mardi 20 décembre 2011


2011 was a busy year for me. My "day job" kept me extremely busy. I probably travelled somewhat less than usual so my musical experiences were more Swiss-based.

This being said, there were no shortage of events that left a big impression on me: the Leipzig Gewandhaus sound is a marvel and they were right at home on their Beethoven Mendelssohn program. I also could hear some great pianists: the young Kit Armstrong, a major unique personality, Leif Ove Andsnes who couples cristalline precision with architecural feeling and then François-René Duchable out of his self-inflicted retirement and communicating so deeply with the audience.

On a different level, I did two trips (one hour drive ...) to Lausanne to hear the Chamber Orchestra for contemporary music under Pascal Rophé and a remarkable 3 last Mozart Symphonies under Bertrand de Billy. The orchestra may be less distinguished than the OSR but both evenings were fascinating.

My Operatic highlight was a concert performance in Salzburg of Tchaikowsky Iolantha in Salzbourg where the level of singing was just amazing and yes, Anna Netrebko is a fantastic artist but so were the others and all of them.

My wife and I tend to notice that the average age of concert goers seems to increase but this reflects more the fact that Europe is an aging continent. The next music director of the OSR is 75 (Neeme Järvi) and is older than the current one, Marek Janowski ... but then age is having a different meaning these days and being 50 is not so old ...

vendredi 9 décembre 2011

Books ?

As a habit, I am preparing my end of year book reading retreat ... as well as contributing to Amazon's end of year revenue spike.

I have ordered a few books on (and in the case of Muti by) conductors. One is about George Szell, another one is by Leonard Bernstein personal assistant. Others which have not reached me are Muti's autobiagraphy as well as probably another book on why we will never understand the genius of Carlos Kleiber.

While I will keep reading about music (and write here and in Concertonet), I have to say that these biographies are a difficult genre as they often if not always fail to capture the maturation process of musicians. They relate with details successes and glory but what make artists become who they are remains a mystery.

Maybe the one that comes closest is John Adams's autobiography and the pages in which he explains the blending of style that he internalised and which helped him develop his voice. Similarly, vocal artists would not be surprised to read on Renée Fleeming talk so much about vocal technique on her book.

So happy reading for those looking for suggestions and let me know what you are reading.

jeudi 1 décembre 2011

Maurizio Pollini's EMI recordings of Chopin studies

I read Peter Andry's memoirs after hearing about them on Bob Shingleton's excellent blog. This EMI producer can be credited to have overseen some of the label greatest successes (which may be a thing of the past but this is another topic).

One of the side stories he tells was EMI's decision to sever relations with Maurizo Pollini. EMI had signed the Italian pianist after his success at the Chopin piano competition in 1961. He went on to record Chopin's first concerto, a reading that is just marvellous, a recital of various pieces but left this recording in the vault of EMI waiting, I am assuming, that copyright laws would allow for it to be reissued.

The booklet is unapologetic on the fact that EMI and Pollini could not find common ground. They acknowledge that not continuing with him was a huge mistake, financially as well as artistically but hint at the pianist being in a state of doubt which did not allowed him to complete this project.

We all know that Pollini signed with DG after, that the studies was one of his first recordings with them and remains simply unsurpassed, the pianist not only able to master the momnumental challenges of the work but much more importantly, able to bring aristocratic phrasing and poetic feeling., being the Pollini that we have all learned to love in the concert hall.

I have just heard the EMI set only once but wanted to stress out the following: playing is amazing but the subsequent set bring out playing similar to what I have experienced from Pollini in the concert hall when he has played these works as regular encores. I am aware that citical acclaim in various newspapers has been stellar so I may end up in a minority of those maintaining allegiance to the classic set.

Probably here the real issue remains on the vailidity of such documents. On the one hand, studio recordings benefit from the artists approval buton the other hand, we know of many cases where they can be revealing. Pollini is not a pianist who has made many interviews so we may never hear what he feels on this set.

Pollini was the pianist that my generation looked upon when we were discovering music. I remember foundly hearing for the first time the great masterworks when he came to play them. I am a huge fan and was keen on hearing this document. However, this remains a document of an artist who knew what he was doing when he did not accepted this set to be published.

lundi 28 novembre 2011

Some news

Lots of work for this end of year. This blog is neglected. I have some unfinished posts which I will finish after the end of year. In the meantime, Beckmesser's rants is mentioned as part of the Independant Views in the Big List of Classical Music Blogs whom I encourage you to visit.

