Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

 For want of me the world's course will not fail;
 When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
 The truth is great and shall prevail,
 When none cares whether it prevail or not."

  -- Coventry Patmore (b. 1823-07-23, d. 1896-11-26), "Magna est Veritas", The Unknown Eros, 1877 [spotted in a tweet by @aristofontes]

Hotting up at cool Fjord Classics

Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:31 am
[syndicated profile] jessica_duchen_feed

Posted by Jessica

As if taking over the artistic directorship of Australian Festival of Chamber Music weren't enough, the inimitable Kathryn Stott has joined forces with Norwegian violist Lars Anders Tomter (both, left) to start a new chamber music festival a little bit further north: Fjord Classics. They have assembled a seriously impressive line-up of artists, including Leif Ove Andsnes, Ruby Hughes, the Skampa Quartet, Vikingur Ólaffson, Christian Poltera and many more, ready to awaken the town of Sandefjord to the sounds of music from Mozart to Messiaen, Rebecca Clarke to Janáček, Alma Mahler to Fauré. The festival runs from 27 June to 2 July. I asked the energetic British pianist what they're doing, and why, and how, because it has all happened rather quickly...

Kathryn Stott
JD: Kathy, what inspired you and Lars to start Fjord Classics?

KS: Originally Lars had invited me to work on a different project with him, but when that took an abrupt turn, we started to consider other options and were very determined to find a way to get our collaboration up and running. Where to begin when starting a new festival is both daunting and exciting in equal measure, but we were more than thrilled when Vestfoldfestspillene offered us the opportunity set up Fjord Classics under their larger umbrella. 

JD: You’ve pulled it together incredibly fast - what’s that been like?

KS: If you’d asked me this question just before Christmas, I’d say we were out of breath for a few months. Thats probably an understatement! Firstly we put a lot of thought into choosing the right venues, in particular the main festival town. When we looked around Sandefjord we knew that was the one. Lars had a number of musicians all on hold from his previous venture and I have to say their loyalty in following us through to Fjord Classics speaks volumes. From there we added more musicians as our programming took shape but obviously the pace was very fast and I look forward to next time when we can focus solely on artistic thoughts and not the logistics of setting up a new festival. Our theme, 'The Dance of Life’ by Edvard Munch, gave us amazing inspiration so let's say that was a major springboard for musical ideas both on the track and some off piste!

Lars Anders Tomter
JD: How is it different from the other festivals you’ve been (and are) involved with?

KS: As you know, since 1995 I’ve been an Artistic Director on many projects but they have all been one-offs or with no real thought to follow through. That changed when I was appointed AD of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music so I was already extremely excited to have that opportunity to be creative with a vision towards the future. With Fjord Classics, Lars and I share the role. Between us we have an abundance of ideas but I think more than anything else, we compliment each other in having different skills and approaches. I see that as so positive and an aspect of our working relationship which is to be treasured.

JD: What do you think is most attractive about it for the audience?

KS: Huge variety! This year we really went for the max in all respects and from this we will see how to continue in the future. However, our primary thoughts have always been about quality and so this is never compromised. We have gathered the best musicians and put them with the greatest of music, so what is there not to like? I hope our audience is excited by what we are offering and will hold onto memorable experiences long into the future. This is just the beginning.

JD: What are you most looking forward to in it?

KS: In a way its not so much the performing aspect myself, but seeing how the programmes come together in reality and most of all, the joy of bringing musicians together from around the world and seeing what they create. Apart from anything else, I love going to concerts, so it's a musical feast whichever way you look at it.

JD: How’s your Norwegian?

KS: What was the question? Pass…...

More details and booking at https://www.fjordclassics.com/welcome
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was commissioned by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "Farce" square in my 4-19-16 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
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Posted by Timothy Green

Ekphrastic Challenge, May 2017: Artist’s Choice


And the Wolf by Laura Jensen

Image: “The Pink Bird Corridor” by Soren James. “Birds of a Feather” was written by Lianne Kamp for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, May 2017, and selected as the Artist’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Lianne Kamp


And this, my friend,
is how the end is
determined to find us—

after eons of evolution,
after miraculous miles
of twisting DNA,

trailing through the
telescopic corridors
and the electric synopsis—

to be pared down
to the bare bones,
to be stripped of

all our trappings
like so many proud
peacocks unawares

that their plumage
has fallen away

Ekphrastic Challenge, May 2017
Artist’s Choice

[download audio]


Comment from the artist, Soren James, on this selection: “From a wonderfully diverse collection of poems, I’ve chosen one that I found perhaps the most concise—its pared style echoing its meaning. Philosophically rich, the poem covers a surprising amount of ground—from genial opening to abstract comment on everything—in less than a hundred words. Loved it.”

Multi-Story on the move

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:18 am
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
The Multi-Story Orchestra (Photo Sam Murray Sutton)
The Multi-Story Orchestra (Photo Sam Murray Sutton)
The Multi-Story Orchestra is having a (temporary) change of home, on 24 June 2017 moves from its regular Peckham car park to Blackfriars NCP multi-storey car park, Foundation Street, Ipswich for a concert as part of the Aldeburgh Festival. Christopher Stark conducts a programme which includes arias by Handel and Kate Whitley's I am, I say with soloists Raphaela Papadakis and Andrew Rupp. The orchestra will also be joined by children from Hillside Primary School and Sidegate Primary School in the Kate Whitley. The afternoon concert will be followed by one of the orchestra's Living Programme Notes featuring Mozart's Symphony No 41 (‘Jupiter’), with Christopher Stark conducting.

The orchestra returns to its regular home in Peckham in July, when performances include the living programme note on Mozart's Jupiter symphony, In Colour – a new work written by pupils from Kender, John Donne, Hollydale & Lyndhurst Primary Schools, Haydn's Symphony No 82 ‘The Bear’ and Bartok dances; at one of the performances these latter will be performed with players from St Thomas the Apostle College & Harris Academy Peckham alongside The Multi-Story Orchestra.

There is also a chamber music series in Peckham, with a programme curated by flautist Hannah Grayson which includes George Crumb's Vox Balaenae and the Trio for flute, piano and cello by the 19th century French composer Louise Farrenc, cellist Nathaniel Boyd in solo Bach and Kodaly, a programme of Rameau, Piazzola and Bach curated by cellist Abel Sealocoe, Kate Whitley & Richard Uttley in Stravinsky's piano duet version of The Rite of Spring and a programme curated by percussionist Jude Carlton which includes a new commission from Ruta Vitkauskaite.

Full details from the Multi-Story website.
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Ronald Stevenson Piano Music: Volume Two
Ronald Stevenson Piano Music: Volume Two; Christopher Guild; Toccata Classics
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on June 06 2017
Star rating: 4.0

A valuable addition to the growing repertoire of Stevenson's music available on disc

The composer / pianist Ronald Stevenson left a huge legacy of piano music, and the challenge for performers on CD is to make a coherent and satisfying programme. The pianist Christopher Guild is recording Stevenson's piano music for Toccata Classics, this is the second of his discs and on it Guild includes Stevenson's Hebridean Seascape (a transcription of a Frank Merrick piece), Three Scots Fairy Tales, A Carlyle Suite, Rory Dall Morrison's Harp Book, Three Scottish Ballads, and Lament for a Blind Harper.

It is the folk-song of Scotland (Stevenson's adopted country) which weaves its way through much of the material on the disc. Hebridean Seascape is an imaginative transcription of the slow movement of a piano concerto by the composer / pianist Frank Merrick, and the central section includes a Skye fisherwoman's chant. It is quite a virtuosic piece, designed for a pianist such as Stevenson was (he was no mean interpreter of his own music). The next piece is completely the opposite, Three Scots Fairy Tales was written for children but Stevenson certainly does not write down.

A Carlyle Suite was written for the Carlyle centenary celebrations in 1995. A five-movement piece, it shows both Stevenson's sense of humour (though some of the jokes are only visible to the pianist reading the music), and his ability to conjure other styles, so in the second movement there is an evocation of a recital given by Chopin for Jane Carlyle, with Stevenson wittily combining Polish dances and Scotch snaps! The third movement is a set of variations on the theme used in Bach's Musical Offering, moving from the baroque to the contemporary.

