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紀尾井ホール:小菅優(pf)ベートーヴェン・チクルス第2回 [音楽時評]

小菅優の国内外の華々しい活躍はつとに知られていますから繰り返しませんが.1983年生まれで,1993年からヨーロッパ在住といいますから,河村尚子と並ぶ国際派ピアニストといえます. 
河村尚子は国際コンクールをバネにしたところがあり,割とオーソドックスな演奏スタイルのなかに広い表現力を発揮していますが,今夜聴いた小菅優は,国際コンクール歴のないまま売れっ子に仲間入りしたこともあって,なかなか個性的な演奏を展開していました.

つい先日の神尾真由子のリサイタルが完売していたのに比べると,90%行かない入りでしたが,ベートーヴェン・チクルスで「テンペスト」がプログラム化されていた割には意外な感じでした.

プログラムは,オール・ベートーヴェンで,                  
ピアノ・ソナタ第16番 ト長調 op.31-1
ピアノ・ソナタ第17番 ニ短調 op.31-2 「テンペスト」   
ピアノ・ソナタ第18番 変ホ長調 op.31-3 
            ※※※※※※※※  
ピアノ・ソナタ第28番 イ長調 op.101 
でした.

今夜の小菅さんは,音の強弱よりも,たいへんリズムを重視して,休止符をやや恣意的に使って,リズム感を強調していました.op.30には適した演奏だったと思いますが,「テンペスト」の最後の音型が強く打鍵されず,静かに終わったのは,プログラムで・ノートに「最後の爆発もまたユーモアがありますね」と書かれていたのと違った感じで,意外で,しかし,たいへん興味深いユニークな解釈だったと思います.

ソナタ第28番でも,リズム感が強調されていましたが,第28番第4楽章の終わりは,第1楽章の終わりと同じように,「高い音と低い音」が弾かれるところに「天と地」の象徴を見る,とプログラム・ノートにありましたが,必ずしも右手と左手の強弱が2度同じバランスだったとは思えませんでした.しかし,その解釈の意図は聴き取れたと思います.

日本在住の中堅以上のピアニストが,とかくどの作曲家も,あまりそれぞれの特性を感じさせない演奏に終わりやすく,食傷気味だったところですから,彼女の演奏はたいへん個性的なところに新鮮さを感じます.

次回はソナタ第9,10番(op.14-1&2),第13,14番(op27-1.27-2「月光」),そして第27番op.90というプログラムが予定されています.どんな個性的解釈を見せてくれるか,楽しみです.


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共通テーマ:音楽

Elgin Symphony’s Hanson leaves major legacy [音楽時評]

アメリカで又ひとりの指揮者,Hansonが37年間も勤めてレベルを挙げてきたオーケストラのMusic Director を引退するそうです.まだ65歳だといいますが,これからは家族との生活を大事にしたいといっています.

突然の退任だったので,だいぶ憶測も話題になったのですが,本人は2010~2011シーズンの最終公演,チャイコフスキーの「悲愴」の終演で発表した儀礼的ステートメント以上には語ろうとしないといわれます.

ElginはIllinoi州にあり,Chicago とさほど離れていませんが,元々はアマチュア・レベルだったElgin Symphony を今日のレベルに引き上げたのは,Hanson の功績によるところが大きいといわれています.

今週までに後任を決めるのは難しいでしょうから,何人かの指揮者を客演させて,2012~2013年シーズンから委ねるということになると予想されています.

あとは,どうぞご自由にご渉猟下さい.

Elgin Symphony’s Hanson leaves major legacy, but says he’s ‘not in sync with current direction’

< style="padding: 2px; color: #ff3300; font-size: 10px; display: inline; background-color: #f1f1f1">Updated: June 25, 2011 10:16PM


ELGIN — Before longtime Music Director Robert Hanson announced his immediate retirement to a surprised Elgin Symphony Orchestra board recently, Hanson had been at or near the top of the ESO for 37 years as the orchestra evolved from a college-affiliated amateur group to arguably the most respected professional orchestra in Illinois besides the Chicago Symphony.

Yet at the end, he apparently departed bearing some resentment about how those directors are envisioning the orchestra’s next chapter.

Contacted last week at his Highland Park home, Hanson said he and his wife, Linda, have “decided it would be best for the players in the ESO if I make no further statements” about why he decided to retire. But he did agree to make a copy of his June 16 comments to the board available.

“I assure you I am not dead or dying, and I will tell you that my resignation was not forced,” Hanson said. “It was a decision made over the past year by me and my family.”

When he announced his departure to the board, he heaped praise upon the ensemble’s musicians and said he welcomed retirement as a chance to spend more time with his family while he is still healthy. He turns 65 in August.

But in that same statement, he also noted that “the past several years have been difficult. The board majority and administration are forging new directions for our organization. You know I am not in sync or in agreement with the current direction.

“As you move forward with your plans, remember that a professional orchestra is a delicate and vulnerable organism. Be careful to cherish this precious orchestra and protect it with your hearts and souls.”

“For 37 years, I have been blessed with the richest musical life any conductor could imagine,” Hanson told the board. “Last weekend, our incredible musicians played one of the greatest and most convincing performances of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pathetique’ Symphony and Rachmaninoff’s ‘Third Piano Concerto’ I have ever heard. It was inspiring to receive standing ovations at every concert. Last weekend was the pinnacle of my career because the orchestra set a new standard of performance.”

A mystery

Bert Crossland of West Dundee, an educational publisher who is president-elect of the ESO board, said Hanson’s dissatisfaction remains a mystery to him.

“Within any organization, there are always different visions, different focuses,” Crossland said. “But in my years on the board, I have never experienced an incident where the board said, ‘We want to do this’ and Bob said, ‘I don’t want to do that.’ ”

“I can tell you that Year 62 (the 2011-12 season) is going to look very much like Year 61,” Crossland said. “There aren’t going to be any announcements that we’re going to get rid of the string section or something. Our regular classics and pops series will continue; and our educational programs, our school concerts and our community outreaches will all continue.”

Current ESO President Jerry Cain, who also is president of Judson University, was on a trip to Puerto Rico this past week and could not be reached for comment. But according to one published report, Cain said last weekend that he, too, was surprised to hear Hanson had been unhappy.

According to that report, Cain said the only possible conflict of philosophy he could think of was that the ESO management has been making plans to rent out the orchestra to private organizations for parties.

But Hanson told The Courier-News that “renting out the ESO for Christmas parties had nothing to do with my resignation.”

The orchestra, and fear that it could move out of town, also have been mentioned often in city of Elgin proposals to replace the Hemmens Cultural Center, the ESO’s home base, with a larger Elgin-area theater. Crossland said he was involved in some studies of that possibility several years ago, and most board members favored the idea. But the idea seems to have died and hasn’t even been discussed much by the city or orchestra board for more than a year, so it’s unlikely that was the source of disagreement, Crossland said,

Cain said in a prepared statement that “without a doubt, Robert Hanson has been instrumental in bringing the ESO to the prominence and stature it enjoys today. A few words of thanks are simply not enough for all that he has accomplished.”

Pinch hitters

The June 10-12 programs with Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff were the orchestra’s final programs for 2010-11. Next season begins with a matinee concert on Sept. 23.

“The staff has already begun to recruit guest conductors for the coming season while we do an international search for a new director,” Crossland said. “In 2011-12, it will be all guest conductors. Our associate conductor, Stephen Squires, and our educational coordinator, Randy Swiggum, already have been scheduled to lead some of the concerts, and there might be opportunities for them to pick up some more conducting assignments. But I would expect it will be 2012-13 before we have a new music director in place.”

“The Elgin Symphony has a name among orchestra people around the world, so there will be many people interested in the position,” Crossland said.

“Finding guest conductors for next season will be no problem,” Hanson told the board in his farewell. “You have 90 days’ notice and the enviable reputation of this great orchestra. Don’t forget, you still have two excellent conductors on staff: Stephen Squires and Randal Swiggum.”

A famous mentor

The choice of a successor was more clear-cut when Hanson landed the job in 1985. The holder of a doctoral degree in music composition from Northwestern University, he was hired as ESO’s associate conductor in 1974. The 28-year-old became the protege of Margaret Hillis, who was then ESO’s music director and already was nationally famous in classical-music circles for her work with the Chicago Symphony and its chorus.

As Hillis aged and devoted more and more of her energies outside Elgin, Hanson was named co-music director with her in 1983 and music director two years later.

Hanson was named 2001 and 2009 Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. Yet he was un-stuffy enough to interview a robot on stage, or to pose in a firefighter’s helmet or a “Phantom of the Opera” mask for a fundraiser. During his era with the baton, the ESO became known for its “pops” concerts that reach out to less-classically-minded listeners, with music from such sources as John Philip Sousa, Broadway and Hollywood.

The symphony was founded by Elgin Community College music teacher Doug Steensland in 1950 as an amateur ensemble affiliated with the college. Hillis became music director in 1971.

During Hanson’s first year at the helm, the ESO converted from an amateur group to the Chicago suburbs’ first paid, professional orchestra. ESO spokeswoman Heidi Zwart Healy said it now has 68 musicians and a yearly budget of almost $3 million. It performs more than 60 concerts a year attended by more than 50,000 people.

Healy said the ESO also reaches about 20,000 children, teachers, families and young musicians per year through a variety of participatory music programs.

The symphony was named Orchestra of the Year an unprecedented three times by the Illinois Council of Orchestras.

Hanson also has composed music. Perhaps most memorable was a full-length oratorio based on the story of Hiawatha that was commissioned by the Elgin Choral Union.

During the Hanson era, the ESO began performing some concerts in Schaumburg and developed a series of family concerts. Hanson also directed the choral union for awhile and founded the Elgin Area Youth Orchestra, the Elgin Community College Conservatory and the Elgin Community College Institute for the Performing Arts.

Crossland said that when he realized Hanson was quitting, “My first reaction was shock. But the next emotion was gratitude. For 37 years, this man was in a front-row seat — in many respects in the driver’s seat — for the great growth we have experienced. You don’t find many people in any field who have been doing the same job for 37 years. We had to know that Bob Hanson wasn’t going to be around forever.”

“Every time I have stepped onto the podium, I have felt privileged, humbled, and awed by the talent of these incredible musicians,” Hanson said in his farewell. “They brought an unprecedented musical experience to our region.

“It was the best of times.”


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共通テーマ:音楽

フィリアホール:クァルテット・アルモニコ演奏会 [音楽時評]

青葉台のフィリアホールに土曜ソワレシリーズ2011《女神(ミューズ)との出逢い》クァルテット・アルモニコ を聴きに行ってきました.このクァルテットを私は高く評価しているので,遠路遙々と出かけたのですが,期待を裏切らない好演を聴かせてくれました.

プログラムは,                                                       ハイドン:      弦楽四重奏曲第39番ハ長調op.33-3 「鳥」                            ツェムリンスキー:弦楽四重奏曲4番 op.25
               ※※※※※※※※                                                                             べートーヴェン:  弦楽四重奏曲8番ホ短調op.59-2「ラズモフスキー第2番」               でした.

