gave Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra a Brahmsian heft, and shaped them, at times, as if Brahms were the score’s guiding spirit. And if the pianist Evgeny Kissin’s playing in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 had a thoroughly Chopinesque litheness, the orchestral passages were so loud and so broadly drawn that it was hard not to hear them as having a Brahmsian girth.

It is not uncommon to draw connections between Brahms and Schoenberg: Simon Rattle did exactly that during a visit with the Berlin Philharmonic last season. And the Five Pieces, from 1909 (heard here in the 1949 revision), early experiments in escaping the constraints of tonality, lend themselves easily to this exercise. Mr. Levine made the kinship unusually clear partly by emphasizing the work’s late Romantic accents rather than its early modernist ones.

He made a more subtle connection too, focusing on Schoenberg’s often fluid, sometimes tactile use of tone color in presenting slowly but inexorably unfolding musical ideas — and then, after the intermission, pointing up Brahms’s use of similar techniques in the Second Symphony.

The Brahms offered other joys all its own, not least the kind of sweeping phrasing that, in hands as deft as Mr. Levine’s, makes the most familiar scores sound fresh and vital. And section for section, the orchestra played with a virtuosity and unity that are prerequisites for that kind of performance. That combination of qualities enlivened the Chopin too, and created the illusion that the orchestral scoring here was as inventive as the piano writing.

Mr. Kissin’s contribution was a pure-toned, poetic line, driven but singing, with an almost narrative directness and momentum. He showed an entirely different side of his interpretive personality in his encore, an incendiary, deeply personalized account of Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2.


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The World's Best Comes to Sydney [音楽時評]

Sydney のOpera House はそのユニークな建築様式でも有名ですが,オーストラリアの着実で健全な経済成長を背景に,毎年,世界の有名 Orchestra を招いて賑わっているようですが,今年はFor only the second time in its history, the Vienna Philharmonic returns to Sydney ということです.多分,サントリーホールのウイーンフィル・ウイークの前後に南半球に回るのではないでしょうか.

指揮は,Christoph Eschenbach,who is currently Music Director for both the National Symphony Orchestra (USA) and the Kennedy Centre in Washington. です.For Baritone Matthias Goerne, studied with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,this will be his first visit to Australia. とあります.

For Sydney Opera House, the Vienna Philharmonic concerts are the latest in a series of performances as part of its World Orchestras Program, including the Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta in 2008, the London Philharmonic with Vladimir Jurowski in 2009 (which also toured to Brisbane and Perth) and the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle in 2010 (which also toured to Perth). と外国オーケストラ・シリーズの一環だといいます.

“The 2011 concert program features masterworks from the heart of the Vienna Philharmonic’s repertoire: Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony, Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ and music by honorary and adoptive Viennese - Brahms, Mahler and Mozart. “The orchestra is closely associated with the music of Anton Bruckner so it is thrilling that a performance of his epic ‘Romantic’ Symphony forms the core of one of the two programs.”  とあります.

これからオーストリアや中国と連携して,世界的な音楽家のアジア,太平洋地域への招聘を進めることが出来れば,低成長化する日本でも現在よりずっと手頃なチケット代で,一流楽団を聴けるようになるのではないかと期待するものです.

 

The World's Best Comes to Sydney

April 11, 2011 - 10:10AM
729xLead_VPO

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

For only the second time in its history, the Vienna Philharmonic returns to Sydney

From 29 September to 7 October 2011, the Vienna Philharmonic returns to Australia following the Orchestra’s first ever Australian concerts at Sydney Opera House in 2006. The Orchestra can trace its origins back to 1842 and has received innumerable prizes, gold and platinum record-awards, national decorations and honorary memberships in countries throughout the world.  There is arguably no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than this world famous orchestra.

This year, the orchestra will be led by renowned conductor and pianist, Christoph Eschenbach. He has been Music Director of the Houston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and is currently Music Director for both the National Symphony Orchestra (USA) and the Kennedy Centre in Washington. Eschenbach is a regular guest conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Baritone Matthias Goerne studied with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and is regularly invited to perform with orchestras, in operas and in recitals across Europe and North America. This will be his first visit to Australia.

For Sydney Opera House, the Vienna Philharmonic concerts are the latest in a series of performances as part of its World Orchestras Program, including the Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta in 2008, the London Philharmonic with Vladimir Jurowski in 2009 (which also toured to Brisbane and Perth) and the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle in 2010 (which also toured to Perth). 

Talking about the this year’s Vienna Philharmonic repertoire, Sydney Opera House CEO Richard Evans commented, “The 2011 concert program features masterworks from the heart of the Vienna Philharmonic’s repertoire: Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony, Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ and music by honorary and adoptive Viennese - Brahms, Mahler and Mozart.

“The orchestra is closely associated with the music of Anton Bruckner so it is thrilling that a performance of his epic ‘Romantic’ Symphony forms the core of one of the two programs.”

But perhaps the last word should go to Richard Strauss who said, “All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement.”


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US;Symphony:破産から復活する可能性! [音楽時評]

Syracuse Symphony Orchestra は2010~2011シーズンを打切り,今週末には破産を申請する予定だそうです.

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra bought this(写真の) Steinway six years ago for $50,000. It's worth up to $96,000 now , and it's among the assets likely to be auctioned during bankruptcy. Two years ago, the financially ailing symphony put up that essentially free piano, worth more than $75,000, as collateral for a loan from M&T Bank.M&T, in fact, took a lien against everything the symphony owns, according to records. と全てが銀行からの借金のカタに入っているそうです.

a Chapter 7 bankruptcyeverything the symphony has acquired over the past 50 years could be sold to the highest bidder. なのだそうです.