Rory Dall Morrison's Harp Book is a set of realisation for piano (or clarsach) of tunes from a 17th century Scots harp book. Short, but charming pieces which show Stevenson's imaginative but sensitive way with folk-song. In Three Scottish Ballads Stevenson gives us his version of three rather gruesome Border ballads, Lord Randal, The Dowie Dens o'Yarrow, and The Newhaven Fishwife's Cry. They show Stevenson at his imaginative best, combining the music of Scotland with his own voice. The work on the disc, Lament for a Blind Harper is based on a melody by his daughter, the harpist Savourna Stevenson.

Guild also contributes a valuable booklet essay which provides background both on Stevenson's career and on the music.

There is much to enjoy on this disc, and Guild is adept at both the children's pieces and the more virtuoso passages. The disc is part of an opening up of Stevenson's repertoire on CD, and will certainly be welcome to lovers of Stevenson's music (four of the works on the disc are first recordings). That said, I am not quite certain whether it makes a recital disc that I would want to return to regularly. The varied nature of the pieces, and the rather short movement length of some, make it something of an attractive patchwork. Something in which to dip occasionally.

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015) - Hebridean Seascape
Ronald Stevenson - Three Scots Fairy Tales
Ronald Stevenson - A Carlyle Suite
Ronald Stevenson - Rory Dall Morrison's Harp Book
Ronald Stevenson - Three Scottish Ballads
Ronald Stevenson - Lament for a Blind Harper
Christopher Guild (piano)
Recorded 5 & 12 June 2016, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton
Available from Amazon.

Elsewhere on this blog:

Magical, mystical

Jun. 22nd, 2017 06:00 am
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Posted by ukcomposer

Yesterday was one of those days that comes around only infrequently, stuffed with adventure and delight from the moment I tumbled out of bed at 6 to the moment I tumbled back in many hours later.  I love days like this, even though I usually need time to recover.

My early morning drive to London was nearly scuppered by the realisation – too late – that I was driving towards solstice Stonehenge. Thankfully all the folks who had turned up to watch the sunrise on their mobile phones had more or less headed off to Glastonbury by the time I drove through, although the stones looked particularly beautiful in the morning sun, and the quizzical traffic clearly agreed.

So I headed into north London for a preliminary meeting with a new acquaintance about some work, and it went pretty well.  This is the kind of area to which I can bring all my weaponry to bear – arranging, composing, transcribing, even drumming and bass playing through all those years in all those bands.  The meeting went well, and there is more to come.

Then it was into town to direct the music for a high profile funeral at Mabbots, with a choir of eight singers providing wonderful and nuanced performances of the pieces.  I felt that this was a real tour de force, especially in the sweltering heat under cassocks and surplices, and, my goodness, they did the departed proud.

The umpteenth tube journey of the day, bakingly hot, brought me back to my car, and I dropped the roof once off the M3 and breezed my way to Wells and then home, doing some networking with the proper folks down these parts.  For a treat, at the very end of the day I broke open one of my sealed board games for review, a little cardboard therapy.

As the mist descended over darkened Shepton there may have been some red wine to hand as well, a good end to the longest day, and having made use of every single minute.  I love days like this.

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:36 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
In the trees looking up, it's sometimes hard to tell the fireflies from the stars.

Hard Things

Jun. 21st, 2017 05:32 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

LA Percussion Quartet – Beyond (CD)

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:13 pm
[syndicated profile] sequenza21_feed

Posted by Christian Carey

Los Angeles Percussion Quartet


Works by Daniel Bjarnason, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Christopher Cerrone, Ellen Reid, and Andrew McIntosh

Sono Luminus 2XCD

Los Angeles Percussion Quartet performs on one of the most compelling releases of early 2017. Beyond (Sono Luminus, June 16, 2017) is a double-disc helping of new works for percussion ensemble by Daniel Bjarnason, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Christopher Cerrone, Ellen Reid, and Andrew McIntosh. All of these composers are up and coming stars in the new music world. Both Reid and Cerrone are New Yorkers (Reid is now based in NY and LA) who have taken Los Angeles by storm in recent seasons with opera and orchestra projects. Bjarnason and Thorvaldsdottir are Icelandic composers who both have a strong connection to the West Coast. McIntosh is very strongly identified with the LA scene, as a composer, string performer, and the guiding force behind Populist Recordsone of the most interesting experimental labels out there (here is my recent review of a Populist release by Daniel Corral).

One of the fascinating things to hear on Beyond is the way in which each composer translates their musical approach to the percussive idiom. Thus, Bjarnason’s penchant for dynamic and scoring contrasts is demonstrated in Qui Tollis, a composition equally compelling in both its pianissimo and fortissimo passages. Thorvaldsdottir’s Aura maintains its creator’s fascination with pitched timbres and colorful clouds of harmony; these are deployed with a deft sense of ensemble interplay. Cerrone imports acoustic guitar and electronics in the five-movement suite Memory Palace. The places he references are familiar to New Yorkers, from the pastoral hues of “Harriman” to the tense ostinatos of “L.I.E.” (Long Island Expressway, for those of you who have the blissful fortune to be unaware of this stress-filled commuter highway), and his depictions ring true. Fear-Release by Reid presents a dramatic use of unfurling cells of rhythmic activity alongside pensive pitched percussion. Its coda for metallophones is particularly fetching; after all of the built up tension of the piece’s main body, it serves as a kind of exhalation.

The culminating, and most substantial, work on the recording is McIntosh’s I Hold the Lion’s Paw, a nine-movement long piece some three quarters of an hour in duration. Much of its composer’s music concerns itself with microtones and alternate tunings – he is experienced in playing both Early music’s temperaments as well as contemporary explorations of tuning. Thus it is no surprise that McIntosh’s pitch template for I Hold the Lion’s Paw is an extended one. However, this is just one aspect of a multi-faceted piece, which also makes extensive use of low drums and cymbals for a ritualistic colloquy. Still more ritualized, taking on an almost sacramental guise, is the pouring of water and striking of ceramics filled with water. Every percussionist I know loves an instrument-making assignment and McIntosh doesn’t disappoint: DIY elements include aluminum pipes, cut to fit. None of the elements of this significant battery of instruments seems out of place: despite the use of water, I Hold the Lion’s Paw is no “kitchen sink” piece. On the contrary, it is a thoughtfully constructed and sonically beguiling composition. Several excellent percussion ensembles are currently active: Los Angeles Percussion Quartet is certainly an estimable member of this elite cohort.

Reading Wednesday and music meme

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:06 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read: Not reading much or posting much at the moment because [personal profile] cjwatson is visiting and I'm mainly paying attention to him. I'll update here later in the week, probably.

Currently reading: Nearly finished: Too like the lightning by Ada Palmer. I'm really enjoying the resolution of the political intrigue plot, but I'm a bit annoyed by the sophomoric speculation on the philosophical implications of sadism.

Up next: All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders.

Music meme day 8 of 30

A song about drugs or alcohol

Two from opposite ends of the spectrum: my ex-gf used to sing me this ridiculously soppy song, Kisses sweeter than wine by Jimmie Rogers. Which is really only tangentially about alcohol but it's connected to happy memories for me. And I couldn't leave out the most explicitly druggy song in my collection, Heroin, she said by WOLFSHEIM.

two videos )
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Posted by maestrobeats

by Maggie Molloy Every end marks a new beginning—and as the 2016-2017 Town Music series comes to a close, artistic director Joshua Roman looks excitedly toward the future with a program of works by living (and thriving!) composers. For this Wednesday’s … Continue reading

MEETING ODETTE: The Swan Lake Book

Jun. 21st, 2017 01:13 pm
[syndicated profile] jessica_duchen_feed

Posted by Jessica

I used to have a recurring dream. I was in the library, looking for a book. I knew I'd seen it once before. I couldn't find it. It was a book of Swan Lake. I would always wake up knowing there was something inside it that I wanted, or needed, but I could never remember what it was.

