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Thread: Latest concerts

  1. #1081
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegendesLicht View Post
    I surely will! I am looking forward to a lot of enjoyment in the next season - at least seven different performances including one string quartet and two lieder recitals - seven reports to bore the esteemed TC audience with. And there is still that trip to Bayreuth.
    I'm looking forward to your reports! I'm living vicariously through all your sublime concert experiences.

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  3. #1082
    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    Default The dead men ride today!

    Arnold Schoenberg - Gurrelieder, a performance of the Hamburg Symphoniker under Kent Nagano, at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg earlier today.

    The evening is just starting, and I am already high - on music, that is.

    Actually I only got to know Gurrelieder yesterday - and today I already heard them live. This is Schoenberg who does not sound like Schoenberg, before the beginning of his musical experimentation. This work is ripe with Wagnerian allusions - there is something of Tristan und Isolde in the story of the doomed lovers, something of Die Walküre in the music of King Waldemar's ghostly ride of the dead, something of Das Rheingold in the prelude... And is it really just a love story, has the lovely Tove really been killed only because of King Waldemar's jealous wife? Or is it a story of confrontation between a man and a no less jealous God, who takes away the man's most beloved because the man admits to loving her more than whatever God has to offer? The more I re-read the libretto, the more I ponder this.

    And musically, this work is incredible - the tender love duets of Part I, the King's bitter, fist-shaking-towards-heaven complaint in Part II and the fierce choral interludes of the King's undead warriors in Part III - all of this led on by the gentle, restrained gestures of Kent Nagano. And of course the final grand chorus "Seht die Sonne!" as the ghosts of the old legend vanish forever to give way to the new dawn. According to one classical blogger, it is for the moments like this that the Elbphilharmonie was built, moments when every cubic centimetre of space is pierced with music, when it goes through wood, iron and flesh and becomes almost tangible. I have already experienced quite a few of such moments within her walls - and many more are coming.
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    Auf die Berge will ich steigen,
    Wo die dunklen Tannen ragen,
    Bäche rauschen, Vögel singen,
    Und die stolzen Wolken jagen.
    Heinrich Heine

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  5. #1083
    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    ^ From today's report in "Hamburger Abendblatt": "But as it [the final chorus] came, that sound that the composer and the conductor economically spared until the last moments, it came with the might of a tsunami". Yes, that's exactly what it was - a tsunami.
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    Auf die Berge will ich steigen,
    Wo die dunklen Tannen ragen,
    Bäche rauschen, Vögel singen,
    Und die stolzen Wolken jagen.
    Heinrich Heine

  6. #1084
    Senior Member Gordontrek's Avatar
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    Got to perform some wind ensemble rep this weekend. All conducted by students.
    Grainger- Children's March
    Ryan George- Autobahn
    Lauridsen- O Magnum Mysterium (arr. Robert Reynolds)
    Bennett- Suite of Old American Dances
    Shostakovich- Festive Overture (arr. Hunsberger)

    Nothing beats an orchestra, of course, but wind bands are tons of fun and are surprisingly versatile.
    "May God have mercy on my enemies, because I won't." - George S. Patton

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  8. #1085
    Senior Member dillonp2020's Avatar
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    Going to see Carmina Burana and the Emperor Concerto at Wolf Trap on July 28th. Should be fun, lest the pianist fouls it up.

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  10. #1086
    Senior Member Gabriel Ortiz's Avatar
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    Lang Lang is playing Beethoven's Emporer Concerto in my town ( Charlotte ).
    Would it save everybody a lot of time if I gave up and went mad now?

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  12. #1087
    Moderator TurnaboutVox's Avatar
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    Ribble Valley International Piano Week, 2017

    Leon McCawley (Piano)
    Thursday 20th July, 7.30pm
    The Croston Theatre, Westholme School, Blackburn

    Programme

    Schumann
    Waldszenen, Op. 82

    Beethoven
    Sonata Op.31, No.2 in D min. "The Tempest"

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Liszt - from Années de Pèlerinage Book 1 Suisse:
    Au lac de Wallenstadt
    Pastorale
    Au bord d’une source
    Orage

    Rachmaninov
    Daisies No.3, Op.38
    Lilacs No.5, Op.21.

