Archive for August, 2009

Salonen in London

Posted in News on August 30, 2009 by figarosi

The Philharmonia Orchestra of London is recording Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” with a distinct difference. In an effort to put the listener at the center of the experience, 28 high definition cameras are spread around the orchestra as they play, including four mounted on the heads of musicians.
Esa-Pekka Salonen, the orchestra’s new music director, originated this idea and found the foundation support for the project. “Being inside an orchestra, experiencing the sensation of 101 players taking on this iconic music is one of the biggest adrenalin rushes, and one that I want to share with the world,” explains the maestro.
‘RE-RITE Be the Orchestra’, which opens November 3 at the Bargehouse at London’s South Bank complex, has every section of the orchestra performing Rite of Spring simultaneously in an exhibit occupying the four floors of the warehouse. The public can sit in various orchestra sections and even take up the baton and control sections of the orchestra as they play.
Salonen, having created from scratch in Los Angeles one of the most sophisticated audiences for new music in America, could be starting to widen the perspectives of Londoners.


Hometown boy honored.

Posted in News on August 28, 2009 by figarosi

The composer Louis Spohr (1784-1859) is finally being honored in his hometown by a new museum. Kassel will open a permanent exhibition of his life and work in the old train station in the city center, now a cultural center. His violin school in town changed lives and his operas, violin concertos and symphonies too rarely appear on programs of our time.

Bravo Maestro!

Posted in Random Comment on August 17, 2009 by figarosi

A few years ago someone asked “Georges Prêtre, is he still alive?” The grand favorite of Maria Callas, he still conducts, at 85, the great orchestras in Vienna and Berlin. In this clip he makes a rare appearance in his home country .
This astonishing performance of the Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, with the Orchestre National de France, is from Chorégies d’Orange on August 4. You can understand why he was Callas’ favorite.

Why the Mariinsky Ring?

Posted in Random Comment on August 5, 2009 by figarosi

“The whole package, including the famous conductor and chorus, is only $29.99 a night a seat and we can sell out at $50 a seat. We’ll make a
killing! Lets do it!”
“But boss, this production has gotten uniformly bad reviews on three continents!”
“Idiot critics… they don’t matter anymore. Besides, Wagner fans are automatically wired to buy the Ring.”
“Please boss, think about it. It’s just bad art. To mangle Wagner with incapable singers and a laughable staging. That’s not what we should be
“What the hell does art have to do with opera? It’s show business! Go block out the time on the calendar and stop your whining.”