This isn't the cover and it probably isn't the title either,
but a kind and creative author friend came up with the image on Canva and sent it to me

I had this dream right through my childhood into my teens and beyond, in one form or another. At first it showed me Swiss Cottage Library, which was our local. On other nights I'd see myself in Foyles, looking through the ballet section for a book that wasn't there. Wherever it might be, I always knew that it was my Swan Lake book.

Then, when I was 26, I decided that as it hadn't pitched up yet, I would write it myself.

That was in 1992. Since then I have rewritten it about 200 times: differences as small as changing the names or as large as reducing the length to half its original. The first draft was, in any case, hopeless: it was full of words.

Periodically I've shown it to people. Literary agents, publishers, friends, family. The typical reaction from the professionals? "Oh darling, we love it, it's beautiful, but it's very, er, whimsical..." They didn't fancy whimsical. Magical realism, which had flourished while I was a teenager gobbling up Angela Carter's books, had gone out of fashion. Meeting Odette, as it became called, at least for the moment, didn't fit anywhere.

Yet occasionally one of those friends or family members would pop up after reading another of my novels or attending one of our concerts and say: "What happened to the one about the swan? That was actually my favourite..."

Therefore I thought, after the splendid job that Unbound did with Ghost Variations, that I'd run it past them, just in case. Unbound likes quirky. Unbound likes whimsical. They love things that don't "fit" easily. And it didn't bother them one jot that Meeting Odette has little in common with Ghost Variations other than an association with an actual piece of music or, in this case, ballet.

It isn't a "ballet book", though, and it has nothing to do with Black Swan or any of the ballet's various stage updatings. It's a fairy-tale for the 21st century. The story of what happens when Odette is blown off course and crashes through Mary's window in a university town in the east of England has begun to feel oddly "relevant".

This isn't the title or the cover either. This is just me messing around on Canva...

All the ducks - or swans - were in a row at last. And today, 21 June, Summer Solstice 2017, we launch the campaign for Meeting Odette.

If you've enjoyed Ghost Variations, you'll probably know how Unbound works now. It's like an 18th-century subscription model. Essentially you are buying the book before it's published, rather than after, and you get thanked for it in print. It's now called crowdfunding, of course, but the inspiration is really quite archaic. (I should add, because people often denigrate self-publishing, that this is not self-publishing in any way, shape or form. Unbound has a different model, for sure, but they are top-flight professionals. I wouldn't have the first clue how to publish my own book and wouldn't like to attempt it.)

You can go for various different reward packages at different levels. Prices start at £10 for the e-book and your name in the book. The paperback basic is £20, but there's an Early Swan deal for £15 on the first 50. A book club package includes five paperbacks and an author visit; a larger contribution gets you and your plus-one an invitation to a buffet lunch with me and some wonderful friends from inside the ballet world to enjoy food, drink and good conversation about books, music, ballet, Swan Lake and, no doubt, more. Ballet enthusiasts could also consider clubbing together for the biggest one, for which I'll come to your house or institution and give a lecture about Swan Lake itself (and you get 10 paperbacks too).

Later in the process I am hoping to add further rewards in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, where a new production of Swan Lake directed by Liam Scarlett is due for premiere in May. If you've already pledged by then, you can upgrade to one of these if you want to. The site makes it nice and easy.

On Meeting Odette's page at Unbound, you'll find a video welcome from me, a synopsis, an extract and the full list of pledge rewards. Please swan over and have a look. I do hope that you will consider backing this book, which after 25 years is very, very close to my heart.


Poem: "The Health of the People"

Jun. 20th, 2017 11:26 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "Webs and Networks (Power / Influence / Control)" square in my 4-19-16 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Calliope and Vagary are still kind of a mess, but getting better. This includes questions about gift-giving, detailed discussions of health coverage, transgender health and other issues, acceptance and rejection, awkward comparisons between supervillains and other people, Vagary is actually rather good with people under limited circumstances for which he has received training, and he's getting better in general due to level-grinding social skills, not exactly hacking but looks like it, vague financial discussions, boundary issues, complications of identity, frog handling, fertility challenges, Vagary is making his own friends in Stillwater, and is a huggy monkey when not trying to avoid upsetting Calliope, and other angst. But mostly it's positive. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )


Jun. 21st, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"'Come with me,' Mom says.
 To the library.
 Books and summertime
 go together."

  -- Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me (2008)

[A happy summer solstice to all who mark it! (Exact time was about five hours ago.)]

St John's Smith Square 2017/18 season

Jun. 21st, 2017 12:40 am
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
St John's Smith Square (Photo Matthew Andrews)
St John's Smith Square has announced its 2017/18 programme with a mix of new and old, young artists and established favourites. The Christmas Festival returns for the 32nd festival which will include performances from Vox Luminis, Ex Cathedra, Solomon's Knot and many other favourites. David Titterington will be performing all of Bach's organ works, and there is a series of Bach in Advent free recitals at 6pm.

New in 2017, the Holy Week Festival returns in 2018 combining ticketed concerts with free events including Nigel Short and Tenebrae's series of late-night Tenebrae services. The London Festival of Baroque Music is the 34th festival and it will have a French theme celebrating the 350th anniversary of the birth of Couperin, with guest artistic director Sébastien Daucé who will be bringing his own Ensemble Correspondances for a staged setting of Charpentier’s Histoires sacrèes. The Brook Street Band lead a weekend Festival in February 2018 exploring the varied musical styles that informed and shaped the composer Georg Muffat, including chamber and orchestral music by Bach and Handel. Also in February, the Principal Sound Festival returns with a focus on the music of Luigi Nono alongside works by Rebecca Saunders, György Kurtág, Claudia Molitor and Morton Feldman.

Throughout 2018, Americana ’18 celebrates music from America in a series of concerts curated by the conductor David Wordsworth, including a celebration of Stephen Montague’s 75th birthday, there will be a whole day of events, stretching for 13 hours (to represent the 13 stripes of the Stars and Stripes flag) on Independence Day. Other events include the Carducci Quartet in Philip Glass and the complete chamber version of Copland's Appalachian Spring performed by Orchestra Nova.

Bampton Classical Opera returns with Salieri's The School of Jealousy, a work that almost certainly inspired Da Ponte and Mozart to create Cosi fan tutte. Bampton also give a programme illustrating the life of the legendary singer Nancy Storace marking the bicentenary of her death. In October St John’s Smith Square hosts the final of The Voice of Black Opera Competition featuring six young singers accompanied by the City of London Sinfonia , conducted by Kwamé Ryan. Irish Heritage Opera visit in April 2018 to celebrate 44 years of bringing Irish operatic talent to the stage.

La Nuova Musica perform Handel’s Orlando in February, the start of an annual cycle of Handel operas at St John’s Smith Square. In April, Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company perform Handel's Giulio Cesare and during the London Festival of Baroque Music La Nuova Musica return with Iestyn Davies in the title role of Gluck’s Orfeo.

St John’s Smith Square's Young Artists’ Scheme at enters a fifth season with three extraordinary talents. The Bukolika Piano Trio present music by Boulanger, Hanna Kulenty, Messiaen, Górecki and Panufnik alongside more familiar works by Beethoven and Dvořák; the violinist Mathilde Milwidsky performs music by Arvo Pärt, Janáček, Clara Schumann, Grieg and Richard Strauss, while the piano and percussion duo of Siwan Rhys and George Barton offer programmes including music by Vinko Globokar, Kagel, Cage, Feldman and Sir Harrison Birtwistle. All three Young Artists will be showcased as part of a special concert within Open House London.

The Fallen Soldier

Jun. 20th, 2017 11:55 pm
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
A new opera by Louis Mander is being given as part of a double bill presented by Belsize Opera on 23 and 24 June 2017 at St Peter's Church, Belsize Square, Belsize Park, London. Mander's The Fallen Soldier evokes the year 1917 in a passionate epistolary narrative set between two British soldiers in the midst of the Great War. The new opera is being paired with a dramatic realisation of Ivor Gurney's song cycle Ludlow and Teme. Both pieces are directed by Jack Cherry. The Fallen Soldier is also being performed at Cheltenham Playhouse on 12 July, full details of both performances from Louis Mander's website.