    Ravel - from Miroirs
    Oiseaux tristes
    Une barque sur l’océan

    Debussy
    L’isle joyeuse

    Encore:
    Schumann
    "Des Abends" Op. 12/1 in D-flat major


    I went to hear Leon McCawley play with a friend who is an amateur pianist. We were very taken with his recital, which really came alive in the second half with thoroughly some poetic Liszt readings. His Ravel and Rachmaninov were also quite excellent.

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  14. #1088
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    I note Yuja Wang has been breaking records for skimpiest outfits! What playing though!

    http://slippedisc.com/2017/07/yuja-w...othing-budget/

    Someone comments that they are glad the late John Ogden didn't play the Tchaikovsky in equivalent male attire!

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  16. #1089
    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    Default Dies alles - hab' ich nun geträumt?

    Have I just dreamed all this? - Parsifal.

    It does look like a dream - maybe after falling asleep in front of TC. Just a couple days ago I was packing my stuff, getting ready for a trip to Bayreuth. Today I am back in my apartment, with the trip having already become a thing of the past... but what was in between? It surely must have been something wonderful, something like those nice dreams that you cannot stop thinking about and that keep your heart warm for days afterwards. I remember leaving the house in the middle of the night and getting on board of a Bayreuth-bound train. I remember travelling for hours across the endless fields, forests and hills of my lovely homeland, all the way from the North into Bavaria. Getting off, checking into a hotel, going out for a walk in the afternoon heat, wandering in a small park around Villa Wahnfried, climbing a tree, standing over the Meister's grave, buying a copy of Christian Thielemann's "My Life with Wagner"...

    And then at some point I was walking up the legendary Green Hill, together with nearly two thousand other people in fancy clothes. Then I was seated in the very middle of the Festspielhaus, one by one the doors closed, and it became absolutely dark. And out of that darkness rose the first notes of the prelude to Parsifal. Transparent, crystal clear, they floated ever-so-softly out of the "mystical chasm" of the orchestra pit, rising higher and higher, filling the room and tenderly caressing the audience's sense of hearing. The conductor, Hartmut Haenchen, had fallen ill shortly before the performance and was replaced at the last minute by Marek Janowski. I had had premonitions about Janowski's too hurried conducting (and judging by the objective length of the performance, it really was fast), but here it sounded as if the conductor savored every note, drawing it out long before letting it fade away into space. As the music grew stronger, goosebumps ran down my back. "This is it!" I thought "This is the sort of experience that remains with you forever, that you will always remember with pride - I have been in Bayreuth!"

    The curtain rose, revealing a partly ruined church somewhere in the Middle East. According to the stage director Uwe Eric Laufenberg, the action takes place "there, where Christianity is under threat" – in the war-torn Middle East. While Gurnemanz and the boys perform their morning prayers, armed men in military uniforms come in to listen, Parsifal himself dons such a uniform in acts II and III and Kundry, a being torn apart between two hostile worlds, appears in a dark hijab. As concerns Gurnemanz, he, sung by Georg Zeppenfeld, was one of the stars of the evening: unbelievably powerful (I am not sure if it was his voice, the acoustics of the Festspielhaus or a bit of both), warm, with a very clear diction. His monologue "Titurel, der fromme Held" which is one of my favorite parts of the opera, was truly a thing of beauty.

    Parsifal makes his appearance with not only a dead swan, but a dead boy who runs in and falls dead on the stage – and is embraced by Kundry. Whether it was symbolic of Parsifal killing a part of himself with his deed, destroying his own innocence – or only a stronger metaphor for the killing of a living being – who knows…. One of the very best parts of this overall successful staging, was the scene during the Transformation music, as Gurnemanz accompanied Parsifal into the realm of the Grail. As the curtain closed, a video projection appeared on it: the camera moving up through the roof of the destroyed church, over the city, over the country, the entire region of the Middle East, and then over all the Earth. Then it was the shot out of space, of the tiny planet orbiting the Sun, of the solar system, the galaxy, and finally a grand view of the entire universe with its billions of stars. And meanwhile out of the orchestra pit the bells pealed and the full force of the Bayreuth orchestra made the floorboards under my feet vibrate. It was as if for a few minutes the Festspielhaus became the center of the entire universe, and Wagner’s music resounded out of it across the unimaginable depths of space, illuminating the barren cosmos…

