Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Venue: Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, California, 90012 Date: Wednesday, 26 October 2016 – 8:00 PM Presenter: Los Angeles Philharmonic 323-850-2000 www.laphil.com Artists: Hilary Hahn (Violin), and Robert Levine, piano Program: J. S Bach: Sonata No. 6 in G Major for Violin and Piano, BWV. 1019 Anton Garcia Abril: Solo Partita for Violin Mozart: Violin Sonata in E-flat Major for Violin and Piano, K. 481 Intermission Hans Peter Türk: Träume (solo piano, written for Robert Levin) Schubert: Rondo in B Minor for Violin and Piano, D. 895 Here is Hilary Hahn as soloist, performing the violin concerto by Johannes Brahms:
The English musician Thomas Adès, esteemed composer, pianist, and conductor who this season becomes the BSO’s first Artistic Partner, looks to be settling into a large role as contributor to the local classical scene. On October 28th he performs Schubert’s Winterreise at Jordan Hall with the acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge, in a joint presentation of the BSO and the Celebrity Series. Two days later, October 30th, Adès joins the BSO Chamber Players and mezzo Kelley O’Connor as pianist and conductor to open the ensemble’s with his own own Court Studies from the Tempest, the Trout Quintet, Britten’s Sinfonietta for Winds and Strings, plus chamber arrangements of Shakespeare-oriented songs by Brahms, Stravinsky, and Purcell. Wednesday November 2 at the Goethe-Institut, he will participate in a free “conversations with creators”; student composers from Boston-area music schools will also attend Adès’s BSO rehearsal the next day and participate in a conductor / composer Q&A afterward. That day and the next two, the new Artistic Partner leads the orchestra and soloists Christianne Stotijn and Mark Stone in his own acclaimed Totentanz for mezzo, baritone, and orchestra, Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, and Sibelius’s Tapiola. Premiered in 2013 at the BBC Proms, Totentanz sets a 15th-century text telling of a charismatic and gleefully macabre Grim Reaper and the procession of his many victims, whom the audience meets in descending order of social standing. Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem is dramatically expressive, while Sibelius’s atmospheric final orchestral poem, Tapiola, is one of the composer’s many works based on Finnish legend; the BSO hasn’t performed it for 40 years. Adès’s rich commitment to the BSO as Deborah and Philip Edmundson Artistic Partner will span over the next three years a range of activities reflecting his gifts as one of the great musical minds of the 21st century. Britten’s dramatic early orchestral work was written in 1940 for a commission from Japan to celebrate its 2600th anniversary. But the government found its Christian underpinnings, Latin movement titles, and contemplative mood unacceptable. By the time it was premiered, by the New York Philharmonic in 1941, Pearl Harbor had been attacked and Britten had taken up residence in the US as a conscientious objector. “I’m making it just as anti-war as possible,” wrote the pacifist composer. I don’t believe you can express social or political or economic theories in music, but by coupling new music with well-known musical phrases, I think it’s possible to get over certain ideas.” Tapiola was written in 1926, its subject the frigid, forbidding Finnish pine forests and Tapio, their ﬁerce god-spirit, who rules over the trees and wildlife. After a blustery opening, all sense of time is suspended, and for nearly 20 minutes the music creates a remarkable picture of the stark landscape via the composer’s archetypical orchestration: breezy sighs and freezing gusts from the strings and high winds rustling leaves on branches and on the forest ﬂoor, brasses and timpani creating a shifting sense of three-dimensional space. Thomas Adès’s Dance of Death was composed in 2013 and sets a text that accompanied a 15th-century German frieze depicting Death (the baritone) dancing with individuals from all strata of humanity (the mezzo), from pope and cardinal to maiden and child. The work is both macabre and funny and reminds the listener that totentanz is the one dance none of us may refuse—“one we all have to join in,” the composer points out. “[The music] is supposed to be at the same time terrifying, leveling, and funny—absurd … the thing that makes it comic is the total powerlessness of everybody, no matter who they are.” Thomas Ades leads the Boston Symphony (Stu Rosner photo) Adès joins frequent collaborator the English tenor Ian Bostridge for a performance of Schubert’s song cycle for voice and piano set to 24 poems by the poet Wilhelm Müller depicting the journey of a lonesome, griefstricken traveler who leaves love behind and contemplates his mortality on a frozen winter road. Six excerpts from the composer’s 2004 opera the Tempest make up Court Studies, for violin, cello, clarinet, and piano. Three other Shakespeare-inspired works are included: Brahms’s Ophelia-Lieder, arranged by John Woolrich for voice and chamber ensemble; Stravinsky’s Three Shakespeare Songs; and Two Songs from Purcell’s Tempest arranged by Adès for voice and piano. All three feature mezzo Kelley O’Connor. To open the BSCP program, the musicians perform music by another groundbreaking English composer, Britten’s three-movement Sinfonietta, written in 1932. Occupying the second half of the program is Schubert’s surpassingly tuneful Trout Quintet for piano and strings, which the composer completed when he was just 22. The Boston Symphony Chamber Players feature first-desk string, woodwind, and brass players from the BSO, and the October 30th concert features Malcolm Lowe, violin; Haldan Martinson, violin; Steven Ansell, viola; Mihail Jojatu, cello; Edwin Barker, bass; Elizabeth Rowe, flute; John Ferrillo, oboe; William R. Hudgins, clarinet; Michael Wayne, clarinet; Richard Svoboda, bassoon; and James Sommerville, horn. The post Thomas Adès Now: Present and Peripatetic appeared first on The Boston Musical Intelligencer .