Further ahead, Surrey Opera will be premiered Mander's large scale opera The Life to Come based on a short story by E.M. Forster. The libretto for the piece is by Stephen Fry, and Jonathan Butcher conducts. Performances take place on 28 & 29 September 2017 at The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, Surrey.

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Bach Reimagines Bach - William Carter (lute) - LINN
Bach Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001, Suite in E major BWV 1006a, Suite in G minor BWV 995; William Carter; Linn Records
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on June 13 2017
Star rating: 5.0

Stylish, effortless and engaging, William Carter plays Bach's music for lute

Bach was a great re-imaginer and re-user of musical material, sometimes re-casting music in radically different forms and none more so when he took the music for unaccompanied violin or cello and re-cast it for the lute. On this disc from Linn Records lutenist William Carter plays Bach's Suite in E major, BWV 1006a and Suite in G minor, BWV 995 plus the Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001.

There is much discussion about Bach the composer for the lute and Bach the lutenist. He is never known to have played the lute but possessed a very valuable one (worth three times as much as his most valuable violin). But then, as William Carter in his booklet article points out, whilst Bach was known to play the violin the only record we have of him playing the solo violin music was on the harpsichord. As well as discussing the music itself, Carter lucidly talks about Bach's writing style for the lute which, as with much of Bach's writing elsewhere, takes little account of the fallibilities of the performer.

Bach almost certainly wrote a great deal for the lute, of which we only possess a fragment. In the 1761 Breitkopf Music Catalogue, Bach advertised 'Three Partitas for solo lute, volume 1', all lost alas.
Though Carter wonders whether the survival of a version of the 'Fuga' from the First Sonata for Unaccompanied violin in lute tablature in a manuscript by Bach's friend JC Weyrauch might be related to these lost pieces. Carter has completed the sonata with his own arrangements of the other movements, not adding much more than an occasional bass note (as we know Bach did when he played the suites on harpsichord). Carter follows this with two suites which we have in Bach's own manuscript. The Suite in E major, BWV 1006a which is an arrangement of the Partita for solo violin, BWV 1006, the opening prelude of which pops up in various incarnations in Bach's works. In the lute m/s Bach brings out the French style, adding an abundance of French ornamentation in the Prelude. The final work on the disc is the Suite in G minor, BWV 995, Bach's version of the Fifth Cello Suite
 in a re-imagining which effectively makes a new work, and which exceeds the normal range of the lute at the time!

Carter plays the music with a lovely relaxed intimacy, re-making the performances for the lute rather than trying to evoke the string originals. It is remarkable how much sustaining power he can bring to the melodic lines when necessary, combining this with expressively elegant textures. The dance rhythms of the music often comes out, inevitably perhaps given the lute's association with music for the dance. But the darker elements, such as the 'Sarabande' from the Suite in G minor, are present too.

Carter brings a confident sense of style and elegance to the music, never letting on quite how challenging the writing can be and giving us an effortless lesson in re-creating Bach on another instrument.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001
Johann Sebastian Bach - Suite in E major BWV 1006a
Johann Sebastian Bach - Suite in G minor BWV 995
William Carter (lute)
Recorded St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, 25-27 August 2014
LINN Records CKD445 1CD [66]
Available from Amazon.

Elsewhere on this blog:
[syndicated profile] rattle_feed

Posted by Timothy Green

Leah Nielsen


Every poem needs something holy to hold it.
Why should this one be any different?

There was a boy. And on a gray day
like every other New England winter day,

he was gone. And the news says nothing
of accidents or illness. And he was only 19.

Death hits hard, then lingers
like salts undissolved in a bath drawn too cool

or the hot faucet’s finicky drip,
and like the half-prayer Picassoed

in memory—I believe in, I believe—though I swore
off church decades ago. Lingers like the smoke

from the neighbor’s wood stove, settling
into the cedars at dusk, like the snow pile

plowed into the end of the drive.
There is nothing to be done

for now—me too sick to shovel or travel
and my husband on a quick trip

back home to see our niece in a school concert.
I watch on a video feed—so graveled

I can’t tell my niece from other kids flailing
their arms in dubious time to some tune I don’t recall.

Some kids move toward the mics, then pell-mell
themselves back to the risers while

other kids drift forward. Some puff recorders
while others twirl long sticks with silver ribbons.

In between, there is singing—in English,
Spanish and French. Blessed. Jesus. Joyeux.

My husband texts our niece is wearing a white shawl.
That doesn’t help at all. And now haul out the holly

has made a home in my head. Is there anything worse
than the insistent happiness of Christmas music?

Perhaps the crowds. On the phone,
I tell him we’re slated for three days of rain.

And the dogs are fine. We are fine. And is your suit clean?
The funeral is two days after you return.

I would like to say I knew the boy,
but I met him just once. A grocery

store conversation with his Mom,
a colleague and friend.

What did we discuss beyond hellos?
Our fading summers? The slow crawl

to a new semester? A garden’s tomato harvest
or lack of? The blight? A yard

in need of mowing? We should
get together for coffee, we said.

And off we went. When the concert closes,
announcements are made. Please meet your child

in. Please take your child’s art. Make sure no coats
are left behind. Have a Merry Christmas.

When the feed stops streaming,
I turn to television, a steady

dose of crime shows, quippy lines
delivered poorly and a plot that plods along

to a tidy end.

from Rattle #55, Spring 2017


Leah Nielsen: “My mother read to me every day when I was young. I was particularly fond of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, so her burden was great. She fed me the words I loved even when they drove her crazy. Then my father passed away. I’m almost a decade past the age he was when he died, 40. His death framed my entire life, my world-view. I developed a dark sense of humor, one that I now understand is also part and parcel of being a Gen-Xer. If I see a dead bug in the dog’s outdoor water bowl, I think, what a horrible way to die before I think, hey, I should water the dog. Writing poetry reminds me I am alive, though it almost always fails to bring back the dead. Still, I try.”

Hot but not bothered

Jun. 21st, 2017 06:00 am
[syndicated profile] nicholas_oneill_feed

Posted by ukcomposer

It was another hot and sweltering day in Somerset yesterday, although not quite as oppressive as time spent in the heat sink of London, which is deeply heavy at the moment for many reasons.  At least the good weather means that the residents of these here parts might be able to travel this week without the well-heeled and trendy finding the Glastonbury Festival car parks sodden, thereby blocked all routes in and out of the area.

This is important to me, not just because I have enough of roads becoming car parks whenever I use the M25, but also because some of us (specifically me) need to get up to the capital for work this week.  There is playing and directing to be done, also a first meeting about a new project.

The new project is something slightly different and may or may not lead anywhere, but is of enough interest for me to see what happens.  It could be anything from something very small and short-lived to a fully fledged collaborative opportunity – what will be will be.

Then there is the orchestral piece, now just nudging gently up towards its deadline.  I have been putting off work on this, mainly because it has been difficult to know where to begin with this particular music, but I believe that I have put my best foot forward and broken the ground on it.

So everything ticks on, and the Parliament Choir are back in business too and sounding keen after their Belshazzar triumph (for a triumph it was).  Now all we need is for the temperature to drop a little and make London a little less hot and bothery.

starandrea: (typing)
[personal profile] starandrea
So far macOS Sierra and I are getting along pretty well. Safari works on my computer again, which is exciting. My computer acknowledges that my iPod exists, which is also exciting.

...That's pretty much the extent of what I've asked it to do, at this point.

