Saturday, October 22, 2016
When it comes to expressing emotion, Cellist Gautier Capucon has no equal. Now he is out with a new recording: Beethoven: Cello Sonatas and Variations Beethoven: Cello Sonatas Nos. 1-5 (complete) Variations (12) on “See the conquering hero comes” for Cello and Piano, WoO 45 Variations (7) on “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen”, for Cello and Piano, WoO 46 Variations (12) on “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” for Cello and Piano, Op. 66 All performed by Gautier Capuçon (cello) and Frank Braley (piano) Following after last year’s live recording of the Shostakovich cello concertos, this album sees Gautier return to the studio with his friend and recital partner of many years, Frank Braley, in a program of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Cello and Piano. In addition the album includes Beethoven’s wonderful variations on three different themes – two on arias from Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte, and the other from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus. Here is Mr. Capucon in Beethoven’s Cello Sonata number 2:
The Nose, The Royal Opera © ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper (cropped) Madness & mischief @TheRoyalOpera 's The Nose: the tap dancers & Martin Winkler were especially mag-SNIFF-ficent — Sam Cobb (@samjeancobb) October 20, 2016 Shostakovich's music in a snuffbox: moments of acerbic beauty, but numbing tedium despite manic activity. Powerful odd production. #ROHNose — Andrew Mitchell (@chaconato) October 21, 2016 the most insane thing i've ever scene! #NOSE @TheRoyalOpera pic.twitter.com/jpncA0KQGv — Melinda Hughes (@melhugsopera) October 20, 2016 The Nose, The Royal Opera © ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper A chorus line of noses tap dancing across the ROH stage is possibly the best sight ion the theatrical year in London. #ROHnose — Amanda Kendal (@AmandaKendal) October 20, 2016 So #ROHNose was wonderfully bizarre. Some great singing, but the narrative got lost at the start of Act III I feel — Jack (@MahlerMad) October 21, 2016 Crazy, genius, unique, virtuosic. WOW! #ROHnose — Ed Beveridge (@dredbeveridge) October 20, 2016 The Nose, The Royal Opera © ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper General consensus among the audience @RoyalOperaHouse tonight - they've never seen anything quite like #ROHNose before! — Attila (@attilalondon) October 20, 2016 I'm not sure what just happened, but I liked it...! #ROHNose — Shuna Scott Sendall (@sss_opus) October 20, 2016 Incredible musicianship, brilliant choreography, totally hilarious #ROHNose @RoyalOperaHouse - GET A TICKET: THAT IS AN ORDER! — David Coronel (@King_Ouf_I) October 17, 2016 Press Reviews Bachtrack ★★★★★ The Times ★★★★★ Evening Standard ★★★★ The Stage ★★★★ The Guardian ★★★ The Telegraph ★★★ What did you think of The Nose? Share your thoughts via the comments below. The Nose runs until 9 November 2016. Tickets are still available . The Nose is a co-production with Komische Oper Berlin and Opera Australia. The production is given with generous philanthropic support from Hamish and Sophie Forsyth, The Tsukanov Family Foundation and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.
Shostakovich’s surreal satire tells of a missing nose that causes chaos in St Petersburg. Director Barrie Kosky makes his Covent Garden debut with the new production that opens on 20 October. The Guardian’s Tristram Kenton had exclusive access to the final week of rehearsals Continue reading...
drumslight-11. Photo by Kamal Aboul-Hosn What a racket! Shostakovich punctuates his first opera, The Nose , with instrumental interludes, and the first of these is scored exclusively for unpitched percussion. An assortment of drums, cymbals and other motley instruments are bashed and rattled with explosive, feverish energy that builds to climaxes of nightmarish intensity. This ingenious movement is much more than a headache in aural form, though, as Shostakovich shows us that he can reflect the deadpan wit of his source material without needing to use either of those usually essential tools of the opera composer: words or melody. The interlude is sandwiched between scenes that show men with hangovers having awful days. First the barber Ivan Iakovlevitch wakes up hoping to solace himself with some bread and onions. But lurking in the loaf is a nose – possibly belonging to an unlucky customer. His wife screamingly demands he dispose of it, which Ivan miserably slopes off to do. But how to manage that without attracting the interest of the police? Platon Kuzmitch Kovalov, painfully waking after the interlude finishes, has an even worse time of it. Worried about a pimple he noticed on his nose the day before, he goes to fondle it – and finds, instead of a nose, a smooth flat patch of skin. His nose has done a runner. The source for this stupid story is Gogol ’s tiny tale The Nose, considered one of, if not the best, short stories ever written. One of the things that Shostakovich admired most about this miniature masterpiece was how ‘Gogol states all comic events in a serious tone’, and the same unshakeable deadpan characterizes his opera. ‘I did not want to make a joke about the nose’, Shostakovich says. ‘Honestly, what is funny about a human being who has lost his nose? The Nose is a horror story, not a joke.’ Indeed. Horror is laced throughout the many different musical styles Shostakovich co-opts into his score, and has its first real outburst in this gruesome, percussive interlude. He doesn’t give us just a lot of noise, though: like the comedy, this is horror in a very serious tone. As you would expect with a percussion ensemble, rhythm is the crucial compositional ingredient. Shostakovich marshals with ruthless precision the voices of his nine instruments. (Do you want the list? Here’s the list: bass drum, castanets, clash cymbal, snare drum, suspended cymbal, tambourine, tam-tam, tom-tom and triangle.) Quite dissimilar to the music of his near-contemporary Stravinsky, which delights in changing time signatures, Shostakovich maintains a regular pulse throughout, fiercely emphasized by ‘ta-ta-TAH’ rhythms and jabbing syncopation – a foreteller of the ferocious marches that storm throughout the music of his later career. There is, inevitably, some of the same militaristic sense here in The Nose. But that’s far from being all that’s going on. Drum roll, if you please! Shostakovich instantly conjures a shadowy circus, and it’s a roll long enough to cover all kinds of alarming animal activities. It ends, though, with a cheeky cymbal crash, punchline to a vaudevillian routine. That marks the end of the interlude’s first half, but its mirror at the end of the second half has bombastic, unsettling jolts like shells falling on a battlefield. Connecting these two long assaults is music that starts off like a fugue, an intricate subject passed between each voice, and becomes something more impressionistic, expressed through muttered outbursts that are quickly stifled. Connecting all those different feelings together, taken as a whole the interlude can morph yet again and even work as a simple (if complex) parody: David Syrus , The Royal Opera’s Head of Music, hears a send-up of Wagner ’s chorus of anvils from Das Rheingold , that track his gods’ descent into the grimy world of the Nibelungs. A march, a chorus line, explosions with a punch line, death and comedy – it’s all there. In this three-minute interlude Shostakovich telescopes the vibrancy of the whole opera, hinting at the wealth of methodical musical madness that is to come, alluding to all of the different styles that make up this exuberant, show-off piece. And he does it all without sounding a single note. The Nose runs 20 October–9 November 2016. Tickets are still available . The production is a co-production with Komische Oper Berlin and Opera Australia and is staged with generous philanthropic support from Hamish and Sophie Forsyth, The Tsukanov Family Foundation and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund .
The Royal Ballet in Class on the Royal Opera House Main Stage © Andrej Uspenski 2012 My team and I love listening to the tannoy in our office. At the moment we are greatly entertained by Barrie Kosky 's up-and-coming production of The Nose with its brilliantly explosive score and larger-than-life characters that I am sure many of you will enjoy. We also hear how enjoyable the rehearsal process is when we meet the artists in the lift, or bump into a dancing nose in full costume in the staff café! In addition to Shostakovich ’s surrealist satire, we are also rehearsing Les Contes d'Hoffmann , directed by the late John Schlesinger , in one of our opera studios. With Vittorio Grigòlo and Leonardo Capalbo sharing the title role, alongside Thomas Hampson , Sonya Yoncheva , Christine Rice and Sofia Fomina , we can't wait to share this revival of our 1980 production. While the Ballet Company is performing every other night in La Fille mal gardée , which continues to bring pastoral sunshine to audiences as the weather swiftly becomes more and more autumnal, during the day the Company is rehearsing Wayne McGregor 's new mixed programme , which features his brand new ballet Multiverse , with music by Steve Reich . We are very much looking forward to this as we celebrate McGregor's tenth anniversary year with The Royal Ballet. Ahead of opening night on 10 November, McGregor will discuss his work in a live-streamed Insights on the evening of 20 October, which you can watch live and on demand . Earlier this month, we celebrated World Ballet Day with an incredible 20-hour broadcast on our Facebook page (you can watch our four-hour section again on our YouTube channel ). As part of the day-long celebration, we invited audiences to watch rehearsals for our revival of Kenneth MacMillan ’s haunting ballet Anastasia. Natalia Osipova , who is dancing the title role, allowed us a window into the rehearsal process which, I am sure you will agree, offers an exciting glimpse of what is to come when we open on 26 October. With all this activity, Christmas might seem a long time away, but rehearsals are already underway for our performances over the festive period. I would like to remind you that in addition to the Nutcracker , over the holidays you can also take the younger family members to our off-the-wall collaboration with hip hop dance company, Zoo Nation: The Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Roundhouse, with characters taken from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The latest magazine for Spring 2017 is on its way to you and I would like to remind you that the ballet casting is included with this e-news. If you missed it, it will also be attached to the Friends' page on our website . I would also like to thank everyone who got in touch regarding booking dates for our Young and Senior members. The date is the same is for standard Friends, I apologise for this omission. As always we would welcome comments from you, so do please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to me personally: email@example.com