しかし,それがSymphony の終焉になるとは限らないといいます.

とりわけ大きいのは,Symphony が持つ Music Library なのだそうです.The symphony’s extensive library of sheet music, sometimes replete with musicians’ hand-scribbled notes; という貴重品が含まれているそうです.

The end of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, however, does not mean the end of any symphony orchestra in Syracuse. In many other cities — San Diego, Nashville and Oakland, Calif., among them — bankrupt symphonies have been pulled from the ashes by benefactors or governments.                   とSymphony が蘇った例は少なくないのです.

潰れた筈の Honolulu Symphony でさえ,The Honolulu symphony filed Chapter 7 late last year, and in March a group calling itself the Symphony Exploratory Committee bought all the assets for $210,000. と復活の僅かな可能性を見せているのです.
                                                                 A Chapter 7 bankruptcy would wipe out the symphony’s debt and void its contract with musicians. Any new symphony would start with a clean slate.

The president of the SSO Foundation, a non-profit group that supports the symphony by raising money and managing an endowment, believes that will happen here. 実例を挙げますと,                         
In 1988, the city of Oakland bought the music library of the bankrupt symphony there, and that collection is used by a new orchestra.
Just two days before the San Diego Symphony’s assets were to be auctioned in a bankruptcy court in 1996, a local businessman stepped forward with $2 million to save the day. The symphony — and its extensive music library, which had attracted potential buyers from as far as Wisconsin — remained in San Diego. The orchestra last year celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra についても,同じ事が起こりそうな予兆が見られるのです.

 

Syracuse Symphony Orchestra assets likely heading toward auction block

Published: Monday, April 11, 2011, 6:34 AM     Updated: Monday, April 11, 2011, 8:20 AM
2011-04-08-pc-piano.JPG                                                      The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra bought this Steinway six years ago for $50,000. It's worth up to $96,000 now , and it's among the assets likely to be auctioned during bankruptcy.

Syracuse Symphony Orchestra officials traveled to the Manhattan showroom of Steinway & Sons in February 1995 to pick out a new grand piano. They settled on the largest piano Steinway produced: a 9-foot-long Model D, with a black lacquer finish.

The orchestra paid $50,000. Days after the purchase became public, a local couple who loved keyboard music gave the symphony $50,000.

Two years ago, the financially ailing symphony put up that essentially free piano, worth more than $75,000, as collateral for a loan from M&T Bank, state records show. That gave M&T a lien on the piano, much like a bank may hold a lien on your car. M&T, in fact, took a lien against everything the symphony owns, according to records.

As the SSO heads toward its final movement — dissolving itself in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy — everything the symphony has acquired over the past 50 years could be sold to the highest bidder.

Among the items on the block: The symphony’s extensive library of sheet music, sometimes replete with musicians’ hand-scribbled notes; that Steinway piano, on which classical pianist Lang Lang first played Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto; and a celeste, the instrument that produces the distinct plinking sound of the Sugarplum Fairy dance in the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”

“There’s nothing left. Chapter 7 is corporate death,” said Greg Germain, a law professor who teaches bankruptcy law at Syracuse University. “I think what it signals is that the management of the SSO decided there’s nothing to do but liquidate it and close it.”

The symphony board March 29 suspended the rest of the season and voted Tuesday to file for bankruptcy protection. Local bankruptcy lawyers expect the filing to happen this week and say the whole case could be wrapped up in two to three months.

The end of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, however, does not mean the end of any symphony orchestra in Syracuse. In many other cities — San Diego, Nashville and Oakland, Calif., among them — bankrupt symphonies have been pulled from the ashes by benefactors or governments.

The president of the SSO Foundation, a non-profit group that supports the symphony by raising money and managing an endowment, believes that will happen here.

“I expect that there will be a new classical music organization in the community,” David Ridings said. “It will take some time, and it probably should take some time. The musicians feel damaged. The board feels damaged. Lots of donors feel hurt and damaged, and it’s going to take some time to get past that.”

Ridings said he couldn’t guess when that might be.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy would wipe out the symphony’s debt and void its contract with musicians. Any new symphony would start with a clean slate.

The foundation has an endowment of about $7.5 million that could help support a new orchestra, Ridings said. The foundation can’t touch the principal, but it has generated enough earnings to provide about $350,000 a year to the SSO, Ridings said.

If the SSO dissolves, the foundation’s charter says the money can be used to “support the organization of a new symphony orchestra in the Central New York region.”

First, though, the SSO must go through a liquidation over which it loses control of its fate and its assets. If the orchestra files Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will appoint a trustee to take over and conduct a sale of the assets.

Symphony managers say the orchestra owes about $5.5 million. According to recent financial statements, the SSO showed debts of about $560,000 to M&T, $380,000 on a loan from the symphony foundation and $2.4 million to the musicians’ pension fund.

The latest available audit, from August 2009, shows non-cash assets of $130,000. The symphony could also have non-tangible assets, such as rights to recordings it has made, contracts with performers and even its name, said Todd Brown, a professor at University of Buffalo School of Law.

Still, those are apparently not enough to cover the debt, Brown said.

“Typically if you’re going to file a Chapter 7, you’ve got to be so far under water you don’t have any high-value assets,” he said.

M&T liens, if still in effect, would give that lender first priority on the sale of assets. If there’s any money left over, patrons who bought tickets for canceled concerts might get at least partial refunds, and musicians might see some of the money owed to them. Last in line would be those who loaned money without collateral, and vendors who provided a service — catering or printing, for example — and haven’t been paid.