今までは,このクァルテットはほとんど演奏者の誰かがプログラムを書いていたのですが,今夜はそうではなく,よく見る分かりにくい文章だったのですが,ホールの方針だったのでしょうか.       

ハイドンは,op.33 で6曲の「ロシア四重奏曲」の3番目だそうですが,第1楽章の第2主題が鳥のさえずりを思わせるところから名付けられたそうですが,ヴァイオリンの2重奏が綺麗に響いていました.第2楽章はベートーヴェン風のスケルツオですが,緩やかなテンポのメロディが流れるのでむしろメヌエット風です.第3楽章がAdagioの緩徐楽章でここでもヴァイオリンが綺麗なメロディを歌っていました.第4楽章はハンガリー舞曲風のロンドですが,ここにも鳥のさえずりが反復されています.   チェロもすっかり定着してきて,全体に4人がたいへんよいバランスに終始していて,心地よい好演でした.

ツェムリンスキーは,シェーンベルクの師に当たり,義兄にも当たるそうですが,彼自身は後期ロマン派にとどまっています.曲は亡くなった友人アルバン・ベルクの思い出に捧げられたモノで,思い出という意味か,前のテーマをふんだんに引用して,急ー緩ー急ー緩ー急ー緩の6楽章構成になっています.中ではチェロの少し長いソロで主題を歌って始まる変奏曲の第5楽章が印象的でしたし,終楽章が盛り上がって終わったのも,たいへん印象に残りました.

ベートーヴェンは名曲中の名曲で,op.59の3曲の真ん中の曲です.op.18の6曲より曲が室内楽の内容を交響的世界に広げて長大化させましたが,3曲の中では59-2はいくらか圧縮され,短調で,内省的なモノになっています.第1楽章は和音連打で始まり,断片的な旋律で第1主題が提示され,すぐヘ長調で繰り返される,この中期の作風が目立ちます.第2楽章は緩徐楽章で和声的な第1主題と律動的な第2主題が対照を生み出しています.                                         第3楽章Scherzoは,主部はリズミックで,中間部にロシア民謡が現れます.終楽章は,曲のホ短調に反して主題がハ長調で開始され,再現部でもいったん長調への解決が導かれています,第2主題はロ短調ですが,楽章はコンパクトで,コーダはPresto でテンポを速め,たたみかけるように盛り上げってホ短調で終わります.                                             なかなかの名演だったと思いますが,第1楽章が少しユックリ過ぎたのではという印象が残りました

なお,クァルテット・アルモニコは,私はJTアートホールとダブっているのですが,7月4日19時開演で,横浜市のサルビアホールで,今夜と同一曲目を再演しますから,ご関心の方はどうぞお出かけ下さい.

また次の機会をいっそう楽しみにしたいと思います.                                                          


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共通テーマ:音楽

XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition;RoundⅡ [音楽時評]

前に,Competition 参加者を紹介しましたが,2次予選に進んだ人たちが公表されており,日本人参加者は姿を消しています.

改めて,韓国と台湾の躍進ぶりが目立っています.

Round II, Phase I Results


Cello

The following competitors will advance
to Round II, Phase II:

Norbert Anger (Germany)
Umberto Clerici (Italy)
Narek Hakhnazaryan (Armenia)
Ivan Karizna (Belarus)
Edgar Moreau (France)
Alexander Ramm (Russia)
Matthew Zalkind (USA)
Alexey Zhilin (Russia)

Violin

The following competitors will advance to Round II, Phase II:

Nigel Armstrong (USA)
Andrey Baranov (Russia)
Sergey Dogadin (Russia)
Jehye Lee (South Korea)
Aylen Pritchin (Russia)
Eric Silberger (USA)
Yu-Chien Tseng (Taiwan)
Itamar Zorman (Israel)

Piano

The following competitors will advance to Round II, Phase II:

Alexei Chernov (Russia)
Seong Jin Cho (South Korea)
Sara Daneshpour (USA)
Filipp Kopachevskiy (Russia)
Alexander Lubyantsev (Russia)
Alexander Romanovsky (Ukraine)
Yeol Eum Son (South Korea)
Daniil Trifonov (Russia)


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共通テーマ:音楽

紀尾井ホール:神尾真由子リサイタル [音楽時評]

6月24日,神尾真由子のヴィオリン・リサイタルを聴きに,紀尾井ホールに行ってきました.

プログラムは,パガニーニ:24のカプリース 作品1 全曲(1番から24番まで)でした.

バッハの無伴奏ソナタとパルティータが芸術的作品の頂点とすると,技巧的作品の頂点がこのパガニーニの24のカプリースだと思われますが,とにかくパガニーニの超人的な技巧を散りばめた作品ですから,プログラムの表現から借りますと,高速のスタッカートやサルタート(弓を飛ばして弾く)奏法によるアルペジオ(分散和音)の連続,広い跳躍音程のための移弦の練習曲,オクターブ重音とタブル・トリル,一度に複数の音を鳴らす重音奏法,素ピッカーとに終始し,音符が駆け巡る,トレモロの伴奏を伴った重音奏法の旋律,スタッカートの妙技,広い跳躍音程がレガートで演奏される,6度重音による美しい旋律,左手の指1本で弦をはじきながら,別の指が主和音を押さえる超絶的技法...などなどが続きます.

リストやシューマンブラームス,ラフマニノフなどが,「パガニーニの主題による」変奏曲,練習曲,狂詩曲などを作っているほど聴いたことのあるメロディも随所に現れ,技巧を固唾をのんで見守る聴衆をまったく飽きさせませんでした.

多くの名ヴァイオリニストによるレコーディングがある中に,まだ若い神尾真由子の2年前のレコーディングが加わっていますが,いつの日が再録音して,彼女のさらなる成長を確認させて欲しいモノだと思いました.

チケットは完売で,満場の拍手が続いたのですが,さすがに神尾真由子はアンコールには手を出しませんでした.

次の来演は2012年初春ということですが,年々の成長を見るのが今から楽しみです.


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共通テーマ:音楽

Alsop & Baltimore Symphony delivered delightful Verdi Requiem [音楽時評]

旧聞に属しますが,女流指揮者のトップに立つMarin Alsop 指揮のBaltimore Symphony Orchestra がWashington D.C. 公演で,Verdi Requiem を好演し,4人のソリストに注文を残しながらも,たいへん高い評価,totting up everything, this was one of the best Requiem performances we’ve had in recent seasons. という評価を受けていましたので,追加してご報告しておきます.

1月の内に行われたNational Philharmonic の同じ曲の演奏も引き合いにして,one of the best Requiem performances we’ve had in recent seasons.というのですから,特筆に値すると思い.少し古い記事をあえてご紹介しました.

内容は,どうぞご自由にご渉猟下さい.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra delivers delightful Verdi Requiem

Verdi’s stunning Requiem is one of classical music’s great crowd-pleasers, heard somewhere in the area at least annually. The Music Center at Strathmore offered different performances less than a month apart, by the National Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; the latter, on Saturday evening, drew a full house.

The performance under Marin Alsop was taut and efficient, offering many pleasures. The BSO was, for once, at full strength (they’ve often sent down something approaching a skeleton crew) and played very impressively for the most part. The soft brass chords that close the “Dies irae” and “Libera me” were beautifully controlled, and the woodwinds were colorful, well-tuned and expressive throughout. The cellos handled the treacherous “Offertorio” opening with aplomb, if not perfectly on pitch.

A successful Requiem requires, above all, four soloists who can soar and emote like opera singers one moment and blend like a cappella choristers the next. Such a balance is very rarely achieved and wasn’t here. The “Pie Jesu Domine” quartet was a mess, and the “Lux aeterna” trio only a little better.

But there were some shining solo moments, particularly from soprano Angela Meade, whose projection and ability to change the color of the voice in any register set her apart. Bass Alfred Walker, while offering a less varied sound, also delivered a stream of compelling, tenebrous beauty with firm rhythm. Mezzo Eve Gigliotti had power aplenty, but the sound lacked focus in her lower register and she often swallowed her consonants. Richard Clement’s tenor was lovely when singing softly in the middle register, but elsewhere sounded uncomfortable.

The Washington Chorus, under Julian Wachner, delivered impressive singing; slightly coarse in the opening “Te decet hymnus,” but well-controlled in the “Dies irae” and whiplike in the closing fugue. Alsop’s direction was clear and unfussy, and she had care for balances throughout. She does not dig deeply into the music, and faster sections were played more for sizzle than for steak. But totting up everything, this was one of the best Requiem performances we’ve had in recent seasons.


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共通テーマ:音楽

オランダで文化予算カット [音楽時評]

EU圏の各国が,財政赤字はGDPの3%以内という厳しい財政規律に答えるべく,いっせいに財政削減に迫られていることはギリシャの今なお続く危機的状況のニュースなどでご承知のことと思います.                        ちなみに日本はなんと実にGDPの180%もの財政赤字,国債残高を抱え,なお近く特例国債法案などを成立させて国債発行しようとしているのですから,呆れたモノですが,それを控えて,国債の利回りを0.77%に引き上げたことは周知の事実です.

Proposed changes will put pressure on much-loved companies as the Netherlands's musical-haven status comes under threat.

Dutch music is under threat, from its orchestras to its opera houses, its new music ensembles to its small-scale touring outfits. Late last year, there was the cartoon-like extremity of the culture cuts proposed by Geert Wilders. (Wilders wanted the €800m arts budget cut to just €200m). Arts and education ministers have now come up with revised plans, reducing the overall culture spend to €600m in return for raising VAT on concert tickets from 6% to 19% – proposals which will be debated and voted on by the Dutch parliament a week today.

最初は€800m arts budget cut to just €200mだったのが, reducing the overall culture spend to €600m in return for raising VAT on concert tickets from 6% to 19% – proposals which will be debated and voted on by the Dutch parliament a week today. とカットは €600m にとどめるけれども,代わりに raising VAT on concert tickets from 6% to 19% というのですから,なかなか大変です.

しかし,有名どころにはカットは小さくするようで,only minimal cuts to the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Dutch National Ballet and Netherlands Opera, and the rest of Dutch culture taking the biggest hits. と弱いところに大きなカットが及ぶようです.

The idea is, presumably, that people won't notice too much if the nation's biggest institutions keep on trucking while other, smaller organisations go to the wall. But the most threatened institutions aren't exactly small beer. The Nationale Reisopera is the Netherlands's touring opera company, which is – or rather was – putting on a complete Ring cycle in instalments before the Wagner centenary in 2013. They'll get away with a Götterdämmerung next year, but plans for performing the whole cycle in a single season have been abandoned.