For French readers, I have been my usual busy for Concertonet covering the Geneva season. I celebrated Zubin Mehta's classical program, really disliked Fazil Say's gimmicks (next to whom Lang Lang is restraint made artits...) ...

I also left Geneva to go to Boston where I enjoyed Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's artistery. Lausanne is a solid hour away from Geneva but I went to hear the Orchestre de Chambre under Pascal Rophé play an exciting modern music program with a percussion concerto by Swiss Composer Darbellay and Honegger 5th Symphony, also Swiss. I will return tomorrow for a more mainstream program with Mozart's three last Symphonies under no less than Bertrand de Billy.

samedi 15 octobre 2011

"Tragic" and fascinating Documentary on Elisabeth Schwarzkopf on Arte

The French-German cultural TV station Arte showed last week a fascinating documentary on Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. It may still be available on their site so I would recommend it.

I heard her last recital in Paris back in 1976 and yes her voice was just unique.

In this documentary emerges an artist always in pain never in peace and never happy. Her famous outbursts during masterclasses are those she may have had with herself although to be fair, the two singers she had to work with should not have been put in front of her.

I was not aware of her negative reaction towards Karajan. Maybe what she felt was that by redoing many of the works he had done with her, he was not paying her the respects she would have expected. The Rosenkavalier excerpt was just stunning and for all her artistry, Tomowa-Sintow could never achieve anything like this but then who could ?

Was this excerpt moving ? Thinking about it, probably not but the work on words, colours, projection was of such intensity. In a way, she always sang for herself and probably for her husband but was not a communicator like many of her peers. To make a parallel, I remember eating at a famous restaurant where the chef had the habit of visiting all of his clients. When he would come, he would never ask the question: "Are you enjoying your meal ?", he said "do you appreciate it ?", ie, my meals are really good but can you really appreciate it ? This was Schwarzkopf ...

dimanche 2 octobre 2011

François-René Duchable

I was yesterday at Victoria Hall to hear the "Orchestre de Ribaupierre" play Brahms Piano Concerto, the soloist in the first being the French pianist François-René Duchable.

International readers may not have heard of him but worked with Artur Rubinstein, played Bartok's third Piano Concerto with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic in Salzbourg (I still have the tapes and they are just superb), developed a career then but decided to stop playing in mainstream concert performances in 2003. He actually dropped his piano in a lake ...

He lives near Annecy and performs very rarely at small events. He is recognizable with a trademark red shirt. In fact, I could not believe that I would have a chance to hear him since 2003 and until I saw him on stage was not even sure he was going to be there.

It is difficult to know exactly what prompted him to stop from playing. There are some artists who keep performing probably because they just need it: Gergiev, Barenboim, Domingo, Levine before his health problems ... For others, the act of performing must be a big challenge, physical as well as emotional as well as a deeply unsatisfying one.

Playing with a sympathetic but second-rate orchestra must be a way to relieve from the stress of appearing. Playing rarely must also ensure that routine does not come in. But when he played, it just spoke with eloquence and freshness. Five minutes of Duchable have more content than five hours of Lang Lang ...

mardi 27 septembre 2011

mardi 20 septembre 2011

Evocative music

My review of the latest CD of the OSR is on line. One of the work played is Vincent d'Indy's Symphonie sur un chant montagnard. While I avoided any references to D'Indy antisemitic postures but pointed out the uniqueness of its music which resembles none other.

Stepping back, I am struck how a handful of composers manage to create sounds which are evocative of the landscape of their country. Not in a Mahler 3 way, which is an intellectual recreation but in a physical way. D'Indy would be one but so would be Sibelius or Copland with Appalachian Springs. I think that these are unique and would not exist in other, ie non classical, forms of music.

lundi 19 septembre 2011

Mendelssohn's Orchestra

... the Leipzig Gewandhaus was in Geneva last week.

Just a few lines to mention how uniquely Germanic and old-fashioned this orchestra is. String tone is firmer and warmer while with more darker tones than say the Vienna Philh or more brilliant ensembles from the US. This enables the line to be maintained while bringing out inner voices very naturally. Who said that all orchestras sound the same and that all are mimicking baroque techniques ? Chailly played these works with Italaniesque fire and used an edition of the Reformation Symphony I had not heard before.