I heard Mr. Tharaud play the music of Chopin this morning. It was direct, sensitive, fluid, musical, and satisfying. Then I did some searching and located his playing of Schubert’s Impromptus. That is when I decided that I must share his music with y’all… There are few recordings by this artist available right now. I found Bach, Rachmaninov, and one more. I like what I heard… Here is Mr. Tharaud playing Schubert:
Performers are making special efforts these days to enhance music content. It is rarely adequate to simply perform a masterpiece. Often a well known composition is augmented by other works in order to enhance the listener’s experience. Now we have this new recording of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, where individual movements are augmented with other old and new works. Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D810 ‘Death and the Maiden’ 1 Toden Tanz, From ‘Tabulaturbuch Auff Dem Instrumente’ Augustus Nörmiger 02:32 2 Byzantine Chant On Psalm 140 For Solo Violin And Strings Anonymous 02:09 3 Quartet In D Minor, D.810, ‘Death And The Maiden’ I. Allegro Franz Schubert 16:22 4 Pavan (Lachrimae Antiquae Novae) From Seaven Teares For String Quintet John Dowland 02:57 5 Quartet In D Minor, D.810, ‘Death And The Maiden’ II. Andante Con Moto Franz Schubert 13:48 6 Madrigal: ‘Moro, Lasso, Al Mio Duolo’ For String Quintet Carlo Gesualdo 03:19 7 Quartet In D Minor, D.810, ‘Death And The Maiden’ III. Scherzo. Allegro Molto Franz Schubert 03:37 8 Ligatura-Message To Frances-Maria (The Answered Unanswered Question), Opus 31B György Kurtág 05:01 9 Ruhelos’ (‘Restless’) From Kafka Fragments For Violin, Op. 24 György Kurtág 00:26 10 Quartet In D Minor, D.810, ‘Death And The Maiden’ IV. Presto Franz Schubert 08:49 All performed by Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin), with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Patricia Kopatchinskaja tells us that: “With the wonderful Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra we are presently exploring Schubert’s quatuor ‘Death and the maiden’. Of course we have to include Schubert’s earlier song with the same title on the poem of Matthias Claudius. This song belongs to the medieval tradition of the dance of death. Therefore we also play „Toden Tanz“ (with poor me dancing), an ancient death dance written up by the German organ player August Nörmiger (1560-1613). Schubert’s song and the slow movement of his quatuor use the solemn rhythm of a Pavan, so we also play one of Dowland’s Pavans from „Seven Teares“. Add to this „Moro lasso“ a madrigal about death by the famous Renaissance composer (and murderer!) Gesualdo. In between we also refresh our ears with other unsettling works by modern composers like György Kurtag and Heinz Holliger.” Here are some highlights of this recording:
After hearing Gabriela Montero Monday afternoon in Sanders Theater, I went home, and before my mystical feelings passed, sat down to play better piano than I had any right to expect. Montero had played and advocated as guest of Lespau, a Harvard affiliate celebrating 50 years of connecting Latin America and the Caribbean with opportunities for quality higher education. Montero’s the total package. She reveals a monster-scary technique, but that’s not what you take away. She’s about the music, being in the moment, with an unreal level of concentration (Barenboim-like, but with more piano coloring). She generates more warmth from her right little finger than a nuclear reactor, along with gorgeous sound, and extended musical arcs of lyric melody. That’s what you take away. She is known as much for her improvising as for her improvisatory takes on standard repertoire. In the latter halves of many of her recitals she fills in the blanks after asking the audience to supply a theme—it must be sung, not simply named—then she goes to town. Remarkable, the way she can incorporate so many classical musical styles and periods into a single creation on a theme, totally on the fly. Jazzy, too. Leading into this program, I was most excited about the improvisations promised. And she delivered, on all two of them. Just Two? I forgave her on the spot (of course), because I couldn’t imagine a better, or more satisfying, performance of the Schubert or Schumann that the first part of her program comprised. But more on that little finger. Trust me, eyes and ears were trained on that finger, mostly during the four Schubert Impromptus, Op. 90, D. 899, where said finger got a considerable share of the music’s focus, particularly in the 3rd Impromptu. She must have started learning these pieces at age six. Such old friends they seemed. Not that they sounded old, like early 19th century German period pieces, which would have been just fine. They were fresh, universal sounding. Though I usually find these impromptus in need of whittling down, with so much repetition of musical ideas, Montero