イギリスとの比較をしていますが,There's a lesson for our own coalition government there too, but in the Netherlands there's even less philanthropy than there is here, with such institutions as the Reisopera funded by the state to the tune of 85%. Quality, repertoire and reach aside, there's another huge benefit of that state funding: the top ticket price for a normal Reisopera show is €50. Even if you need your Wagner fix, you'll still only pay €75. "The only way I could do a show like the Ring in the future would be to charge Covent Garden prices," Mostart says. This would make opera precisely the elitist art form the right wing of the Dutch coalition government seems to think it is, reaching fewer people as the prices rise and thus mattering less.

the Dutch radio performing groups (who you often hear on Radio 3 thanks to the agreements of the European Broadcasting Union). Their budgets come from a different pot, but the effect is the same. A proposed 55% reduction to the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Centre (NBMC) would mean the amalgamation of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic (which plays the Proms this year) and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, in addition to the probable loss of the Metropole Orchestra, its jazz and light music combo, and the centre's education and library resources, as well as the loss of 200 musicians and administrators. The effect would be devastating for Dutch and international musical life. Both orchestras are among the most adventurous anywhere in the world.

しかし,議会の審議に希望をつないでいて,When the budgets are debated in parliament next Monday, Mostart and Kok both hope that internal tensions within the coalition and an opposition united against the cuts will lead to a softening of the blow and a fairer swinging of the financial axe. If the Reisopera had €6m to play with it could still exist as a company, and if the Broadcasting Centre could wangle another €8m, the orchestras could all survive as independent entities.

Whatever the case, the idea of the Netherlands as a place with one of the most visionary and innovative environments for the arts is under threat this week. As Mostart says, "the loss of smaller companies who support younger artists and young composers is even more worrying than what's happening at the bigger companies. They are the breeding ground for the future of music." What happens next will shape a generation in the Netherlands – and we'll all be the poorer if the cuts go ahead as planned. という締めくくりの文面は,どうもイギリスの連立与党で起こりそうなことに,あらかじめ反論を展開しているように読み取れます.

ご参考までに,,,

Dutch courage needed in face of classical music funding cuts

Proposed changes will put pressure on much-loved companies as the Netherlands's musical-haven status comes under threat.

The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Strung up ... the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, which could be amalgamated with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Photo: Simon Van Boxtel

The Netherlands. Land of tulips, windmills, deep-fried cheesy treats and one of the world's most enviable music scenes. Although not all of them for much longer – and I'm not talking about the windmills. Dutch music is under threat, from its orchestras to its opera houses, its new music ensembles to its small-scale touring outfits. Late last year, there was the cartoon-like extremity of the culture cuts proposed by Geert Wilders. (Wilders wanted the €800m arts budget cut to just €200m). Arts and education ministers have now come up with revised plans, reducing the overall culture spend to €600m in return for raising VAT on concert tickets from 6% to 19% – proposals which will be debated and voted on by the Dutch parliament a week today.

Oh frabjous day! Er, not quite. In a cackhanded strategy that the British government seems to want to emulate, the big boys of Dutch culture currently get off pretty much scot-free, with only minimal cuts to the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Dutch National Ballet and Netherlands Opera, and the rest of Dutch culture taking the biggest hits. The idea is, presumably, that people won't notice too much if the nation's biggest institutions keep on trucking while other, smaller organisations go to the wall. But the most threatened institutions aren't exactly small beer. The Nationale Reisopera is the Netherlands's touring opera company, which is – or rather was – putting on a complete Ring cycle in instalments before the Wagner centenary in 2013. They'll get away with a Götterdämmerung next year, but plans for performing the whole cycle in a single season have been abandoned.

The Reisopera is having to stomach a 60% cut in its funding, which will come into force at the start of 2013. "I will have to dismantle my company completely and build up a production unit instead," the company's Intendant, Guus Mostart, told me. "We won't bear any resemblance to the Nationale Reisopera as it is as the moment. We'll tour to fewer cities, put on fewer productions necessarily of lower quality. We should probably change the name, since we can't guarantee what the company will look like in the future."

Mostart – who had decided to leave his job in 2013 before news of the cuts – understands the need for greater private investment, but you can't just foist a completely new funding model on the arts without first creating a culture of corporate giving.

There's a lesson for our own coalition government there too, but in the Netherlands there's even less philanthropy than there is here, with such institutions as the Reisopera funded by the state to the tune of 85%. Quality, repertoire and reach aside, there's another huge benefit of that state funding: the top ticket price for a normal Reisopera show is €50. Even if you need your Wagner fix, you'll still only pay €75. "The only way I could do a show like the Ring in the future would be to charge Covent Garden prices," Mostart says. This would make opera precisely the elitist art form the right wing of the Dutch coalition government seems to think it is, reaching fewer people as the prices rise and thus mattering less.

It's a similarly self-fulfilling prophecy of cultural irrelevancy at work in the settlement for the Dutch radio performing groups (who you often hear on Radio 3 thanks to the agreements of the European Broadcasting Union). Their budgets come from a different pot, but the effect is the same. A proposed 55% reduction to the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Centre (NBMC) would mean the amalgamation of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic (which plays the Proms this year) and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, in addition to the probable loss of the Metropole Orchestra, its jazz and light music combo, and the centre's education and library resources, as well as the loss of 200 musicians and administrators. The effect would be devastating for Dutch and international musical life. Both orchestras are among the most adventurous anywhere in the world, commissioning and playing new music that simply wouldn't exist without them. Anton Kok, the NBMC's general manager, says he plans a lawsuit again Marja van Bijsterveldt, the culture minister, because of inconsistencies in arguments she used last year to support her plans.

But there could be a glimmer of – well, not hope exactly, but at least some kind of amelioration. When the budgets are debated in parliament next Monday, Mostart and Kok both hope that internal tensions within the coalition and an opposition united against the cuts will lead to a softening of the blow and a fairer swinging of the financial axe. If the Reisopera had €6m to play with it could still exist as a company, and if the Broadcasting Centre could wangle another €8m, the orchestras could all survive as independent entities.

Whatever the case, the idea of the Netherlands as a place with one of the most visionary and innovative environments for the arts is under threat this week. As Mostart says, "the loss of smaller companies who support younger artists and young composers is even more worrying than what's happening at the bigger companies. They are the breeding ground for the future of music." What happens next will shape a generation in the Netherlands – and we'll all be the poorer if the cuts go ahead as planned.


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共通テーマ:音楽

サントリーホール:五島みどりリサイタル [音楽時評]

6月20日,サントリーホールに五島みどりのデュオ・リサイタルを聴きに行ってきました.五島みどりとピアノのオズがー・アイディンのデュオでした.まことに絶妙のコンビだったと思います.

プログラムは,                                                                   モーツアルト: ピアノとヴァイオリンのためのソナタ ト長調 K.301                                   ヤナーチェク: ヴァイオリンとピアノのためのソナタ                                            ラヴェル:     ヴァイオリンとピアノのためのソナタ ト長調 
       ※※※※※※※※   
サッリネン:   4つのエチュード op.21
ベートーヴェン:ピアノとヴァイオリンのためのソナタ第9番イ長調 op.47《クロイツエル》
でした.

五島みどりの使用ヴァイオリンは,社団法人林原共済会から終身貸与のガルネリ・デル・ジュス「エクス・フーベルマン」(1734年作)だそうでその柔らかい美麗な音にはいつもながら魅了されます.

五島みどりが書いたProgram Note 抜粋がプログラムに掲載されていましたが,                      

モーツアルトは,第1楽章: Allegro con spirito,第2楽章: Allegro で 鍵盤楽器とヴァイオリンを初めて対等な立場において作曲しており,サロンや家庭内で演奏できることを考えて,2楽章構成です.フルートで演奏されることも多いといいます.きわめて親しみやすい,ガルネリの美音も加わった和やかな曲でした.

ヤナーチェクのヴァイオリン・ソナタは、彼の器楽曲の中でも演奏される機会の多い作品の一つで、1914年に最初のスケッチができ、いくつかの改訂を経て、1921年についに完成されたものです。4楽章から構成される曲で、第一次世界大戦の暴力や不安定な状況をほのめかしています。彼女の解説の訳文を引用しますと,第1楽章: Con moto
第2楽章: Ballada:Con moto,第3楽章: Allegretto,第4楽章: Adagioで
第1楽章は、con moto(動きをつけて・速めに)と表記されており、ヴァイオリンの序奏的な大胆なソロで始まり、すぐに最初のテーマが現れます。この楽章は全体的に、断片的な謎めいた主題が長いフレーズと絡み合って構成されています。楽章が終わりに近づくに連れ、緊張感が増しますが、最後には意外にも心地よい変ニ長調の和音で静かに終わります。
第2楽章のBallada(バラード)は、単純で優しい感じのする楽章です。このソナタの中では最も抒情的な楽章で、音符が次から次へと自然に流れていくようです。楽章の終盤に向かうところで、即興的に不安な要素が現れ、牧歌的で平和な雰囲気を乱しますが、すぐにこの楽章を支配する平穏さが戻ってきます。
第3楽章のAllegretto(やや速く)は、スケルツォ(軽快で諧謔的な3拍子の曲)です。この楽章は3つの部分から成り、最初と最後の部分は、同じ題材を取り扱っており、ざわめくような連続的なトリルをバックに、ピアノが民族音楽の旋律を短く弾むような音で奏でます。これに対し、ヴァイオリンは、断続的に鋭い音で半音階を弾き、妨害します。中間部は、見せかけのロマン主義を思わせる雰囲気が漂います。
最終楽章のAdagio(遅く)は、このソナタの中で最も狂想曲的な楽章です。ピアノの心に迫る旋律を鋭くさえぎるように、ヴァイオリンが、攻撃的に、しばしばミュート(弱音器)をつけて短いフレーズを奏でます。このヴァイオリンによる連続的な妨害が、この楽章の主要なモチーフです。この主要なモチーフに挟まれるようにして、2種類の対照的な雰囲気をもつ旋律が現れます。一つは人生の希望と熱望に満ち溢れた明るい陽気な旋律で、もう一つはロシアの自由軍がモラヴィアに進軍してきたことをヤナーチェクが描いたものです。この作品は、必然的に起こる惨事から逃れられないという緊迫感がどんどん増していく雰囲気の中で、主要なモチーフが音量的に弱まり、消え入るように終わります。

ここでも,ガルネリがサントリーホール全体によく透き通るように響いて,たいへんな好演でした,ピアノが実にぴったありと寄り添っていたのが印象的でした.五島みどり+アイディンの組み合わせは初めて聴きましたが,これまでのレコーディングのマクドナルドよりもピッタリ合った印象を受けました.