The foundation is one of the unsecured creditors. The foundation loaned the symphony $380,005 in September 2009, Ridings said, and none of it has been repaid.

“We’re not going to get paid back now,” he said.

The symphony’s assets include the Steinway piano, which has a fair market value of $75,000 to $96,000, said Frank DeFonda of Clark Music, in Syracuse. The symphony bought the piano through Clark’s in 1995. The piano is wedged into a cinder-block storage room near the stage of the Civic Center.

The most important asset is the collection of musical scores acquired over the symphony’s 50 years, said Heather Buchman, the conductor of the Hamilton College orchestra. Such libraries can be extensive: The Honolulu symphony had 2,700 works when it sold them last month.

“The real crucial thing is the music library — all the individual musical parts for all the Beethoven symphonies, all the Brahms symphonies, just hundreds and hundreds of pieces,” said Buchman, who was a member of the San Diego Symphony when it went bankrupt.

Rebuilding the music collection would be prohibitively expensive and, in some cases, impossible, Buchman said. Beethoven symphonies might cost $400 each, she said, but works by some 20th century composers, such as Dmitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky, are still under copyright and could only be rented at a cost of thousands of dollars, she said.

The scores are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, said Jon Garland, chairman of the SSO musicians’ committee. One of the first clues that management was seriously considering bankruptcy came a week ago when the musicians’ librarian told the other musicians that management had called to ask for an inventory of the music, Garland said.

Musicians are watching the fate of their pension fund, to which the symphony owes about $2.4 million. Bankruptcy lawyers say it’s likely the federal government, through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., will essentially bail out the symphony’s debt and take over the pension fund.

The classical music world is littered with of stories of bankrupt orchestras revived.

The Honolulu symphony filed Chapter 7 late last year, and in March a group calling itself the Symphony Exploratory Committee bought all the assets for $210,000.

In 1988, the city of Oakland bought the music library of the bankrupt symphony there, and that collection is used by a new orchestra.

Just two days before the San Diego Symphony’s assets were to be auctioned in a bankruptcy court in 1996, a local businessman stepped forward with $2 million to save the day. The symphony — and its extensive music library, which had attracted potential buyers from as far as Wisconsin — remained in San Diego. The orchestra last year celebrated its 100th anniversary.


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Boston Symphony の候補者列挙 [音楽時評]

この評論は,Seiji Ozawa 後の Boston Symphony を蘇らせたJames Levine を非常に高く評価して,Levine に代わる人を見いだすのは至難の業だと書き出した後,候補者になり得る人を,絶対にBoston になど来ないこないだろう人を含めて,同世代人,中堅,若手に分類して列挙しています.

ここでは,既に周知の前置きは省略して,後半に列挙された候補者をご紹介したいと思います.

第1Group:                                                 Daniel Barenboim, well respected as a pianist and conductor, seems firmly ensconced in Europe.                                         Simon Rattle in Berlin, with a contract through 2018.                Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles and Michael Tilson-Thomas in San Francisco, also unlikely to consider a move to Boston.                         Esa-Pekka Salonen holds only a single post, with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, but he has no connections to Boston.

第2Group:                                                      the BSO seems headed for a caretaker tenure of at least one year, perhaps two, before settling on new leadership.                              Of that lot, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Lorin Maazel, and Kurt Masur are best known in Boston.                           The BSO could expand the role of Bernard Haitink, currently conductor emeritus, for a short spell.

第3Group:                                                  Could the BSO make a bold move? Robert Spano, who has disappeared from the BSO stage in recent years, after a long association with the orchestra,     David Robertson has made a solid impression in his guest appearances, as has James Conlon. Mark Elder, Hans Graf, and Christoph Eschenbach also have impressed.                                                  The most intriguing choice to my mind would be Marin Alsop, who leads orchestras in Baltimore and Sao Paolo, but has made only rare appearances here in Boston. To name Alsop as the first female conductor of a major international orchestra would be a media coup, and truly sound musically.

総括:                                                 The Caretakers                                        Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos (3-1), Lorin Maazel (5-1), Christoph von Dohnanyi (5-1), Charles Dutoit (8-1), Bernard Haitink (10-1), Herbert Blomstedt (100-1), Pierre Boulez (100-1), Andrew Davis (100-1), Colin Davis (100-1), James DePriest (100-1), Christoph Eschenbach (100-1), Marek Janowski (100-1), Andre Previn (100-1), Yuri Temirkanov (100-1), Edo de Waart (100-1)              (  )は確率!

Dream On                                            Daniel Barenboim (1,000-1), Simon Rattle (1,000-1), Michael Tilson-Thomas (1,000-1), Valery Gergiev (1,000-1), Gustavo Dudamel (1,000-1), Esa-Pekka Salonen (1,000-1)

A Glimpse of the Future?                                  Marin Alsop (15-1), Riccardo Chailly (15-1), James Conlon (15-1), Mark Elder (15-1), David Robertson (15-1), Robert Spano (15-1), Hans Graf (100-1), Alan Gilbert (100-1), Manfred Honeck (100-1), Paavo Jarvi (100-1), Neeme Jarvi (100-1), Riccardo Muti (100-1), Kent Nagano (100-1), Gianandrea Noseada (100-1), Leonard Slatkin (100-1), Osmo Vanska (100-1), Franz Welser-Most (100-1), David Zinman (100-1)

Fascinating, but...   All 1,000 - 1:                              Robert Abbado, Douglas Boyd, Jens-Georg Bachmann, Jo-Ann Faletta, Daniele Gatti, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Pablo Heras Casado, Ingo Metzmacher, Anne Manson, Susanna Mallki, Ludovic Morlot, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Peter Oundjian, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Hugh Wolff, Mario Venzago, Christian Zacharias, Jaap van Zweden  

ここに,前に有望と書いた Andris Nelsons がやっと出てきています.なお,次に挙がっているYannick Nezet-Seguin は既に Philadelphia の次期 Music Director に決定しており,Big 5 の兼任は前例がないことを書き添えて置きます.                             個人的にはこの4月の東京春祭への来日をキャンセルした Andris Nelsons に期待しています.

