17th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw

As usual, around Easter, the Warsaw Beethoven Festival makes the polish music life more lively. At this edition, which was the 17th, the program was still very extensive, mixing genres from chamber music to symphonic music. The Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra is Poland's youth orchestra. It was founded in order to ease the youngsters' way into the world of professional orchestras. It performed at the festival in a concert starring two young ...
Maurizio Pollini - © Mathias Bothor / DG

Last Pollini Perspectives concert in Pleyel : a culmination

It was the last concert in the 2011-2013 Pollini Perspectives series, and the Maestro ended his Beethoven component with the last three sonatas (Pollini will record the complete cycle very soon with Deutsche Grammophon). He was also assisted by his son Daniele, who appeared as a soloist in the first part of the concert. In juxtaposition with the Beethoven works, music by Pollini's fellow countryman and friend Salvatore Sciarrino was performed ...
Nancy, France : L'importance d'etre Constant

The Importance of Being Earnest, world premiered on stage in Nancy

The Opéra de Lorraine, honoring its mission as a “national opera”, is acting as a commissioner of new work, it hosting the premiere of the stage version of Gerald Barry’s fifth opera, The Importance of Being Earnest. The work was a originally a commission of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and of London’s Barbican Center, but had only been presented in a concert version in 2012, when it was a great ...
Marie-Claire Alain

Tribute to Marie-Claire Alain

Further to her early studies in Saint-Germain, she became a student of Marcel Dupré and Maurice Duruflé, from whom she obtained a first prize in five classes at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris: organ, improvisation, harmony, counterpoint, and fugue. Her lengthy career began as early as 1937, when she would play the organ of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with her father. She gave more than 2,500 concerts around the world. She ...
Gala icma 2013

Milan: The 2013 ICMA gala

This year’s annual gala of the International Classical Music Awards was held at the Milan Auditorium, where the laureates were treated to an enjoyable evening of music. The Symphony Orchestra of Milan Giuseppe Verdi, which was founded in 1993, has become one of the greatest symphonic ensembles in Europe under the baton of Riccardo Chailly and others. In addition to the symphonic orchestra, LaVerdi has broadened its range of activities ...

Quartet, an enchanting comedy with music

The Beecham House - named in honor of the British conductor Thomas Beecham - is in effervescence. Residents, retired former musicians and singers, prepare the annual gala, perhaps the last, which profit will help keep the house open. Among them, Reggie, Wilf and Cissy, opera singers who formed a quartet in their youth with Jean another famous singer legendary... And here she arrives, one day. She is constantly inhabited by ...

Baiba Skride, violonist

“In a competition, most important is having a strong personality.” ResMusica :  You have been awarded the Grand Prize of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium in 2001. How have you been through this competition ? Baiba Skride : The Queen Elisabeth competition was a wonderful experience for me. It was so exciting to be a part of such a historic and meaningful competition. I met amazing musicians there, I learnt a lot about ...

ICMA 2013 : a trophy for Vladimir Fedoseyev

In the category Historical Recordings, Russian label Melodyia won an Award for the box 'Les Ballets Russes' (catalogue No. 1001990) with Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring, played by Moscow Philharmonic, Moscow State Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra under conductors Dmitrij Kitajenko, Pierre Boulez and Vladimir Fedoseyev. While at the Award Ceremony in Milan (18 March 2013), Dimitrij Kitajenko was given a trophy, ...

Audite, label of the year 2013

"Right now we are considering stopping streaming altogether" ResMusica :  You have won the "Label of the Year" of the International Classical Music Awards 2013, what does this award mean to you? Ludger Böckenhoff : We feel very honored! Particular since the ICMA jury is independent and consisting of journalists with great expertise for classical music. The award encourages us to continue our work, which has gone on for 40 years during ...
chailly icma 2013

Riccardo Chailly at the ICMA ceremony in Milan

Maestro Riccardo Chailly, Conductor Laureate of laVerdi awarded the ICMA for the CD « Discovery » by Verdi (DECCA) with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Watch the video.
rfranck icma2013

