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#morninglistening to #Chopin w/@SeongJinCho, @LondonSymphony...

#morninglistening to #Chopin w/@SeongJinCho, @LondonSymphony & @NosedaG on @dgclassics.


#Adventskalender Day 11.

#pianoconcertos + #Ballades

#classicalcdcollection #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #pianomusic #solokeyboard #pianoconcertos #SeongJinCho #gianandreanoseda #londonsymphonyorchestra
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#morninglistening to #Krenek w/@KennethWoods &...

#morninglistening to #Krenek w/@KennethWoods & @EnglishSymphon on @toccataMusicGrp :

#Adventskalender Day 10.

@SurprisedBeauty music!

#pianoconcertos #20thcenturyclassical #surprisedbybeauty
#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #sacredmusic #ErnstKrenek #czechmusic #AustrianMusic #americanclassicalmusic #BestoftheYear2017 material?
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Bach is for Dancing (Nacho Duato's Multiplicity)

“Multiplicity: Bach” is advertised as a “choreographic reflection inspired by the music and life of Johann Sebastian Bach.” Just based on that PR-description, it might be either terrifically right or terribly wrong. When I first recommended in 2010, on WETA’s website, I had banked on the indestructibility of Bach and the fact that it was commissioned by the culturally high-minded city of Weimar. When I then actually saw it – first at the Munich State Ballet, then Den Norske Opera & Ballett, my recommendation didn’t just stand, it was redoubled. “Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness” (to give the full title of the two-partite work) is indeed terrifically right.

It’s a ballet inspired by a deep and abiding love for Bach, and it shines through every of the 22, mostly short, mostly unrelated, dance sequences; each set to a different piece of Bach’s music. The music comes out of the can, but that’s no loss because the recordings chosen (presumably by Duato) are excellent and show that he was (and is) a very discriminating collector. (It would, in any case, be unfeasible to perform that many completely different bits of Bach and get the exact tempi right for each one. I’ve put together a list with the exact recordings Duato chooses on ionarts.)

The first part, “Multiplicity”, looks at Bach’s life, at love, domesticity, and dance. Concertos, chamber music, and every piano student’s Minuet from the Notenbüchlein for Anna Magdalena make for 14 musical appearances the thrust of which is that this was dance music and that dancing to it is the most perfectly natural response to it. That Bach himself is presented—with powdered wig in a faintly baroque getup—isn’t hooey, and neither is the scene where he draws a bow across a female dancer’s body to the First Cello Suite: instead of being a painfully trite analogy for the cello as a woman’s body, it’s a joyous to-and-fro between music itself—embodied by that one particular dancer throughout the evening—and Bach. And instead of being erotic (though possibly that, too), it is playful in a good-humored, touching way. When the Suite is over and the dancer jumps on Bach’s lap, embracing him, she’s appears more a content little boy than some alluring sexpot. The collective “awwwwwwww” of the audience responded to the pervading sense of agápe, not éros.

The second part is titled “Forms of Silence and Emptiness”, and now the austerity of Bach comes to the fore. A visualization of music, notions of geometry and abstraction, fragility, infinity and finiteness are danced to The Art of the Fugue, several organ works, and the Sinfonia and “Seufzer, Tränen” aria from “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis”. Nacho Duato’s wonderful touch becomes most obvious when he turns the ‘dry magnificence’ of The Art of the Fugue (the beauty of which has been likened to that of solving a math problem) into two searing emotional episodes, including the near-finale of Contrapunctus 14.

Bring the spouse and bring the kids, and, if Bach has a deeper meaning for you, if he touches you profoundly, do bring the Kleenex—I wish I had.

Your next opportunity to hear and see "Multiplicity" seems to come March 22nd and 23rd of 2018 at St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre.

All Pictures © Wilfried Hösl courtesy Bavarian State Opera

#morninglistening to #Dvořák’s #StabatMater w/@czechphil,...

to #Dvořák’s #StabatMater w/@czechphil, @spikelmyres et al. on @deccaclassics :

#Adventskalender Day 9. (bit late, due to power outage.)