 

Meet the new BSO boss? We handicap the race for James Levine’s replacement

Photos

Marin Alsop... Her odds for becoming the BSO's next Music Director? 15-1

  
By Keith Powers
Posted Apr 09, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

James Levine will not be replaced as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Sure, someone else will take up the baton, make programming choices, and lead rehearsals. But nobody will replace him.

There is nobody else.

(See how we handicap the race for the new music director of the BSO at the end of this story.)

Levine is one of the greatest musicians alive. Not just for his conducting skills, his piano skills, his 40-year tenure leading the Metropolitan Opera, or his profound influence commissioning the future of music.

Those accomplishments definitely matter. But Levine’s genius lies in one thing: his devotion to the repertory. 

One moment in his tenure stands out. In the summer of 2009, Levine conducted Brahms’ “A German Requiem” at Tanglewood. Like many Berkshire evenings, the skies were ominous as the music began. At one point, thunder roared loudly through Stockbridge Bowl, fittingly, just before Brahms’ setting of “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place.” Hearing the rumble, Levine gave a lengthy, exaggerated pause, looked up at the heavens, and then began. A moment of drama, and a bit of poetic license, to be sure.

At the conclusion (the rain held off, by the way), as a huge ovation swept over the stage, Levine and the cast acknowledged the vigorous applause. But before leaving the stage for the last time, Levine reached over to his music stand, put his hand on the cover of the score, and bowed himself. To Brahms.

The greatest practitioners of classical music are long dead. Our link to them lies in the printed legacy, and a few individuals’ ability to draw the beauty out of that legacy. We depend on artists like James Levine, who feel as close to those composers as he does to his fellow musicians. 

Waving the baton, the conductor Roger Norrington said, is not difficult. What’s difficult is having ideas. Levine had ideas. When he took over the BSO seven years ago, barely 60 years old — young in conductor years — it appeared that we were at the start of an entire generation of great music-making at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood.

The orchestra, after the overlong tenure of Seiji Ozawa, was obviously looking for an infusion of energy. But we never got the Levine we were promised, as his body betrayed him. Rotator cuff surgery after a fall onstage. A cancerous kidney removed. Several back surgeries. All forcing last-minute cancellations, substitute conductors, revised agendas. The potential golden era for the BSO glimmered with promise, then dimmed.

Only a few conductors have the throw-weight of James Levine, and none of those seem likely to be motivated to take over the BSO. Daniel Barenboim, well respected as a pianist and conductor, seems firmly ensconced in Europe. When he was recommended several years ago to take over the New York Philharmonic, Barenboim firmly declined, saying he did not want to relocate to America.

Simon Rattle in Berlin, with a contract through 2018, Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles, the boy wonder from Venezuela, and Michael Tilson-Thomas in San Francisco, with ties early in his career to Boston, would also be bold choices, but also unlikely to consider a move to Boston. Esa-Pekka Salonen holds only a single post, with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, but he has no connections to Boston. 

Instead, the BSO seems headed for a caretaker tenure of at least one year, perhaps two, before settling on new leadership. Levine has resigned effective Sept. 1, a deadline that may as well be yesterday given conductors’ schedules, and BSO managing director Mark Volpe hinted in the hours just after Levine resigned that a temporary choice would probably be necessary. 

A distinguished elder statesman (and in this case, they are all men), known to the players and orchestra management, might be prevailed upon to accept. Of that lot, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Lorin Maazel, and Kurt Masur are best known in Boston. The urbane Fruhbeck is an orchestra favorite, and would provide a media-friendly face while management decides on a long-term strategy. Dohnanyi, Maazel and Masur are also popular onstage and upstairs at Symphony Hall. The BSO could expand the role of Bernard Haitink, currently conductor emeritus, for a short spell.

For the long term? Fact is, things won’t really be different in a couple years. The same names will be out there, with the same top-notch stars (Dudamel, Tilson-Thomas, Rattle) still tied up indefinitely. 

But consider this: In the early ’70s, the BSO chose a little-known Japanese protege of Leonard Bernstein. Seiji Ozawa had just gone through controversial stints both in San Francisco and Toronto, and the Boston music world offered a resounding “Who’s that?” when he brought his flamboyant style to Symphony Hall. But he stayed for three decades and became the face of the orchestra. 

Could the BSO make a similarly bold move? The New York Philharmonic, choosing 44 year old Alan Gilbert to replace Maazel in 2009, did just that. San Francisco did the same with Tilson-Thomas. Los Angeles has electrified its audiences in choosing Dudamel.

Who could the BSO chose to make a similarly bold statement? Robert Spano, who has disappeared from the BSO stage in recent years, after a long association with the orchestra, might be such a conductor. David Robertson has made a solid impression in his guest appearances, as has James Conlon. Mark Elder, Hans Graf, and Christoph Eschenbach also have impressed. The most intriguing choice to my mind would be Marin Alsop, who leads orchestras in Baltimore and Sao Paolo, but has made only rare appearances here in Boston. To name Alsop as the first female conductor of a major international orchestra would be a media coup, and truly sound musically. No musician that I have ever spoken with has had anything but great things to say about the 54-year-old American. 

