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Midori, Tokyo String Quartet の今秋の動静 [音楽時評]

アメリカで,全米第37位の都市カンザス市は,カンザス川とミズーリ川が合流する地点を囲んだ,ミズーリ州最大の都市ですが,カンザス州を含めた都市圏は2百万を数える大都市です.

したがって芸術の秋には,今年はウイーン・フィルを迎えるほど盛況なのです.

いくつもの専用ホールも恵まれて,今年の盛況ぶりを紹介した記事に中に,写真入りの(五島)Midori と東京カルテットが紹介されていましたので,ご紹介しておきます.

The Vienna Symphony conducted by Fabio Luisi with the Eroica Trio will perform Nov. 9.   violin virtuoso Midori will give a recital on Oct. 27
Thankfully, the warm and intimate Folly Theater will still be used for many of the group’s concerts, including the Tokyo String Quartet on Oct. 21.

などが特筆されています.

あとはどうぞ御自由にご渉猟下さい.

  

  

Take note of a vintage year in classical music


See violinist Midori at the Folly on Oct. 27.
See violinist Midori at the Folly on Oct. 27.

Delicious libations abound this fall.

With champagne corks popping for the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and area arts groups pouring forth their finest, Kansas City is in for a vintage year indeed.

The Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City Ballet (see J4) are offering ambitious seasons for their first year in Moshe Safdie’s majestic building. The Harriman-Jewell Series and Friends of Chamber Music also will present concerts in the shiny new facility.

While the spotlight will certainly be on the center, Kansas City’s beloved recital hall, the Folly Theater, will remain a very busy venue.

Kansas City Symphony

Befitting the Kansas City Symphony’s historic first year in the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall, Michael Stern has programmed a memorable season with guest artists worthy of a world-class performing arts center.

Concerts this fall featuring soloists include pianist Emanuel Ax, who will open the season Sept. 23-25, followed by Park University’s piano superstar Behzod Abduraimov performing Nov. 18-20.

The Independence Messiah has been a Christmas tradition for decades. This year it moves to the Kauffman Center, where Yasuhita Toyota’s acoustics should make the work sound brand new. Led by Steven Jarvi, the large Independence Messiah Choir will join the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus for Handel’s masterwork for three performances Dec. 2-4. (www .kcsymphony.org)

The Lyric Opera

Ever since Ward Holmquist became artistic director of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the company’s production values have been getting better every year. For its debut in the Kauffman Center’s Muriel Kauffman Theatre, the Lyric will pull out all the stops with Puccini’s opulent “Turandot.”

Dripping with jewel-like melodies, “Turandot” will give the Lyric an opportunity to show what it’s capable of, musically and theatrically. There will be four performances of “Turandot” beginning Oct. 1.

In November, the Lyric will perform Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” an opera that lends itself to creative updating. The Lyric will present the Mozart classic in an eye-popping production for four performances beginning Nov. 5. (www.kc opera.org)

Harriman-Jewell

Clark Morris, executive director of the Harriman-Jewell Series, has several concerts planned for the new Helzberg Hall, mostly large-scale ensembles that would have previously performed in the Music Hall. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra led by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will perform Oct. 1 (see J6).

The Vienna Symphony conducted by Fabio Luisi with the Eroica Trio will perform Nov. 9.

For its more intimate programs, such as its Discovery Concerts, Harriman-Jewell will use the Folly. Harriman-Jewell begins its season with a Discovery Concert on Sept. 24 featuring violinist Caroline Goulding. All of 18, Goulding has already won an Avery Fisher career grant and has been nominated for a Grammy.

Morris is maintaining the Harriman tradition of introducing Kansas City to vocalists on the cusp of stardom. For a Discovery Concert on Nov. 19, Harriman-Jewell will present tenor Alek Shrader, who has been receiving rave reviews from critics on the coasts and is poised to be opera’s next big thing. Both Discovery concerts are free.

Also this fall, as part of its series Great Masters: The Ingram Events, Harriman-Jewell is bringing three of classical music’s most impressive talents to the Folly. Piano Powerhouse Marc-Andre Hamelin will perform on Oct. 15, violin virtuoso Midori will give a recital on Oct. 27 and James Galway will bring his Irish charm and Golden Flute to the Folly on Nov. 3. ( www.hjseries.org)

Carlsen Center

Emily Behrmann, general manager of the Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College, has lined up one of her most eclectic seasons yet. Yardley Hall’s excellent acoustics make classical and jazz performers sound their best, and Behrmann is bringing great performers from both worlds.

On Sept. 30, the Miles Davis Experience (see J6) will give audiences a taste of a true American genius, and on Nov. 6, the Munich Symphony with Gloriae Dei Cantores will fill Yardley Hall with Mozart’s sublimely spiritual Requiem.

Two more concerts of note this fall at the Carlsen Center are the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on Oct. 22 and “69 Degrees South: The Shackleton Project.” The latter tells the story of Ernest Shackleton’s heroic voyage to and from Antarctica through highly imaginative music and puppetry.

Behrmann always likes a holiday concert that’s off the beaten path, and this year she’s bringing the 12-piece Burning River Brass to deck Yardley Hall with good cheer on Dec. 16. ( www.jccc.edu/theseries)

Friends of Chamber Music

Cynthia Siebert, artistic director of the Friends of Chamber Music, is one of this city’s foremost classical music presenters. This year, she’s also a producer with the ambitious “Darwin Project” on Oct. 14. The chamber music organization commissioned the work from local writers, scientists and musicians that will take advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the Kauffman Center. (More on J2.)

Thankfully, the warm and intimate Folly Theater will still be used for many of the group’s concerts, including the Tokyo String Quartet on Oct. 21.

Early music fans can look forward to a couple of programs. Rebel, an early music ensemble based in New York, will perform a vibrant concert of baroque music on Nov. 18 at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. And perhaps the world’s greatest choral group dedicated to Renaissance polyphony, the Tallis Scholars, will return to Kansas City for a Christmas concert on Dec. 8 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. (www. chambermusic.org)

Kansas City Chorale

The Catholic Church is rediscovering the beauty of Gregorian chant. Even in a non-liturgical setting, chant has the ability to calm, center and restore. The Kansas City Chorale led by Charles Bruffy will explore this ancient tradition with Chant and Beyond” Oct. 15 at St. Michael Archangel, 143rd and Nall; Oct. 16 at Redemptorist Church, 3333 Broadway; and Oct. 18 at Asbury Methodist, 5400 W. 75th St. In addition to pure Gregorian chant, the Chorale will also perform music by the medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen and Renaissance polyphony, which uses chant as the basis for elaborate settings of the Mass.

Patrick Neas is program director and host of the morning show for Radio Bach, 96.5 FM HD2, 1660 AM and streaming at www.RadioBach.com.



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/26/3099201/fall-arts-a-vintage-year-for-classical.html#ixzz1WR7uyHZa


SuntoryHall:大野和士,東フィル,マーラー「復活」 [音楽時評]

月29日,第41回サントリー音楽賞受賞記念コンサートとして行われた,受賞者大野和士指揮の東京フィルによるマーラー「復活」演奏会を聴きに行ってきました.ソプラノ,並河寿美,アルト,坂本 朱,別に国立音楽大学,東京オペラシンガーズが合唱に加わっていました.

大野和士さんは,日本が生んだ初めての本格的,世界的指揮者といえるのではないでしょうか.小澤征爾の先例があるではないかといわれるかも知れませんが,あれは,日本の高度経済成長が生み出した「あだ花」だったというのが私の評価であることは,繰り返し書いてきた通りですし,小澤の取り巻きの小澤誇大宣伝は目に余るモノがあると考えています.

とにかく今夜の大野和士の「復活」は目を見張るモノがありました.大野は小澤のようにBody language dance はしないで,端正な姿勢を保持して,もっぱら両腕を一杯に大きく使って指揮していました.

その指揮がたいへん精妙なのです.全体をくっきりと浮き上がらせながら,細部にまでよく踏み込んだ指揮でした.マーラーのこの作品は,各楽章に文言の指示が書かれています.                                     第1楽章Allegro maestoso, 真摯で厳粛な表現をつらぬいて                                   第2楽章Andante moderato,きわめておだやかに                                          第3楽章しずかに流れるような動きをもって                                                第4楽章「原初の光」 きわめて厳粛に,ただし素朴に                                         第5楽章終曲 スケルツオのテンポで,荒野を進むように                                       と長大な5楽章構成です.

自分自身の整理のために少し書きますと,マーラーはクロプシュトックの「生きるために死ぬ」という内容の「復活」という詩に感銘を受け,その詩を第5楽章の歌唱のテキストとしたことから,「復活」の表題が付いたといわれます.
                                 
                                                                                                                    第1楽章は,交響曲第1番「巨人」に描いたある英雄の葬送行進曲になっています.ソナタ形式で,弦のトレモロを背景に現れる第1主題は,途切れ途切れで少し不可解な主題で,暗い雰囲気ですが,第2主題では一転して弦の響きが憧憬に満ちた明るさを持っています.展開部では暗い主題と明るい主題が複雑に絡み合う三部構成で,多様な楽器が活躍しますが,再現部の終結で葬送行進曲に戻り,いったん静まった後,半音階風に大きく下降して結ばれます.

楽譜の指示では第1楽章の後,数分の休憩を入れる指示があり,大野さんは指揮台前,2人のソリストの椅子の間に用意した椅子に座って,4~5分休んでいました.

第2楽章Andante moderato,きわめておだやかに,について,マーラーは次のように書いています.「英雄の過去の幸福な瞬間,青春,失われた純真さへの悲しげな回想」と書いています.舞曲風で,ゆったりとした明朗な主要主題ですが,そこはかとなく哀愁が漂います.最後は弦のカンタービレが木管に受け継がれ,消え入るように終わります.