(I guess that's why getting a new computer holds little appeal. I do everything on my iPod anyway, except for two key things: 1) backing up my iPod, and 2) typing on a full size keyboard.)
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
*Andrea: At least the weather answers my question of whether or not I should do a 10 mile trail run this weekend: no.
Aaron: The answer to that should always be no.

yeah, i poemed

Jun. 20th, 2017 02:05 pm
kyleri: (Default)
[personal profile] kyleri
in reponse to this lovely bit on Terri Windling's blog; here is a bit of what I was replying to:

"Art slips through, and us with it -- slips past the border police and the currency controls, to talk as we've always wanted to, about matters of the spirit and the heart, to imagine a world not dominated by numbers, to find in colors and poetry and sand an equivalence to our deepest feelings, a language for who we are." -- Jeanette Winterson, published in The World Split Open

Art Slips Through

there are always cracks
no matter how high the wall,
how strong the barricades,
no matter how carefully written
the unjust laws, how many
faceless soldiers they find
to enforce their brutish rule
(the soldiers are not faceless,
the blockades always leak;
we always find a way)

art slips through.
graffiti'd words on an underpass,
spoken word in a underground cafe,
scrap paper woodblock printed
or run off on an old ditto machine
(remember the smell?
those things last forever
it's a good thing;
we use what we have)

art slips through
secrets coded in woven fabric
a call to resist in the words of a song
a new way of looking at the world
in stories told by the old
(never think that revolution
is only the province of the young
we come in all sizes, all ages)

art slips through,
through the gaps in the canon stories,
the only ones that are authorized,
that only the authorized may tell;
through the quiet between the songs,
the only ones allowed to be played
on the only radio station
that's allowed to broadcast
(good thing we had
that pirate radio station
back then,
it was good practice)

art slips through.
there are always gaps,
always cracks.
there's always an underpass
nobody's watching,
always a soldier
(not faceless at all)
who'll let that whistled tune
slip by,
always a place
you can leave your stack
of scrap paper,
hand printed zines,
where they will be found
by those who need to read
the things we are writing.
there is always a way.
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Posted by maestrobeats

by Maggie Molloy The method of loci is a mnemonic strategy dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The idea is this: you memorize the layout of a building or geographic space, then assign memories to any … Continue reading
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
Nahuel di Pierro (Photo Jonathan Rose)
Nahuel di Pierro (Photo Jonathan Rose)
Vivaldi, Handel, Rameau, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz; Nahuel Di Pierro and Alphonse Cemin; Rosenblatt Recitals at Wigmore Hall
Reviewed by Ruth Hansford on Jun 5 2017
Star rating: 3.5

A young Argentinian bass provides the very last recital in this long running series

The recital by Nahuel Di Pierro and Alphonse Cemin for Rosenblatt Recitals at Wigmore Hall on 5 June 2017 was the end of an era for the celebrity (and future-celebrity) recitals devised and promoted since 2000 by opera-mad solicitor Ian Rosenblatt (interviewed by Robert here). There are two memorable things for me: one was my only ever lottery win was tickets to one of the early recitals. The other was in 2001 when Plácido Domingo rocked up and sat in the row in front of me at St John’s Smith Square; he was coming to listen to an up-and-coming Peruvian tenor called Juan Diego Flórez. I thought I’d better pay attention. 
Flórez is one of many talents Rosenblatt has introduced to us. The series has evolved, but they have been predominantly solo recitals of operatic and oratorio arias and songs, with piano and occasionally small orchestra. He moved from St John’s to the Wigmore, but the Wig has increasingly gone down the route of curating its own seasons of late and it has felt to me the Rosenblatts don’t quite fit there these days.

The last recital was the Argentinian bass Nahuel Di Pierro. He has as many bass-baritone roles on his CV as bass roles and, to my ear, at modern pitch, he did seem more at ease in the middle and top of the range than at the bottom.

The programme started with two punchy, bloodthirsty arias from Vivaldi’s Tito Manlio.
It then took a moment for us to adjust our ears to the sound world of Rameau in ‘Puisque Pluton est inflexible’ from Hippolyte et Aricie but I am always glad to hear this repertoire in London. The piano solo from Rameau’s Les Cyclopes was for some reason separated by some Handel and Mozart. Cemin’s piano playing, throughout the evening, did not feel like it was supporting the singer, rather that Cemin was waiting to show us he was a virtuoso really. We are used to pianists who are more responsive, more subtle and, in the operatic arias, more orchestral. I had the sense Cemin didn’t know what instruments he was supposed to be imitating: neither the woodwind of the Catalogue aria nor the mandolin of ‘Deh, vieni alla finestra’, which was the final encore. For the Donizetti aria ‘Era pura, come in cielo’ singer and pianist were pulling in opposite directions.

After the interval we moved forward in time to Debussy, but the French I enjoyed in the first half became very woolly. The diction was not forward enough and I had to look at the text (which also meant I discovered a new word: ‘boulingrins’ – bowling greens!) Ravel’s Don Quichotte songs were more successful: more characterful, boozy, laddish, and the final number, Mephistopheles’ nasty drinking song from Berlioz’ La damnation de Faust, was a great crowd-pleaser, as were the Argentinian songs by Ginastera he gave as encores.

If we were being given the chance to decide what we would go and hear him singing, my money would be on the bawdy stuff, but he needs a director to make him think about making the song or aria his own, rather than providing rather generic renditions of well-known repertoire.

A solo recital like this is hard: to stand still, wearing your own clothes, with no props, is more scary than being on the operatic stage, and the onus is on the singers to choose carefully what they sing and how they characterise it. The penultimate Rosenblatt artist, Lise Davidsen (review here) got this right. Di Pierro didn’t seem to be making enough of an effort. Especially (and I’m sorry to bleat about wardrobe choices again) with the unironed shirt that had been through the washing machine too many times.

What happens now with Rosenblatt? They will be making the archive available online and so their website is the place to watch.

Rosenblatt Recitals at Wigmore Hall, 5th June 2017
Nahuel Di Pierro – bass
Alphonse Cemin - piano
VIVALDI - Tito Manlio: Orribile lo scempio; Se il cor guerriero
RAMEAU - Hippolyte et Aricie: Puisque Pluton est inflexible
RAMEAU - Pièces de Clavecin 17. Les cyclopes (piano solo)
HANDEL - Aci, Galatea e Polifemo: Fra L'ombre e gl'orrori
BELLINI - Dolente immagine di Fille mia; Vi ravviso o luoghi ameni
DONIZETTI - Adelia: Era pura, come in cielo
ROSSINI - L'inganno felice: Una voce m'ha colpito
DEBUSSY - Fêtes Galantes; Les ingénues; Le Faune; Colloque sentimental
DEBUSSY - Images, 1 Hommage à Rameau (piano solo)
RAVEL - Don Quichotte à Dulcineée: Chanson Romanesque; Chanson épique; Chanson à boire
BERLIOZ - La damnation de Faust: Devant la maison

Elsewhere on this blog:


Jun. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"This is not a monarchy." -- House Government Reform Chairman Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, after President Bush invoked executive privilege to deny Congress access to prosecutorial documents, which have routinely been turned over to Congress by past administrations. [ USA Today] (via outragedmoderates.org)

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] technoshaman, there are 11 new verses in "Essential for Human Survival."  Cassandra and Groundhog find one of the monks a bit bemusing.
[syndicated profile] jessica_duchen_feed

Posted by Jessica

Main Title Here

The Creative Industries Federation published an important Brexit Report last autumn, looking at critical issues for the creative industries, arts and cultural education as the UK sets its course for the cliffs. Now that "negotiations" are underway, the CIF has distilled its recommendation into seven red-lines principles.

These include:

• Guarantee the rights of EU nationals currently working in the UK;
• Retain freedom of movement for EU workers, those in education and touring exhibitions, shows, musicians and support teams
• Remain part of the EU single market and the customs union - or at least find a free trade deal that replicates its frictionless travel arrangements as far as possible
• Continue to influence the shape of the EU's Digital Single Market (DSM)
• Maintain a robust and properly enforced International Property regime. [Do you have any idea how important this is? Please read about it, fast, right now.]
• Maintain reciprocal single market access for the distribution of UK and EU member state film and TV productions and audio-visual services
• Continue to participate in EU programmes such as Creative Europe, Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+.

A HUB FOR GLOBAL TALENT: The success of the UK’s creative industries is down to the people who work within it. Britain has a longstanding reputation as an open nation that attracts diverse global talent, and it is because of this that our creative sector is world-beating. If the UK loses easy access to people, it loses its competitive edge. If it loses its creative talent, it also loses its reputation as an attractive destination for work and play. 

Read them here.

Meanwhile there would be one very simple solution, which you can guess as well as I can, but we don't seem to have the right person at the top to do that job.

Please support A Year for JDCMB with the equivalent of a small subscription 

Poetry Pool Opportunity

Jun. 20th, 2017 03:56 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] ng_moonmoth is interested in hosting a pool for the half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics.

