Friday, 29 October 2010

Gustav Mahler symphony nr 2. Berliner Philharmonie.

Berlin Philharmonics
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Kate Royal Soprano
Magdalena Kozena Mezzo soprano
Berlin Radio Choir

Arnold Schönberg "A survivor from Warsaw"
for narrator, male chorus and orchestra.
Hanns Zichler narrator

Gustav Mahler symphony nr 2 c-minor. "Auferstehung"
For big orchestra, choir and soloists.

"A survivor from Warsaw" is a dramatic piece written by Schönberg in 1947.
The initial inspiration came from the Russian dancer Corinne Chochem to pay tribute to the jewish victims in the holocaust. They desided to work on the piece together. But it didn't work.
So Schönberg wrote the piece on his own.
The narration depicts a story of a survivor from Warsaw during the second world war. He doesn't remember how he ended up living in the sewers.
He tells the story of how SS soldiers held a roll call group of jews. How the old and young prisoners were beaten beacuse they didn't round up quickly enough.
Six minutes of drama that ends with the words from Deuteronomy 6:7 "and when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up".
Immediatly after six minutes the next piece began just 3 seconds after the last note.
Mahlers second symphony works well together with Schönberg.

Classicalify has heard this symphony live before. But not like this.
Mahler is very special in many ways. He tells the conductor what to do and not to do.
Simon Rattle knows this symphony by heart. It was a performance entirely as Mahler would have wanted it. Everything is here. The fierce tempo and the sound of fire in the first movement that makes you jump almost. A funeral march with people going through different moods.
Second movement ( Andante) is the remembrance of joyful times in the life of a deceased.
The third and fourth movement "Urlicht" are from Das Knaben Wunderhorn.
The fourth movement sung by Magdalena Kozena wife of the conductor, had all the right notes but there was something missing. Classicalify has heard Anna Larsson twice singing this symphony and Anna is just the best. Kozena is to light.
Kate Royal is wonderful in the soprano parts and Classicalify hope to hear her soon again.
The last movement is the longest but worth waiting for. The text is from Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock " Arise again". Telling us that what has died will arise and bring us closer to god.
It is a symphony worth hearing many times. And the Berlin Philharmonic is one of the best orchestras today. Go to Berlin and hear them. It's worth it.

Valencia Rheingold on Swedish TV

The famous Valencia Ring with Swedish Anna Larsson as Fricka will be shown on Swedish TV (SVT2) on Saturday Oct 30. Starting time is 20.00. Zubin Mehta is conducting.

Don't miss it!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Claudio Abbado, Gold Medal of the Circulo de Bellas Artes

Classicalifys favorite conductor Claudio Abbado has recieved the gold medal of Circulo de Belllas Artes. Claudio is on tour with Lucerne Festival Orchestra performing Gustav Mahlers symphony nr 9. In a ceremony presided by the mayor of Madrid Alberto Ruiz Gallardon.
The medal was given by the president of Circulo de Bellas Artes Juan Miguel Hérnandez de Léon
with the following words:
"A guardian angel for young muscians and for being a commited and innovative director".

Abbado has said the "most important thing for young people starting out in this profession is to "make music together".

Attending the ceremony was also the six spanish musicians from LFO.
One of them José Vincente Castello said: "Abbado is able to pass on, to share his joy of music, is a dream come true working for him".

Monday, 18 October 2010

Classicalify goes to London

(Catriona Smith sings Zenobia at Southbank and Cristine Rice performs at ENO.)

One of the great joys in life is the British Empire and it's capital... Where can you see so much good opera and listen to so many good singers at the same time? This week Classicalify is heading to London for two performances, Handel's "Radamisto" at ENO and the Opera Rara concert of Rossini's "Aureliano in Palmira" at Southbank. ENO's Handel productions tend to be among the best in the world and always get great reviews, so also "Radamisto". The Guardian gave it four stars. Classicalify is really looking forward to it. You find the review here:

Usually Opera Rara's performances are of very good quality, and it seems they will not disappoint us with this unusual Rossini opera, the cast is very promising:

Gioachino Rossini: Aureliano in Palmira - opera in 2 acts
(Concert performance in Italian with English surtitles)
Maurizio Benini - conductor
Catriona Smith - Zenobia
Silvia Tro Santafé - Arsace
Kenneth Tarver - Aureliano
Andrew Foster-Williams - Gran Sacerdote
Vuyani Mlinde - Licinio
Ezgi Kutlu - Publia
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
A concert performance of Rossini's charming opera Aureliano in Palmira.
Read more and book tickets here:

Thursday, 14 October 2010

New releases by beauty boy JDF.

One of our favourites, beauty boy Juan Diego, is releasing new exciting material all the time... Find out more on his homepage or the DECCA page:

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Stressed Artists.