第3楽章は,マーラーは,「第2楽章の夢から覚め,再び人生の喧噪の流れと戻る」と書いています.この楽章以降,歌曲集「子供の不思議な角笛」が色濃く反映しています.クライマックスのドラの音が静まって,そのまま第4楽章に移ります.

第4楽章で初めてアルト独唱が印象的に入ります.マーラーは「私は神からきて,神に戻っていくだろう」と書いていますが.苦しみの中にある英雄の天国への憧憬が描かれています.この歌詞は,「子供の不思議な角笛」に入っていたのですが,後に,歌曲からは削除されています.
このアルトの独唱は舞台裏のトランペットに続きますが,たいへん静寂の中にいずれも美しく響きます.トランペットは2階p席への扉を開けて,オルガンの背面から響いていました.
短い楽章ですが,英雄の悲劇的人生,解放された素朴な人生,衝動的混乱のなかの人生,そしてここで人間の死への憧憬が現れるという,構成になります.

第5楽章は,人生の終末の後,最後の審判を受けた英雄が,やがて永遠に復活する叙事詩的音楽です.全曲の40%を占める長大な音楽で,オーケストラの編成もたいへんおおきくなっています.
3部構成で,第1部が「荒野に呼ぶ者」と題されていて,多様な主題,第1~4主題が,多様な楽器で奏でられます.第2部は展開部で,第1部の主題が多面的に反復され,第3部は「偉大な呼び声」と呼ばれ,その後に無伴奏の4部合唱が静かにクロプシュトックの「復活」の賛歌を沸き上がらせます.メロディは前に出た「復活の主題」です.
室内楽的な雰囲気の中で,独唱が第4楽章の主題を歌い,再度,合唱が「復活の主題」を歌って,アウトとソプラノの二重唱が入り,その後,オルガンが加わって,管弦楽と合唱がクライマックスを作り,コーダでは第2主題に鐘の響きも加わって,力強く昇華させるように集結を迎えます.

指揮者が両腕を下ろして,ほぼすかさずブラボーが入ったのが,たいへん興ざめで残念でした.

何度聴いても感動を受ける曲ですが,的確で充実した指揮をした指揮者大野和士に大きな拍手を送りたいと思います.
今年は,大野和士が東京都響の年末第9を振るそうですから,次の楽しみにしたいと思います.


シャネル・ネクサスホール:ピアノ・トリオ演奏会 [音楽時評]

8月27日,シャネル・ネクサスホールに,ピアノ・トリオ演奏会を聴きに行ってきました.出演者はピアノ;副島響子,ヴァイオリン;田部絢子,チェロ;朴 哲根という,いずれもモスクワ音楽院本科4年在学j中の若手でした.

プログラムは,                                                                       ボリス・チャイコフスキー: ピアノ三重奏曲 B minor 
            ※※※※※※※ 
ブラームス:          ピアノ三重奏曲第1番 ロ長調 作品8 
でした.

最初のチャイコフスキーは,ピョートル・イリイチ・チャイコフスキーとはまったく親戚関係にない,20世紀後半の作曲家ですが,一応調性に従った曲で,3楽章構成,疾走する第1楽章,民謡を取り入れた緩徐楽章の第2楽章,変奏曲形式の第3楽章となかなか変化に富み,結構,よく楽器を鳴らす曲でした.
ここで感嘆したのは,チェロの朴 哲根が素晴らしい名手だということでした.日本のチェリストは,ほとんどが声楽でアルトがよくやるように,高音部と低音部で音質が変わってしまうのですが,この人は一貫してヴァイオリンと合わせて澄んだ音を鳴らし続けていました.

そのチェロの名演がたいへん貢献したのがブラームスで,とくに第2楽章の出だしの美麗な音は見事で聴き応えがありましたし,第3楽章の緩徐楽章でもチェロの美音が際立っていました.

シャネル・ピグマリオン・コンサートとしては,なかなか聴き応えのある演奏会だったと思います.


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra set for European tour [音楽時評]

直前のbrog で,破産申請のPhiladelphia Orchestra のタイトなEuropean Tour について書きましたが,それと較べて,いくらかゆったりとした日程で,しかも performing with celebrated violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Helene Grimaud と人気のソリストを加えたEuropean Tour の記事がありましたので,ご紹介します.

日程はLithuania を含むより広範なモノですし,スケジュールも比較的ゆったりしています.9.11 にマーラーの第5番からの葬送行進曲を Berlin で予定するなど,内容豊かです.

何よりも相違を感じたのは,このTour の費用約$2million が,入場料に加えて,各種文化財団からの寄付金で裏打ちされていることです.ご参考までに.

 

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra set for latest European tour

Photos

PSO's Manfred Honeck
MIchael Sahaid

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra 2011 European Festivals Tour

Friday: Wiesbaden, Germany

Saturday: Hamburg, Germany

Monday: Vilnius, Lithuania

Sept. 1 and 2: Grafenegg, Austria

Sept. 3: Lucerne, Switzerland

Sept. 5 and 6: London

Sept. 7: Paris

Sept. 9 and 10: Bonn, Germany

Sept. 11: Berlin

About the writer

Mark Kanny is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's classical music critic

After an intensive week of artistic preparation, music director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra depart Tuesday on a three-week European Festivals Tour. It will be the orchestra's the fourth international tour with Honeck and its 36th since 1948.

The musicians will play a dozen concerts in nine cities in six countries, performing with celebrated violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Helene Grimaud. Featured symphonic works include the Symphony No. 5 of Gustav Mahler and of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

"This great orchestra has to be part of the international scene to show its fantastic quality and brilliance," says Honeck.

The symphony played to packed houses on its previous European tour in May 2010. The conductor says he's heard audiences are eager to experience it again.

Representatives of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance will travel with the symphony for the sixth consecutive foreign tour to promote economic development.

The orchestra returned from vacation last Tuesday for rehearsals at Pittsburgh Opera's headquarters in the Strip District and for invitation-only concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings. (Heinz Hall is closed this summer for $2 million in renovations, and will reopen in time for rehearsals for the Sept. 17 Gala Concert that starts the 2011-12 season.)

The first tour performance will be on Friday evening in Wiesbaden, Germany. Mutter, who performed with Honeck and the orchestra on tours to Carnegie Hall in New York City and to Europe in 2010, will play two pieces by contemporary German composer Wolfgang Rihm and Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.

After a short trip to Hamburg for a concert on Saturday, the musicians will fly to Vilnius, Lithuania, for a performance on Monday. Then, it's back across Europe for appearances on Sept. 1 and 2 at the Grafenegg Festival, near Vienna in Austria. The Grafenegg Festival's artistic director is pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, who will be soloist with the orchestra at Heinz Hall subscription concerts from Sept. 23 through 25

Honeck and the orchestra will return to the prestigious Lucerne Festival in Switzerland for a concert with Mutter on Sept. 3, followed by concerts at the Proms Festival in London on Sept. 5 and 6.

Grimaud will join the orchestra in London for a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, which she'll also play in Paris on Sept. 7. She made news this summer when conductor Claudio Abbado withdrew from performances with her this summer and fall for artistic reasons.

Concerts at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, Germany, on Sept. 9 and 10 will feature Mutter and Grimaud.

The tour concludes at the Philharmonie in Berlin, on Sept. 11 with Mahler's Fifth Symphony -- which opens with a funeral march -- to honor the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the 10th anniversary.

"It will be exciting to remember the tragedy on this special day," Honeck says. "All Berliners expect that will be a special date, with an American orchestra playing in the capital of Germany."

The tour will cost approximately $2 million, which is fully funded by fees from presenters in Europe, donations -- including the presenting sponsorship of BNY Mellon -- and funds from the Hillman Endowment for International Performances.



破産申請したPhiladelphia菅のEuropean Tour [音楽時評]

このPhiladelphia Inquirer の記事は決して好意的なモノではありません」.それは,冒頭の,This is one Philadelphia Orchestra tour that nobody - not the rank-and-file musicians, not the guest soloists, and certainly not the festivals presenting them - is taking for granted, particularly in this picture-postcard city inhabited by the musical gods.

The long-planned 13-concert sweep through Europe's most prestigious festivals begins Thursday with the Grafenegg Music Festival outside Vienna, Austria, and ends Sept. 9 in Paris. While the tour was never said to have been in significant danger, everything has been open to question since the orchestra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April.

つまり,4月に破産申請をしたのに”何故”今頃?が付きまとうからです.Chief conductor Charles Dutoitは,強くMusic Director のpost を望みながら叶えられず,この9月で若き新Music Director着任を前に,Philadelphia を去ろうとしているのです.                                                             昨年は,Boston Symphonyが,経営状態を考えて European Tour を見送ったのです.

The usual rationale for a European tour is a chance for an orchestra to prove itself in the places all the great music came from, measured against those who play it in an unbroken tradition that began with the composer. というのが,European Tour の目的だというのです.

評者は,このTour  の経費を$3.0nillion,それに対して収入は1.5million (compared with $2.2 million for Asia!) と多額の赤字を推定しています.また,ヨーロッパの夏の音楽祭を渡り歩くことになるのですが,"The crème de la crème comes to Grafenegg," そして, the orchestra will arrive Saturday in Lucerne needing to live up not just to the standards of other honored guests, but also to a bar set even higher last weekend by the resident Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Known worldwide through recordings under the venerable Claudio Abbado, it is revered locally almost beyond comprehension.

Were that not enough, the Philadelphia Orchestra is all but tag-teaming through Europe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in its first tour with Riccardo Muti. Cicago=Muti 対 Philadelphia=Dutoit の勢いの差は明らかでしょう.