I'm interested in sponsoring "The Place Where the Journey Begins" and
"We Are All Related". These two together would be half of $464=$232. I'm
ready to go in for half of that ($116) if there are enough people
interested in covering the other half.

Please let me know if you are interested in participating, and how much
you wish to put it. I have a PayPal account which I am willing to use as
the collection point if we can get this pool going, but don't want any
money until I know I can pass it along.

I'm also interested in "Uncertain Miracles", so if anyone wants to buy
in there at the 1/4-price rate, they could.

Any interest?

If you want to get in on this, contact [personal profile] ng_moonmoth to discuss details.
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Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Ivor Bolton, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Ann Kern, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Ivor Bolton, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Ann Kern, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
Beethoven Leonore; Miriam Clark, Eric Cutler, Christina Gansch, Martin Mitterutzner, Peter Rose, Michael Kupfer-Radecky
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on June 18 2017
Star rating: 4.5

The original version of Beethoven's opera in a thrilling performance which combined period instruments with modern interventions

Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Miriam Clark (photo Oliver Killig)
Miriam Clark (photo Oliver Killig)
The 40th Dresden Music Festival (Dresdner Musikfestspiele) concluded with a concert performance of Beethoven's Leonore (the original 1805 version of Fidelio) performed in the Kulturpalast, the new concert hall (opened April 2017) created within the shell of the old Soviet era Kulturpalast. Ivor Bolton conducted the period instrument Dresden Festival Orchestra, with soloists Miriam Clark, Eric Cutler, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Christina Gansch, Martin Mitterrutzner, Peter Rose and Tareq Nazmi. Also taking part with the festival's young artists, Bohème 2020, Joscha Baltes, Maja Blomstrand, Danae Dörken, Anne Kern, Romain Rios, and Robin Thomson.

Beethoven's opera was given without dialogue, but with a series of interventions from the artists of Bohème 2020, these ranged from dance episodes to video projections, with a substantial dance episode between Acts Two and Three performed to the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op.26.

Beethoven's 1805 version of the opera can come as a bit of a shock if you only know Fidelio. Leonore is longer, with more background to the Marzelline, Jacquino, Rocco, Leonore relationships. Closer to Singspiel than Fidelio, it requires two leads who have the right combination of spinto power, flexibility and stamina. I have to confess that having seen the opera staged at Buxton last year (see my review) I rather missed the dialogue, but the acute performances form the singers meant that we lost nothing of the emotional trajectory of the characters.

Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Romain Rios (photo Oliver Killig)
Romain Rios (photo Oliver Killig)
The new concert hall is an attractive combination of white, pale wood and vermilion, the irregular polygon-shaped auditorium provides good sight-lines and an acoustic which seems to combine clarity with a long-ish reverberation time. We certainly heard a wonderful amount of colour and detail from the Dresden Festival Orchestra, whilst the responsive acoustic never overwhelmed the singers. There were one or two balance issues, with the orchestra being a little too present, but that is something which familiarity will iron out.

Miriam Clark made a radiant Leonore, singing with bright flexible tone and displaying a real jugend-dramatisch voice. She had a vivid way of conveying Leonore's emotions both visually and musically; this was a very complete performance. It was the combination of her sheer engagement, with a cleanness of articulation in the more ornamental passages which really impressed. In 'Komm Hoffnung' she was complemented by some wonderfully pungent wind solos.

Eric Cutler made an admirable Florestan, youthful and heroic. This version of the role requires less heroic heft and more flexibility, which Cutler provided. His opening solo, following by a thrilling orchestra prelude, combined Cutler's noble, yet plangent tone with orchestral colour which made something both gripping and moving. This scene is far more conventionally operatic than in Fidelio, with Cutler, Clark and Peter Rose (Rocco) giving us a vivid sense of the dramatic narrative. In 'Namenlose Freude' (longer and more complex than in Fidelio), Cutler and Clark complemented each other admirably two lither voices moving together conveying a real sense of joy.

Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Ivor Bolton, Eric Cutler, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
Ivor Bolton, Eric Cutler, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
Christina Gansch made a warmly characterful Marzelline, combining warmth with great personality and the ability to spin a lovely line. Peter Rose gave a beautifully mellifluous performance as Rocco, singing the role finely with less of the bluff buffo element than usual, yet with lively characterisation such as in the aria about the importance of money. Martin Mitterrutzner was quietly characterful as Jacquino.

Michael Kupfer-Radecky gave us a strong projected Don Pizzaro, taking advantage of the extra material particularly his vivid opening aria and the rousing aria with chorus which closes Act Two. Unfortunately his voice sometimes lacked the sheer heft to dominate the orchestra. Tareq Nazmi impressed with a very musical account of Don Fernando's relatively small contribution.

Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Christina Gansch, Ivor Bolton, Maja Blomstrand, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
Christina Gansch, Ivor Bolton, Maja Blomstrand,
Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
This was a nicely balanced cast, so that the ensembles worked with both balance and clarity. It was a joy to hear the way the voices worked together in Beethoven's complex music. The closing scenes of the opera (more extended in this version) were delivered with a great sense of narrative. The ensemble which led up to 'Namenlose Freude' was wonderfully thrilling.

The Balthasar Neuman Choir made some notable contributions, singing with focused tone, intensity and great beauty of sound. The prisoner's chorus, with fine solos from Virgil Hartinger and Roland Faust, was beautifully controlled.

The orchestra was essentially an extra character in the drama. Ivor Bolton brought out all the wonderful details of colour and texture which the period instruments allowed to be reveal. This was a finely characterful account of the score, which emphasised Beethoven's links to his predecessors in the genre like Mozart and Cherubini.

Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Ivor Bolton, Romain Rios, Maja Blomstrand, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Dresden Festival Orchestra (photo Oliver Killig)
Beethoven: Leonore - Dresden Music Festival - Ivor Bolton, Romain Rios, Maja Blomstrand, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Dresden Festival Orchestra
(photo Oliver Killig)
The contributions from the young artists of Bohème 2020 made an interesting complement to the performance. In the first half, some of these were almost too short to register and I really appreciated the moments when dancers Maja Blomstrand and Romain Rios combined with the performers. The more extended solo for Maja Blomstrand, performed to pianist Danae Dörken's performance of Beethoven, was particularly expressive yet not everyone would appreciate having the Beethoven piano sonata inserted between Acts Two and Three. Robin Thomson's videos suffered somewhat from not having a clear plane on which to be projected, but again they provided strong commentary. The combination of Bohème 2020 with the Dresden Festival Orchestra was an interesting experiment, and one which I hope the festival pursues in future years.

Beethoven Leonore
Dresden Music Festival at Dresden Kulturpalast
Leonore - Miriam Clark
Florestan - Eric Cutler
Jacquino - Michael Kupfer-Radecky
Marzelline - Christina Gansch
Don Pizzaro - Martin Mitterutzner
Rocco - Peter Rose
Don Fernando - Tareq Nazmi
Prisoners - Virgil Hartinger, Roland Faust

Bohème 2020:
Joscha Baltes (sound designer/musician)
Maja Blomstrand (dancer)
Danae Dörken (pianist)
Anne Kern (designer/painter)
Romain Rios (dancer/choreographer)
Robin Thomson.(video artist/musician)

Balthasar Neuman Choir (chorus director Detlef Bratschke)
The Dresden Festival Orchestra
Ivor Bolton (conductor)

Elsewhere on this blog:

Poem: "Without Having to Voice It"

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:48 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by [personal profile] dreamwriteremmy. It also fills the "invisible disabilities" square in my 3-1-17 card for the Disability Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features mental issues, because the inside of Shiv's head is always a warning, reference to past communication challenges, the comprehension gap between nonverbal and verbal languages, rude humor. reference to ugly aspects of history including slavery and death from unavailability of safe abortion care, reference to brain injuries, Shiv is resistant to seeking help or even admitting he's not okay, but he actually manages it occasionally, cape politics, awkward social interactions, reference to lousy hairdressers and discrimination against people with special needs, minimally verbal autistic character wrangling with English when his native language is visual rather than spoken, tense (but not violent) interaction with a police officer, who is a bit clunky interacting with a nonverbal person, frustration over being expected to solve other people's problems, loneliness, regret, threats, and other challenges. It's mostly positive, though, as Shiv fumbles his way toward better coping skills. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