As usual, this concert was under-marketed. There were not even a single poster outside of Victoria Hall but Chailly and the Orchestra were perhaps there for the first time since the last 10 years or so. The hall was not full but on the other hand, silence and concentration were there and we all felt that Chailly and the musicians enjoyed the performance.

lundi 5 septembre 2011

André Chénier in Geneva and the importance of Subtitles

I was yesterday at the dress rehearsal of André Chénier at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. While it is unfair to make a comment on singers who were marking their roles, J Fiore's conducting was easy and fluid and John Dew staged a lively first part full of ideas with great costumes (there were an integral part of the staging ...) , lightning, ... clear action without sacrificing ideas.

I also surprised myself realising that the work is stronger than I remembered. My last encounter with this work was in 1985 while I was studying in London. The three principals were Domingo, Tomowa-Sintow and Zancanaro ... so singing could not but have been exceptional. But there were no subtitles at this time and this means that appreciating the work had to be limited. Giordano's music is often there to accompany the action and strongly so but one can only appreciate it if one can follow it very tightly.

This should apply to works where words and action are complex. Would the appreciation by modern audiences of say by Janacek be that great if subtitles had not made ease of following librettos far easier ?

BBC reaction to the anti-Israel disruptions

 ...has been posted ... so this means that my earlier comment on their silence is no longer valid. It would be nice to hear mention of future invitations of the IPO accepted and confirmed.

Thiking about it, I have had some kind of experience like this. In March 2003, the Vienna Philharmonic visited Paris to play Brahms 3rd and Second Symphony under Ozawa at the Théatre des Champs-Elysees. This came after Haider's reults at the Austrian election. At the end of a good but not so special third, D Meyer (I think it was him but am ot 100% sure) came to ask the audience to leave the Theater becuase of a bomb scare after an anonymous phone call. In spite of the cold, the vast majority of the audience waited outside, many of us actually chatting with the musicians.  We could resume a solid 40 minutes after. The orchestra got a massive ovation and played a stunning second half. The orchestra spokesperson Dr Hellsberg, addressed in spotless French the audience to speak about doing extraordinary music under extraordinary circumstances. Maybe the proms audience experienced the same thing.

vendredi 2 septembre 2011

Kit Armstrong Documentary

Arte has put on their web site a one hour fascinating documentary on Kit Armstrong working with Alfred Brendel. Do spend the time and try to hear this pianist if he plays close to you. In the meanwhile, this is highly recommended:

Listen in particular to them working on Schubert D 958, great comments on tempis, pedalling, even emotions, ..., as well as the physical exercise on the shoulders which we all pianists know how fundamental this is for liberating the sound.

Listen also to the continuity of the Bach concerto at the hand ...

Anti-Israeli protests at the proms

News are spreading in the music world of last night disturbance by Palestinian activists at the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concert at the London Proms. The BBC report is here. Several amateur videos can be seen including this one below:

There are various comments on this.

The first one is on the Palestinian situation for which these guys are protesting. While I admit at having my clear allegiances (known to many) and that this would not be the topic of this blog on classical music, just let me mention that too many in Europe do not perceive the complexity of the situation in the Middle East, too many do not realise that Hamas is not the most extreme of the fractions, ie, there are some much more radical ones and that the topology of the land of Israel makes the danger caused by rockets and worse, a genuine reality.

The other comments should be related to music so in bullet point (if I may):
  • Sabotaging a concert is terrible for musicians. When one realises what it takes to perform, wrecking a concert is an act of barbary.
  • I have read several posts where the IPO is positionned against the West-Divan Orchestra. This is nonensense. Barenboim himself performs regularly with them, the last time being in July. Listen also at Zubin Mehta's coments on the openess of the IPO. Artists are as always more forward-looking than most other groups in any country.
  • Why has not anyone protested to the Simon Bolivar whose regime is a dictatorship ? (and by the way, the IPO has better string sound than the SBYO ...)
  • I have gone through various sites of the BBC and have not seen one single line of condamnation of the incident by anyone from the Proms or the BBC. If I am wrong, let me know and I will amend this immediately but this BBC-esque silence is deafening.
  • Finally, I have often criticised Norman Lebrecht's articles as many of you know. This time, his coverage has been spot on, including the one post where he analyses that Radio 3 was right to interrupt the live program.
 No one got any cause advanced by what happended yesterday, quite the opposite.

jeudi 1 septembre 2011

Very quick bullet points on my 2011 Salzbourg stay

My day work has forced me to shorten my stay in Salzburg very significantly. I managed though to pack 4 performances in two days as well as see many friends from across the world and basically had a great time.