Rémy Franck, President of the Jury of ICMA 2013 thanks the Milan Symphony Orchestra

The Jury’s President of the International Classical Music Awards, Rémy Franck, thanks the Milan Symphony Orchestra « Giuseppe Verdi » for the ospitality during the 2013 Edition of ICMA. Watch the video.
"The Flying Dutchman" Final Dress Rehearsal_March 6, 2013

In Los Angeles, Sensational Timely Debuts by Matos and Tomasson

Nikolaus Lehnhoff’s former production (Chicago, 2001; San Francisco, 2004), very slightly retouched, retains its freshness and all its brilliance here and, in particular, gets right down to essentials. Of course, some psychological elements still remain but the myth, which immediately clears up any ambiguity. is frankly and straightforwardly recounted, as it should be, with explicit precision and accessibility. The timeless universal sets and costumes, often sinister and even macabre, also ...
(c) Elisabeth Carecchio

Love of a young woman by Tamasaburo Bando

Kunqu is an ancient traditional theater, which does qualify as opera as it includes singing and dancing, along with musical accompaniement. This art was born in the fifteenth century and was included on the Unesco's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001. The kabuki master Tamasaburo Bando, who was named a « Living National Treasure »last year in his home country, Japan, created a new version ...
John Axelrod

John Axelrod speaks about the ICMA 2013 Awards ceremony

Maestro Axelrod speaks about the edition 2013 of the ICMA and of the prizes which will be awarded during a concert event at the Auditorium in Milan on 18th March 2013. Watch the video: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb8gy1t_8fI[/youtube]

Iolanta and Perséphone, a successful pairing

The originality and success of this DVD results from first an unusual pairing of two works, or rather two rarities, belonging to very different eras and idioms. Indeed, aside from their very obviously Russian origins—even though Persephone, which premiered at the Paris Opera in 1934, could almost be taken for a French work—everything about these two works would seem to be entirely different. The late post-romanticism of Tchaikovsky's last opera (Iolanta ...
Le Barbier - Cyrille Cauvet

A quality Barber in Saint-Étienne

Alberto Zedda conducting a Rossini opera is always an important event. Even in the most famous of Rossini’s operas, this demonic conductor, together with an orchestra in a state of grace, managed to find and reveal to us new sonorities, details previously unsuspected within a constant flow. Such exceptional conducting would almost be enough for a superb performance, but the entire cast, delightfully, was outstanding, including very young singers in the ...
canizares 1- photo Marc Roger

Folle Journée in Nantes : the exquisite hour of French and Spanish music

This year, the theme was “L’heure exquise,” celebrating French and Spanish music from 1850 to the present. In that context, a great tribute was paid to the golden era of French music from the 1870s through the 1940s. Along with the most famous composers, such as Debussy, Ravel, Bizet, Albéniz, Falla, and Messiaen, the audience was given the opportunity to discover composers who until now have remained very little known, ...

Riccardo Chailly: Happy Birthday, Maestro!

ResMusica: Maestro Chailly, you can choose not to answer this first question : Will you be a candidate to replace Sir Simon Rattle in Berlin in 2018? Riccardo Chailly: Obviously I cannot answer this. Only fate and the Berlin Philharmonic will tell. RM: You will be turning sixty this year. You have conducted all the repertoire, from Bach to contemporary music, with all the greatest orchestras. Are there works that you have ...
Alisa Weilerstein -  (c) Decca / Harald Hoffmann

Alisa Weilerstein in Paris

"The programming is conservative and stuck" ResMusica: Your debut album features the concerto by Elgar, whose discography has been dominated by Jacqueline Du Pré since she recorded it in 1965. Daniel Barenboim made an emblematic recording with her in the mid-70’s. How did this album happen? Alisa Weilerstein: Playing this concerto with Maestro Barenboim was not something I asked myself. When I met with Barenboim for the first time, it was ...