日程も多くが1日ずつで,Many of the tour visits are single nights, such as Dublin , Berlin (where it will play Sept. 3 at the Philharmonie, home of the Berlin Philharmonic), and Frankfurt, at the hallowed Alte Opera House on Sept. 4.                                                      the Edinburgh Festival, another situation that hosts the best of the best. And one of the most crucial dates comes at the end - the Proms in London at Royal Albert Hall.                  
To make the date, the orchestra, at that point long departed from Edinburgh, will have to jump back from Germany and then, the tour's closing date, go to Paris. とかなりな強行軍のようです.

ただ,幸いなことに,List's Piano Concerto 協演者の Thibaudet は,Dutoit とは長い付き合いなので,リハーサルをやらなくても弾けるのだそうです.

それにしても,まったく悪い時期に,赤字覚悟の Tour を組み込んだモノです,


Philadelphia Orchestra begins European tour on a note of trepidation

LUCERNE, Switzerland - This is one Philadelphia Orchestra tour that nobody - not the rank-and-file musicians, not the guest soloists, and certainly not the festivals presenting them - is taking for granted, particularly in this picture-postcard city inhabited by the musical gods.

The long-planned 13-concert sweep through Europe's most prestigious festivals begins Thursday with the Grafenegg Music Festival outside Vienna, Austria, and ends Sept. 9 in Paris. While the tour was never said to have been in significant danger, everything has been open to question since the orchestra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April.

"Reading about all of the problems with the orchestra, I thought maybe this tour is not going to happen," said pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who shares the tour's concerto slots with violinist Janine Jansen. "Almost from the beginning, the orchestra was quite firm in saying, 'Don't worry. We're really going to try to save this tour. It's important for the orchestra.' "

That's an understatement. The usual rationale for a European tour is a chance for an orchestra to prove itself in the places all the great music came from, measured against those who play it in an unbroken tradition that began with the composer. That's true in this tour's repertoire, ranging from Verwandlung No. 3, by modern composer Wolfgang Rihm, to Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. (Chief conductor Charles Dutoit, who leads the tour, has been a leading figure in Berlioz performance history.)

In the works since 2008, this tour had to happen, if only to keep from burning industry bridges.

"Whenever you're in a challenging financial situation, you have to analyze everything you're doing," said Stephen Millan, vice president and general manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra. "One of the things we've been saying to the public and media people is that the music has to go on."

The numbers, however, suggest that the next tour might not happen for a while. Though Europe's transportation costs are lower than those of, say, the 2010 Asia tour, industry axioms say the higher the prestige, the lower the pay. For an orchestra of Philadelphia's caliber, fees run between $75,000 and $150,000, making the estimated earned income about $1.5 million (compared with $2.2 million for Asia) - roughly half this tour's $3 million cost.

The value, however, is inestimable. This European festivals tour puts the Philadelphia Orchestra in the most exclusive classical music club on the planet: These dates aren't slots in a regular season, but showcases in what amount to musical utopias. Even Grafenegg, which has been in existence only since 2007, puts the orchestra in a highly distinguished lineup.

"The crème de la crème comes to Grafenegg," said its artistic director, Rudolf Buchbinder, one of Vienna's most respected concert pianists. "If this wouldn't be possible to do, I wouldn't run it."

In contrast to Grafenegg, which draws nearly half its audience from non-Viennese locals likely hearing the Philadelphia Orchestra live for the first time, the orchestra will arrive Saturday in Lucerne needing to live up not just to the standards of other honored guests, but also to a bar set even higher last weekend by the resident Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Known worldwide through recordings under the venerable Claudio Abbado, it is revered locally almost beyond comprehension.

At its performance of Bruckner's Symphony No. 5, the audience included conductors David Robertson and Pierre Boulez, and at the end Abbado was showered with flowers - not a few, but buckets' worth - while players hugged one another in congratulation. The audience continued applauding even after the musicians had left.

Were that not enough, the Philadelphia Orchestra is all but tag-teaming through Europe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in its first tour with Riccardo Muti. They will come within hours of intersecting in Lucerne, and will do so again at Dresden Music Festival, another artist-run festival, under the esteemed cellist Jan Vogler.

Often, the Philadelphians are victims of their own success on tour, when, because of high fees and high ticket demand, they play in larger but less glamorous halls. That appears to be the case when the orchestra plays the Kulturpalast, a reputedly monolithic structure from Dresden's communist period, with a large-for-Europe seating capacity of 2,600. Vogler wanted as many as possible to hear the Philadelphians, and at ticket prices lower than those at the city's more prestigious Semperoper.

"People feel no barriers to go to this hall. They don't have to dress and be elegant," he said. There's a large audience to be tapped: In this city of 500,000, a third go to a classical music concert three or more times a year.

Many of the tour visits are single nights, such as Dublin (where the orchestra will make its debut Monday at the National Concert Hall), Berlin (where it will play Sept. 3 at the Philharmonie, home of the Berlin Philharmonic), and Frankfurt, at the hallowed Alte Opera House on Sept. 4.

One two-concert date is a big one, the Edinburgh Festival, another situation that hosts the best of the best. And one of the most crucial dates comes at the end - the Proms in London at Royal Albert Hall. Last year's season reached a record high of 18 million in radio and telecasts, according to BBC Proms director Roger Wright.

It's there, perhaps, that the Philadelphia Orchestra stands to reach its largest audience. And unlike in some cities, the orchestra won't be preaching to the choir: London is the home of Gramophone magazine, which ruffled many Philadelphia feathers several years ago when the orchestra not only failed to make its list of great ensembles, but also was mentioned only in a "past glories" section, with the long-defunct NBC Symphony. Gramophone has clout, so Philadelphia has something to prove, and will do so with at least two key magazine staff members in the audience.

To make the date, the orchestra, at that point long departed from Edinburgh, will have to jump back from Germany and then, for the tour's closing date, go to Paris.

"I do work hard at minimalizing the hopscotching, but sometimes it can't be avoided," said Millan.

Tours usually have provincial dates where the orchestra can get its legs, but this one has nowhere to hide, no room for an off night.

Or, for the glamorous Thibaudet, an off-looking night. Besides having set a high performing standard, Thibaudet has led audiences to expect him to look as great as he sounds. So he'll be the luggage king of the tour.

"I'm a Virgo, and Virgos are very organized and like to have things nicely folded and looking good," he explained. "Though I'm a very good packer, I've never found a way to travel light. I like having lots of things to choose from. And that takes a lot of room."

But you'll never hear him say tours are a pain, and certainly not this one, partly because he loves Liszt (the Piano Concerto No. 2 is on several programs), but mostly because he loves Dutoit.

"It's been 20, 25 years since we first played together, and it's always been so easy," said Thibaudet. "I always have a piano rehearsal with a conductor before the first [full] rehearsal. But Charlie is the one person in the world where I could arrive at the hall with no rehearsal at all and I wouldn't even be nervous."


サイトウキネンはチケット払い戻しに応ずべき [音楽時評]

松本市のサイトウキネン音楽祭で,8月 21,23,25,27 日に,バルトークの全1幕オペラ(58分)「青ひげ公の城」を,沼尻竜典指揮の同じくバルトークの全1幕のバレー「中国の不思議な役人」の後,休憩後に,指揮するはずだった小澤征爾が,21日だけは」ちゃんと振ったようですが,23日,25日と続けて1時間半前になって休演を決め,ずっと小澤征爾にくっついていた音楽スタッフ,ピエール・ヴァレーが代わって指揮したそうです.

昨年は小澤征爾の7分間の指揮で誤魔化して,チケットの払い戻しをしなかったサイトウキネン財団を,私は強く批判しましたが,今回の23,25両日の1時間半前という直前になっての指揮者交代は,音楽界の常識に反するまったく非礼なやり方です.

急激な気温の低下と疲労から軽い肺炎と脱水症状に陥ったのだそうですが,松本市内の借家で臥せっていて,23日はドクター・ストップ,25日は医師はOKしたのに本人が起き上がれずに休演したと報じられています.
サイトウキネン以前から,夏冬は,奥志賀高原でホテル住まいをしてきた小澤征爾には俄に信じがたいことですが,大病後と寄る年波というべきなのでしょうか.

あと1日,27日については,全国新聞紙上に既に2日休演したことを明記し,代役の可能性があるから,希望者には払い戻しに応ずると広告を掲載すべきだと考えます.

同様の新聞広告は,9月上旬に予定される北京,上海公演についても,ピエール・ヴァレーが代役を務める可能性があることを明記し,その場合の希望者へのチケット払い戻し手順を掲載すべきだと考えます.

小澤征爾を世界的指揮者などと神格化して誤魔化すのではなく,きちんと一流音楽家としてのけじめをつけるべきだと考えるモノです.

追記: メールをいただいて,小澤征爾の弟さんがサイトウキネンを追っかける中国ツアーなるモノを計画されているそうですが,これも小澤征爾が代役に代わる可能性があることを応募者に通知して,希望者には払い戻しに応ずべきです.


破産申請のPhiladelphia 菅の経営努力 [音楽時評]

Philadelphia Orchestra の経営破綻については前にブログで書いたことがありますが,ようやく数年ぶりの新任Music Director, Yannick Nezet-Seguin が予定より多いコンサートをこなすことが発表されています.