made these not-so-small pieces hum (vibrate), and dance, with grace, mass, and (importantly) structure. Again, I’m reminded of Barenboim, relentless in the loud, aggressive sections Beethoven’s last movement of the Waldstein, while so quiet throughout the initial theme and its returns, but as a result, bringing structure to the work, making us hear the movement (and work) as a whole. Montero brought scale to the set of four with blood-pulsing life. She is a master of subdivision on a minute (emphasis on second syllable) scale, and her Impromptus unfolded rhythmically from so many different temporal gears that it gave her, almost paradoxically, the power to bend time, if she so wished. And so wish she did, but not initially. That would come with time, because she indulged in only the barest rhythmic nuance in the opener. This was not Brendel’s Schubert. It was classically structured all the same, but with more: more power, more sectional contrast, more drama, more quiet, more breadth, more noble sorrow, and more singing. Such singing! And when that ever-slight nuance came, she made the works her own. If you wished, you could hear increments of four, sixteen, and 32 between the larger musical pulse. You could almost see humming birds drawn to and hovering above. There’s a lot of reverb in Sanders. My colleague found some of Montero’s playing to be just a little over-legato, but not over-pedaled. I hadn’t noticed. It was certainly never brittle. Triplets in the 2nd and 4th impromptu shimmered, with all the repetition serving to mesmerize rather than sound like repetition. Both impromptus danced, bounced lightly (with all that de-emphasis of the 3rd beat), and melodies (be it played with right little finger or left thumb) soared. In the 3rd impromptu we marveled at her rubato. Montero could extract as much time between those right little finger melodic notes as she wanted, and it all worked because she was (as were we) so much in the moment as the piece pulsed. Before the close, double-forte drama had unfolded with the same gorgeous sound as her floating pianissimos. Carnival had all the stop-start-accelerate-turn-get loud-get soft-spin-on-a-dime Sturm und Drang one could desire. It was much like Matsuev’s marvelous rendition at Sanders two years before, but perhaps imbued more warmth, and more ache. Big, tiny, and intimate at once. Gabriela Montero (Shelly Mosman photo) Her virtuoso arsenal included joyous bursts of sound, whisper quiet octaves then huge washes of sound, left hand leaping over the keyboard (much fun to watch), orchestral playing but über-pianistic. Her piano pleaded and waltzed about with wit and wackiness—no shying away from those Schumann-ic schizophrenic shifts of character; extra pronounced they were—all leading to an exultant, joyous close. After the Schumann, Montero announced she would be playing two improvisations. One on an audience-provided theme, the other on a theme she would introduce based on her homeland. It took all of two moments for her to get her bearings with Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind.” She played the theme, then launched into a Mozart variation, then riffed into a dizzying array of styles, moods, and modes on the Dylan theme, adding and dispensing with her own creative supporting material along the way. It was a hoot! And an audience delight. An ardent activist and spokesperson for her native Venezuela, Montero spoke briefly of her country’s descent into lawlessness, corruption, and violence. But, she said, she is absolutely convinced things will get better. Her improvisation, she said, would start from fear and despair, but would end with quiet triumph. A dark and haunting theme emerged, quietly. It, too, descended into violence, before rising from tones of despair to sounds of hope. If there was some slight self-indulgence in this improvisation, it was entirely warranted. Montero has blood in her veins, marrow in her bones, and age in her soul. She played with passion and sinew while projecting great composure. I was the one to have had a fine meltdown. Jim McDonald has masters degrees in arts administration and piano performance from the University of Iowa, where he studied with John Simms. He has presented chamber music for 25 years. The post A Committed Montero Triumphs appeared first on The Boston Musical Intelligencer .
Franz Schubert (January 31, 1797 November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. Appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited, but interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death at the age of 31. Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, among others, discovered and championed his works in the 19th Century. Today, Schubert is admired as one of the leading exponents of the early Romantic era in music and he remains one of the most frequently performed composers.
Great composers of classical music