RIP #jiribelohlavek


#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #sacredmusic #Dvorak #czechmusic #CzechPhilharmonic #jiříbělohlávek
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Not The Classical CD Of The Week: Rolando Villazon's Abduction Of Mozart

Happy Second Advent Sunday to You!

…“CD’s of the Week” are – quite obviously – recommendations. It makes little sense to write about ho-hum releases; it’s more fun to place the spotlight (if these posts can be called so much) on something deserving. But every once in a while I come across a clunker that bothers me particularly, for some reason or another; usually because of missed opportunities or a certain cynicism involved in the making. It’s fun writing about that, too, and more importantly I think it is necessary. The classical music world is one filled with an insufferable amount of fluff-jobs, notoriously dishonest, and sycophantic. The occasional dose of an inconvenient opinion can’t hurt. Consequently, this is “Not The Classical CD Of The Week”:…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Rolando Villazon's Abduction Of Mozart


#morninglistening to #TerryRiley’s “Dark Queen...

to #TerryRiley’s “Dark Queen Mantra” w/@delsolquartet on @sonilummusic:

#Adventskalender Day 9.

#StringQuartet + #guitar (#gyanriley)

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #21stcenturyclassical #20thcenturyclassical #contemporaryclassical #americanclassicalmusic #stefanoScodanibbio
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New stage version of 'Private Confessions' at Kennedy Center

Private Confessions, National Theater of Norway (photo by Erik Berg)

Ingmar Bergman wrote the screenplay of Enskilda samtal (Private Confessions), a 1996 film directed by Bergman's muse, Liv Ullmann. Last year Ullmann adapted the script in a Norwegian stage version, premiered by the National Theater of Norway. In a co-production with Riksteatret, this new play is visiting the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater this week, where it opened on Wednesday evening. These performances are part of the centenary celebration of the Swedish film director, who died in 2007.

Bergman drew the story from his mother's diary, discovered and read only after she had died. In it she confided deep secrets of her life, including her unhappy marriage with Bergman's father and her attraction to another man. Ullmann has woven that diary more explicitly into the stage version, through a Narrator character, played with reserve by Kari Simonsen. Otherwise the play follows the same non-linear arc as the film, beginning with the confession of the wife, Anna, to her childhood pastor, Jacob, and then looping back to the origins of her infidelity and the tragic outcome of her decision to tell her husband everything.

Other Articles:

Nelson Pressley, Bergman’s ‘Private Confessions’: Portrait of the artist’s mother’s affair (Washington Post, December 8)

Jason Fraley, Liv Ullmann gives ‘Private Confessions’ during Kennedy Center’s ‘Bergman 100’ (WTOP, December 6)
The account of the emotional torment is unsparing. Marte Engebrigtsen is radiant and multifaceted as Anna. Her frankness in revealing the secret affair to her husband, the more staid Henrik of Mattis Herman Nyquist, is brutal and difficult to watch. The audience initially responded to this central scene with nervous laughter, as if the story were a sitcom, but that gave way to horrified gasps. Bjørn Skagestad was forthright as Jacob, the role played by Max von Sydow in the film, the upright moral voice who advises Anna to tell Henrik everything.

Liv Bernhoft Osa was the strongest in the supporting cast, as Anna's mother, Karin, while Anneke von der Lippe was a steady, somewhat quizzical presence as Anna's friend Märta. The last in the cast to take the stage, the young theology student Tomas, who falls into the romance with Anna, was the only slight disappointment, not given much individuality by Morten Svartveit. The Norwegian dialogue is miked discreetly, with English subtitles projected onto the austere wooden wall at the back of the small, nearly empty stage space (set design by Milja Salovaara). A beautifully realized love scene, equal parts awkward and intense, is the reason for the recommendation of this production only for ages 16 and above.

This production runs through December 9, at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater.

#morninglistening to #Prokofiev on #Audite w/@KKarabits &...

#morninglistening to #Prokofiev on #Audite w/@KKarabits & #StaatskapelleWeimar:

#Adventskalender Day 8.

#propagandamusic as a massive spectacle.
#sergeiprokofiev #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #cantata #symphony #RussianMusic #orchestralmusic #choralmusic #20thCenturyMusic #Prokofjew
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