“Double Helix” by Bob Johnston

Jun. 20th, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] rattle_feed

Posted by Timothy Green

Bob Johnston


The road leads downward, away from reality,
a giant ramp for a parking garage,
a bobsled run packed with snow,
turns unreasonably banked,
an infinite spiral.
The road to hell is paved

The transcendent bobsled skids
onto a frigid plain covered with six feet of snow,
an Eskimo hell.
A stranger in a strange

The city is laid out in neat icy squares,
unpopulated on this Saturday night.
All the fantastic citizens have gone to the mall,
the center of everything bright and beautiful,
three miles across, yellow and red brick,
snack bars, kiosks, stores, rest rooms,
but no exits.
All that glitters is not

Each rest room is four-dimensional,
an intricately coiled inner ear that leads back
to the beginning. Pollution slithers
from the snack bars onto the store fronts,
a gigantic two-dimensional movie set
populated by extras with frozen feet
and nondimensional faces.
Let the dead bury

At the very center of the mall, an iron staircase
spirals upward into the fog, a trail
back to reality. But the staircase is not
miraculous: At first touch it crumbles
into a heap of red rust.
Let my people

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002


Bob Johnston: “The poetry they taught us in school convinced me that this stuff was for wimps, weirdos, and girls. It took me fifty years to see the light, and I’ve been trying to make up for lost time ever since. At least I know now what I want to be when I grow up.” (book)

Three’s company

Jun. 20th, 2017 06:00 am
[syndicated profile] nicholas_oneill_feed

Posted by ukcomposer

There is something unfailingly refreshing about playing Bach.  I think it may have been Andras Schiff who said that it was like taking a musical cold shower, getting rid of all the grime accumulated from playing other music, and I think I agree with that.

It is the clarity of line and the purity of thought that is so thoroughly impressive, gesture always used for some end rather than for the sake of the gesture itself, avoiding that which irritates me so much about some music from the Romantic period.  Amazingly, that clarity and purity never seems to falter, never at all.

I was reminded of this over the weekend because I was playing the first of the master’s trio sonatas for solo organ, a piece to focus the mind and punish any sloppy gesture if ever there was one.  In these works each of the three lines is individual and yet part of the whole, taking its own share of the musical argument.

What makes them so physically demanding is that hands and feet are placed at the service of this equality of writing, and the traditional weakness of the left hand (for right handers such as me) must be overcome.  Likewise one’s pedal technique needs to be light yet precise, almost balletic.

In many ways, playing these pieces well brings its own reward, so the presence of an audience makes little difference to me apart from the knowledge that any tiny slip will be heard very clearly indeed, but it is good to be able to share such wonderful music with other people, joy indeed to be able to weave it out of Bach’s notation.

György Ligeti’s Musical Odyssey

Jun. 19th, 2017 09:01 pm
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Posted by maestrobeats

by Michael Schell When Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey hit theaters in 1968, it caused quite a stir. Here was a major Hollywood feature film that had no famous actors and very little dialog (indeed none at all during … Continue reading
[syndicated profile] sequenza21_feed

Posted by Christian Carey

Thelonious Monk

Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

Saga/Sam Records/Universal

2xCD, LP, and digital formats

Thelonious Monk, piano, composer, arranger; Charlie Rouse, tenor saxophone; Barney Wilen, tenor saxophone; Sam Jones, double bass; Art Taylor, drums

Since its arrival at our house, this release has been in heavy rotation. After it seems as if everything that the famed modern bebop pianist Thelonious Monk put to record had been issued, a treasure like this surfaces: the pianist’s soundtrack for Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the 1960 Roger Vadim film adapting Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ famous 1782 novel. Buoyant versions of Monk classics such as “Rhythm-a-Ning,” “Well You Needn’t,” and “Crepuscule with Nellie” are abetted by excellent soloing from two tenor saxophonists, Barney Wilen (in whose archives these recordings resided) and Charlie Rouse, a frequent partner of the pianist’s. Monk’s playing, varied here in approach from succulent balladry to rousing uptempo soloing, spurs on the rhythm section of bassist Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor to ever more complex coordinations. A previously unissued cut, the gospel number “By and By” by Charles Albert Tindley, receives a particularly sensitive reading. The recording contains a bonus disc that features alternate takes and a quarter hour of the group rehearsing and discussing “Light Blue.” To top it all off, the sound is excellent. Heartily recommended.

Monday Yardening

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:28 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is mild and pleasant, but quite windy.  I took some pictures earlier, but don't know how well they'll turn out due to all the tossing about.

We picked up many sticks from the strip along the street and up the driveway.  One branch had fallen to stick upright in the ground!

Also I found a nest of baby bunnies, so remowing that area will have to wait a few days until they vacate.  They're hand-sized and furry, so it shouldn't take long before they move out.

EDIT 6/19/17: I planted more morning glories and moonflower around the support wire.  Most of the older ones had been eaten.  >_<  

EDIT 6/19/17: We picked up sticks back toward the east edge of the yard.

EDIT 6/19/17: I trimmed branches from a fruit tree and honeysuckles.  Then Doug cut larger ones from the golden rain tree and the walnut by the road.

kyphi soap

Mar. 1st, 2010 08:43 pm
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[personal profile] kyleri

kyphi • once an ancient Egyptian sacred incense, now a truly decadent bar of soap • redolent of hot sand & scorching sun • the classic resins • frankincense & myrrh • with cinnamon & spearmint

no detergents • no fragrance oils • no petroleum (save it for driving with) • keep it simple with coconut oil & shea butter • straight-up, crap-free, gets-you-clean soap

This Kyphi soap is the most extraordinary soap I have ever been fortunate enough to try. The exotic spices don’t just wear off the bar after the first use – they’re blended through the entire bar. And the perfume they leave on my skin is so wonderful that I have several times considered not wearing perfume.
This soap leaves a long-lasting exotic spicy fragrance that really should be bottled. Or I need more Kyphi soap. Either way.
— Leah

ingredients • saponified coconut oil • glycerine • shea butter • water • berry extract • white oxide • jojoba oil • cinnamon leaf, myrrh, frankincense, & spearmint essential oils • ground cinnamon

size • 4.5 oz • 133 mL

handmade • natural • crap free • guaranteed

Originally published at The Vagabond Tabby. You can comment here or there.

can’t stop the signal

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:26 pm
kyleri: (Default)
[personal profile] kyleri

they can try all they want to keep us down • we won’t be silenced

$5 from this will go to the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico • trans people being kinda liminal & all • seemed appropriate

materials • the copper wire was gifted to me by my brother-in-law, who salvages it from the generators he repairs for a living

size • the entire piece is 3 3/4″ tall & 1 1/2″ wide

Originally published at The Vagabond Tabby. You can comment here or there.

[syndicated profile] patreon_blog_feed

Posted by Ellie MacBride

Each year in June, thousands of video creators, industries, and passionate fans gather in sunny Anaheim, California for the world’s largest conference celebrating online video content of all kinds. Over the years, VidCon has become the place for creators to learn from the experts, brush shoulders with others in the industry, and connect with heaps of adoring fans.

As a membership platform that helps many of these content creators power their businesses, Patreon has also been a regular fixture at VidCon. In fact, out of the 300+ professional creators being featured at VidCon this year, over 20% of them are using Patreon as a way to foster a community of their biggest fans and earn a sustainable income from the content they create.

A team of us at Patreon will be making our way down to VidCon to lead talks and panels, gather insights on the changing landscape of video, demo some of our new products, and get to know awesome creators (you, maybe?) making a splash in the world of video content.

With mere days until the Patreon team sets out for VidCon, we wanted to highlight a few Patreon creators we can’t wait to see while we’re there.


7 Creators You Won’t Want to Miss

Ana Kasparian / The Young Turks

Why we love her:

If being named as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 isn’t enough, Ana is also the host and producer of one of the largest online news show around. When she’s not putting out up to five videos a day on The Young Turks’ Youtube channel, you can find Ana sharing out exclusive content for her patrons on The Young Turks’ Patreon page and teaching journalism to students at her alma mater.