A woman on the podium at the BSO? We’re ready.

 

Leaders of the pack

Here’s a breakdown of the conductors who may be considered for the coveted post of music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. “The Caretakers” category handicaps the conductors who may take over the post for the short term. The other categories offer some long-term candidates for the position.

 

The Caretakers

One of these elder statesmen is likely to be interim music director: 

Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos (3-1), Lorin Maazel (5-1), Christoph von Dohnanyi (5-1), Charles Dutoit (8-1), Bernard Haitink (10-1), Herbert Blomstedt (100-1), Pierre Boulez (100-1), Andrew Davis (100-1), Colin Davis (100-1), James DePriest (100-1), Christoph Eschenbach (100-1), Marek Janowski (100-1), Andre Previn (100-1), Yuri Temirkanov (100-1), Edo de Waart (100-1)

 

Dream On

Any of these great conductors would create a huge spark of interest in Boston, but it seems unlikely the BSO will lure them from their current posts:

Daniel Barenboim (1,000-1), Simon Rattle (1,000-1), Michael Tilson-Thomas (1,000-1), Valery Gergiev (1,000-1), Gustavo Dudamel (1,000-1), Esa-Pekka Salonen (1,000-1)

 

A Glimpse of the Future?

Here are the choices if the BSO boldly decides to align itself with a mid-career conductor:

Marin Alsop (15-1), Riccardo Chailly (15-1), James Conlon (15-1), Mark Elder (15-1), David Robertson (15-1), Robert Spano (15-1), Hans Graf (100-1), Alan Gilbert (100-1), Manfred Honeck (100-1), Paavo Jarvi (100-1), Neeme Jarvi (100-1), Riccardo Muti (100-1), Kent Nagano (100-1), Gianandrea Noseada (100-1), Leonard Slatkin (100-1), Osmo Vanska (100-1), Franz Welser-Most (100-1), David Zinman (100-1)
 

Fascinating, but...

Probably too inexperienced for BSO:

All 1,000 - 1: Robert Abbado, Douglas Boyd, Jens-Georg Bachmann, Jo-Ann Faletta, Daniele Gatti, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Pablo Heras Casado, Ingo Metzmacher, Anne Manson, Susanna Mallki, Ludovic Morlot, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Peter Oundjian, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Hugh Wolff, Mario Venzago, Christian Zacharias, Jaap van Zweden

 




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Daniel Barenboim と Music & Art [音楽時評]

私のProfile に,現在の関心は,直接鑑賞芸術としての美術と演奏者を介した間接鑑賞芸術,音楽,の関連ということをあげていますが,それに適合する音楽評を見つけましたので,ご紹介します.

Daniel Barenboim は,Pianist & Conductor と多芸な音楽家ですが,CD 3枚の公開を機に,無料コンサートをやるそうです.

彼は,Classic Music のフアンが,かつてはArt 全般を愛していたのに,今のMusic フアンは視野が狭くなっていて,それが Classic フアンの縮小にもつながっていると考えているようです.     a one-off free concert on Friday night to launch three CDs - so it was in his interest to keep things friendly. But as it turned out, his warmth was genuine as was his evident frustration with classical music. Not the art form, but the narrowness of its fan-base.

"Music today has been put more and more into an ivory tower," he said. Those responsible for it had failed to keep up with technological developments - records, CDs, iTunes - which had "democratized" the western classics; while Schoenberg and Stravinsky became widely and cheaply available, "there was not the necessary accompanying actions taken in efforts of education for all these [new listeners]".

there should be a "radical change of the education system", so that "children don't just learn literature, biology, geography and history at school, but you also learn music". Because, he thinks, "through music you get over many obstacles you have in daily, normal daily life outside music".

people need to know that to get something out of classical music they have to really want to go there and open their ears. And really concentrate and listen and then they will really get a lot out of it."

結論として,

"I'm sure that 100 years ago people who knew their Schoenberg knew their Kandinsky and the people who knew their Picasso knew their Stravinsky and that's not the case any more now. There are many people who are interested in painting who don't know and don't care anything about music and vice versa. And it's time really that we make that connection again."

 

 

Daniel Barenboim: Classical music for all

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Will Gompertz | 12:41 UK time, Thursday, 7 April 2011

Daniel Barenboim started our phone interview by taking the mickey. It was my accent that caught his ear; a tad plummy I suspect: "Hello my dear fellow" said the great maestro in response to my BBC welcome. Which was quickly followed by "I'm ready old fellow". Then something along the lines of "do ask a question, be a good chap".

Daniel Barenboim

I was relieved. I'm the youngest child of four, I can handle teasing, what I don't like are telephone interviews. Unaided by physical cues, they can go terribly wrong, extremely quickly. The last person I interviewed over the phone was Steve Martin and that went slightly worse than very badly.

Arts reporting is the decathlon of journalism; there is a lot of disciplines to cover and you're going to be weaker in some more than others: Daley Thompson wasn't strongest at the 1,500m; my 1,500m is cantatas and capriccios. So when the man thought by some to be the greatest pianist and conductor of his generation chooses to play the (interviewing) game in good humour, I'm delighted.

Admittedly he had something to plug - a one-off free concert on Friday night to launch three CDs - so it was in his interest to keep things friendly. But as it turned out, his warmth was genuine as was his evident frustration with classical music. Not the art form, but the narrowness of its fan-base.