ラヴェルは,第1楽章: Allegretto,第2楽章: Blues: Moderato,第3楽章: Perpetuum mobile: Allegrettoで,
この作品は健康状態の悪化でなかなか進まず、完成されるまでに4年を要しました。その頃には、ラヴェルは印象主義から離れ、もはやその影響が作品に色濃く出ているわけではありませんが、この作品の中にも深く刻み込まれた印象派のスタイルがくっきりと姿を現している部分が少なくありません。2つの楽器の関係について、ラヴェルは「ヴァイオリンとピアノという2つの根本的に相容れない楽器のためのソナタを書く場合、それらの性質の違いに安定をもたらすのではなく、独立性を認め、融和しがたい要素を強調することが大切であると考えている」と述べています。
第1楽章のアレグレットは、典型的な古典形式で書かれており、ロマンティックな色合いのそよ風のような雰囲気を醸し出すピアノのソロで始まります。優雅で、威厳があり、かつ官能的で、とどまることなく音楽は流れていきます。ヴァイオリンとピアノの両者が主要なテーマを交互に奏で、このテーマを構成する対位モティーフは曲全体に何度も登場する印象的なものです。
ブルース:モデラートと表記された第2楽章は、複数の調が織り交ぜられ、表記が示すとおり、ブルースの影響を強く感じさせる楽章です。複調性は、楽器ごとに違った調性を与える作曲法の一つで、それぞれの楽器に特徴を持たせるために用いられます。複調性を使うことで、ラヴェルが伝統的な形式の中で何か新しい試みをしようとしているそぶりが窺えます。また、ブルース形式の構成要素は、この楽章に陰鬱な影を与えています。ここでは、彼は1920年代に盛んだったブルースのメロディーを引用しています。テーマはサクソフォーンのような音でスライドするか、物憂げな低い声でささやくように、奏でられます。ヴァイオリンは、鼻にかけたような音を作り出すのに、ゆっくりとした上昇音階を奏で、上りきるとエキゾチックな様相を呈します。
華々しい最終楽章は、ペルペトゥム・モビーレ(始めから終わりまで同じ速度で)と表示されており、ヴァイオリニストの技量が限界まで試されるような楽章です。第1楽章の始めに置かれた印象的だったモチーフが、燃え立つように16分音符の中で輝き意気高揚とした終焉に向かっていきます。
と最後の盛り上がりがたいへん見事に引き出されていました.

サッリネンの4つのエチュードは,とてもあっさりした小品の集合体でした.

ベートーヴェンについては,解説を引用するまでもありませえんが,今夜の圧巻だったと思います.
盛大な拍手に答えて,ドビュッシーの「亜麻色の髪の乙女」が,たいへん優雅に好演されました.

今回のツアーでは,沖縄から入って,6月12日には福島でも演奏会を開いたようで,プログラムが2つ折りの抜粋になっていたのも頷けるツアー内容でした.11日間で9回のリサイタルは,かなりの強行軍だったのではないでしょうか.彼女のいっそうの自愛と,さらなる活躍を期待したいと願ってやみません.


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共通テーマ:音楽

サントリーホール:フェスティバル・ソロイスト [音楽時評]

6月19日に,サントリーホールのChamber Music Garden の最終日,お馴染みのフェスティバル・ソロイスト3人に先日シューベルトベートーヴェンの最晩年の曲をソロ演奏したメナヘム・フレスラーが長年やってきた室内楽奏者として参加した演奏会を聴きに行ってきました.

竹澤恭子(vn),豊島泰嗣viola),堤剛cello)というソロイスト・メンバーに,+プレスラーpf)という顔ぶれでした.
プログラムは,                                                                                                                        シューマン:   ピアノ四重奏曲 変ホ長調 op.47 
ドホナーニ:   弦楽三重奏のためのセレナード ハ長調 op.10
              ※※※※※※※    
ドォルザーク: ピアノ四重奏曲第2番 変ホ長調 B162                                                でした.

今夜のプレスラーは長年の室内楽奏者としての経験をフルに生かして,3人にぴったり寄り添った好演をしていました.弦楽器の3人も,長年のフエスティバル・ソロイスト・メンバーとして,たいへん息のあった好演を示し,全体として,味わい深い演奏会だったと思います.

シューマンは良く指摘される構成力の希薄さが,この曲でははっきりとした構成が見られて,たいへんまとまった美しい曲になっていますが,3人の実力者のお陰で,見事な好演でした.

なかでもフエスティバル・ソロイストだけで演奏したドホーナーニの弦楽三重奏が,後期ロマン派の5楽章構成の名曲ですが,ずーっと聴いてきたグループの久しぶりの好演で聴くことが出来ました.

ドヴォルザークも,民族的動機を含んだ,美しいメロディに満ちた彼らしい名曲で,今夜の圧巻といって良いたいへんな藻リ上がりを作っていました.とりわけ竹澤恭子の好演が光りました.

次の,フエスティバル・ソロイストの演奏会に期待が高まって,楽しみになりました.  
                                                                                                                          


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Yuja Wang and San Francisco Symphony electrify [音楽時評]

私がかねて高く評価する若手Pianist, Yuja Wang(24)が,サンフランシスコで一部の指揮者もろともの批判を別にして,もっぱら高い評価を得ていましたので,2つを取り上げてご紹介しておきます.

バルトークのピアノ協奏曲2番をマイケル・ティルソン・トーマス「MTT」指揮のサンフランシスコ響と協演した部分だけを抜粋しますと,

Yuja Wang and Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The piece opens with a brief fanfare, electrified by Wang’s playing. The layering starts almost immediately, with a violence more akin to Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring that the Symphony performed earlier this year. This piece is positively athletic in its demands on a pianist, demanding muscularity, virtuosity and stamina, and it’s hard to imagine a better performer than Wang. Her fingers were a blur, offering up powerful, scalar passages that more than stood up to the competing brass and wind sections. One senses the music literally being torn apart by the competing forces. A brief respite is offered when the second movement opens with a night music section that moves with such glacial slowness that time stands still before Wang’s intro adds to the spell cast by the music. One doesn’t normally think of the timpani as a subtle instrument, but it did everything from almost inaudible thunder to electrifying jolts. The Presto sandwiched between the two adagios was relentless as Wang kept the piece propelling forward – as she did again during the Allegro molto.

Even if you follow classical music religiously, this is one of those concerts that you’ll remember as a high water mark.

There are passages that blaze with an almost blinding light, enhanced by Bartók’s imaginative use of winds, brass, and percussion; but an entirely different approach to percussion and muted strings endows the Adagio portion with an intense, if not frightening, darkness.

The piano line, in turn, follows this same sharpness of contrast. In the light it is a dynamo of seemingly endless energy, spinning out one virtuoso passage after another, allowing little respite for the soloist. In the darkness of the Adagio, on the other hand, it withdraws into monody in octaves, almost like an incantation for some dark ritual. Wang took a full-bore approach to the energetic passages, with an almost unnerving evocation of its machine-age spirit; and that full-out approach only further enhanced the contrast with the spooky quietude of her Adagio passages. This is Bartók as he has always deserved to be heard, and serious listeners are fortunate to have three more occasions to experience this stunning interpretation.

原文のままですが,どうぞご自由にご渉猟下さい.

  

Review: Yuja Wang and San Francisco Symphony electrify

Every classical lover I know has more computer memory devoted to music than we imagined conceivable five years ago. However, none of this compares to the world class versions performed live.

by Cy Ashley Webb on 06.18.11 | View Comments

Project San Francisco: Pianist Yuja Wang

5
San Francisco Symphony
Davies Symphony Hall
Conductor - Michael Tilson Thomas
Piano - Yuja Wang
Review by Cy Ashley Webb

Yuja Wang                                                                                                                                             Ever since the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra offered up such a stunning performance of Bartok’s Divertimento a few weeks ago, I’ve been wrapped in an all-Bartok-all-the-time cocoon, vacillating between New Century Chamber Orchestra’s Romanian Dances and various versions of Piano Concertos 1-3. Despite this preparation, Thursday’s open rehearsal of Bartok and Tchaikovsky’s Music from Act III of Swan Lake was full of surprises.

The first inkling that something new was afoot came during the early morning talk by Laura Stanfield Prichard during which she played snippets of a piano version of the Romanian Dances. Having listened to nothing but string versions of the same over the past weeks, I was struck by how playable these sounded. However, these were just a tease for what was to come. As conducted by MTT, the Romanian Dances open slowly, with a restraint that gets cast aside as the music begins its maddening swirl. Everything about this piece was different from what I’d been listening. How did I ever miss the pronounced pizzcato? Was it not there or was it my speakers? More to the point was the lush color that was entirely absent from my recorded versions. Who knew the clarinet played over the symphony, following on the same by flute and violin? Who imagined a violin drone below a piccolo? This brought home the importance of listening to live music. Every classical lover I know has more computer memory devoted to music than we imagined conceivable five years ago. However, none of this compares to the world class versions performed live.

Immediately following the Romanian Dances, came Yuja Wang and Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The piece opens with a brief fanfare, electrified by Wang’s playing. The layering starts almost immediately, with a violence more akin to Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring that the Symphony performed earlier this year. This piece is positively athletic in its demands on a pianist, demanding muscularity, virtuosity and stamina, and it’s hard to imagine a petter performer than Wang. Her fingers were a blur, offering up powerful, scalar passages that more than stood up to the competing brass and wind sections. One senses the music literally being torn apart by the competing forces. A brief respite is offered when the second movement opens with a night music section that moves with such glacial slowness that time stands still before Wang’s intro adds to the spell cast by the music. One doesn’t normally think of the timpani as a subtle instrument, but it did everything from almost inaudible thunder to electrifying jolts. The Presto sandwiched between the two adagios was relentless as Wang kept the piece propelling forward – as she did again during the Allegro molto.

Hearing this in rehearsal was all the more gratifying because the repeated sections provide the listener with multiple takes on the same music, deepening the experience in ways that a single run through just doesn’t. This is all the more important with Bartok, where a familiarity with the music provides a richer experience than appreciated on the first take.

The rehearsal closed with Tchaikovsky’s Music from Act III of Swan Lake. This piece includes a march, a waltz, and a half dozen other dances – which perfectly balance the dances that the rehearsal opened with.

Yuja Wang will be performing with the San Franciso Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas through Sunday. Even if you follow classical music religiously, this is one of those concerts that you’ll remember as a high water mark.

Yuja Wang’s Project San Francisco concerto performance

  • June 17, 2011 8:16 am PT

Stephen Smoliar                                                                                                                    SF Classical Music Examiner

The second phase of pianist Yuja Wang’s residency under the Project San Francisco initiative with the San Francisco Symphony began last night at Davies Symphony Hall. With Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the program featured Wang soloing in the second piano concerto by Béla Bartók. This was preceded by the orchestral version of Bartók’s six-movement setting of Romanian folk dances. The intermission was followed by “something completely different,” selections from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s score for the third act of his ballet Swan Lake (Opus 20).

While the first half consisted entirely of Bartók’s music, the concerto could not have been more different from its preceding “overture.” The folk dances are based on field studies that Bartók conducted with his colleague Zoltán Kodály during the early decades of the twentieth century. They were transcribed and set for piano in 1915 and subsequently orchestrated in 1917. The latter version evoked some of the sounds of indigenous wind instruments, but both versions amount to a more polished account of rather coarse source material. They probably amount to the most affable music Bartók ever composed.

The concerto is a much later work, composed between October of 1930 and October of 1931. Bartók performed as soloist with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hans Rosbaud in January of 1933. To draw upon the title of a chamber music composition that Bartók would compose about five years later, the concerto is a work of extreme contrasts. There are passages that blaze with an almost blinding light, enhanced by Bartók’s imaginative use of winds, brass, and percussion; but an entirely different approach to percussion and muted strings endows the Adagio portion with an intense, if not frightening, darkness.