それは,11月に客演予定のNicholas McGeganに Nezet-Seguinが代わって振るというのです. the orchestra was banking on the young, charismatic, and wildly talented conductor to help lagging ticket sales. というチケット売り上げ向上を狙った戦略だそうですが,Nezet-Seguinは他にも He has ongoing committments with the Rotterdam and London, and guest appearances throughout the world. なので,それ以上は望めなさそうです.しかし,彼が契約条件以上に仕事をするというのは,That he would invest more of his time in Philadelphia is a vote of confidence in the future of the organization. といえると評しています,

しかし,チケットの売り上げが伸び,かつ地元からの寄付金が増大するかどうかが,Philadelphia Orchestra 生き残りの鍵となるでしょうから,その期待は大きく  Yannick Nezet-Seguin の双肩にかかっているというべきでしょう.

 

 

Philadelphia Orchestra to add more performances to the season

August 22, 2011

By Peter Crimmins

Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the Orchestra's music director who begins this season, says he will conduct more performances than previously scheduled to help the organization thrive.

In November, he will take over the conducting duties from Nicholas McGegan during a week of Italian-themed classical music, including Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini, Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony, Verdi's Overture to La forza del destino, and Respighi's The Pines of Rome.

In naming Nezet-Seguin as music director, the orchestra was banking on the young, charismatic, and wildly talented conductor to help lagging ticket sales. But Philadelphia is not his only gig. He has ongoing committments with the Rotterdam and London, and guest appearances throughout the world.

That he would invest more of his time in Philadelphia is a vote of confidence in the future of the organization.

"It's a very clear signal to all of us that he's going nowhere," said orchestra President Allison Vulgamore. "He's finding more time to spend with us. People have been concerned about that, if some of our necessarily actions are keeping Yannick at abeyance. In fact, it's the opposite."

During the orchestra's bankruptcy proceedings, the administration released a new strategic plan, which the musicians rejected saying they were not involved in the planning and are not confident it will work. They are also engaged in collective bargaining discussions.

Vulgamore said she will be talking with the musicians when they return from their current European tour.


天才Pianist,Yuja Wang のドレスが物議 [音楽時評]

アメリカのLos Angeles Philharmonic のHollywood Bowl 公演で,Yuja Wang が最近若者の間で流行のミニドレスでステージに現れて,ラフマニノフのピアノ協奏曲第3番を好演したのですが,彼女のデザイナーが選んだウルトラ・ミニのドレスが大きな物議を醸し出したようです.

写真入りで,ごらんの通りのミニドレスなので,「今後はクラシック公演に18歳未満入場お断りとすべきだという過激な意見(Pianist はペダリングでよく足を使うので)がある一方,演奏者がどんなドレスで現れるか分からないのにそんな制限を課すのは困るといった慎重論まで,さまざまな意見が飛び交っています.

ネット上で記事を読んだ人から「ご意見」の選択投票を求めるモノまでありますが,ロック音楽で認められていることが何故いけないのかといった反論,あるいは,ミニがいけないというのは19世紀初めからクラシック音楽会が王侯貴族のサロンを出てから,サロンを引きずった男性音楽家のユニフォームは別格として,あとからクラシック界に参加してきた女性音楽家には,そうしたユニフォームが決まってこなかったのだから,自由にしても認められるべきではないか,女性のミニを批判するのは女性差別だ...といった議論が盛り上がっています.

その辺の内容は御自由にご渉猟いただくとして,ここでは写真入りの記事の他に,Anne Mdgette (WashingPost紙の女性評論家Anne Midgette の「Music critic は音楽を評価すべきで,ドレスを評価すべきではない」という批評を並列しておきます.

これが日本だったらどんな評価が現れるのでしょうか?

Classical gasp: Yuja Wang's dress at the Bowl causes a crescendo

Was the pianist's racy, form-fitting mini-dress more appropriate for rock or Rachmaninoff?

Yuja Wang

Chinese pianist Yuja Wang caused a stir in the classical world with her orange mini-dress when she played the Hollywood Bowl. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

                                                                                             
Critic's Notebook: Yuja Wang, dressed to kill

        Music review: Yuja Wang and Lionel Bringuier at Hollywood Bowl

Pianist Yuja Wang struck a chord at the Hollywood Bowl this month and not just with her performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto. The 24-year-old Chinese soloist had necks craning, tongues wagging and flashbulbs popping when she walked on wearing an orange, thigh-grazing, body-hugging dress atop sparkly gold strappy stiletto sandals.

In particular, Wang's outfit was a hot topic at the concert and continued after Times music critic Mark Swed's review appeared in print and online. While Swed praised her delicacy, speed and grace at the piano, his fashion comments — including the observation: "Her dress Tuesday was so short and tight that had there been any less of it, the Bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18 not accompanied by an adult" — have touched off a spirited debate among music critics and bloggers about what constitutes appropriate concert attire and conversely, whether a critique of a performer's clothes has any place in a music review.

It should be noted that while the Los Angeles Philharmonic has a very specific dress code for members of its orchestra (several ones, actually, depending on the time of day and season), it does not apply to soloists. They, according to an L.A. Phil representative, are informed what the orchestra will be wearing and can choose whatever they feel is most appropriate. "For women that's traditionally an evening gown," the rep said, "but that's not always the case."

Critic's Notebook: Yuja Wang, dressed to kill

Although Wang declined, through her management company, to discuss the dress, or why she chose to wear it for that particular performance, others were quick to defend her wardrobe decision.

"I look at Yuja with nothing but total sympathy," said Cameron Carpenter, a 30-year-old Grammy-nominated musician whose often flamboyant attire while playing the organ similarly cuts against expectations. "For one thing, she's a great artist and for another, she looks like about a hundred million dollars in that dress."

Carpenter refers to Wang's wardrobe preferences, like his own (which include Chanel, Valentino, and Vivienne Westwood pieces he's tweaked to his liking), as a performer's "sovereign rights."

"A performer can do anything and everything to present their music in any way they see fit. And therefore, what the performer presents has to be regarded as a total whole. It's much more important that it's genuine self expression.

"What people are missing here is that Yuja might want to be seen to be making, as many of us do, a personal statement without having played a note," Carpenter said. "After all, they see you before they hear you."

That all-of-a-package notion is echoed by Gerald Klickstein, a University of North Carolina School for the Arts faculty member and author of "The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness," a textbook that advises undergraduate music students on all aspects of a music career — including proper attire.

"The moment the audience catches sight of the performer, the performance has begun — their mannerisms, their attire, everything matters." (And as such, Klickstein says, it is fair game for mention in a music review.)

Far from being inappropriate, Klickstein said, Wang's wardrobe was a wholly authentic reflection of artist, set and setting. "She is a magnificent pianist … She's playing in L.A., she's 24, she's a soloist, and there's a lot of excitement in her playing that's being conveyed through her attire. I think it's terrific that she's expressing herself from the stage, and taking full advantage of the visual aspects of a live performance."

While Klickstein (who was not at the concert) said it's hard to know exactly what caused the current concert clothing kerfuffle, he offers one possibility: "If you [look at] the problems facing major orchestras, there's a big challenge in dealing with the major donors with the most conservative tastes and trying to please them while trying to do the kind of innovative work that would draw a younger audience. There's a tendency for audience members to want to have their expectations met and not be surprised.

"Classical music culture is loaded with conformity and obedience, and that's one reason we might see some of this resistance."

Mary Davis, a music professor, chairwoman of the department of music at Case Western Reserve University and author of several books exploring the intersection of music and fashion (including "Ballets Russes Style: Diaghilev's Dancers and Paris Fashion" in 2010 and "Classic Chic: Music, Fashion, and Modernism" in 2006) also pointed to the confounding of expectations. "It cuts against the expectation people usually have that classical music is distant somehow from anything as frivolous or insubstantial as fashion — when it's not at all."

And, while Davis says there's certainly nothing new under the sun when it comes to a soloist dressing to stand out against the black-and-white clad orchestral backdrop, "what is something totally new is the kind of edge that it's testing," she said.

"It's one thing to wear a couture gown that might be strapless but all the way to the ground with whatever heels you want underneath, but to come out in a really, really bright orange mini-dress with revealing cut-outs like that one is a different story. I think that kind of cutting-edge, high-fashion modernity is what created the stir. It doesn't go along with the aesthetic of the classical performance."

Davis dismissed the argument that a soloist's outfit could detract from the performance. "I think the idea that what somebody's wearing will so distract you that you will not be able to pay attention to their performance seems absurd. When she sits down at the piano and starts playing like a maniac, you're going to pay attention to what she's playing. If you're not, you probably shouldn't be there in the first place."

But at least one recently published study suggests that wardrobe choice might well influence audience perception. In her article "Posh Music Should Equal Posh Dress," which appeared in the April 2010 issue of the journal Psychology of Music, British researcher Noola Griffiths, who holds a doctorate in the psychology of performance from the University of Sheffield, asked audience members to rate the skills of female performers dressed in three outfits; jeans and a T-shirt, a "night-clubbing" outfit (which Griffiths describes as a body-conscious outfit consisting of a short skirt and halter-style top), and a floor-length concert dress.

"In addition to being seen as inappropriate," Griffiths said, "the performers in the night-clubbing dress were seen as less technically proficient and less musical than when they were wearing the concert dress. Which told me that this kind of body-focused dressing seems to affect the perception of musical skills."

But, as Davis pointed out, the 24-year-old pianist is so skilled that could hardly qualify as an issue.

"She is one of the stars that's ushering in a new era of technical perfection and polish," Davis said. "So how could you possibly be paying attention to the dress and not hearing what she's doing? I just don't buy it."

And as long as the public buys tickets to watch Yuja Wang play, she will almost assuredly be allowed free rein to sit at the piano wearing whatever she pleases.

Which offends? Her short dress or critic’s narrow view?

Pianist Yuja Wang’s dress at a concert this month at the Hollywood Bowl has given rise to considerable attention.

Should critics review the dress? Should we comment on how classical stars look?

(Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times/LOS ANGELES TIMES) - Young Chinese pianist, Yuja Wang, is soloist in Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, at the Hollywood Bowl on Aug. 02, 2011.

On the one hand, appearance has no bearing on how an artist sounds.

On the other hand, appearance sends a message. Christoph Eschenbach’s Nehru-style jackets are a deliberate step away from the tradition-bound formality of a conductor’s tails, and lots of younger conductors have followed suit, and it’s certainly fair to comment on that when it seems warranted.

And plenty of classical artists are now playing around, more and more deliberately, with the way they look.

There’s a third factor at play, though, when it comes to talking about women’s clothes in this field. Men have a uniform: They either don formal wear or daringly (sarcasm intended) eschew it.

Women do not have a comparable uniform, in part because women’s fashions are more varied and in part because women didn’t play a major role in classical performance in the years when these traditions were being codified. Yes, there were a handful of soloists. But for years, there were few women (if any) in major symphony orchestras, and virtually no female conductors. Female orchestra members and conductors still have to contend with the issue of what they should be wearing on a regular basis.

The criticism of women’s clothing onstage has been a red flag for me ever since Eve Queler said that when she started conducting in the late 1960s, her clothing so dominated her reviews that one critic complained that a zipper glinting on the back of her evening gown was distracting. This is obvious sexism. Unfortunately, the tenor of the discussion of women’s attire in this field has retained more than a hint of this sexist tone ever since.

What “should” women wear on the concert stage? What is “appropriate”? A general rule of thumb appears to be that if it’s sexy, it’s probably not good — indeed, it almost automatically falls into the realm of cheesy pop-style classical crossover. And if it’s revealing, it’s worthy of a lot of comment.

My particular beef is with Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, who was evidently shocked, or titillated, by the dress Wang wore for her Hollywood Bowl appearance Aug. 3.

“Her dress Tuesday was so short and tight,” he wrote, “that had there been any less of it, the Bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18 not accompanied by an adult. Had her heels been any higher, walking, to say nothing of her sensitive pedaling, would have been unfeasible.”

This review and the dress that inspired it have prompted several responses, including a post on the blog Life's a Pitch that questions whether Wang should wear such a dress and equates her attire with the fashion choices of Lady Gaga and Madonna.

Let’s have a reality check for a minute. Yes, the dress is short, tight and revealing. But in the real world — the world outside classical music’s bubble — this is not unusual attire for a young rising starlet in the public eye.

For the sake of comparison — or education — go to the blog Tom and Lorenzo to observe what other young women about Yuja Wang’s age wore at a Hollywood event that took place a few days after Wang’s concert. You can criticize these women for their fashion choices. You can like or dislike what they’re wearing. But these dresses and shoes are not inherently shocking — let alone a cause for restricting admission for those younger than 18. (Some of the women might be younger than 18 themselves.)

Yuja Wang is simply working with designers, the way that other attractive stars her age do — and the way that plenty of opera divas always have, from Renee Fleming’s specially designed gowns by John Galliano, Christian Lacroix and Karl Lagerfeld for her Metropolitan Opera opening in 2008 to Anna Netrebko’s sometimes more unfortunate but often equally revealing options. This field should at least recognize this, rather than drawing up our skirts in horror as if she’s doing something patently unusual.

To Swed’s credit, his review went on to praise Wang’s playing. But he, and all of us, should understand that, rather than shutting the doors to the under-18 set, Wang’s manner (she’s a refreshingly normal, down-to-earth young woman) and attire — as well as her remarkable talent — represent some of the best chances we have of getting those under-18-year-olds into the concert hall to begin with.

8This article originally appeared on Anne Midgette’s blog The Classical Beat,


シャネル・ネクサスホール須藤千晴(pf)リサイタル [音楽時評]

8月20日,銀座シャネル・ネクサスホールに,シャネルピグマリオン・コンサートを聴きに行ってきました.今日は須藤千晴さんのピアノ・ソロだけという予告だったのですが,ヴァイオリンの枝並千花さんが加わったDuo の演奏がプラスされて,通常はほぼ1時間のコンサートが1時間半になっていました.

須藤千晴さんは東京芸大出身で,ドイツ,フランスで研鑽を積み,いくつかのコンクールに入賞後,2008年には紀尾井ホールでソロ・リサイタルを実現した才人です.                                                           枝並千花さんは,桐朋学園出身,いくつものコンクール入賞歴を重ねて,いったん東京交響楽団に入団しますが,再びソロ・活動に復帰して活躍中です.

プログラムは,
                                                                  モーツアルト:  ピアノ・ソナタ第3番 変ロ長調 K.281  
シェーンベルク: 3つのピアノ小品 11 より2曲 
シューベルト:  4つの即興曲 142/D.935 より3,第4曲 
              ※※※※※※※※
R,シュトラウス: ヴァイオリン・ソナタ 作品18 変ホ長調 
でした.

このお2人の中では,私は須藤千晴さんは何度目かになりますが,今日の選曲には興味を感じました.古典派のモーツアルトの落ち着いたソナタのあとに,いきなり12音音階に入る前の無調のシェーンベルクを並べ,そのあとにロマン派に限りなく近いシューベルトの晩年の傑作,即興曲を持ってきたことです.その意欲は高く評価したいと思います.ヴァイオリンが加わらなければ,即興曲 D.935の4曲全部を弾いてくれたのではないかとちょっと残念でしたが,この4曲に関しては20世紀の大ピアニストがたいへん個性的な名演奏をCDに残しており,また来日の機会に聴かせる例も少なくありませんでした.                                                                   それらと云々するのは控えますが,須藤さんなりに思い切って取り上げた到達点は大いに賞賛したいと思います.

さらにシュトラウスのヴァイオリン・ソナタ;が演奏されて,今日のプログラムはいっそう厚みを増しました.とりわけ,作曲者が何故ピアノとヴァイオリンのためのソナタとしなかったかと疑問を関するほどピアノの比重が高いのですが,このいわばDuo  における須藤さんのピアノはたいへん見事だったと思います.
枝並千花さんのヴァイオリンは,私は前に1度聴いたかどうかという記憶ですが,須藤さんとちゃんと渡り合っていたと思います.

来週の土曜日にもシャネルが予定されていますが,楽しみになっています.  


サントリーホール:読響サマーフェスティバル三大協奏曲の夕べ [音楽時評]

8月19日,サントリーホールに読売日本交響楽団サマーフェスティバル三大協奏曲の夕べを聴きに行ってきました.通常のコンサートは序曲等の短い曲+協奏曲が前半にあって,後半に交響曲といった具合ですから,一般には19時開演です.しかし,今夜は協奏曲3曲でしたから,開演が30分早まって,18時半でした.別に三大交響曲の夕べというのもあって,同じように18時半開演になっています.結構,1曲目を聞き逃して入ってきた人がありましたが,それだけお値打ちなコンサートですから,きちんと予定されるとよいでしょう.

三大協奏曲のソリストは,若手実力者を揃えた堂々たる顔ぶれでした.                              ヴァイオリン: 川久保賜紀(2002年チャイコフスキー・コンクール1位なしの2位)                        チェロ:     遠藤真理(第72回日本音楽コンクール1位ほか,ヨーロッパで入賞歴)                     ピアノ:     三浦友里枝(第47回マリア・カナルス国際コンクール,ピアノ部門第1位)                    といった俊英揃いです.

プログラムは, 
                                                                 メンデルスゾーン:  ヴァイオリン協奏曲 ホ短調 作品64 
ドヴォルザーク:   チェロ協奏曲 ロ短調 作品104
                  ※※※※※※※※                                                                             チャイコフスキー:  ピアノ協奏曲第1番変ロ短調 作品23 
でした.

前半の2曲はメンコン,ドボコンといえば理解される超有名曲ですし,チャイコフスキーはヴァイオリンもピアノも有名なのでチャイコンでは通じませんが,チャイコフスキー・コンクールの本選課題曲であり,今年のピアノ部門優勝者トリフォノフが,9月にサントリーホールでのガラ・コンサートで弾くのが今から楽しみです.

超有名曲ですからいちいち説明しませんが,まず,3曲とも転調は別として基本が短調だったことに気がつきましたし,3曲とも急ー緩ー急の3楽章構成です.                                                   メンデルスゾーンの曲では冒頭の2小節目からソロ・ヴァイオリンの美しい旋律が入ります.形式美と旋律美の絶妙なバランスで終始し,しばし美しいメロディが忘れがたく耳に残ります.

ドヴォルザークの協奏曲は,完成はアメリカからチェコに帰国してからで,ボヘミヤの情緒が色濃く散りばめられています.チェロのソロ・パートは比較的高音に傾いて,たいへん美しい旋律であまりにも有名です.この曲の名手ヨーヨーマが今秋この曲を東京で弾く予定が組まれています. 
川久保さんのヴァイオリンの後だっただけに,チェロの音量の豊かさが耳に残りました.ただ,この曲で読響の管楽器が時に不揃いだったのが残念でした.

ピアノ協奏曲は,華麗さとメランコリーが同居した名曲ですが,ピアノの手の動きがかなり速く活発に鍵盤を駆け巡るのが見る目を楽しませます.やや小柄な三浦さんには,鍵盤を一杯に使った打鍵がなかなか大変だったと思います.

3人共,名演だったと思いますが,必ずしも個性的ではなかったと思います.                           その点では,繰り返しになりますが,20世紀の巨匠のレベルを超えたといわれる21世紀の逸材,トリフォノフが,この曲をどう弾きこなすのだろうと考えさせられました.