Stress and exhaustion is a very dangerous combination. Even conductors are stressed.
Riccardo Muti was supposed to have conducted the opening season in Chicago but canceled and went to Italy to meet with his doctors. He has now been ordered complete rest for a month.
He will be resting in Ravenna.
" I very much appreciate the outpouring of well wishes and support from the members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra family and residents of my new musical home, Chicago and I look forward to my return"
Muti is not alone to exhaustion and stress.
One of Classicalifys favorite maestros Claudio Abbado was in hospital in Berlin in May due to stress. But has now recovered after a long restful summer. He was in good form in Lucerne as you can read from our reports from the summer festival.
Janine Jansen the famous violin soloist was ordered complete rest due to exhaustion.
And according to her website nothing is canceled in the coming months.
Stress is not good for music.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Die Stemme singt nicht Rusalka in Munich.

Aktuelle Umbesetzung: Titelpartie Rusalka

In der Neuproduktion von Antonin Dvořáks Rusalka (Vorstellungen am 23., 26., 28., 31. Oktober und 4. November 2010) wird Kristīne Opolais die Titelpartie anstelle von Nina Stemme übernehmen. Frau Stemme sieht sich aufgrund ihrer stimmlichen Weiterentwicklung seit Unterschrift des Vertrages leider nicht mehr in der Lage, Repertoire wie Rusalka zu singen, was sie sehr bedauert. Kristīne Opolais gibt mit dieser Partie unter der Musikalischen Leitung von Tomáš Hanus und der Regie von Martin Kušej ihr Debüt an der Bayerischen Staatsoper.Kristīne Opolais wurde in Lettland geboren und studierte Gesang an der dortigen Musikakademie sowie bei Margreet Honig in Amsterdam. Von 2003 bis 2007 war sie Ensemblemitglied an der Lettischen Nationaloper in Riga. 2006 folgte ihr Debüt als Tosca an der Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin. Weitere Stationen ihrer Karriere führten sie an die Mailänder Scala, die Wiener Staatsoper, an die Opéra de Lyon sowie an das Teatro Regio in Turin. Außerdem war sie bei renommierten Festivals wie den Salzburger Festspielen oder in Aix-en-Provence zu Gast. Ihr Opernrepertoire umfasst u.a. Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Gräfin Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Violetta Valéry (La traviata), Lisa (Pique Dame), Liù (Turandot), Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly). Im Konzert war sie mit Werken von u.a. Mozart, Verdi, Richard Strauss, Mahler und Britten zu erleben. Debüt an der Bayerischen Staatsoper in der Spielzeit 2010/11: Titelpartie Rusalka.

Joan Sutherland 1926-2010

A sad day in the world of opera. Dame Joan Sutherland has passed away.
She died earlier today in her home in Switzerland. She was 83.
Her family has said that she died peacefully in her sleep.
One of the last legends in opera is no more.
She leaves a long legacy of recordings and performances behind.
Classicalify has many of them. She sang 256 performances of 23 roles in Sidney.
She did her first concert in Sidney 1947 as Dido by Purcell.
In 1950 she won the prestigious Mobil Quest award that gave her a name.
She made her London debut at the Royal Opera in Mozarts The Magic Flute two years later as the first lady. She auditioned three times. In 1954 she sang Countess Almviva in The Marriage of Figaro also by Mozart. The critics got their eye on her.
She sang Donizetti, Mozart,Bellini and a lot more.
She is famous for singing along with Pavarotti in Donizettis La fillé du Regimant which marked his debut in London. Dame Joan is survived by husband Richard Bonynge, son Adam and grandchildren.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Composer Wagner’s kin scraps Israel visit

Katharina Wagner cancels her trip to Israel due to criticism about her relation to Richard Wagner. There is no question that Richard Wagner still is controversial even today.

She was invited by Austrian Jewish conductor Roberto Paternostro to ask the Israel Chamber Orchestra to perform at next years Bayreuth Festival.
The invitation was meant as an act of reconciliation between the Wagner Family and Israel.
The visit was kept secret from the media for a year, but was leaked and has recieved mix reactions both in Israel and abroad. The orchestra will still perform in Bayreuth.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Adriana Lecouvreur

Some of us here at Classicalify were booked for the event of the year in Berlin, Cilea´s "Adriana Lecouvreur", starring Angela Gheorghiu and hunk Jonas Kaufmann. Sorry to say Classicalify couldn't go to Berlin!
BUT we are now happy to announce that we got a new chance when Royal Opera House Covent Garden stage this in November. Today booking started and Classicalify was lucky to get the last ticket "up by the gods" (Amphitheatre).
In Berlin they gave two concert performances, in London it will be a full stage production!
ARE we lucky or not?
Of course we suspect La Gheorghiu will withdraw (as usual), but what the hell, if Jonas is singing it's more than worth it!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bartoli new releases in October

The magnificent Bartoli has two releases coming in October. The wonderful and funny "Clari" by Halévy from Opernhaus Zürich some years ago is now (finally) being released. Classicalify saw the performance in Zürich and was pleased to hear and see La Ceci. She is much loved in Zürich and was applauded as soon as she entered on stage. We are looking forward to experience it again, now on DVD.
If you can't get enough of Bartoli, also buy the new CD, "Sospiri".