    And now the best part of all comes: the ceremony of the unveiling of the Grail, with all its heartbreaking bittersweetness, hope and pain. Titurel sings from behind a veil over the stage, adding to his ghostly character. Amfortas (Ryan McKinny) stands in front of a cross, wearing a crown of thorns, with wounds all over his body, and sings his tortured plea for forgiveness, ending it with sobbing. And as the Grail – a small shining chalice – is unveiled and held on high, as if blessing the audience, streams of blood begin to flow from his wounds and from under the crown of thorns, until he can stand no more and collapses. And the more ecstatic and triumphant the music sounds, the more blood keeps flowing.

    A few words about the acoustics of the Festspielhaus. I am not that experienced in these matters, and do not have much to compare with, but the sound in this hall is really quite marvellous. None of the voices go under (in fact I was surprised by just how loud and clear Gurnemanz and Amfortas sounded), the loud orchestral parts do not sound too loud, and the gentle ones are still heard in perfect crystal-like clarity. The overall impression is that of a perfectly mixed sound cocktail. And then there is that wonderful feeling, as if the music came from everywhere, as if it was all around me, embraced and enveloped me. The house itself is a masterpiece, quite worthy of the Meister’s genius.

    Now, I realize that retelling each detail of the staging would be boring and unnecessary. You can find plenty of pictures – the flower maidens as Oriental belly dancers, Klingsor as the owner of that harem and a secret fetishist collecting crucifixes, Kundry, writhing in pain at the sight of a cross, which sight Klingsor uses to torture her, Kundry holding Parsifal in her arms after delivering the news of his mother’s death, Parsifal breaking the spear thrown by Klingsow, in two, and using it to make the sign of the cross which brings down the entire realm of deceit…

    As concerns the singing, the three stars of the evening were Gurnemanz (Georg Zeppenfeld), Kundry (Elena Pankratova) and Parsifal (Andreas Schager). Masterful singing, masterful acting – what more can one wish for? And the orchestra and chorus were up there with the best – something I did not even consider possible in 2017 – much less being there and experiencing such a stellar performance on my own.

    Act III was more bittersweetness – in the tumultuous prelude, the scene of Parsifal and Gurnemanz meeting again, as Kundry bowed down before Parsifal, taking off his army boots and washing his feet, the second Transformation music… And that heartbreaking moment when Amfortas stood before the coffin of his dead father and asked him to plead with God for his own death.

    Mein Vater!
    Hochgesegneter der Helden!
    Du Reinster, dem einst die Engel sich neigten:
    der einzig ich sterben wollt',
    dir - gab ich den Tod!


    My father!
    Most blessed of heroes!
    Most pure, to whom once the angels bowed:
    I, who alone longed to die,
    to you brought death!

    He threw off the cover of the coffin and began sifting through his hands what appeared to be Titurel’s ashes. And then, as the knights gathered around him insisted that he unveils the Grail once again, he laid himself into it.

    Oh! der du jetzt in göttlichem Glanz
    den Erlöser selbst erschaust…


    O you who in divine radiance
    no behold the Redeemer's very self…

    And the last line was one of those Wagnerian moments where the Meister’s fine poetic sense and his feeling for the beauty of his native language are showcased so brilliantly. The violins on the word “Erlöser” and the sound of the word itself melted together in a chord of perfect harmony, inseparable, more beautiful than the sum of its parts. That was when I felt two large fat tears rolling down my cheeks in the darkness – so painfully lovely it was.

