Thursday, July 28, 2016
Over the past several days I have been studying and listening again to the amazing piano concerto KV 482 by Mozart. It carries the number 22, and I am totally thrilled with it again. Mozart was working on his opera Le Nozze Di Figaro at the time that this concerto was written. And I can hear music that is very much related to opera in this masterpiece. This is one of three piano concerto in which Mozart uses clarinets, and they get to play some prominent solos in this piece. On occasion one feels like this is a piece for piano and winds. I will attempt to locate the video that is helping me in my “rediscovery”. Look and see how totally engaged and involved the orchestra members are in their respective playing. Not just the section principals, but virtually every person has her/his body synchronized with this astounding music. As it turned out, I was unable to locate the performance I was seeking. But I have for you pianist Rudolf Buchbinder as soloist and conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. A world-class group, right?
Christophe Honoré’s Così fan tutte has been described as a ‘provocative and sexually explicit’ adaptation Mozart’s operaThe Edinburgh international festival has been criticised for offering refunds for a new production of Così fan tutte before the opera has opened.Christophe Honoré’s version of the Mozart opera opened the Aix-en-Provence festival in France last month and will play at the Festival theatre in the Scottish capital in late August. Continue reading...
“Graphic depictions of violence, racist abuse and sexual assault are all expected to feature in a hard-hitting new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. But the [Edinburgh International Festival] failed to fully warn buyers when the tickets went on sale on April because it had not seen the three-and-a-half-hour opera, which will be performed at the Festival Theatre at the end of August.”
Evan Duy Quoc Le, known as Evan Le, was born to Vietnamese parents on May 31st, 2011 in Torrance, California. He had his first piano lesson a year ago and can now get through the first movement of Mozart’s eighth piano concerto, K246. Not just at home, either. Here’s his first orchestral performance, posted yesterday: And we’re told he wrote his own cadenza.
There is an art of listening, when you listen to Beethoven or Mozart and so on, you listen, you don't try to interpret it, unless you are romantic, sentimental and all that. You absorb, you listen, there is some extraordinary movement going on in it, great silence, great depth and all that. So similarly if you can listen, not only with the hearing of the ear, but deeply, not interpret, not translate, just listen.That quote comes from a 1985 TV interview with Jiddu Krishnamurti. There is some serious listening talent in the photo. It shows Aldous Huxley - who famously recommended that "if you ever use mescaline or LSD in therapy ... try the effect of the [Bach] B-minor suite" - kneeling in the foreground, while standing from left to right are Krishnamurti, Igor & Vera Stravinsky, Maria Huxley, and Radha Rajagopal Sloss. The photo was taken in 1949 at a picnic in Wrightwood, California. Radha Rajagopal Sloss was the daughter of the American born Rosalind Rajagopal, who was a director of the Happy Valley School in Ojai founded by Krishnamurti and wife of his business manager, editor and close associate D. Rajagopal. Krishnamurti died in 1986, and Radha Rajagopal Sloss alleges in her 1991 book Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti that her mother had a clandestine sexual relationship with Krishnamurti lasting twenty-five years. Rosalind Rajagopal was a close friend of the celebrated Hungarian-born pianist Lili Kraus, while Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti recounts how "Rosalind's former tennis days stood her in good stead too for she found new friendships through this sport with, among others, the composer Arnold Schoenberg..." At the core of Krishnamurti's teachings - see video clip below - is the message that "...there is no teacher, no pupil; there is no leader; there is no guru; there is no Master, no Saviour. You yourself are the teacher and the pupil; you are the Master; you are the guru; you are the leader; you are everything. And to understand is to transform what is". In its early days Happy Valley School was supported by the southern California creative community which included Arnold Schoenberg and Lili Kraus. Pau Casals was a friend of Krishnamurti's and played for him in Rome in 1963, Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha performed at a talk given by Krishnamurti at Brockwood, England in 1975, and Igor Stravinsky moved in his circle. We can only speculate as to what subliminal influence Krishnamurti's radical teachings had on these free thinkers. Header photo via Radha Sloss. No review samples used in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.
Royal Albert Hall, London The Italian singer Rosa Feola’s gleaming, supple soprano soared above a rather soft-toned orchestra, in the Proms debut of French conductor Jérémie RhorerThis was a Proms debut for the French conductor Jérémie Rhorer and his period instrument ensemble Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, but their thunder was stolen by their soloist, the soprano Rosa Feola. In this perfectly balanced programmed of Mozart and Mendelssohn, she featured in two concert arias – long, quasi-operatic pieces written for star singers. Her gleaming, supple soprano shone in Mendelssohn’s Infelice, riding the choppy waves of the stormy orchestra in the closing section, and she soared in duet with the oboe in Mozart’s Ah, lo previdi.Feola’s arias were flanked by two symphonies, neither of which came off quite as well, with Rhorer’s soft-toned players struggling to get crisp details across the huge spaces of the hall. Mozart’s No 39 took a little while to settle down. The best movement was the Andante, in which the ensemble’s soft tone was used to advantage, as transparent layers of melody and harmony overlapped, combining and then clearing. Yet in the faster movements, even when Rhorer’s tempos had a swing, the phrasing had a certain flatness to it. Continue reading...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 - 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. Mozart composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers. Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of Mozart's death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons. Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate. His influence on subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, of whom Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."
Great composers of classical music