Showing posts from May, 2017

Sanctuary: A pictorial history of Dartington Summer School of Music

Sanctuary: A pictorial history of Dartington Summer School of Music
By Harriet Cunningham.

How a music school and festival became a meeting place for the world’s greatest musicians, in words and pictures.

From The Author:

"I spent every summer from zero to 25 at Dartington Hall with my family. I grew up at the feet of visiting artists. I begged my parents for a violin. I sang in the choir. I fidgeted through concerts. I worked in the kitchens as a teenager, then as an usher, then a trog. I played in the orchestra. I fell in love. I learned how to live. Dartington Summer School made me who I am, as a person, a musician, a critic and a writer. Now I’m telling its story. This book is a labour of love – a collaboration between the Summer School archivist, Jeremy Wilson, and his daughter, me. I’m hoping to direct profits from the book towards funding an ongoing bursary for a young musician to experience the Summer School, just like I did."

To support the project, click here.

Strauss - Four Last Songs (Vier letzte Lieder), Alpine Symphony

Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris, Friday May 19 2017

Conductor: Christian Thielemann. Renée Fleming, soprano. Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden.
Four Last Songs (Vier letzte Lieder), Op. 150.Alpine Symphony (Eine Alpensinfonie), Op. 64. The day of the concert, I posted this on Facebook:

The website of the Théâtre des Champs Elysées reduces The Four Last Songs sung by Renée Fleming to something like a cheese straw:

"Leur première soirée cette saison sera de nouveau consacrée à Strauss, Dresde oblige, avec le poème
Une symphonie Alpestre, autre page de Strauss de grande ampleur et à l’orchestration particulièrement riche. Et en guise de mise en bouche, les Quatre derniers Lieder, tout autant testament musical du compositeur que chant du cygne de la musique romantique, interprétés par la soprano américaine Renée Fleming."

A "mise en bouche" is a pre-dinner nibble of some kind. A canapé. A cube of cheese on a cocktail stick...

In the end, as there was no overture to set…

Ginastera - Bomarzo

Teatro Real, Madrid, Sunday May 7 2017

Conductor: David Afkham. Production: Pierre Audi. Sets and Lighting: Urs Schönebaum. Costumes: Wojciech Dziedzic. Videos: Jon Rafman. Choreography: Amir Hosseinpour, Jonathan Lunn. Pier Francesco Orsini: John Daszak. Gian Corrado Orsini: James Creswell. Diana Orsini: Hilary Summers. Girolamo: Germán Olvera. Maerbale: Damián del Castillo. Julia Farnese: Nicola Beller Carbone. Nicolás Orsini: Albert Casals. Silvio de Nardi: Thomas Oliemans. Pantasilea: Milijana Nikolic. Mensajero: Francis Tójar. Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Real.

Ginastera’s Bomarzo is so rare I decided to make a weekend of it in Madrid. I’m glad I did. In addition to four very full hours spent renewing acquaintance with the Prado and an excellent, extensive exhibition centred on Picasso and  Guernica at the Reina Sofia (not to mention good food and wine), the opera was magnificent. In the house, coupled with the action on stage the score, which I found quite austere on CD at …

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Rimsky-Korsakov - The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka - La Fille de Neige)

ONP bastille, Monday April 25 and Wednesday May 3 2017

Conductor: Mikhail Tatarnikov. Production and Sets: Dmitri Cherniakov. Costumes: Elena Zaitseva. Lighting: Gleb Filshtinsky. Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden): Aida Garifullina. Lel: Yuriy Mynenko. Kupava: Martina Serafin. Tsar Berendey: Maxim Paster. Mizgir: Thomas Johannes Mayer. Spring Beauty: Elena Manistina. Grandfather Frost: Vladimir Ognovenko. Bermyata: Franz Hawlata. Bobyl Bakula: Vasily Gorshkov. Bobylikha: Carole Wilson. Wood-Sprite: Vasily Efimov. First Herald: Vincent Morell. Second Herald: Pierpaolo Palloni. Tsar's page: Olga Oussova. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris. Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine.

I’d been delighted to see some Rimsky-Korsakov on this year’s schedules at last, but maddeningly missed the Golden Cockerel in Brussels, in Laurent Pelly’s production, because a sudden cold snap froze the trains. Fortunately there was still The Snow Maiden to come, and my experience of Cherniakov so far ha…