He thinks classical music is intimidating, too aloof and disconnected from the masses; existing in not so splendid intellectual isolation enjoyed mainly by the aficionados who attend the world's great concert halls. "Music today has been put more and more into an ivory tower," he said. Those responsible for it had failed to keep up with technological developments - records, CDs, iTunes - which had "democratized" the western classics; while Schoenberg and Stravinsky became widely and cheaply available, "there was not the necessary accompanying actions taken in efforts of education for all these [new listeners]".

Daniel Barenboim

He says there should be a "radical change of the education system", so that "children don't just learn literature, biology, geography and history at school, but you also learn music". Because, he thinks, "through music you get over many obstacles you have in daily, normal daily life outside music".

And, he added, if people are to get something out of classical music they need to put something in:

"There's no point in telling people just go there it's so simple it will happen. That's also not true, it's not a good way. I think that people need to know that to get something out of classical music they have to really want to go there and open their ears. And really concentrate and listen and then they will really get a lot out of it."

But he's going to do his bit too: starting with the gig, in the cavernous Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, which will be filled with Chopin. Barenboim on piano and five other players. He says his doing it to:

"[F]ind a new public and wanted to find the people that are curious. The people that maybe feel they don't know enough about music and don't dare to come into contact with it. And maybe through this kind of actions they will. Maybe they will come. In the end curiosity is the most important because if you are curious you will acquire the knowledge that you might not have presently."

The choice of location is deliberate. Modern art was once unpopular, looked upon with suspicion by the general public. Now they come in their millions, with open, enquiring minds: just the sort of punters Barenboim is after. It's a tactic that might work. In fact if he looks to the rise in popularity of modern art as an exemplar, it might prove more effective than formal education.

The public's change in attitude to modern art (not all of course) has not come about because of education, but because of fashion: it became hip. A mixture of some charismatic artists (from Warhol to Hirst), beguiling new spaces (Pompidou Centre, Guggenheim Bilbao, Tate Modern) and media-savvy dealers (Larry Gagosian, Jeffrey Deitch, Jay Jopling) has led to modern art forcing its way into the public consciousness. And once there, the public decided they wanted to know more.

Which led to more people visiting galleries, which led to more media coverage, which led more new buildings, which led to more public interest and so on. The success of a gallery such as Nottingham Contemporary is remarkable; in their inaugural year of 2010, they welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to take a look at the most avant of the avant-garde.

Once at a gallery visitors can teach themselves (and in some cases their children). The knock-on effect has been more interest in all genres of art, from the Renaissance masters to the cave paintings of France. There's no reason why classical music shouldn't enjoy similar success. It's not as if there is a shortage of young talent with something interesting to say - the British composers Thomas Ades and Mark Anthony Turnage being just two examples of interesting and adventurous exponents of the art form.

Daniel Barenboim will not give up the fight on the education front, but I suspect he will have more success in achieving his aims of making his music more widely heard and understood by taking a more innovative approach. As he says:

"I'm sure that 100 years ago people who knew their Schoenberg knew their Kandinsky and the people who knew their Picasso knew their Stravinsky and that's not the case any more now. There are many people who are interested in painting who don't know and don't care anything about music and vice versa. And it's time really that we make that connection again."

I'll be there; listening and learning.


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東京文化小ホール:東京春祭;河村尚子リサイタル [音楽時評]

私の住居が浦安市に隣接する埋め立て地にあったため,ひどい液状化現象の被害を被ったこともあって,今夜は久しぶりの音楽会でした.

その間,音楽会をフイにしたのは,大震災翌日の武蔵野文化小ホール・オルガン演奏会に物理的にいけなかったこと,はっきり来日をキャンセルないし東京での演奏会をャンセルされたのが,3月17日の武蔵野文化小ホールでのクリストフ・ゲンツ「冬の旅」,19日都響プロムナード・コンサート,24日武蔵野文化小ホールのツエトマイヤーがいずれもキャンセル,3月31日オペラシティのイアン・ポストリッジが来年1月への公演延期,4月2日東京春祭の一環のマーラー「大地の歌」がキャンセルでした.

あと,開催されたのに聴きに行けなかったのが,3月29日の東京春祭,上野学園石橋メモリアルのN響メンバーによる弦楽四重奏,4月3日の東京春祭ウイーンわが夢の街~マーラーの生きた世紀末ウイーン~でした.前者は私が,朝から,放射線治療の後遺症の治療に病院に行って,疲労のため,行ったことのない上野学園に行く気をなくしたこと,後者は私が余震も収束したかと考えて,親戚宅から自宅に戻ったばかりで,早速,後片付けに追われたことから,マラソンコンサートの15時と19時の部を振ってしまったことです.大のアルモニコ・フアンなのですが...

今夕,久しぶりに電車に乗って驚いたのは,エスカレーターが相当数止っていて,階段を上り下りしなければならなかったことでした.年配者や障害者への配慮より節電を優先することには大いに疑問を感じました.

余談が長くなりましたが,河村尚子さんにはその素晴らしさに改めて感嘆しました.

プログラムは,たいへん馴染み深い曲ばかりで,                                                    バッハ(ブゾーニ編):コラール前奏曲「シュイエス・キリスト,われ何時を呼ぶ」BWV639       バッハ:        シャコンヌ                                         R.シュトラウス:   5つの小品 op.3
               ※※※※※※※※                                                                           ワーグナー(リスト編):  イゾルデの愛と死                                           シューベルト(リスト編): 糸を紡ぐグレートヒェン                               シューベルト(リスト編): 《美しい水車小屋の娘》より「水車小屋と小川」                      シューマン(リスト編):   献呈                                             リスト:           《愛の夢》第3番                                    リスト:           《巡礼の年 第2年 イタリア》より「ダンテを呼んで」              でした.