 

新たなHigh Level の若手Pianists 達 [音楽時評]

この評論は,まず,In the last decade or so the growth of technical proficiency among young pianists has seemed exponential. The new generation that can play anything includes Yuja Wang. とこの10年ほどの間に,ピアニストのテクニックは,これまでの20世紀の巨匠達のレベルを超えて,飛躍的に向上したと書き出しています.どんな難局でも苦もなく名演してしまう代表格にYuja Wang があげられています.

それを立証する名演として,大指揮者Claudio Abbado に選ばれて協演しレコーディングを挙げており,THE latest young pianist from China to excite classical music audiences and earn raves from critics is the 24-year-old Yuja Wang, a distinctive artist with a comprehensive technique. That Ms. Wang is already a musician of consequence was made clear this year when Deutsche Grammophon released her first recording with an orchestra: performances of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Second Piano Concerto with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The conductor is Claudio Abbado, no less, a towering maestro who is extremely discriminating in his choice of collaborators.

スポーツの世界で20世紀半ばに到達したspeed level 次々と打ち破られてきた現象に似て,ピアノの世界でも,半世紀,いや四半世紀前の技術水準はほぼ完全に打ち破られたというのです.in the last decade or so the growth of technical proficiency has seemed exponential. Yes, Ms. Wang, who will make her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in October, can play anything. But in China alone, in recent years, there have been Lang Lang and Yundi Li.

Russia has given us Kirill Gerstein, born in 1979, the latest recipient of the distinguished Gilmore Artist Award, whose extraordinary recording of the Liszt Sonata, Schumann’s mercurial “Humoreske” and a fanciful piece by Oliver Knussen on Myrios Classics was one of the best recordings of 2010.

the 20-year-old Daniil Trifonov, fresh from his victory at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, showed astonishing skills in works by Scriabin, Chopin and Liszt. He has a poetic side that needs developing. Still, this young man is a formidable virtuoso.

A reason that pianists are getting technically stronger is that as in sports, teachers and students are just learning to practice the craft better, becoming better conditioned and getting better results. But another reason is that pianists are rising to the challenges of new music that pushes boundaries. つまり現代作曲家が独自性を求めて難しいレベルの曲を書くのに対応して,ピアニスト達が技術レベルを磨いているという側面がみられるのです.

Listen to 1920s and ’30s recordings of the pianist Alfred Cortot, immensely respected in his day. He would probably not be admitted to Juilliard now. Despite the refinement and élan in his playing, his recording of Chopin’s 24 études from the early 1930s is, by today’s standards, littered with clinkers. 

These days playing the Chopin études with comfort is practically an entry-level requirement for membership in the ranks of professional pianists. As if to announce himself from the outset, the brilliant Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky recorded the complete Chopin études, dazzlingly, for his second album on Erato, released in 2000. Cortot’s performance has sweep and vitality but is full of fudged, careless passages. Mr. Lugansky’s account is not just note perfect and incisive but also colorful and exciting.

A new generation worked tirelessly to achieve technical flawlessness. Critics found that many of these young pianists had “competition chops” but not much else to offer.                      

But more recently younger pianists have not been cookie-cutter virtuosos. Technical excellence is such a given that these artists can cultivate real personality, style and flair: artists like the Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky, whose 2009 recording of Rachmaninoff’s “Études-Tableaux” for Decca is wondrously beautiful, or the highly imaginative Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski, an exceptional Bach interpreter.

I would place essential artists today like Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff among the group with all the technique they need. Among younger pianists, this club would include Jonathan Biss, a sensitive, musically scrupulous player; and one of my new favorites, the young Israeli David Greilsammer, who played an inspiring program at the Walter Reade Theater last year in which he made connections among composers from Monteverdi to John Adams, with stops at Rameau, Janacek, Ligeti and more. He may not be a supervirtuoso. But I find his elegant artistry and pianism more gratifying than the hyperexpressive virtuosity of Lang Lang, whose astonishing technique I certainly salute.   

他に,Evgeny Kissin, one of the most uncannily accomplished pianists of modern times,Martha Argerich. I would add Krystian Zimerman, Marc-André Hamelin and probably Jean-Yves Thibaudet,Stephen Hough  などの名前が挙がっています.

また,こうしたPiano  技術の進歩は,Violin その他の楽器の技術進歩にも貢献していることが論じられteいます.

あとは,どうぞ御自由にご渉猟下さい.

  
  
  
Arts & Leisure

Virtuosos Becoming a Dime a Dozen

Felix Broede/Deutsche Grammophon

In the last decade or so the growth of technical proficiency among young pianists has seemed exponential. The new generation that can play anything includes Yuja Wang.

THE latest young pianist from China to excite classical music audiences and earn raves from critics is the 24-year-old Yuja Wang, a distinctive artist with a comprehensive technique. That Ms. Wang is already a musician of consequence was made clear this year when Deutsche Grammophon released her first recording with an orchestra: performances of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Second Piano Concerto with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The conductor is Claudio Abbado, no less, a towering maestro who is extremely discriminating in his choice of collaborators.

Willie Davis for The New York Times

Yundi Li.

Ms. Wang’s virtuosity is stunning. But is that so unusual these days? Not really. That a young pianist has come along who can seemingly play anything, and easily, is not the big deal it would have been a short time ago.

The overall level of technical proficiency in instrumental playing, especially on the piano, has increased steadily over time. Many piano teachers, critics and commentators have noted the phenomenon, which is not unlike what happens in sports. The four-minute mile seemed an impossibility until Roger Bannister made the breakthrough in 1954. Since then, runners have knocked nearly 17 seconds off Bannister’s time.

Something similar has long been occurring with pianists. And in the last decade or so the growth of technical proficiency has seemed exponential. Yes, Ms. Wang, who will make her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in October, can play anything. But in China alone, in recent years, there have been Lang Lang and Yundi Li.

Russia has given us Kirill Gerstein, born in 1979, the latest recipient of the distinguished Gilmore Artist Award, whose extraordinary recording of the Liszt Sonata, Schumann’s mercurial “Humoreske” and a fanciful piece by Oliver Knussen on Myrios Classics was one of the best recordings of 2010. In June Mr. Gerstein made his New York Philharmonic debut at a Summertime Classics concert with a boldly interpreted and brilliant account of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. But don’t let his probing musicianship distract you. He is another of those younger technicians who have figured out everything about piano playing.

A couple of weeks ago, during the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College the New School for Music in New York, the 20-year-old Daniil Trifonov, fresh from his victory at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, showed astonishing skills in works by Scriabin, Chopin and Liszt. He has a poetic side that needs developing. Still, this young man is a formidable virtuoso.

What long-term effect this trend will have on the field is not clear. Classical music is facing its share of challenges, including declining appreciation of the art form among the general public, and not all segments of the audience are noticing the breakthrough in technical accomplishment that is apparent to insiders: pianists, concert presenters and pianophiles. Because so many pianists are so good, many concertgoers have simply come to expect that any soloist playing the Tchaikovsky First Concerto with the New York Philharmonic will be a phenomenal technician.

A new level of technical excellence is expected of emerging pianists. I see it not just on the concert circuit but also at conservatories and colleges. In recent years, at recitals and chamber music programs at the Juilliard School and elsewhere, particularly with contemporary-music ensembles, I have repeatedly been struck by the sheer level of instrumental expertise that seems a given.

The pianist Jerome Lowenthal, a longtime faculty member at Juilliard, said in a recent telephone interview from California that a phenomenon is absolutely taking place. He observes it in his own studio.

When the 1996 movie “Shine,” about the mentally ill pianist David Helfgott, raised curiosity about Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, Mr. Lowenthal was asked by reporters whether this piece was as formidably difficult as the movie had suggested. He said that he had two answers: “One was that this piece truly is terribly hard. Two was that all my 16-year-old students were playing it.”

Some months ago I was speaking about the issue with the pianist Gilbert Kalish, who teaches at Stony Brook University on Long Island. He said that when Gyorgy Ligeti’s études, which explore new realms of texture, sound and technique at the piano, gained attention in the 1990s, they were considered nearly impossible. Only experts like the French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard could play them, it was thought. But now, thanks to greater familiarity, Mr. Kalish said, “my students at Stony Brook play them quite comfortably.”

Expanding on this subject in a recent e-mail Mr. Kalish wrote that composers always push at the boundaries: “Someone creates a work of extraordinary difficulty that seems unplayable and then, simply because it exists (and is excellent), people rise to the occasion, and we find that it was indeed possible.”

This seems a crucial point. A reason that pianists are getting technically stronger is that as in sports, teachers and students are just learning to practice the craft better, becoming better conditioned and getting better results. But as Mr. Kalish suggests, another reason is that pianists are rising to the challenges of new music that pushes boundaries.

Sergei Ilnitsky/European Pressphoto Agency

Daniil Trifonov.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Kirill Gerstein.

This phenomenon should be seen in historical context. The first several decades of the 20th century are considered a golden era by many piano buffs, a time when artistic imagination and musical richness were valued more than technical perfection. There were certainly pianists during that period who had exquisite, impressive technique, like Josef Lhevinne and Rachmaninoff himself. And white-hot virtuosos like the young Vladimir Horowitz wowed the public.

But audiences and critics tolerated a lot of playing that would be considered sloppy today. Listen to 1920s and ’30s recordings of the pianist Alfred Cortot, immensely respected in his day. He would probably not be admitted to Juilliard now. Despite the refinement and élan in his playing, his recording of Chopin’s 24 études from the early 1930s is, by today’s standards, littered with clinkers.

These days playing the Chopin études with comfort is practically an entry-level requirement for membership in the ranks of professional pianists. As if to announce himself from the outset, the brilliant Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky recorded the complete Chopin études, dazzlingly, for his second album on Erato, released in 2000.