For decades the Mozarteum Argentino has been the main force in bringing us important orchestras from all over the world. Back in 1978 we had the first Argentine visit of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, conducted by their Principal Conductor Gerd Albrecht. The presence of the Tonhalle confirmed its European prestige. Then, in 1988 they returned with Hiroshi Wakasugi, their PC at the time, with pianist Rudolf Buchbinder; another positive experience. The venue was then and now the Colón. And this season they returned with their new PC, Lionel Bringuier, and the violinist Lisa Batiashvili. And the results were nothing short of stunning. The artists have youth in common: Bringuier is only 30, born in Nice, and was named PC at 28! And the violinist looks a similar age, though the biography gives no details about age; nor her place of birth, but her surname is Georgian. However it does inform about her career, and it is quite impressive, for she has played with the best orchestras and conductors of the world. As to Bringuier, he studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he received the influence of conductor and composer Peter Eötvös, for long the leader of the famous Ensemble Intercontemporain; now Eötvös has been named Creative Chair of the Tonhalle during this season, and several works of his will be played, one of them in BA. The other essential influence came from his six years as Resident Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, first with Salonen and then with Dudamel. About the Tonhalle: it started in 1862; after World War II it had eminent artists as PC: Vokmae Andreae ended his dilated tenure in 1949 and was succeeded by Rosbaud, Kempe, Dutoit, Albrecht, Eschenbach, Wakasugi, and before Bringuier, by David Zinman from 1995 to 2014. There´s a mistake in their hand programme biography: it isn´t the orchestra of the Zürich Opera, and it could hardly be: the Opera´s orchestra, called the Philharmonic, plays 250 performances a year! The 2016-17 season of the Tonhalle Orchestra boasts such names as Haitink, P.Järvi, Nagano, Ch.Von Dohnányi, Dutoit, Blomstedt, Zinman , Eötvös and Runnicles. They play at their New Hall, 1600 capacity. Their South American tour started at BA and continued at Montevideo, Sao Paulo and Rio, where the soloist was pianist Nelson Freire. Here they played two programmes, both having Batiashvili in Tchaikovsky´s Concerto. From the moment she started playing, there was no doubt that we were hearing an exceptional violinist: the timbre was as beautiful as she is, the phrasing was exact, the impulse and excitement were contagious, and when she had an ample melody she sang it as the best opera singer. She is also consistent, for on Tuesday she was as splendid as on Monday. And the Orchestra under Bringuier never lost pace nor technical perfection. The encore was unusual and welcome: the Kreisler arrangement for violin and orchestra of the principal melody of Dvorák´s Second Movement from the New World Symphony, interpreted as meltingly as can be. Two symphonies were heard: on Monday, Shostakovich ´s Sixth; on Tuesday, Mahler´s First. Before Shostakovich, a seven minute score by Ötvös with a particular title: "The gliding of the Eagle in the skies" (première). Written for the National Basque Orchestra in 2012, it features a big orchestra with much percussion, especially a "caja" (drum case), and flighty sounds from the flutes. I found the music evocative and interesting . The Sixth was premièred just as World War II started, and as it ends with a sarcastic Presto it was rejected at the time, but it starts with a desolate Adagio in the best stark mood of the author, and it is an important score. Apart from being overfast in the second movement, Bringuier was impeccable, and the orchestra, a round hundred players, showed first-rate quality in all sections. Mahler´s First was heard for the third time this year, but the music resists repetition as few others, for it is immensely creative and atractive throughout. Bringuier´s reading was quite satisfactory, and the playing had many moments of moving communication. Encores: on Monday, a sprightly rendition of Rossini´s Overture for "L´Italiana in Algeri". On Tuesday, a surprise: Florian Walser, the Tonhalle´s clarinettist, composed a funny showpiece with no name on traditional Swiss tunes, featuring characteristic wether bells, played with gusto by his colleagues. For Buenos Aires Herald
Dmitri Shostakovich (25 September 1906 - 9 August 1975) was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Leon Trotsky's chief of staff, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the Stalinist bureaucracy. In 1936, the government, most probably under orders from Stalin, harshly criticized his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, causing him to withdraw the Fourth Symphony during its rehearsal stages. Shostakovich's music was officially denounced twice, in 1936 and 1948, and was periodically banned. After a period influenced by Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky, Shostakovich developed a hybrid style, as exemplified by Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1934). This single work juxtaposed a wide variety of trends, including the neo-classical style (showing the influence of Stravinsky) and post-Romanticism (after Gustav Mahler). Shostakovich's orchestral works include 15 symphonies and six concerti. His symphonic work is typically complex and requires large scale orchestras. Music for chamber ensembles includes 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two pieces for a string octet, and two piano trios. For the piano he composed two solo sonatas, an early set of preludes, and a later set of 24 preludes and fugues. Other works include two operas, and a substantial quantity of film music.
Great composers of classical music