彼女はそれぞれの曲の全体像をすっかり自分のものとして把握していて,そこから曲の構成をしっかりと表現すべく,強音から弱音までの幅広い音域を自在に弾き分け,確実なテクニックで,それぞれの楽曲をくっきりと浮かび上がらせて聴かせてくれました.たいへんな名演奏だったと思います.

改めて,10~20年に1人といってよい俊才ピアニストのこれからさらなる成長を期待したいと思います.

それにしても,ホール内も節電で,これまで読めていたプログラムが,ホール内では読めなかったこと,ステージの照明も点灯しているのは1つだけで,河村さんの姿が上からの照明を受けているだけというのはたいへん違和感がありました.

東京春祭の実行委員長の挨拶が入っていて,「...音楽という芸術が持つ力を信じ,演奏会を開催し,1人でも多くの方々に,生きることの喜びを,蘇らせることではないかと思います」と書かれていましたが,それをいうのなら,当初から予定されていてせっかく開催できた音楽会はきちんと正常に開催すべきで,キャンセルされた音楽会に代えていくつもの追加公演を企画しながら,今夜の演奏会でここまで節電するのは,何か本末転倒というべきではなかったでしょうか.

 

 


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【短信】Detroit Symphony やっとストから脱却 [音楽時評]

6ケ月に渡ったストライキがようやく主として楽員側が折れた形で終結し,今週末,無料コンサートが開催れるそうです.                                                     木曜日から Music Director Leonard Slatkin の下でリハーサルに復帰し,週末の演奏会でDvorak's "New World Symphony," a symbolic gesture, perhaps, of a fresh start for the orchestra. という予定です.

しかし,6ケ月のストライキは,定期会員を初めとした聴衆からどの程度見放されたのか,寄付を寄せてきた人達が果たしてもう一度戻ってくるのかどうか,基金をほとんど食い潰した楽団が,基金の再蓄積にどれだけこれまでの人脈に期待できるのか,金融機関との関係で,基金が底をついた段階でどこまで破産せずに進めるのか,あまりにも大きな損失を負っていると思われます.

そのためには,これまでの楽団員の人数を場合によって減らさなくてはならない可能性が,高い確率で残されています.

Detroit の経済環境を考えると,本当にDetroit Symphony Orchestra が再建に向けて進展できるのか,余談を許さないものがあります.

 

 

DSO contract deal is music to many ears

Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra play a concert at Kirk in the Hills in September, before the start of a six-month strike. 
Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra play a concert at Kirk in the Hills in September, before the start of a six-month strike. / ROMAIN BLANQUART/Detroit Free Press

Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians took another step closer Monday to making music at Orchestra Hall this weekend. The players voted to return to work for rehearsals beginning Thursday -- even as they said a formal ratification vote on a new contract wouldn't be completed until Friday.

Musicians and management reached a tentative contract settlement late Sunday, paving the way for the end of a six-month strike, the longest and most contentious labor dispute among U.S. orchestras in decades.

Music Director Leonard Slatkin will conduct free concerts for patrons on Saturday and Sunday. The program features Dvorak's "New World Symphony," a symbolic gesture, perhaps, of a fresh start for the orchestra.

Returning to work before ratifying the contract is a sign that the musicians expect a majority to vote for the agreement, though spokesman Greg Bowens said a "no" vote was still possible.

Many DSO patrons greeted news of the tentative settlement with the joy of the "Hallelujah Chorus."

"I feel enormous relief," said Geoffrey Nathan of Grosse Pointe. "I really, really have missed the orchestra and live classical music."


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生粋のドイツ人指揮者Thielemannが去るMunich [音楽時評]

ドイツの Orchestra はドイツ語で纏まっていた時代を経験してきたといえます.German-speaking Europe's classical music capitals are bound together by language, but separated by just about everything else.                                 In Vienna, composers, dead and long dead, are the alpha dogs of musical life, putting conductors in their place from beyond the grave. In Berlin, exactly two conductors, the Berlin Philharmonic's Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan, were deified in their lifetimes, and audiences ever since have had to make do with mortal geniuses like Simon Rattle, who, by comparison, is a secular figure in an ecclesiastical order.

その例外がMunich だったのですが,そのking であった Thielemann がMunchen Philharmonicを去ることになって,ドイツ語の指揮者が枢要posts を失うことになるのです,    The Austro-German Romantic tradition took shape here over several decades in the 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to conductors at Munich's opera and the Munich Philharmonic.

The tradition began in earnest with Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde," which premiered here in 1865, conducted by Hans von Bülow, and began its long twilight with Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde," conducted by Bruno Walter in 1911. By the time of that premier, Munich was a cultural powerhouse, determining the very contours of Germanness; to the historically minded, it is of some symbolic value that Christian Thielemann, classical music's only major German-born conductor these days, is leaving.

その伝統あるMunich を,ドイツ生まれの唯一の主要指揮者,52歳のChristian Thielemann が去ろうとしているのです,ワグナー解釈の主要指揮者として知られたThielemann にとってMunich は適役だったはずですが,2004年に着任しながら,楽団との対立で契約更改を拒否され,Dresden's Staatskapelle に移ろうとしています.契約が更改されなかった理由について,必ずしも明確ではありませんが,Thielemann がguest conductor を誰にするかについて発言権を求めたからといわれています,それはアメリカのようなMusic Director 方式ではなく,Principal Conductor 方式のドイツでは受け入れられ難かったといわれています.