It is fascinating to compare Mr. Lugansky’s performance of Chopin’s First Étude with Cortot’s. (Both are available on YouTube.) The piece is a study in right-hand arpeggios, which race up and down the keyboard as the left hand adds a grounding bass line in octaves. Cortot’s performance has sweep and vitality but is full of fudged, careless passages. Mr. Lugansky’s account is not just note perfect and incisive but also colorful and exciting.

There is a danger in pursuing perfection. After Van Cliburn won the 1958 Tchaikovsky Competition and became a household name, every young pianist saw competitions as the route to fame and success. A new generation worked tirelessly to achieve technical flawlessness. Critics found that many of these young pianists had “competition chops” but not much else to offer.

But more recently younger pianists have not been cookie-cutter virtuosos. Technical excellence is such a given that these artists can cultivate real personality, style and flair: artists like the Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky, whose 2009 recording of Rachmaninoff’s “Études-Tableaux” for Decca is wondrously beautiful, or the highly imaginative Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski, an exceptional Bach interpreter.

During every era of the piano there were players who were superb artists with more on their minds than dazzling virtuosity. You might divide pianists into two basic groups: those who have the technique to play anything and those who have all the technique they need, thank you, to play the music that is meaningful to them.

A good example of a pianist with all the technique he needed was Rudolf Serkin, a hero to me as a piano student. Serkin had a thorough technique. But nothing came easily to him, as he said in many interviews. You could argue that playing the daunting Brahms concertos and Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata with the authority and excitement that Serkin brought to them was harder in a way than dashing off Prokofiev’s finger-twisting Third Piano Concerto or the mighty Liszt Sonata, pieces he did not perform.

I would place essential artists today like Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida and Andras Schiff among the group with all the technique they need. Among younger pianists, this club would include Jonathan Biss, a sensitive, musically scrupulous player; and one of my new favorites, the young Israeli David Greilsammer, who played an inspiring program at the Walter Reade Theater last year in which he made connections among composers from Monteverdi to John Adams, with stops at Rameau, Janacek, Ligeti and more. He may not be a supervirtuoso. But I find his elegant artistry and pianism more gratifying than the hyperexpressive virtuosity of Lang Lang, whose astonishing technique I certainly salute.

Besides, the group of play-anything pianists, of which Mr. Lang is a leader, is getting pretty big. Among them you would have to include Garrick Ohlsson, who not only plays with resourceful mastery but seems to play everything, including all the works of Chopin. I would include Leif Ove Andsnes, an artist I revere, who does not call attention to himself but plays with exquisite technique and vibrant musicality.

This list goes on. Martha Argerich can be a wild woman at the piano, but who cares? She has stupefying technique and arresting musical ideas. I would add Krystian Zimerman, Marc-André Hamelin and probably Jean-Yves Thibaudet to this roster. There are others, both older and younger pianists. Again, lovers of the piano can disagree about the musical approaches of these tremendous artists. But that they are all active right now suggests that a new level of conquering the piano has been reached.

You could argue that younger performers are expanding the boundaries of technique in other instruments as well, especially the violin and the cello. But singers are the exception to this trend. One obvious reason is that while the instruments themselves have not changed that much in the last century, every voice is unique to a person and a body. Though there are certain time-tested principles, each singer must come to terms with his or her own voice.

With pianists getting better and better, so many are so good that, paradoxically, I am less impressed by virtuosity. Last season Evgeny Kissin, one of the most uncannily accomplished pianists of modern times, played a remarkable Liszt recital at Carnegie Hall. After Mr. Kissin’s Liszt Sonata a piano enthusiast sitting near me asked, “Have you ever heard the piece played so magnificently?”

I said that the performance was indeed amazing, but that actually, yes, I had heard a comparably magnificent performance on the same stage a few months earlier during a recital by Stephen Hough. Mr. Hough’s playing was just as prodigious technically, and I found his conception more engrossing. He reconciled the episodic sections of this teeming work into an awesome entity.

Mr. Hough is another pianist who can play anything. Join the club.


シャネル・ネクサスホール永野光太郎(pf)リサイタル [音楽時評]

8月は夏休みの学生さんが多いのか,シャネルの抽選に入って,久しぶりにシャネルで永野光太郎さんのピアノリサイタルを聴いてきました.

1988年生まれといいますから23歳というところでしょうか.昨年のシャネル・ピグマリオン参加者ということですが,少し伸び悩んでいる感じでした.というのは,次のブログで紹介するNewYork Times の音楽評が,近年の若手ピアニストの成長は素晴らしく,20世紀の巨匠達のレベルを超えて一段と高いレベルに成長したという評論を読んでいたからです.そこで新しき大家としてあげられているのは,ランラン,ユンディ・り,ユジャ・ワン,年かさでキーシンなどです. 
日本人でこうした大家に仲間入りしそうなのは,内田光子は別格として,河村尚子くらいではないでしょうか.小菅優が急に遅れ始めたのが気になっているところです.彼女が来年正月早々,市川市行徳公民館でリサイタルを開くと聞いて,「何故?」と驚いています.そこは最初はかなり優れた音楽ホールだったのですが,あっという間に中学校のブラスバンドを乗せるためにステージを前に張り出したため,いっぺんに音が駄目になってしまっているからです.

余談になってしまいましたが,今日の永野光太郎のプログラムは,                                  ハイドン:    エステルハージ・ソナタ第2番 ホ長調 Hob.XVI.22
ハイドン:     エステルハージ・ソナタ第3番 ヘ長調 Hob.XVI.23 
            ※※※※※※※    
ドビュッシー:  ベルガマスク組曲より 「月の光」          
   同      :    12の練習曲より 「半音階のために」  
   同      :    映像第2集より 「金魚の色」 
ラフマニノフ:  前奏曲 嬰ト短調 作品32-12
    同     :    練習曲集「音の絵」より第9番 ニ短調 作品39
でした.

3人の作曲家の作品を,丁寧に弾き分けていたのはなかなか良かったと思います.現在は八王子に在住のダン・タイ・ソン等に師事しているそうですが,いっそうの成長を期待したいと思います.

, 

An Exuberant Conductor and a Starry Violinist [音楽時評]

New York  で開かれている (かつて日本でも平行して開かれていた)Mostly Morzart Festival にたいへん魅力的なスペインうまれの指揮者,Pablo Heras-Casado と Starry Violinist, Joshua Bellが登場して,たいへん人気と評価を集めたようです.

ここでも Joshua Bell はone of the few reliable marquee names in classical music today.と評価されています.

それと並んで高評価なのが,An Exuberant Conductor,Pablo Heras-Casado です.まだ33歳の若さながら,トップ・ステージへの最短距離にいるのでは,と絶賛されています.acolyte of Pierre Boulez and a rising star, fresh from a headline-grabbing run of Toshio Hosokawa’s opera “Matsukaze” in Berlin and appearances at the Tanglewood and Caramoor festivals. And he was sensational.

当夜の曲目は,
Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4. 
Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, &  
Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor,                                   

だったようですが,この2人とも,まったく素晴らしかったそうです. 

これからの Pablo Heras-Casado の動向がたいへん注目されます.    

  
Music Review

An Exuberant Conductor and a Starry Violinist

Ruby Washington/The New York Times

Mostly Mozart The conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, left, and Joshua Bell, center, at Avery Fisher Hall.

It seems entirely likely that many in the large, enthusiastic audience that turned out for a performance by the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall on Friday night were drawn there by the starry soloist, Joshua Bell. A consistently excellent and broadly appealing violinist, Mr. Bell is one of the few reliable marquee names in classical music today.

It also seems safe to say that those audience members got more than they bargained for. Before the concert, and even more during intermission, you could hear people asking one another about the baby-faced, ebullient conductor. He was Pablo Heras-Casado, a 33-year-old Spanish acolyte of Pierre Boulez and a rising star, fresh from a headline-grabbing run of Toshio Hosokawa’s opera “Matsukaze” in Berlin and appearances at the Tanglewood and Caramoor festivals. And he was sensational.

Most members of a stripped-down complement from the orchestra stood for the first work on the program, Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4. Working without a score or a baton, Mr. Heras-Casado elicited regal grandeur in the Ouverture, genial sparkle in the inner dance movements and buoyant dash in the final Réjouissance.

Mr. Bell, at 43 a seasoned veteran, was entirely in his element with Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, a Romantic war horse refreshed and enlivened by Mr. Bell’s panache and commitment, and by Mr. Heras-Casado’s sympathetic accompaniment with the full orchestra.

Endowed with sweetly spun melodies and a bravura finale, the concerto is an unapologetic showpiece for a virtuoso performer. Hearing Mr. Bell play it, you were convinced that there was no finer, more persuasive advocate for this kind of repertory. Lawrence DiBello, the principal horn player, brought precision and gorgeous tone to luminous passages in which his lines caressed Mr. Bell’s. The audience responded tumultuously.

Concluding the concert was an account of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, stirring for its brisk tempos, taut rhythms, transparent textures and refined solo work by the principal winds. The finale came with an almost breathless whoosh; at one point you saw double-bass players sharing smiles after a particularly arduous passage. Still, speed and clarity never shortchanged drama.

Conducting purists enamored of the old-school motionless maestro who worked wonders with a cocked eyebrow or raised pinky might have pooh-poohed disapprovingly at the expressive, exuberant gestures and dance steps involved in Mr. Heras-Casado’s podium choreography. For everyone else the results he achieved were something to savor; you left wanting to hear him conduct more, and soon. Happily, his next appearances are scheduled for Monday night.


朝日カルチャーセンター:河村尚子シューマンを奏でるー「フモレスケ」を中心にー [音楽時評]

8月88日,新宿の朝日カルチャーセンターに,公開講座;シューマンを奏でるー「フモレスケ」を中心にーを聴きに行ってきまた.演奏者は最近この曲をレコーディングした気鋭の河村尚子で,講師として音楽評論家,舩木篤也が参加していました.