The piano line, in turn, follows this same sharpness of contrast. In the light it is a dynamo of seemingly endless energy, spinning out one virtuoso passage after another, allowing little respite for the soloist. In the darkness of the Adagio, on the other hand, it withdraws into monody in octaves, almost like an incantation for some dark ritual. Wang took a full-bore approach to the energetic passages, with an almost unnerving evocation of its machine-age spirit; and that full-out approach only further enhanced the contrast with the spooky quietude of her Adagio passages. This is Bartók as he has always deserved to be heard, and serious listeners are fortunate to have three more occasions to experience this stunning interpretation.

Swan Lake also provided many opportunities for dazzling orchestral spectacle, but it was the spectacle of another century. This is the act in which the evil magician Rothbart enchants the Prince with a vision of the Black Swan to seduce him into breaking the oath he made to the White Swan in the second act. Considering the current activities in the War Memorial Opera House, it is worth observing that the Prince’s name is Siegfried. (“I’m not making this up, you know!”) All the action takes place at the ball at which Siegfried is supposed to announce his choice for a wife; so there is an abundance of “straight dance” music, include five “nationalist” selections. Indeed, Tchaikovsky wrote so much dance music for this act that quite of few of Thomas’ selections tend to be cut from most stage productions. It was particularly nice to hear this less familiar side of Tchaikovsky, particularly in such splendid execution. This performance may have lacked the cerebral intensity of Bartók’s concerto, but it was an excellent account of just how imaginative Tchaikovsky could be with orchestral resources, even when they turned out to be the pit band for a ballet company.


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共通テーマ:音楽

London 2012: Cultural Olympiad to feature Music Nation [音楽時評]

来年2012年は4で割り切れる年で,2012年オリンピックがLondonで開催されます.                

それに向けて,BBCが中心になって, Cultural Olympiad to feature Music Nation という一大キャンペーンを繰り広げるようです.

東京も次の次,リオデジャネイロの次を狙って再立候補する可能性が取り沙汰されていますから,ご参考までに関連の記事をご紹介します. 

まだ,計画段階で,大要しか列記されていませんから,どうぞそのままご参照下さい.イギリス全体を巻き込む計画のようです.

London 2012: Cultural Olympiad to feature Music Nation

The BBC has unveiled plans for a weekend festival celebrating orchestral music across the UK as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Music Nation will take place on 3 and 4 March next year, with related performances during the preceding week.

It is part of Festival 2012 and will include Rufus Wainwright's setting of five Shakespearean sonnets.

The Canadian American singer-songwriter and composer's work will be performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The idea is to stage performances in 45 venues across the UK - among them, the first joint performance of the Ulster and RTE Orchestras in Belfast.

"Flash mob" performances of excerpts from The Marriage of Figaro will occur across Wales.

In Glasgow, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will be joined by artists including Nicola Benedetti for a celebration of sporting and musical heroes.

More than 65,000 tickets will be available for the free and paid for events and 25,000 people are expected to take part.

London 2012 - Begin your journey here

London view
  • Sport, news and more 2012 information

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast live coverage throughout the weekend with additional programming on BBC Radio 2, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC local radio.

The festival will take in jazz, folk, urban and world music along with the orchestral mainstays while workshops and tutorials will be held to give people the chance to take part.

Music Nation will be staged ahead of the London 2012 Festival next summer. It is one of the BBC's events to celebrate the Cultural Olympiad, alongside the recently announced Radio 1 Hackney weekend and the 2012 Proms season.

Director of BBC Audio & Music Tim Davie said the BBC was proud to have brought people together to create Music Nation, a first for the UK orchestral sector.

He said: "It will showcase the hugely important role that orchestra, choirs and venues play in communities and create an amazing weekend of fantastic live music."

London 2012 Cultural Olympiad director Ruth Mackenzie said: "With events all over the country, we hope as many people as possible will join in with Music Nation as they prepare for the London 2012 Festival and a fantastic summer of cultural celebration."


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共通テーマ:音楽

シャネル:Young Concert Artists室内楽 [音楽時評]

6月17日,銀座シャネルNexus Hall に,Young Concert Artists の室内楽演奏会の最終日を聴きに行ってきました.昨夜のサントリーホール,ブルーローズの何故この人の音楽を?と思わせたピアノ演奏会と違って,世界の8ヶ国から集めたYoung Artists の熱演に堪能できた一夜でした.

プログラムと出演者は,                                                             シベリュース:  メランコリー 作品20   Jan-Erik Gustafson,cello;  
                                                Chin-Fang Huang,pf   
ブラームス:   クラリネット,ピアノとチェロのための三重奏曲 イ短調 作品114  
                                                Todd Palmer,Clarinet; Jan-Erik Gustafsson,cello
                                                Chun-Fang Huang,pf  
                  ※※※※※※※※          
メンデルスゾーン:弦楽四重奏曲 第2番 変ロ長調 作品87 
                                                Nicolas Kendall,violin; Yayoi Toda,violin
                                                Ensik Choi,viola; 大山平一郎,viola   
                                                Thomas Carroll,celllo  
でした.

シベリュースは一番下の娘さんを亡くした悲しみのうちに3時間で作曲され他といわれる曲で,たいへん悲しげな,哀愁に満ちた曲でした.チェロが朗々となっていて,心に染みました.

ブラームスは,57歳で,名声を受けている間に作曲を終わりにしたいといっていたのですが,名クラリネット奏者,ミュールフェルトに会って刺激を受け,この三重奏曲を書き,自らピアノを弾いて初演したそうです.因みに,ブラームスは最後にクラリネットとピアノのためのソナタ2曲を作品120として残しています. 
この急ー緩ー緩ー急は,3つの楽器が絶えず緊密に掛け合う名曲ですが,まことに好演されました.

メンデルスゾーンは,有名なヴァイオリン協奏曲を書いて間もなくこの曲をかいたそうで,第1,4楽章で第1ヴァイオリンが華々しく活躍しますが,5人のレベルが揃って,見事な演奏を聴かせてくれました.

お陰で,無料で昨夜のつまらなさを補って大いに余りがありました.


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共通テーマ:音楽

サントリー・ブルーローズ:プレスラー(pf)リサイタル [音楽時評]

6月16日,サントリーホールにメナヘム・プレスラーのピアの・リサイタルを聴きに行ってきました.ベートーヴェンの作品110,シューベルトの作品960のソナタを弾くというので大いに期待して出かけたのです.しかし,率直に言って,たいへん失望しました.

プレスラーは1923年生まれで,華々しいソリスト活動からボザール・トリオでのおよそ半世紀にわたる室内楽活動を経て,2008年同トリオ解散から再びソロ活動を始めたユニークな演奏者です.

プログラムは,                                                                   ベートーヴェンピアノ・ソナタ 変イ長調 op.110                                               ショパン:     マズルカ 変ロ長調 op.7-1、へ短調 op.7-3、イ短調 op.17-4                           ドビュッシー:   版画                                                                     ※※※※※※※※                                                             シューベルト:   ピアノ・ソナタ 変ロ長調 D960                                             でした.

しかし,これだけの名曲をプレスラーは,室内楽に慣れたからか譜面を置いて,譜めくりさんを煩わせながら弾いたのです.再三のミスタッチはご愛敬としても,室内楽奏者だったからか,年齢的にか,腕をほとんど上げずに,もっぱら手首と指だけで弾いている感じでした.したがって,音量の幅は狭く,表情も乏しく,表現力が伴わなかったのです.

サントリーホールは,今年から,これまでカザルスホール,トリトン第一生命ホールで室内楽をやってきたディレクダーを中心に,Chamber Music Garden および室内楽アカデミーという企画を始めた一環なのですが,Pacifica Quartet の成功は評価できるとしても,プレスラーにこれだけの,とりわけベートーヴェンとシューベルトの晩年の2曲をprogramming させたのは,まことにいただけませんでした.

サントリーホールの大ホールではなく,小ホールだから納得して...というのでしょうか.                    アメリカでは高齢者差別だとして定年制度が廃棄されていますから,今後,元有名,元高名音楽家が続くのかもしれませんね. 


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共通テーマ:音楽

サントリーホール:都響B定期,ウォルフ指揮 [音楽時評]

6月15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.指揮はイギリスのウォルフ,ピアノに若林顕,そしてオーボエの楽団員,南方総子が,イングリッシュホルンのソリストとして出演していました.

プログラムは,                                                                    ブラームス:  ピアノ協奏曲第2番 変ロ長調 作品83  若林顕ピアノ 
       ※※※※※※※※                                                                                                       オルウイン:  秋の伝説-イングリッシュホルンとオーケストラのための 南方総子イングリッシュホルン 
シベリュース: 交響曲第7番 ハ長調 作品105
でした.

私のブラームス好きの好みによるものでしょうが,4楽章構成のピアの協奏曲第2番は,ピアノとオケの協奏のやりとりが余りしっくりといっていた感じがしませんでした.もっとダイナミックに渡り合って欲しいところで,ピアノがオケに押されていました.はっきりいってミスキャストだったのではないでしょうか.長岡(伊達)純子さんとNHK交響楽団の何年も前の協演を思い出していました.

「秋の伝説」は南方総子さんの長めのバリトン・イングリッシュホルンのたいへん落ち着いた響きが,弦楽合奏とたいへん調和していて,なかなかの好演でした.

シベリュースの1楽章構成の第7交響曲は,作曲者の最後の交響作品で,1楽章構成ですが,オーソドックスな4楽章構成と違って,交響詩のようにユニークな変容を見せて,これもたいへんな好演だったと思います.


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共通テーマ:音楽

Seattle Symphony との26年を回顧するSchwarz [音楽時評]

Seattle Symphony のMusic Direector を26年間勤めたGerard Schwarz が今シーズンで円満に退団し,来シーズンからは Ludovic Morlot が後を継ぐことが決まっています.Schwarz は3年間東フィルの音楽監督をやって日本でもお馴染みの人です.

主席ホルンやコンサートマスターの任命では楽団と対立したようですが,今ではその2人ともがたい人だったということが認識されているといいます.2人とも同時退団が予定されています.

円満退団ぶりは,次のコメントがそれを示して余りあります.                        quotesThe man is simply brilliant. He will be missed greatly! Thanks for you time...

  

In the music's service: Gerard Schwarz reflects on 26 years with Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony Orchestra music director Gerard Schwarz looks over his 26 years with the SSO as he prepares to step down after the June 18 concert.

Special to The Seattle Times

quotes He truly fits the image of a Maestro, and Seattle is lucky to have had him all these...

Twenty-six years.

More than 2,000 performances, rehearsals, recording sessions.

More than 140 recordings; 14 Grammy nominations; two Emmy Awards; too many world premieres to count.

And no regrets.