For the sake of swiftness, here are my quick takes on bullet point format just like last year:

  • I love my blackberry ... It has something which Iphone afficionados do not have which is push technology (for the Iphone, you have to ask for your mail). So I got a mail informing me of the open rehearsal of the Rossignol/Iolanta open for booking and rushed to get tickets for family and friends. The Rossignol was somewhat tentative but the Iolanta, a one act Tchaikowsky Opera about a blind girl was simply stunning. Strong and varied music and vocal writing of the highest order. Netrebko sang the title role and gave one of her best performance I have had with her. Her tenor partner was P Beczala whom she shared a wonderful duo culminating with a genuine crescendo. There were three bass-barytones roles, each important and each getting a full aria. Of them, Alexey Markov is one to watch out for.
  • After this, I have to confess being somewhat disappointed by the Salonen - Marthaler  "The Makropolous case". A Denoke has vocal chords made of steel and singing was very strong overall. The Orchestra played beautifully, perhaps too beautifully ... but the Marthaler staging did not work as his Katya did. Action was muddy with too many secondary characters disturbing the flow.
  • Think of this, however. A friend told me that the Easter Festival Peter Grimes was far from being sold out whereas there were many "Suche Karte" on display for this more demanding work.
  • Muti delivered his usual magic in the Verdi Requiem performance in the matinee concert. Wait, magic or craft ? Balance, color, rubatos, phrasing ... was present in ample abundance. So much to admire but a little less to experience. Stoyanova had an uneasy start but rose to her usual self, Borodina is impressive, ..., perhaps too much, Pirgu was a little light - is not this work a little too much for him, Abdrazakov was solid ( in the program notes, it was revealed that he is sponsored by the company that manaufactures his suits, no name there but does this really work ?). 
  • Tons of applaudes. Muti knows exactly when to enter the stage a good 10 seconds after his soloists so that everyone can be aware of the specific greetings he gets. Also, when Karajan and Abbado played this work, were not there Austrian silence after this religious work ?
  • I ended my 2 days with a concert by the ORF Radio Orchestra playing Hans Rott's Symphony. Yes, this work has been played in Salzbourg and deserves more hearing. For French readers, my comments on Concertonet.
  • Needless to say, Salzbourg is much more than the music, it is the ability to see so many friends and take leisury time to discuss and enjoy their company. I hope I have more time next year.

vendredi 12 août 2011

Has Graham Vick struck again

Have a look at Milan's based Opera chic blog entry ... I do not wish to comment on what seem to be yet another attack on Israel made by someone who has probably never visited the place.

What I can comment is that I attended the production Vick did of the Magic Flute in 2005 at Salzbourg. It was as offensive as what he seems to have done for Rossini's Moïse. I took my kids there hoping to get them to like Opera. They hated it, especially the part when the animals are killed by Sarastro and Papageno is smoking pots ... (Yes ...) I will hate this producer until the end of my days for what he did to my family.

So no, I am not surprised, have made a point of avoiding any of Vick's work and feel vindicated based on what he is doing right now.

vendredi 8 juillet 2011

Dinu Lipatti

Alex Ross has found a marvellous interview of Jascha Horenstein on YouTube.

There exists three interviews of Dinu Lipatti with a delightful singing Romanian accent. It is so special to hear him speak. This however, is only in French but highly recommended.

The last one is particularly moving as it speaks about his health.Lipatti's record of Mozart 21st Piano Concerto and the 8th Sonata was the first black disc I ever bought ...

dimanche 5 juin 2011

Have you seen a pianist named Kit Armstrong ?

Well, if not, then go to the movies or on line ...

And have a look at what Alfred Brendel is saying.

lundi 30 mai 2011

Concert Hall acoustics

Have a look at the lively blog of the Orchestre de Paris. It is in French but contains a very smart comment on the acoustics of the Vienna Musikverein: "One can hear every instrument, even in a fortissimo ... " (my translation ...).

This is a very important point raised by Christian Leblé..With the improvement of the Salle Pleyel, resident orchestras like the Orchestre de Paris and the Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique dramatically improved their coherence, dynamic range and overall balance. On the other hand, I was living in London when the LSO moved fro the Royal Festival Hall to the Barbican and felt that something broke. Unfortunately, this can work both ways, up and down.

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande which I cover for concertonet plays in Victoria Hall. It is a charming concert hall but a very narrow one where tuttis are muddled. It works fine say for a Chamber ensemble but saturates for a Mahler Symphony.