河村尚子の演奏はフモレスケ(=英語でHumorから派生)を左手と右手のバランスを巧みに操りながら曲想を明らかにしていく素晴らしいモノでしたし,ドイツ,ハノーファー在住の河村がこの曲の楽譜にパリ郊外の古本屋で出会い,1.5Euro と未だ学生だった彼女にも買える値段だったったエピソードなどはたいへん興味深いモノでしたし,教材として配布された裏表の楽譜で,一部にト音記号ラインとヘ音記号ラインの中間に,Innere Stimme と記されたヘ音記号の中間ラインが加わり,ピアノ楽譜が3段になっている箇所の説明,とりわけ,クララ・シューマンが「このラインは弾く必要はない,Not to be played」と楽譜に明記していることなどなど...はたいへん興味深く聴けました.

しかし,舩木篤也がいただけなかったのは,この曲を1楽章の曲と紹介しただけで,一般に書かれているこの曲の5部ないしコーダを含めて6部構成の説明を,全くしなかったことです. 
1. Einfach: Sehr rasch und leicht/単純に,非常に早くて軽く
2. Hastig/いそがしく
3. Einfach und zart: Intermezzo/単純にかつ優しく間奏曲
4. Innig/親密に
5. Sehr lebhaft: Mit einigen Pomp. Zum Beschluss: Allegro/非常に活発に若干の壮麗さをもって
6. (集結)

つまりプログラムなしで曲を聴かされた訳ですから,最後の30分にわたった演奏を聴いていた方々が,ピアノ専攻の人たちは別として,時々「切れ目」が入るのに「何故?」と思われたのではないでしょうか?

私は何度もここのレクチャー・コンサートに参加していますが,およそ評論家講師は不必要で,むしろ演奏家自身に曲を自由に語らせるべきだと考えます.

その点では,五島みどりが自らのホームページで,演奏曲の解説を書き貯めているのは大いに見習って良いことだと信ずるモノです.

朝日カルチャーセンターは,その点では評論家+演奏家のレクチャーコンサート形式がほぼマンネリ化してしまっているようですが,今後,是非,旧態依然を改善して欲しいモノです.


Anne Midgette: 最近の音楽評ブログ [音楽時評]

Anne Midgette の音楽評を読む機会が減っています.それは彼女が所属する Wall Street Journal が有料制になったからです.それに彼女がいうように,on vacation だったこともあります.

ここで取り上げているのは,今真っ盛りのSummer Festival ですが,まずワシントン周辺から始めています.starting with the DC area’s own national park for the performing arts, Wolf Trap, なのですが,それがかつてとすっかり変わったと書いています.もうクラシックから離れてきたというのです.although Wolf Trap used to offer the likes of Jessye Norman and Aaron Copland and Martha Graham and now offers things like Video Games Live and the Sing-along Sound of Music, it’s not Wolf Trap that’s changed...

何が変わったかが問題ですが,彼女は,Back in 1971, it was easier to find 7,000 people who wanted to hear Julius Rudel conduct a scene from Boito’s “Mephistofele” than it is, today, to fill a house with yet another all-Tchaikovsky program.と聴衆の嗜好が大きく変化したというのです.

今日では,満席の聴衆を集められるクラシック音楽家は,today there are only five classical artists who can reliably sell out a concert: Renee Fleming, Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, and Itzhak Perlman. (No one said these were the best artists, just that they were the ones with this particular kind of star power.)しかいないというのです.

そこで重要な問いかけは,The question of whether Wolf Trap could be more artistically ambitious, or satisfying, is another one. What are your thoughts on Wolf Trap’s programming, then and now? Do you regularly attend? And what are your thoughts on the declining numbers of classical-music superstars.

アメリカやヨーロッパ,そして日本や中国を含む各国が現在直面している経済的危機,とりわけその背景に各国政府財政が直面する放漫な赤字体質があり,これから世界的に緊縮財政を迫られるとすると,わが国の,放漫財政に乗った過剰な音楽ホール群,各種音楽団体群は,これからどう対応していけるのでしょうか???

巧みな,世界的?小澤征爾のNHK売り込みでつないできた松本フエスティバルでさえ,今年は,無名のヴェネズエラ出身指揮者のオーケストラ・コンサートのチケットが未だに売れ残っています.                          

3.11の大震災で,あっけなく崩落した最新式の川崎ミューザ・ホールを,川崎市が崩落の原因究明も報告しないまま,22億余の予算を計上して修復するそうですが,果たして,聴衆はそんなホールに詰めかけるのでしょうか?

余談にわたりましたが,国費を誤魔化して受領し続けた室内歌劇場問題も含めて,わが国のクラシック界も,いろいろな意味で再検討を迫られているのではないでしょうか?

 

Of Wolf Trap and other festivals

This blog has been taking an unannounced vacation this month. To help ease back into the swing of things, here are links to some coverage of the region’s summer festivals, starting with the DC area’s own national park for the performing arts, Wolf Trap, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer. In an article that runs in the print edition this weekend, I argue that although Wolf Trap used to offer the likes of Jessye Norman and Aaron Copland and Martha Graham and now offers things like Video Games Live and the Sing-along Sound of Music, it’s not Wolf Trap that’s changed: what’s changed is the nature of the basically middlebrow audience that Wolf Trap serves. Back in 1971, it was easier to find 7,000 people who wanted to hear Julius Rudel conduct a scene from Boito’s “Mephistofele” than it is, today, to fill a house with yet another all-Tchaikovsky program. I was particularly struck by hearing from several independent sources that today there are only five classical artists who can reliably sell out a concert: Renee Fleming, Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, and Itzhak Perlman. (No one said these were the best artists, just that they were the ones with this particular kind of star power.)

The question of whether Wolf Trap could be more artistically ambitious, or satisfying, is another one. What are your thoughts on Wolf Trap’s programming, then and now? Do you regularly attend? And what are your thoughts on the declining numbers of classical-music superstars.


BBC Proms:絶賛されたVerdi's Requiem [音楽時評]

BBC Proms はLondon で真っ盛りのようですが,そのなかでも7月25日のVerdy, Requiem はたいへん好評を博したようです.Verdi’s 'Requiem’ reaches divine heights . Rating: * * * * * という絶賛の言葉,divine heights の表現が見いだしに含まれています.

今回は,指揮者に Semyon Bychkov,オケにBBC Symphony Orchestra,合唱団に the BBC Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, and the London Philharmonic Choir を得て, much hinges on the performance. It needs to be attuned to the music’s hushed intimacy as much as its blazing intensity, and on that level this one succeeded magnificently. と賞賛されています.

At the very opening, the three choirs intoned the words “Requiem aeternam” with such hesitant awe that one barely registered the sound.

the conductor, Semyon Bychkov, really had the work under his skin. He made it seem urgent and pleading, especially in those moments that in some performances can seem emptily grand, such as the brass fanfares in the “Dies irae”.

much of the credit must go to the marvellous quartet of soloists,soprano Marina Poplavskaya,mezzo-soprano Mariana Pentcheva,Joseph Calleja’s tenor,bass Ferrucio Furlanetto,  all dressed appropriately in black. They were so well contrasted they seemed like an allegory of different human types.

Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya has one of those voices that pierces you instantly, without being aurally dazzling or seductive. More straightforwardly appealing was Joseph Calleja’s tenor, which, as always, had that laser-like quality of perfect focus.

The most emotionally fraught voice on stage belonged to the Italian bass Ferrucio Furlanetto, who seemed to bring the wisdom of ages to his words. His line “Salve me, fons pietatis” – save me, thou fount of pity – provided the most profound moment of the entire evening.

メゾソプラノは代役だったハンディがありましたが,Her vibrato was distractingly wide, but even so there was a winning warmth about her performance, and she made the perfect contrast to Poplavskaya’s purity in the tender duet of the “Recordare”. と見事にその役を果たしたようです,

評者は,In all, I felt I was witnessing a classic performance of this great piece. Don’t miss the BBC Four broadcast on August 21. と結んでいます.

BBC Proms 2011: Prom 13, Verdi's Requiem, Albert Hall, review

Verdi’s 'Requiem’ reaches divine heights . Rating: * * * * *

Many would say Verdi’s Requiem achieves that, but much hinges on the performance. It needs to be attuned to the music’s hushed intimacy as much as its blazing intensity, and on that level this one succeeded magnificently.

At the very opening, the three choirs – the BBC Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, and the London Philharmonic Choir – intoned the words “Requiem aeternam” with such hesitant awe that one barely registered the sound.

As the performance unfolded it became clear that the conductor, Semyon Bychkov, really had the work under his skin. He made it seem urgent and pleading, especially in those moments that in some performances can seem emptily grand, such as the brass fanfares in the “Dies irae”.

But much of the credit must go to the marvellous quartet of soloists, all dressed appropriately in black. They were so well contrasted they seemed like an allegory of different human types.

The most emotionally fraught voice on stage belonged to the Italian bass Ferrucio Furlanetto, who seemed to bring the wisdom of ages to his words. His line “Salve me, fons pietatis” – save me, thou fount of pity – provided the most profound moment of the entire evening.

The one slightly jarring note came from mezzo-soprano Mariana Pentcheva, who was standing in for an indisposed Sonia Ganassi.

Her vibrato was distractingly wide, but even so there was a winning warmth about her performance, and she made the perfect contrast to Poplavskaya’s purity in the tender duet of the “Recordare”.

In all, I felt I was witnessing a classic performance of this great piece. Don’t miss the BBC Four broadcast on August 21.


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