Where to find her:

We’re most excited to check out an all-women panel discussion Ana’s moderating called The Future is Female. No need for a creator or industry pass for this one; a community badge will get you access to the panel.

DATE: JUNE 24, 2017
TIME: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM


Andrew Huang

Why we love him

Andrew Huang doesn’t just create music; he completely challenges how music is created. Take this Bruno Mars cover video, for example, in which Andrew uses twenty-four carrots (yes, the orange vegetables), as every single instrument used. Or this one, which appropriately features ninety-nine red balloons.

Where to find him

Andrew knows a thing or two about creating video content destined for virality, and we’re excited to catch him at the Fresh Faces Stage for a panel discussion centered around the topic. Hope to see you there!

DATE: JUNE 24, 2017
TIME: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Philip DeFranco

Why we love him

Popular news and entertainment show host Philip DeFranco made headlines recently when he decided to move his online news show over to Patreon and grow it into an entire network. Having welcomed over 10,000 adoring fans into The DeFranco Elite (the name of Philip’s community on Patreon) in less than twenty-four hours after launching, DeFranco is already incredibly close to his vision of building a news empire around his work. Way to go, Philly D!

Where to find him

Catch Philip in conversation with VidCon’s fearless leader, Hank Green, about the past, present and future of online video. This fireside chat is sure to be packed with valuable insights and inspiring stories from two of the most successful online video content creators around.

DATE: JUNE 23, 2017
TIME: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Dr. Lindsey Doe / Sexplanations

Why we love her

Talking about sex can often seem taboo, but clinical sexoligist and online sex educator Lindsey Doe has managed to take even the most touchy subjects and create a community of informed and curious viewers around them. She even allows her patrons on Patreon to choose which topics she covers in her videos.

Where to find her

We’re excited to catch Lindsey in conversation with a panel of other sex educators who create content about human sexuality (including a producer from the team who brings us SciShow and CrashCourse) as part of the Creator track.

DATE: JUNE 24, 2017
TIME: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Wheezy Waiter

Why we love him

No, Craig Benzine of Wheezy Waiter is not a restaurant worker with a cough, but if he were, we’re sure he would be the funniest one around. Craig has been creating hilarious videos covering a wide range of topics for over ten years and publishes content on his Youtube channel at least once a week. When the world can seem like such a serious place sometimes, Wheezy Waiter helps us remember to laugh.

Where to find him
Sure to be the panel discussion boasting the most laughs at VidCon this year, That’s Hilarious will bring to stage some of the funniest comedians making online video content (including fellow Patreon creator/podcaster Mike Falzone).

DATE: JUNE 22, 2017
TIME: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Jessica McCabe / How to ADHD

Why we love her

ADHD affects over 10% of children ages 4-17, so why is it that we rarely talk about it? Jessica McCabe of How to ADHD decided to take her ADHD diagnosis and use it for good when she began creating ADHD awareness videos on Youtube to help others who might also have it. With the tools and resources Jessica has shared around the topic, she has been able to remove a lot of the stigma surrounding ADHD and has instead built a supportive and thriving community around it.

Where to find her
Jessica joins a handful of other amazing creators producing video content covering mental health subjects for a heartfelt panel discussion on how they were able to find the courage to overcome the stigmas we often put on mental health. We’re excited to catch Patreon creator Kati Morton at the panel as well.

DATE: JUNE 24, 2017
TIME: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Brady Haran / Numberphile

Why we love him

While most creators are focused on building an audience around one topic, Brady Haran is a huge exception. Not only has he managed to grow FIVE separate educational Youtube channels, he is currently earning an income from all of them on Patreon. Brady is a shining example of a multi-passionate creator who refuses to put himself in a box.

Where to find him
Brady joins the stage with another Patreon fave, Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day, for a Q&A around scientific videos as part of the Community track.

DATE: JUNE 22, 2017
TIME: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Where to catch us


As if all these incredible talks weren’t enough, we’re extremely excited to have the opportunity to share the stage with some of these amazing creators for a few talks and panels of our own.

Are Creators Really Making Money on New Platforms? (Creator Track)

This panel sheds the light on a topic we’re all familiar with but don’t always talk about: monetizing your work as an online video creator. Heather Wilder of our Creator Care team joins a handful other industry experts in a discussion on how to take your growing Youtube audience and begin to make some cold hard cash from it.

DATE: JUNE 22, 2017
TIME: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Building Teams: People Management For Creators (Creator Track)

Building an audience so large that you can barely manage it yourself is a good problem to have, but can be a little scary when you aren’t sure where to start. Don’t miss Jack Conte, Patreon’s CEO (and half of the band Pomplamoose), for an incredibly insightful talk on how to hire a team to help you manage your community.

DATE: JUNE 22, 2017
TIME: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

How to Engage with Your Community (Creator Track)

As your community grows, it can become more and more difficult to respond to every single fan who interacts with your work. Luckily, there are tools and strategies you can use to ensure that you are spending your time on the most valuable ways to engage with your community. Heather from Patreon is joined by top creators for a panel on how to do just that.

DATE: JUNE 23, 2017
TIME: 12:20 PM

Jack Conte Keynote Conversation with Hank Green (Industry Track)

Patreon’s CEO, Jack Conte, is no stranger to online video content. In fact, Patreon was started after Jack was fed up with not being able to monetize the viral videos he had been making on Youtube. We cannot wait to catch Jack in conversation with Hank Green at this keynote, where the conversation is sure to inspire creators, fans and industries alike.

DATE: JUNE 22, 2017
TIME: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

We’ll be tweeting, Instagramming, roaming, sharing, and having fun all week, so make sure to follow us and check out #CreateOn to stay updated on our take on VidCon.

We cannot WAIT to see you!

The post Don’t Miss These 7 Creators at VidCon 2017 appeared first on The Patreon Blog.

Monday Update 6-19-17

Jun. 19th, 2017 01:43 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "The Face of Ruin and Despair"
"To Know After Absence" is now complete!
Poem: "Differently Abled Heroes"
Saturday Yardening
Wonder Woman
Garden Photos 6-16-17
Hurt Comfort Bingo Card 6-16-17
Friday Yardening
Garden Photos 6-14-17
Thursday Yardening
Poem: "Bienvenue"
Wednesday Yardening
Only in Local-America
Good News

The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam ran this weekend with a theme of "Sufficiency or Indulgence."

There will be a half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics this week. I'm working on the sale outline and will post as soon as I can.

Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne discuss secure attachment.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra.  Groundhog and Cassandra explore the snack room. "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  "To Know After Absence" is now complete.  See what else Shiv chooses to put in his apartment over Blues Moon.

Weather has been milder with some rain.  I'm keeping an eye on a nest of baby robins and a cardinal nest with an egg in it.  Currently blooming: dandelions, carnations, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, torenia, yarrow, white and red clover, penstemon, yucca, daylilies, rose campion, coreopsis, morning glories, aster.  Mulberries and black raspberries are ripe, but I haven't bothered to pick them for more than samples.
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
WNO's Magic Butterfly
Welsh National Opera is combining opera with virtual reality (VR) in an installation which opens on 14 July 2017. Magic Butterfly, a re-imagining of scenes from Madama Butterfly and The Magic Flute, will be presented inside a shipping container and will allow visitors to use Google Daydream technology – a mobile VR platform - to engage with the re-imagined world around them. The first time an opera company has used VR in this way.

Magic Butterfly features a WNO recording of 'Un bel di' with soprano Karah Son who recently sang the role of Cio Cio San in WNO’s production of Madam Butterfly. Audiences will also be able to experience lion taming to a recording of 'How soft, how strong your magic sound’ from The Magic Flute. Combining motion capture, animation, music and technology, Magic Butterfly, will create an immersive experience using responsive animation and sound.

Magic Butterfly opens outside Wales Millennium Centre on 14 July and will run for four weeks before touring to Llandudno, Birmingham and Liverpool during WNO’s Autumn season. Booking is not required, and the experience is free to visitors. The experience will also be presented in London at the V&A Museum in January 2018 as part of the V&A and Royal Opera’s Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition. Further information from the WNO website.


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