In such conditions, Orchestras cannot improve and it is no surprise that good orchestras thrive in superlative acoustics (Boston, Amsterdam ...).

jeudi 19 mai 2011

Mason Bates in Chicago

I was glad to read from Andrew Partner's excellent Chicago based blog that Mason Bates is performed by the CSO and R Muti.

As per my previous post, this is a composer of talent and it is encouraging to read that he is being performed. We also need to hear his works in Europe but like new technology, things takes time to cross the oceans and reach the old world.

mercredi 18 mai 2011


Peter Davis in the NYT has an article on Mahler's time in New York.Universal edition is as usual a gold mine of fascinating information.

But for us in Geneva, Valery Gergiev and the LSO celebrated May 18 by playing the adagio of the 10th Symphony (as a substitution for a Mozart oboe concerto with an indisposed soloist) and gave a truly moving performance.

For another type of Mahler performance, Arte has put on the web another outstanding performance of the same work by the Berlin Phil and Abbado along with Das Lied with AS Von Otter and J Kaufmann. Gergiev led a more dramatic reading of the work (and the Berlin strings have slightly better intonation than the LSO if I may). A good example being at 36 mn where Abbado's last pizzicato is gentle whereas it was more menacing with Gergiev but rather than putting one versus the other, it emphasizes how much Mahler music can accommodate different approaches and how this has become part of all everyone respective musical worlds universally.

lundi 9 mai 2011

Levine-less Walküre at the Met

I was all of last week in the US and was able on my way back to Switzerland to catch the second instalment of the new production of the Ring at the Met. I did not go there (and spend significant sums of money) to see the visual pyrotechnics of Robert Lepage but to hear James Levine's special way with Wagner.

... which explains my disappointment to read in the program that Levine was sick and was replaced by his assistant Derrick Inouye. There had been already a number of runs of the work under Levine so one can safely imagine that there were many touches from Levine himself that remained. A good example was the piano tones of Bryn Terfel for Wotan's farewell, long-lined and adapted to the Welsh baritone style and power. There were also however a couple of moments where Levine's unique togetherness was not there. Sieglinde's phrase upon the stunning redemption leitmotive was in place but Levine would have been totally at once with the singer. He is simply the best accompanist ever.May I finally say again how such a superlative ensemble the Met orchestra can be. Of all Opera Orchestras around the world, they are second to none and could easily sustain comparison with their Viennese colleagues.

Yet one has to realise what enormous efforts and stress this must have been for Inouye to take over at such short notice. This is not a simple work and the evening proceeded with no major hiccup which is quite something. So I was on the one hand disappointed that Levine was not there but if we had had this say in Geneva, I would have been bowled over.

Needless to say, this is a concern that Levine is really sick. We do not know what it could mean for his future engagements but the Met seems genuinely to care for him and be ready to accommodate for potential cancellations. In Europe, there would have been reactions from the public. At the Met, everyone I spoke has admitted that this is not the first nor the last and that his appearances are "worth the disappointments".

Singing was uneven. The Fricka of Stephanie Blythe was a disappointment: she was a notes-generating machine but no line and no sense for the words. Eva Maria Westbroek was uneven, a little flat in places and with some German words which were a little unclear, thus hurting the lines but she had some moments with nice phrasing. I just hope that she is not doing "too much" but my best memory of her remains as Krysothemis in Paris in 2005.

Is Deborah Voigt fit for Brünnhilde ? She has lost some weight and was in few places a little flat. She also may not have the sheer power required for the beginning of Act 3. Beyond this, she understands the text and when not overpowered has colors on the voice. Not an ideal Brünnhilde but definitely a singer that should sing the part.

Hans-Peter Koenig was a dark sounding Hunding who was really nasty and menacing. Kaufmann gave what has been at least for me, his best incarnation to date. Whereas I find that he can be too artistic in Italian roles, he was at ease with a long ringing Wälse, beautiful phrasing and dramatic spirit in particular act 2. He deservedly brought the house down. Terfel like Voigt may not have all the power required for the role but compensates by subtle singing. Words are crystal clear and he understands them deeply.

A final comment on Lepage's much vaulted staging. The settings and videos effects are original and beautiful and impressive, most of all the Act 1 snow storm and the ring of fire at the end. Yet, there is no Personen-Regie in between some visual pictures. It is difficult to say that this is an improvement over the traditional (old-fashioned ?) Schenck production which also was weak on characterisation. But you know what, in the end, I found myself closing my eyes, opening them from tie to time and feeling that not much had changed and concentrating on this outstanding work.

lundi 11 avril 2011

I may have a suggestion on who should be considered to stage the next Ring in Bayreuth ...