電話でインタビューに答えたThielemann は,Munich Philharmonic との関係について,
"Everybody is happy." Then he says that he and the orchestra "are clever enough and diplomatic enough not to talk about the real reasons" for his departure—"because it would hurt people," he adds, sounding rather hurt himself. と答えなかったといいます.

Mr. Thielemann is being replaced by a kind of regent—81-year-old American conductor Lorin Maazel, who led Munich's Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for many years. Does Mr. Thielemann have plans to guest conduct himself in the near or distant future? "At the moment, no," he says. "It will be quite good to have a little break." と彼の後任,81歳のLorin Maazel のMunich Philharmonic に guest conductor することは,当分ないだろうと Thielemann はいっています.

他方では,The winds of change keep blowing through Munich's cultural institutions.と,Munich のドイツ至上主義は失われ,ドイツのシリコン・バレーといわれるほどInternationalization の波に洗われているようです.

 

  • EUROPEAN LIFE
  • APRIL 1, 2011
  • Conducting a Transfer of Power

    [PAGE TWO]               Jean-Manuel Duvivier

    German-speaking Europe's classical music capitals are bound together by language, but separated by just about everything else. The role of conductors, for instance. In Vienna, composers, dead and long dead, are the alpha dogs of musical life, putting conductors in their place from beyond the grave. In Berlin, exactly two conductors, the Berlin Philharmonic's Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan, were deified in their lifetimes, and audiences ever since have had to make do with mortal geniuses like Simon Rattle, who, by comparison, is a secular figure in an ecclesiastical order. Only in Munich is the conductor king.

    The Austro-German Romantic tradition—which, until the Nazi movement tainted the meaning of the word, would simply have been called "German"—took shape here over several decades in the 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to conductors at Munich's opera and the Munich Philharmonic. The tradition began in earnest with Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde," which premiered here in 1865, conducted by Hans von Bülow, and began its long twilight with Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde," conducted by Bruno Walter in 1911. By the time of that premier, Munich was a cultural powerhouse, determining the very contours of Germanness; to the historically minded, it is of some symbolic value that Christian Thielemann, classical music's only major German-born conductor these days, is leaving.

    Mr. Thielemann, who turns 52 today, is a Berlin native, but Munich would seem like the ideal place for him. Regarded on two continents as today's premier interpreter of Wagner, he arrived in 2004 to take over the Philharmonic, and now, in the wake of an unrenewed contract a few years ago, he is going to Dresden's Staatskapelle. The German papers were filled with innuendo about exactly why that contract wasn't renewed, which seemed to come down to Mr. Thielemann's insistence that he have a say in who could appear as guest conductor. I phoned the maestro at his apartment in the five-star Hotel München Palace.

    As he prepares his final concerts, does he have mixed feelings? "No," he says, "Everybody is happy." Then he says that he and the orchestra "are clever enough and diplomatic enough not to talk about the real reasons" for his departure—"because it would hurt people," he adds, sounding rather hurt himself.

    Mr. Thielemann likes to see his new gig in Dresden as a return of some kind—"half of me is Saxon," he says, alluding to his family's roots in the area. However, he admits he will miss Munich's "quality of life"—"it's a very relaxed place."

    Having been scarcely touched by Europe's ongoing recession, and now riding the wave of Germany's export-driven recovery, Munich has turned the good life into a civic duty. In the decades after World War II, the city had grand political aspirations, with Bavaria's homegrown, ultra-German Christian Social Union, a sister-party to the larger, less conservative Christian Democrats, always hoping to find a future chancellor in its ranks. The CSU has never seemed less powerful than now—since 2008, it doesn't even have an absolute majority in Bavaria—and its loss coincides with Munich's gain. Free from national ambitions, the city, which has morphed into Germany's equivalent of Silicon Valley, now feels consciously international—or perhaps unselfconsciously post-German.

    Mr. Thielemann is being replaced by a kind of regent—81-year-old American conductor Lorin Maazel, who led Munich's Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for many years. Does Mr. Thielemann have plans to guest conduct himself in the near or distant future? "At the moment, no," he says. "It will be quite good to have a little break."

    The curse of the Föhn

    What Mr. Thielemann says he won't miss is the Föhn, Munich's mysterious Alpine wind, which people blame for everything from aches and pains to outright psychosis. Germans have a special word for this extravagant range of symptoms—Föhnkrankeit. Curiously, the Föhn often plagues the city on otherwise lovely days. "When spring comes," says Mr. Thielemann, speaking on a day that the Föhn was threatening to blow, "you have a headache."

    Winds of cultural changes

    The winds of change keep blowing through Munich's cultural institutions. This month, Chris Dercon, the Belgian director of Haus der Kunst, the city's daring exhibition space for contemporary art, took up his new post at London's Tate Modern, and in the fall his replacement, Okwui Enwezor, the Nigerian-born, American-based curator and critic, will take over.

    I caught up with Bavarian politician Wolfgang Heubisch, who joined Bavaria's regional government in 2008. Mr. Heubisch, a dentist by training, now bears the title State Minister for Science, Research and Art, and he oversaw the search that lead to Mr. Enwezor's selection.

    Haus der Kunst is at the forefront of Munich's internationalization. And Mr. Heubisch emphasizes the new director's bona fides in pleasure-loving Munich by announcing that "he's a guy who can enjoy a glass of wine and a good dinner" at an Italian restaurant.

     


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