Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hans Werner Henze 1926-2012

The composer Hans Werner Henze has died at the age of 86 in Dresden. He wrote more than 40 operas, 10 symphonies and chamber music. Soloists such as Dietrich Fischer- Dieskau, Elisabeth Söderström admired him and performed his music. May his music live on.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Claudio Abbado returns to La Scala

"If I do a speech? No, I speak through music". Those are words of Claudio Abbado about his return to La Scala  next week on tuesday the 30th of october. He was once the music director of the La Scala orchestra from 1968 to 1986 and said goodbye to La Scala never to return again. That is until now.
His return was meant to be two years ago in the summer of 2010 but due to illness it was cancelled.
He was to have conducted Mahlers second symphony. On tuesday he will conduct Mahler sixth.
He had also come with a requirement to the  mayor of Milan to plant half a million trees in the city center.
That will still happen. The concert on  tuesday features also Chopins first piano concerto with Daniel Barenboim as soloist. The La scala orchestra will perform together with members of orchestra Mozart. One of Claudios own orchestras.

You can read the full interview with Claudio here:

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bartok, Eötvös, Ligeti.

Today, nobody is missing spotify on their computer or iPhone.
What's great about Spotify is that you will also have recommendations and listening tips. Today when I logged in, I found a recording of Bela Bartok's violin concert and also the music of Ligeti and Eötvös.

Bartok wrote his second violin concerto to his friend Zoltán Székely who asked Bartok to write concerto in three movements instead of one that Bartok himself wanted.
It is written in Verbunkos style. Verbunkos is a Hungarian dance and music style from the 1800s. It is characterized by virtuosic fast passages and characteristic rythm points.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja plays with technical perfection and with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Peter Eötvös, it works very well. They both know each other and you can feel the interaction between the soloist and conductor.
The second piece is a recording premiere of Peter Eötvös piece "Seven". Composed in 2003 the title  refers to the accident of space shuttle colombia.

If you are open to new music than you wont be disappointed. Very intressting piece and worth listening to.

When composer and conductor Györgi Ligeti passed away in 2006 a piece of modern music history went with it. His music can be heard in some of the most popular films of today. Kubrick was sued for alternating his music in 2001 a space odyssey. Kubrick used him further on in "The Shining" and "Eyes Wide Shut".

His micro-polyphony compositions are extrodinary and his Violin Concerto performed here by Ensemble Modern and Kopatchinskaja is outstanding. Strange music some people might say but composed with intellect and heart I say. So log on to spotify and listen to this marvelous music or buy the record itself. It's worth having. It's a jungle out there with violin players we know but  Kopatchinskaja is worth listening to.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

From Domingo to Dudamel: Clive Barda's best photos - in pictures

Clive Barda the photographer of performing arts celebrates 43 years in the profession this year.
The Royal Opera house of Covent Garden will exhibit some of his best photos until october 20th.
If you don't  live in London you have a look at some of the photos here:

More about Clive Barda can be found on his website:

Wagner: The Complete Operas. November 5th.

Great news for Wagner fans. On november 5th Deutsche Grammophone will release a complete set of Richard Wagners operas. All of them. Including Rienzi, Die Feen and Das Liebesverbot.
The recordings are as follows:

Der ring des Nibelungen: Metropolitan opera house 1987-1989. James Levine

Der Fliegende Holländer: Berlin 1991. Giuseppe Sinopoli

Tannhäuser: Paris Version. London 1989. Giuseppe Sinopoli

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Berlin 1976. Eugen Jochum

Tristan und Isolde: Dresden 1982. Carlos Kleiber

Lohengrin: Vienna 1986. Sir Georg Solti

Parsifal: 1971, 1972. Vienna. Sir Georg Solti

Rienzi: Dresden 1974, 1976. Heinrich Hollreiser

Die Feen: BBC Northern. 1976. Edward Downes

Das Liebesverbot: May 1976. Edward Downes.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Claudio Abbado

One of Classicalifys favorite conductors of all time Claudio Abbado has recieved the Life time achievement award from the brittish magazine gramophone. He has also recieved the award for best DVD perfomance of Bruckners fifth symphony with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Our warmest congratulations to Claudio.
Daniel Harding a close friend of Claudio and the music director of Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Swedish Symphony Orchestra writes about his friend in the current issue of gramophone.

Women of the year.


Nina Stemme on the cover of Opera News the november issue. 
Nina Stemme has recently been awarded the grammophone award together with Jonas Kaufmann and Claudio Abbado for their recording of "Fidelio".Congratulations to all of the artist.