I was Saturday at Paris's Comédie-Française to see Tennessee Williams's a Tramway named Desire in the production of American director Lee Breuer.

Breuer's concepts is a highly stylised one. Settings are inspired from Japan. They are both spare and sophsiticated as they keep changing. 4 mute characters keep coming and leaving to bring it alive. It both allows to make the most of a simple stage, to keep it very dynamic and also to be able to step back and think of the situation, the concept, the characters, ...

There is also a lot of focus (in a manner close to Peter Brook ...), each scene has an idea and the staging, actors play, ..., make it very clear. There are also nice touches of modernity. As an example, when Blanche is raped by Stanley, he is gradually masquerading as the Dark Knight's joker ... Small touches, not too much, just enough, ...

I started thinking where this approach would work well and came to the conclusion that Wagner's Ring could be a good candidate. If someone is reading this in Bayreuth ... (or elsewhere ...)

One last word: the Comédie-Française is currently staging Brecht, Shakespeare, Feydeau, ... Repertory is wide and all comments I am getting is that the classic Comédie-Française quality is present everywhere. As a Geneva-based friend of mine said: what I prefer in France is the Comédie-Françasie.

vendredi 1 avril 2011

April 1st news (and some March 26 one)

dimanche 27 mars 2011

Have you heard a pianist named Kit Armstrong ?

Have a look at my review of his Geneva concert there. If you have the opportunity, do go and hear him. I have not been that impressed by the originality of a newcomer for a long time.

(Follow-up of my last post on this young pianist ...)

jeudi 24 mars 2011

Decca new recording

We are not April 1st so this may be a joke ...or a tragedy.

(Yes, I confirm, I wanted to name this short post: the Royal couple's speech but instead choose to have Decca in the title ...)

mardi 1 février 2011

War is over

Citirgoup has taken over EMI. This will go in business history as one of the biggest business mistake along with IBM's selling their stake in Intel or the Time Warner - AOL merger.

As an aside, all the descriptions of EMI's business mention the Beatles and other pop/rock music. Classical must be very small or unable to relate to the press, or simply maybe the only profitable and stable part of their portfolio.

mardi 25 janvier 2011

Domingo, the Michael Jordan of Opera

The world, musical or not, is celebrating Placido Domingo's 70th birthday. All the accolades we are hearing are true: immense repertory, rock-solid technique, unique capability for phrasing, presence and acting skills, ...

There is though one quality which has not been so discussed which I would like to mention: when Domingo is on stage, he does not play the star, he actually makes other singers perform better. Like say Michael Jordan in Basketball, the overall level raises.

One personal memory, I heard him in what could have been his last Bohème in New York in February1991. Mimi was sung by the Korean Soprano who Hei-Kyung Hong. It is Rodolfo who has the first lines of the marvellous Act 1 duo O Suave Fanciulla.When Mimi entered, Hong did not have a volume that matched Domingo (and there may not have  been tons of rehearsals) but in a split-second, Domingo had adapted to his partner and ensured that we had a glorious balanced duo.

This unique artistry from a once in a lifetime singer.

jeudi 20 janvier 2011

Do you Wordle ?

If so, then, enjoy:

PS: Wordle is here.

jeudi 6 janvier 2011

Beckmesser "in China"

Just a quick FYI. I will be in the US for my work end of January and will go via NY to see the MET premiere of Adams' Nixon in China with a review for Concertonet.

I am thrilled to hear this and at the Met. I heard the same team play it in Bobigny in 1991. Previously, I ha discovered Adams's work via the monumental Harmonium in Boston with the BSO under Rattle. I remember going into the Boston Metro and then going out to walk back to the campus where I was studying so as to stay into the same sound world.

Adams has already been performed at the Met with Doctor Atomic but this will be Peter Sellars first entry there. When I was studying at the Harvard Business School, I was musical critic for the Harbus, the school newspaper. Sellars and C Smith took their Trump-tower inspired Nozze di Figaro (was it L Hunt as Cherubino ?) and I took half of my section to hear it. I also tried to interview Sellars for the Harbus but he was too busy and could not find the time. I met him in Bobigny at the performance of an Eschylus play and was impressed by sharpness. Maybe I should try to do an interview of him if my schedule allows for it.

In any case, if you go via NY, this is a must-see.

PS: The snow storm in the US prevented me from going. This being said, Adams music lives on ...