    At this moment Parsifal appeared on stage, carrying the spear that had been reshaped into a cross. As he proclaimed salvation to Amfortas, he led the latter by the hand out of the coffin, and laid the spear there instead. And all the people present, including the monks from the Grail brotherhood, started taking their crosses and other religious symbols off and throwing them in the coffin too. They did it while singing the last two lines of the opera:

    Höchsten Heiles Wunder!
    Erlösung dem Erlöser!


    - another one of those poetic moments where the sound of the sung words mingled with the sound of the orchestra in perfect harmony. During these lines, a powerful white light came on backstage, and all the people on the stage - Amfortas, Parsifal, Gurnemanz and the choir - slowly wandered off into this light, leaving behind the empty stage and Titurel's open coffin. And the lights in the hall came slowly on, as the music rose up to the one last gigantic flood, soaring higher and higher before slowly fading into silence...

    Then I remember stumbling down the Green Hill and wishing I had brought a handkerchief with me, because the tears were still streaming. By this time it was dark, and the illuminated Festspielhaus towered up there like a fortress beneath the full moon. Then the four of us went back to our hotel's restaurant where we sat and talked long into the night - until the waiters had to politely kick us out. And the next morning I awoke in my bed and wondered for the first time - have I dreamed all of it?
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    Auf die Berge will ich steigen,
    Wo die dunklen Tannen ragen,
    Bäche rauschen, Vögel singen,
    Und die stolzen Wolken jagen.
    Heinrich Heine

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  18. #1090
    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    Default ..............

    And while I am at it:

    before actually visiting, I used to hear about how uncomfortable the seats in the Festspielhaus supposedly are, and how hot and stuffy the atmosphere - due to the lack of air conditioning. None of that was true. The seats are just fine, even if not all that soft, and the temperature was quite agreeable. Hereby I am sending not-so-warm greetings to a lady somewhere behind me in row 17, who insisted on fanning herself during the entirety of Act I and providing a not particularly musical accompaniment to it. "Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles... zack zack zack.. wandelt einst der Herr des Grales... woosh woosh woosh..." Not that it bothered me greatly, but still, dear lady, I hope your next performance of Wagner will take place in subzero temperatures, and your... fan.. will freeze off.
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    Auf die Berge will ich steigen,
    Wo die dunklen Tannen ragen,
    Bäche rauschen, Vögel singen,
    Und die stolzen Wolken jagen.
    Heinrich Heine

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  20. #1091
    Junior Member Nocture In Blue's Avatar
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    ^
    I attended Parsifal in Bayreuth three days ago. I was my first time in Bayreuth. I'm still mesmerized by the performance. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

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  22. #1092
    Senior Member distantprommer's Avatar
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    I expect to be a Prommer rather than a Distant Prommer for the remainder of the Proms season. Have tickets for three Proms next weekend and hope to get more on arrival in London.

    Proms already ticketed are both Concertgebouw Orchestra concerts with Daniele Gatti (music of Rihm, Bruckner, Haydn & Mahler) and the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergiev (music of Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich). The Sunday matinee of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with Pablo Heras-Casado (music of Mendelssohn) should be confirmed soon.
    I Finally understand my heart
    I hear the song
    I see the flowers
    May they never disappear from the Earth!

    Nezahualcóyotl (1402-1472)

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  24. #1093
    Senior Member Radames's Avatar
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    I went to opera night at Tanglewood Saturday. Kristine Opolais, bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and Russell Thomas who was off due to a throat infection:

    PUCCINI Tosca, Act II
    WAGNER "Entrance of the Guests" from Tannhäuser, Act II
    WAGNER "Wie duftet doch der Flieder" (Hans Sachs' "Flieder monologue")
    from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act II
    DVOŘÁK "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka, Act I
    DVOŘÁK Polonaise from Rusalka, Act II
    GERSHWIN From Porgy and Bess:
    Introduction and Jasbo Brown Blues, from Act I
    "Summertime," from Act I
    "I got plenty o' nuttin'," from Act II
    "Bess, you is my woman now," from Act II

    “La Ci darem la Mano.” for an encore. Nelsons joined in and a sang a few lines at one point. And then Terfel kicked Nelsons off the podium and began conducting.
    Last edited by Radames; Aug-30-2017 at 22:59.

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