Asked if there's anything in his Seattle Symphony tenure he'd do over, Gerard Schwarz thought for a moment, and responded: "I don't think about do-overs. Everything is not 100 percent successful, but it is all a part of your experience and your life. There's really nothing I'd do over: the way things have evolved, I think I was right. Everything I've done has been in the service of great music."

Looking backward is not Gerard Schwarz's natural stance; he is more interested in what's coming next. But in these weeks, as his long Seattle Symphony music directorship winds down, national and international publications are focusing on the history of this city's man of music with considerable intensity. Those 26 years are among the lengthiest tenures in today's major orchestras — though Schwarz is far from the longest-running maestro (the late Eugene Ormandy, for example, led the Philadelphia Orchestra for 44 years, and such conductors as Seiji Ozawa and Leopold Stokowski held 29- and 28-year music directorships).

So how did it all happen?

Schwarz sits back in his Queen Anne home with a cup of coffee and considers his answer.

"I always wanted to be a trumpeter when I was a kid," he reflects, "not a conductor; that was never of interest to me. I wanted to be in the New York Philharmonic."

And he was — becoming the youngest co-principal trumpet in the orchestra's history. He rose to the top of his profession, making solo recordings that are still considered among the finest available. That's why few in the classical-music world could quite believe it when Schwarz left the Philharmonic in 1977, at the age of 30. His reasoning was simple: The music had become more important to him than the instrument, which had a limited repertoire. Schwarz wanted to "delve into the great 19th-century repertoire" — works by Brahms, Schumann, Schubert and Beethoven, among many others. He didn't hedge his bets by trying to be an instrumentalist/conductor, that hybrid career that was becoming popular in the 1970s.

"I wanted to be taken very seriously as a conductor," he explains. "I continued teaching trumpet lessons for a time because I had to have some income. But I didn't want to be a conductor/trumpeter. I wanted to make it very clear that I was a conductor."

Schwarz rose quickly to podium prominence, and was already music director of six orchestras or ensembles when he was called in to conduct as a replacement for Seattle's previous maestro, Rainer Miedel (shortly before Miedel's death in 1983). Schwarz had no idea of taking a job in Seattle — much less staying here for 26 years as music director.

"I wasn't into longevity," he notes. "I was in the Philharmonic for four years, and in the American Brass Quintet for seven or eight years. I had no idea of the kind of tenure and impact I would have in Seattle; I didn't think about it. When you're young, you do what comes along: 'Great, let's go to Seattle.' But you don't always think in terms of your career, of what this means for the future."

And, indeed, some of Schwarz's other appointments have not been all that lengthy. He headed the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for seven years, for example; the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for five, and the Tokyo Philharmonic for a specific three-year appointment.

If he wouldn't redo anything here in Seattle, which aspect of his career here makes him the happiest?

"So many things!" the conductor responds. "That I was able to be here and raise my family here, with all four kids with us; that Jody and I were able to make our home here and lead a normal life, which musicians rarely have the opportunity to do. That I was able to make repertoire the way I do — I must have conducted 50 or 60 Beethoven's Fifths — and make every performance meaningful."

Not everything, of course, has been rosy. Most observers think it was Schwarz's appointment of John Cerminaro as principal horn, against the recommendation of the orchestra's hiring committee, that started a groundswell of discontent among some of the players. Some also were perplexed when a three-year search for a new concertmaster ended in an unprecedented four-way tie, finally settling on a player who wasn't a candidate in the first place (Maria Larionoff, who steps down as concertmaster at the end of this season).

"The Cerminaro appointment was among the most important artistic things I've done," Schwarz says. "He has probably done more to help the artistic growth of this orchestra than anyone else. John is a good friend of mine, but I have never made musical decisions in terms of friendship. I wanted him here because he is one of the greatest horn players that ever lived. Now we are playing, as an orchestra, like John; we know what greatness is."

For players like principal flutist Scott Goff, who joined the orchestra in 1969 and has sat in the first chair longer than anyone else in the Seattle Symphony, it is Schwarz himself who has lifted the orchestra to its current level.

"This man is one of the great conductors of the world, and so many in this city and this orchestra haven't the confidence and the perception to realize the great artistry that has been in their midst for the past 28 years," says Goff, who will retire this month at the top of his game. "This orchestra is now recognized as great outside of Seattle. Jerry's legacy will be the recordings, which document his artistic achievement and what he has done."

Cerminaro agrees: "Everywhere I travel, people talk about our terrific CDs and distinctive sound. Jerry will be enormously missed — his vision, enthusiasm and devotion to the SSO for over a quarter-century have been truly awe-inspiring. I'm sure we will enjoy his continued participation from time to time as conductor laureate.

"I'm equally sure Ludovic [Morlot, the incoming music director who takes over this fall] already appreciates the quality ensemble that has been turned over to his leadership now. I am certainly dedicated to giving him a memorable first season with the orchestra. Truly, we all look forward to accomplishing great things with him in the future."

Looking back on his years here, Schwarz says it has been "an amazing trajectory. It's like watching a relative grow up, having more depth and becoming more interesting. As long as an orchestra keeps growing and adding depth, why would anyone want to end that? You can't make a real artistic impact in five years, not even in 10. The growth in the audience, the interaction with the community, have both flourished in the past five years."

In addition to his more public work on the podium, Schwarz has involved himself with the community in a wide span of educational and civic activities that don't get as much notice. A tireless advocate for contemporary music, he has conducted more than 100 world premieres in Seattle, including this season's unprecedented commissioning of 18 short works.

And, of course, there's Benaroya Hall. Schwarz "pushed long and hard," he says, for a concert hall to allow the orchestra to take that great leap forward, and his close friends, philanthropists Jack and Becky Benaroya, made the hall possible with an unprecedented gift of more than $15 million — committed during a fateful lunch at the Rainier Club.

Now, as Schwarz begins his third career phase, he will wear several hats: conductor laureate in Seattle (he'll return to the Symphony for several weeks each year); composer (currently working on a band piece for Cornell); and director/conductor of an upcoming educational TV/DVD series featuring an "All-Star Orchestra" of the country's best players in great concert repertoire, in eight hourlong annual programs with many other enhancements.

"I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to do what I have done," Schwarz reflects, "and I couldn't do it without a lot of people saying yes. It's been a phenomenal time."

Melinda Bargreen also reviews concerts for 98.1 Classical KING FM. He truly fits the image of a Maestro, and Seattle is lucky to have had him all these...


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サントリーChamber Music Garden:PacificaQ [音楽時評]

6月10日,サントリーホール・ブルーローズないしChamber Music GardenPacifica Quartet のベートーヴェン・マラソン初日を聴きに行ってきました.

初日は盛り沢山で,前期,中期,後期から弦楽四重奏曲第3,第11, 第6, 第16を演奏してくれました.
スケジュールでは,6/11午前マチネーで第12, 第1,第9を,午後ソワレで第5, 第8,第13を弾き,6/12にマチネーで第2,第7,第14を,ソワレで 第4,第10,第15と,3日間でPacifica Quartet 単独で,ベートーヴェンの弦楽四重奏曲全曲演奏会をやってくれるのです.時差の調整もあったでしょうに,なかなかの強行軍で,スタミナが心配されるところです.

私は土曜日の夜に錦糸町でJoan Piris の予定が入っていたので,初日だけ行ってきました.Piris は,結局,福島原発のメルトダウンを日本政府が正式に認めて公表する前に,対日不信から早々とキャンセルしましたが,私は万一を恐れて特に穴埋めはしなかったのです.13日に準・メルクル指揮のリヨン管弦楽団を予定していたこともあったのですが,これもあっさりキャンセルになりました.

プログラムをもう一度書きますと,オール・ベートーヴェンで,                                     弦楽四重奏曲 第3番 ニ長調 op.18-3
弦楽四重奏曲 第11番 ヘ短調 op.95                                                                       ※※※※※※※※   
弦楽四重奏曲 第6番 変ロ長調 op.18-6
弦楽四重奏曲 第16番 ヘ長調 op.135
でした.

第16番はベートーヴェン最後の作品ですが,プログラムの第4楽章に「ようやくついた決心」と書かれていました.これはベートーヴェンの自筆譜に書き込みがあったのを抜き書きしたモノです.死を予感していたと思われるベートーヴェンの謎の言葉です.

4曲の私なりの説明は省略して,Pacifica Quartet の素晴らしさについて書きますと,
第1に,4つの楽器のバランスがたいへん的確なのです.私はかねて日本のクァルテットの弱点としてチェロをあげていますが,Pacifica のチェロがすごく上手いのです.ヴィオラも見事でしたから,4つの楽器が常にバランス良く鳴って,充実したアンサンブルを生み出していました. 
第2に,バランスの良さに乗って,音の幅が弱音から強音までたいへん幅広く聴こえました.
第3に,これもバランスの良さに乗って,章節のアクセントがきわめて明瞭に聴き取れ,曲の構成がくっきりと浮かび上がるのです.

アメリカでも今や屈指のQuartet といえるのではないでしょうか.
特に印象に残ったのは,チェリストが絶えず鋭いアイコンタクトを第1ヴァイオリンに向けていたことでした.そこから生まれる楽器間の同調性が,今夜の演奏を高度の名演奏に仕上げていたと思います.

土曜日と日曜日にマチネーとソワレが続きますから,ご関心の方は是非どれかを聴きに行かれることをお薦めします.


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NHK響B定期アシュケナージ指揮,神尾真由子(vn) [音楽時評]

6月8日,NHK交響楽団のB定期を聴きにサントリーホールに行ってきました.指揮は前の音楽監督で現在桂冠指揮者のアシュケナージ,ソリストにViolin の神尾真由子が出演していました.

プログラムは,                                                                   ショスタコーヴィチ: 弦楽八重奏のための2つの小品 作品11(弦楽合奏版)                             プロコフィエフ:   ヴァイオリン協奏曲 第2番 ト短調 作品63 
        ※※※※※※※                                                                                                 ショスタコーヴィチ: 交響曲 第5番 ニ短調 作品47
と3曲ともロシアの作曲家の作品でした.

ショスタコーヴィチの弦楽八重奏のための2つの小品(前奏曲とスケルツオ)は,元々は2つの弦楽四重奏団のための作品だそうですが,弦楽合奏版でN響の弦部門の実力を遺憾なく発揮した好演でした.

神尾真由子をソリストに迎えたプロコフィエフのヴァイオリン協奏曲第2番は,彼女が既にチャイコフスキーの協奏曲と一緒にCDを出している作品で,いかにも自信に溢れた好演を聴かせてくれました.急-緩-急の3楽章構成ですが,第1楽章でヴァイオリン・ソロがまず第1主題を奏でるところから,たいへん暖かみのある豊かな音を響かせて,ロマン主義的ともいえる楽章を叙情性をたたえて協演していました.第2楽章の緩徐楽章部分ではヴァイオリン独奏の提示する甘美な主題が多彩に変奏されました.                                                         第3楽章はロンド形式で,独奏ヴァイオリンの導く重音奏法主題が,リズム感を高めながら見事な盛り上がりを築いて終わりました.彼女の個性も顕示した見事な名演だったと思います.