Staggering Médée by Krzysztof Warlikowski

This DVD featuring Médée provides the  music lover with the opportunity to watch Christophe Rousset and director Krzysztof Warlikowski’s memorable production of Cherubini’s masterpiece. First given at La Monnaie in Brussels in 2008, this opera returned in September 2011 before being presented in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in December 2012. First, we must applaud the appropriate choice of using the French version of the opera, including the spoken ...

Gergiev kicks off the complete Shostakovich’s symphonies in Paris

Valery Gergiev has returned to the marathon concert format that he first put together for the 2010-2011 season—back then it was for Mahler's complete orchestral works— this time with a series of all of Shostakovitch's concertos and symphonies over two seasons and eight concerts. The first two of those consisted of the alpha and omega of the symphonic corpus, with, sandwiched in between, the Piano Concerto no. 2 on the ...
louis langrée 2012

Louis Langrée conducts the Berlin Philharmonic

For any conductor, being invited by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert in its own hall, in a subscription concert is always a feat which made you part for to an exclusive club, a Champion’s League, so to speak. If French conductors have always been highly on demand abroad (while they struggle to find adequate positions in their home country) few have made it to the podium of this ...

Don Quixote rejuvenated

José Montalvo is back as a full-fledged choreographer now that he has left his job as director of the Théâtre de Chaillot and his “partner” Dominique Hervieu. His latest creation, a refreshing, daring vision of Don Quixote of la Mancha, after a ballet by Ludwig Minkus, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, proves it. Montalvo had the smart idea to choose Patrice Thibaud as Don Quixote, the penniless hidalgo who fights against ...

Mariss Jansons makes the Turangalîla-Symphonie his own

If there was ever a concert distinguished by the originality of its program and the quality of its interpreters, it was surely this one. It featured the vast, if not overwhelming, Olivier Messiaen’s symphony played by a Bavarian orchestra with Wagnerian sonorities rather than the typically French style of the composer, under the baton of a first-class conductor whose vision of Messiaen's work could only sharpen music lovers' curiosity. Right from ...

Christian Lindberg : Pettersson is gigantic !

On November 25, on a famous social network, Christian Lindberg wrote: «Having lived now for 6 months with Pettersson´s 9th symphony I am SO MUCH looking forwards to start the work with the orchestra tomorrow! Pettersson gets under your skin, and You actually feel his pain working with his music. So why do we love him so much?? HE SPOKE OUT MUSICALLY ABOUT HUMAN DISPAIR! And in some strange way, ...

Gens and Axelrod rediscover Berlioz and Ravel

Those scores have a mesmerizing beauty but demand a very high technical and musical level. Hence, their discography is quantitatively massive but qualitatively very (very) poor. The tone of the solists cannot always seduce the listener into forgetting clumsy diction, misreading of the text or ignorance of the stylistic rules of prosody. In this context, the legendary version of Crespin and Ansermet (Decca) of Les Nuits d’été and Shéhérazade is ...

Interview with Tasmin Little on Delius anniversary

ResMusica : You have been among the few musicians championing the music of Frederick Delius throughout their career. You play it on stage regularly and lastly at the Prom’s, you recorded with EMI and Chandos, or by discussing it on the BBC. Have you seen a change in how this music is perceived and received by the audience, in the UK and abroad ? Tasmin Little : I do think that ...

In Montpellier, a tribute to Elliott Carter

When Jean-Paul Scarpitta decided to produce at the Corum of Montpellier the French premiere of What Next? by Elliott Carter, the only work by the American composer for the stage, and for only two performances, he could not guess he was about to give the best tribute to the American composer, who died on 5th November at 103 years old. The condensed format of this chamber opera (45 minutes) called for ...
Anna Caterina Antonacci et Nikolai Schukoff  © Charles Duprat/Opéra national

A disappointing Carmen at the Paris Opera

Carmen last production at the Paris Opera dates back to 1997 (performed until 2002), which explains the high expectations for this new production entrusted to the (mostly theater) director Yves Beaunesne. Sold out until the end of 2012, this opera by Bizet is shown in the version with dialogues; the libretto having nevertheless been adapted by the playwright Marion Bernède. In a unique and quite colorless set (a warehouse), Yves Beaunesne chose ...