ショスタコーヴィチの交響曲第5番は,もう何年も前に,ロンドンで,アシュケナージがフィルハーモニア菅を指揮した名演の記憶が残っていますが,今夜も気心の知れたN響の力を隅々まで十二分に引き出して,滅多に聴けないほどの名演を聴かせてくれました.ロンドンで聴いたときは,プレトークで,ショスタコーヴィチと親交のあったアシュケナージがこの曲を巡る作曲家の内面に踏み込んだ秘話を聴かせてくれたことが思い出されました.

とにかく,たいへん充実した演奏会でした.


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共通テーマ:音楽

Anne Midgette on Mahler [音楽時評]

昨年と今年は,大作曲家マーラーの生誕(1860)と逝去(1911)から150年と100周年に当たり,マーラーが例年になく多く取り上げられています.

Anne Midgette は丁度逝去100年の週を前にして,マーラーをじっくりと聴き直してみて,改めてマーラーの交響曲のそれぞれの特質を上げています.まず第1番について, The very first note of Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony signals that you’re in for something on a whole new scale. It’s a single note, an A, in the strings, quiet and sustained, evoking the humid tang of sulfur in the air and the pregnant hush before rain. But that single note extends over seven octaves — that is, it’s being played from the lowest to the highest ranges in the orchestra. It’s at once tiny and huge and intensely personal. This is why Mahler, who died 100 years ago this week, remains one of today’s most popular symphonists: It’s this personal quality to his music, the sense that, at bottom, it’s really about you.

といっても,マーラーの交響曲はどれも長くて,ずーっと人気が出なかったのです.短いのは4番と1番の約55分ですが,長い楽章は30分も要するからです.Anne は,映画は平均的に2時間かかるのに,映画人口は多いではないかと比較を持ち出しています.                                                               また,交響曲は高級な芸術だということも,his pieces full of folk tunes and dances and marches and birdcallsなのだから拘ることはないとマーラーの薦めをやっています.続けて,There are moments of Hallmark-saccharine sentiment (the soprano solo at the end of the Fourth Symphony can evoke a Hummel figurine), and there are moments when you feel like the top of your head is lifting off (as when Ivan Fischer brought the chorus to its feet amid the trumpets of Judgment Day at the end of the Second Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2008) と実例を挙げて恐れることはないといいます.マーラーがフロイドの精神分析で語ったとされる幼児期の経験も,彼のなかに崇高さと平凡さが並列していたことを現しているといっています.

さらにマーラーは他の交響曲には見られない演奏法を駆使している,there are special effects, including cowbells, sleigh bells, offstage trumpets and a giant mallet that delivers three crashing blows of fate at the end of the Sixth Symphony (the “Tragic”). としてマーラーの理解に,You don’t have to know much about symphonic conventions to appreciate all this stuff.交響曲の決まり事を知っている必要もないといいます.

The symphonies — 9, or 10, or 11 of them, depending on how you count — are a kind of soundtrack to the 20th century. Listening to them in order, as I did last week, is a reminder of how our understanding of them has changed with the times. と彼の曲を順に聴くことは,20世紀に我々の理解がどれだけ変わったかを理解するのに役立つといっています.

20世紀前半にはあまり演奏されなかったマーラーが,Leonard Bernstein, perhaps the quintessential Mahler conductor, helped put him back on the map, wallowing in the music’s throbbing angst and producing some searing performances in the process. Bernstein’s over-the-top gesticulations on the podium were not unlike the ones Mahler was caricatured for when he headed the Vienna Court Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic (not, of course, at the same time).

Mahler was at least as much of a rock star as Bernstein in his day; like Bernstein, he was charismatic, controversial and criticized for work that some found lightweight or outre, but that was often popular with the general public. Musicians either loved or hated him for his uncompromising standards and long rehearsals.

結論的に,Today, you find the symphonies everywhere: on every orchestra season, at every Grammy Awards (five different Mahler albums have won since 2000). Beethoven is our link with the past; Mahler is our connection to the present. His music is multi-tasking, rife with extra-musical meaning, often ironic and filled with ambiguity and contradiction: all very well-suited to our time.と彼の同時代性がマーラーを今日のようにゆうめいにしたというのです.

In Mahler’s lifetime, his most popular symphonies were his biggest. The Third Symphony, the longest work in the standard repertory (upwards of an hour and a half) sets out to offer a musical illustration of the entire world. The Eighth Symphony, whose epithet is “Symphony of a Thousand” but usually employs a mere two or three hundred musicians, starts out as a hymn and ends as a cantata setting of excerpts from the end of Goethe’s “Faust,” becoming at times not unlike a Christmas pageant.

しかし,現在有名なのは,「復活」と第5番そして9番だといっています,Today, though, the popularity votes would go to the powerful “Resurrection.” Or the Fifth, with its aching Adagietto that was conceived as a love song to the beautiful and strong-willed Alma, who married and loved several other important men — painter Oskar Kokoschka, architect Walter Gropius, author Franz Werfel — before and after her husband’s death. Or the Ninth, brooding and expansive, steeped in an elegiac sense of relinquishment.

Anne は1週間聴き漁ったレコーディングをあげながら,最高のモノは,Bruno Walter の演奏する第9番だと書いています.no Mahler recording is a greater soundtrack to history than Bruno Walter’s 1938 Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic. Walter worked under Mahler in Hamburg and in Vienna. He gave the world premiere of the Ninth after Mahler’s death. In 1938, Austria was weeks away from the country’s annexation to Nazi Germany, and Walter was on the verge of emigrating to America.                                                                    At this moment of historical watershed, when a whole culture was about to collapse, there’s a special poignancy to the wistful, bitter sighs of the individual instruments at the end of the first movement, ultimately rising and almost evaporating into a single note. Mahler ends as he begins, with a small, sustained sound: This one, in this performance, is a last look back at a past that is about to vanish forever into darkness. 

  

  

  

On anniversary of Mahler’s death, composer is remembered as one for all time

The very first note of Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony signals that you’re in for something on a whole new scale. It’s a single note, an A, in the strings, quiet and sustained, evoking the humid tang of sulfur in the air and the pregnant hush before rain. But that single note extends over seven octaves — that is, it’s being played from the lowest to the highest ranges in the orchestra. It’s at once tiny and huge and intensely personal. This is why Mahler, who died 100 years ago this week, remains one of today’s most popular symphonists: It’s this personal quality to his music, the sense that, at bottom, it’s really about you.

Classical music newcomers are wary of Mahler. His symphonies are very, very long. The shortest of them, the Fourth and the First, clock in at about 55 minutes (exact times vary from conductor to conductor); some movements last half an hour.

But long is relative. Most people think nothing of sitting through a two-hour movie. And Mahler’s symphonies are long in the way that movies are long, in the way that books are long, in the way that Charles Dickens and James Joyce are long — and poised aesthetically between these two, Victorian on the one hand, experimental modernism on the other.

Forget the idea that symphonic music is high art. Mahler crams his pieces full of folk tunes and dances and marches and birdcalls. There are moments of Hallmark-saccharine sentiment (the soprano solo at the end of the Fourth Symphony can evoke a Hummel figurine), and there are moments when you feel like the top of your head is lifting off (as when Ivan Fischer brought the chorus to its feet amid the trumpets of Judgment Day at the end of the Second Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2008).

Mahler told Sigmund Freud, during their single consultation, of a childhood memory of his parents fighting while a hurdy-gurdy played outside; this anecdote is invoked to explain his jarring musical juxtapositions of the sublime and the banal.

And there are special effects, including cowbells, sleigh bells, offstage trumpets and a giant mallet that delivers three crashing blows of fate at the end of the Sixth Symphony (the “Tragic”). You don’t have to know much about symphonic conventions to appreciate all this stuff.

The symphonies — 9, or 10, or 11 of them, depending on how you count — are a kind of soundtrack to the 20th century. Listening to them in order, as I did last week, is a reminder of how our understanding of them has changed with the times. In the early 20th century, they were seldom-played exercises in modernity. Willem Mengelberg was a friend of Mahler’s who kept his performance tradition alive at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; in his lyrically restrained reading of the Fourth, from 1939, the emotion, rather than being wildly underlined, is allowed simply to speak for itself.

In the 1960s and 1970s, however, the symphonies were embraced precisely for their in-your-face emotional excess and general trippiness. Leonard Bernstein, perhaps the quintessential Mahler conductor, helped put him back on the map, wallowing in the music’s throbbing angst and producing some searing performances in the process. Bernstein’s over-the-top gesticulations on the podium were not unlike the ones Mahler was caricatured for when he headed the Vienna Court Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic (not, of course, at the same time).

Music of our time

Mahler was at least as much of a rock star as Bernstein in his day; like Bernstein, he was charismatic, controversial and criticized for work that some found lightweight or outre, but that was often popular with the general public. Musicians either loved or hated him for his uncompromising standards and long rehearsals. His music got written in the summers, around the demands of his international career.

Today, you find the symphonies everywhere: on every orchestra season, at every Grammy Awards (five different Mahler albums have won since 2000). Beethoven is our link with the past; Mahler is our connection to the present. His music is multi-tasking, rife with extra-musical meaning, often ironic and filled with ambiguity and contradiction: all very well-suited to our time.

The works are so huge that performing them is always a big event — the kind of thing orchestras today hope will draw in audiences — but it’s their personal, even private aspects that keep people coming back. Their drama is not confined to the stage: The scores are often annotated with words or quotes in the margins. “Have mercy!” appears over one passage in the unfinished Tenth Symphony, followed by “Almschi!” — a pet name for his wife, Alma, who he had recently learned had had an affair.

Listening to all the symphonies is nowhere near classical music’s hardest feat of endurance. If you don’t like the music, wait a minute: It will change soon and radically — as the First Symphony does when, after drawing out the suspense over that held A, it suddenly veers into a jolly little tune. Mahler is quoting his own song “Ging heut’ Morgen ueber’s Feld,” about a stroll on a spring morning with chatty little birds chiming in like a scene from Disney’s “Song of the South.”

As for the banal: The work’s third movement is a funeral march inspired by a contemporary print called “The Huntsman’s Funeral,” showing forest animals carrying a bier, manifesting affected grief at the death of their persecutor. To illustrate this in music, Mahler chose a minor-key arrangement of the children’s song we know as “Frere Jacques.” Audiences didn’t quite know how to take this.

A listening journey

In Mahler’s lifetime, his most popular symphonies were his biggest. The Third Symphony, the longest work in the standard repertory (upwards of an hour and a half) sets out to offer a musical illustration of the entire world. The Eighth Symphony, whose epithet is “Symphony of a Thousand” but usually employs a mere two or three hundred musicians, starts out as a hymn and ends as a cantata setting of excerpts from the end of Goethe’s “Faust,” becoming at times not unlike a Christmas pageant.

Today, though, the popularity votes would go to the powerful “Resurrection.” Or the Fifth, with its aching Adagietto that was conceived as a love song to the beautiful and strong-willed Alma, who married and loved several other important men — painter Oskar Kokoschka, architect Walter Gropius, author Franz Werfel — before and after her husband’s death. Or the Ninth, brooding and expansive, steeped in an elegiac sense of relinquishment.

“Das Lied von der Erde” holds a special place in the canon. Mahler, superstitious about writing a Ninth Symphony since both Beethoven and Bruckner had died during or after their Ninths, tried to cheat by writing a symphonic work and calling it something else. He then wrote a Ninth Symphony — and died, at age 50. The Tenth was found in draft form after his death, but only two of the five movements were fully written out for the orchestra; when it’s performed now, it’s as a conjectural reconstruction. Hence the ambiguity about the number of symphonies: Are there 9 or 10, and does “Das Lied” count?

For my listening journey, I picked an array of recordings past and present: Manfred Honeck’s genuine Austrian earthiness in the scherzo of the First; George Szell, in the 1960s, relishing the sinister military march-steps that open the Sixth; Claudio Abbado, in the Third, focused the Berlin Philharmonic on a translucent quality beyond their traditional power.

But no Mahler recording is a greater soundtrack to history than Bruno Walter’s 1938 Ninth Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic. Walter worked under Mahler in Hamburg and in Vienna. He gave the world premiere of the Ninth after Mahler’s death. In 1938, Austria was weeks away from the country’s annexation to Nazi Germany, and Walter was on the verge of emigrating to America.

At this moment of historical watershed, when a whole culture was about to collapse, there’s a special poignancy to the wistful, bitter sighs of the individual instruments at the end of the first movement, ultimately rising and almost evaporating into a single note. Mahler ends as he begins, with a small, sustained sound: This one, in this performance, is a last look back at a past that is about to vanish forever into darkness.

MAHLER EVENTS

May 15 (concert): The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra plays Mahler’s epic Second Symphony (“Resurrection”). Christopher Zimmerman conducts. Hylton Performing Arts Center, 3 p.m. (Also May 14 at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 8 p.m.)

May 15 (concert): The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra plays Mahler’s First Symphony (“Titan”), along with the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto, with Garrick Ohlsson as soloist. Kim Allen Kluge conducts. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall, 3 p.m. (Also May 14 at 8 p.m.)

May 27, 28 (concert): The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s program includes a performance of “What the Wild Flowers Tell Me,” Benjamin Britten’s scaled-down arrangement of the second movement of Mahler’s Third Symphony. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, May 27 at 8 p.m.; Strathmore, May 28 at 8 p.m.

June 23, 30 (TV broadcasts): “Keeping Score,” the award-winning television series about classical composers spearheaded by the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, turns its sights on Mahler with two documentaries — “Origins” and “Legacy” — and two programs of concert footage, including a performance of the First Symphony. On WETA; check local listings for exact times. A Web site, with musical illustrations and short videos, is up and running at keepingscore.org.

Ongoing (Internet broadcasts): Medici.tv is hosting a complete Mahler cycle by Christoph Eschenbach, the music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, made with his previous ensemble, the Orchestre de Paris, as webcasts and movies. Access to live broadcasts on the site is free; subscriptions are needed to see the archived video, starting at about $11.40 a month for unlimited access. medici.tv.


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XIVth チャイコフスキー国際Competition参加者 [音楽時評]

6月15日(現地時間14日)から第14回チャイコフスキー国際Competition が,新たに会長に世界的指揮者Valery Gergievを迎えて, Moscow St. Petersburg で4種目のCompetition が行われます.

以下に,ビデオ審査を経た参加者が公表されていますので,長くなりますがご紹介しておきます.Piano & Violin に日本人が1人ずつ入っていますが,他のアジア勢も優勢ですね...

日本で既にガラ・コンサートが組まれていますが,Valery Gergievが指揮者なら,かつてない聴きモノになるでしょうね.

Piano

         Arseny Aristov (Russia)

Evgeny Brakhman (Russia)

Yulia Chaplina (Russia)

Yunjie Chen (China)

Seong Jin Cho (South Korea)

Sara Daneshpour (USA)

Andrey Dubov (Russia)

Boris Giltburg (Israel)

Georgy Gromov (Russia)

Ching-Yun Hu (Taiwan)

Shinnosuke Inugai (Japan)

Stanislav Khristenko (Russia)

Dinara Klinton (Russia)

Pavel Kolesnikov (Russia)

Jianing Kong (China)

Filipp Kopachevskiy (Russia)

Eduard Kunz (Russia)

Alexander Lubyantsev (Russia)

Mamikon Nakhapetov (Georgia)

Jong-Hai Park (South Korea)

François-Xavier Poizat (Switzerland)

Alexander Romanovsky (Ukraine)

Ekaterina Rybina (Russia)

Timur Scherbakov (Belarus)

Alexander Sinchuk (Russia)

Yeol Eum Son (South Korea)

Maria Tretyakova (Russia)

Daniil Trifonov (Russia)

Andrew Tyson (USA)

Lukas Vondráček (Czech Republic) 

Violin

         Christopher Tun Andersen (Norway)

Nigel Armstrong (USA)

Hrachya Avanesyan (Armenia)

Andrey Baranov (Russia)

Sergey Dogadin (Russia)

Yoo Jin Jang (South Korea)

Dalibor Karvay (Slovakia)

Fabiola Kim (USA)

Mayu Kishima (Japan)

Tessa Lark (USA)

Jehye Lee (South Korea)

Marisol Lee (South Korea)

Sergey Malov (Russia)

Albrecht Menzel (Germany)

Pavel Milyukov (Russia)

Ivan Pochekin (Russia)

Aylen Pritchin (Russia)

Fedor Roudine (France)

Oleksii Semenenko (Ukraine)

Elena Semenova (Russia)

Eric Silberger (USA)

Lev Solodovnikov (Russia)

Yu-Chien Tseng (Taiwan)

Julia Turnovsky (Austria)

Xiang Yu (China)

Nancy Zhou (USA)

Itamar Zorman (Israel)

Cello 

     Norbert Anger (Germany)

     Paolo Bonomini (Italy)

     Attilia Kiyoko Cernitori (Italy)

     Jacqueline Choi (USA)

     Umberto Clerici (Italy)

     David Eggert (Canada - Germany)

     Hans Kristian Goldstein (Norway)

     Narek Hakhnazaryan (Armenia)

     Woo Lee Jang (South Korea)

     Seung Min Kang (South Korea)

     Ivan Karizna (Belarus)

     Jakob Koranyi (Sweden)

     Ruodi Li (China)

     Anna Maria Litvinenko (USA)

     Bingxia Lu (China)

     Edgar Moreau (France)

     Samuli Vilhelmi Peltonen (Finland)

     Valentin Radutiu (Germany)

     Alexander Ramm (Russia)

     David Joshua Roman (USA)

     Janina Ruh (Germany)

     Stéphane Tetreault (Canada)

     Matthew Zalkind (USA)

     Alexey Zhilin (Russia)

     Xian Zhuo (China)

Voice

Female

 

         Maria Bayankina (Russia)

Oksana Davydenko (Kazakhstan)

Aude Extremo (France)

Ekaterina Ferzba (Russia)

Gelena Gaskarova (Russia)

Maria Gorelova (Russia)

Elena Guseva (Russia)

Alfiya Karimova (Russia)

Veronika Koval (Ukraine)

Nadin Koutcher (Belarus)

Alexandra Martynova (Russia)

Evgeniya Morozova (Russia)

Angelina Nikitchenko (Russia)

Yannick-Muriel Noah (Canada)

Olga Pudova (Russia)

Julia Savrasova (Russia)

Sun Young Seo (South Korea)

Elena Terentyeva (Russia)

Jung Nan Yoon (South Korea)

Jing Zheng (China)

Male

Migran Agadjanyan (Russia)

Vadim Chernigovsky (Ukraine)

Enkhtaivan Chimed (Mongolia)

Dmitry Demidchik (Belarus)

Amartuvshin Enkhbat (Mongolia)

Mikhail Geine (Russia)

Andriy Goniukov (Ukraine)

Gevorg Grigoryan (Russia)

Byambajav Jargalsaikhan (Mongolia)

Mikhail Korobeinikov (Russia)

Viktor Korotich (Ukraine)

Jong Min Park (South Korea)

Boris Pinkhasovich (Russia)

Victor Ryauzov (Russia)

Artem Safronov (Latvia)

Nikolay Shamov (Russia)

Konstantin Shushakov (Russia)

Grigory Somov (Russia)

Alexey Tatarintsev (Russia)

Azamat Zheltyrguzov (Kazakhstan)


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サントリーホール:都響プロムナード,ウォルフ指揮,グトン(cello) [音楽時評]

6月4日,東京都交響楽団のプロムナード・コンサートを聴きに,サントリーホールに行ってきました.

ジョゼフ・ウォルフは,あの有名なイギリスの指揮者コリン・ディヴィスの息子だそうで,わざわざ芸名を用いているのだそうです.最初はヴァイオリン奏者として活躍していたようです.                                         フランシス・グトンはフランス出身で,有名チェリスト,フルニエの最後の弟子の1人だといいます.早くから室内管や歌劇場菅の主席チェリストとして名声を高めてきた人だといいます.

プログラムは,文字通りの名曲揃いで,                                                  メンデルスゾーン: 序曲「フィンがルの洞窟」作品26        
ドヴォルジャーク: チェロ協奏曲 ロ短調 作品104 
             ※※※※※※※       
メンデルスゾーン: 交響曲第3番 イ短調 作品56 「不コットランド」     
でした.

楽員が入場してきて,ちょっとびっくりしたのは,NHK交響楽団の主席を長く勤めていたViola の店村眞積が都響の主席に座っていたことです.6月から都響に就任したという紹介がプログラムに載っていました.都響の低弦がいっそう充実することが期待されます.

フィンがルの洞窟は,スコットランド西海岸の波を思わせる主題が繰り返し現れ,洞窟の情景描写にあたる抒情的主題を経て,ダイナミックなコーダで終わります.なかなかメリハリの効いた好演だったと思います.

いわゆるドヴォコンは,説明を要しないでしょうが,グトンはヴェネツィアのモンタニアーナが1734年に制作したチェロを使って実に深みのあるしっとりとした音を響かせて,たいへん好演してくれました.とかく華麗さに流されやすい名曲をたいへん味わい深く聴かせてくれました.

スコットランドですが,創作に長期間を要したため,「スコットランド」の古都エディンバラの標題音楽の趣は乏しくなっていますが,Andante con moto-allegro un poco agitato, Vivace non troppo, Adagio, Allegro vavacissimo- Allegro maestoso assai という緩ー急,急,緩,急ー急の4楽章が,アタッカでひとつながりに演奏されるのですが,特に後半がかなりドラマティックに演奏されました.
個人的には,あまり誇張なく抒情的に演奏されるのを聴くのが好きなので,ウォルフのかなり強弱を誇張した演奏は,少し馴染めないまま終わりました.

ただ,全体としては,都響らしい好演だったと思います. 


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