Some people eat cereal for breakfast, others consume Bach in the morning, often for much longer than people take to eat their meal.
Posts from the ‘Concert Hall’ Category
The violinist Ruggiero Ricci died today at the age of 94. The passing of any great musician is always a sad day for me. Not only was Ricci a legendary performer with an amazing sense of technique that showed through his performances of Paganini and other extremely difficult works, he was also an outstanding teacher.
A wonderful little video of Carnegie Hall’s opening concert in 1891 with the conductor Walter Damrosch and none other than Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky himself. My dream volunteer job has always been to work in an archive such as Carnegie Hall’s. When I was a student at Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill, Maine in the early 90s, my scholarship job was working in the festival’s archives. The archive contained documents from the festival’s founder Franz Kneisel as well as Fritz Kreisler, Pierre Monteux, Henry Krehbiel and much, much more, all who were summer residents of Blue Hill. There was everything from edited scores, concert programs, letters, photographs and more. I particular loved seeing pictures of Kneisel, Kreisler and Krehbiel playing cards outside on a sunny day in Blue Hill. I could stay in there all day looking over forgotten history.
The world will never again see a conductor like Leonard Bernstein. I cannot imagine a conductor alive today that could pull this off with the same type of power Bernstein was capable of. The reason for this is the power of personality and Bernstein was certainly larger than life. Orchestras the world over absolutely adored Bernstein throughout his career. Of course in this video he has the Vienna Philharmonic at his disposal to help him pull it off. But there is no doubt that there is a “real time” reaction to his facial expressions in conveying the spirit of the piece in this performance.
Here is an interesting slide show of recently built and future concert halls from around the world and how they are breaking the mould of what has been the norm over the past 300 years. Gone are the horseshoe opera houses and the shoebox concert halls. I would imagine that with the advances in computer modeling, architects and builders are much more willing to try out even the most sensational designs possible. While some may be a bit over the top, there are some really wonderful concert halls in the planning in just the next few years. Sadly, none of the halls mentioned in this video are in the United States, with the exception of Lincoln Center. Perhaps the Disney Hall is the last hall of this kind to be built in the United States for some time. Is this due to the decline of classical music in general in this country?
The violinist Daniel Hope is carrying the torch of his violin teacher Yehudi Menuhin who often broke out of the classical world mould by performing music of other cultures, particularly Indian music. Menuhin often performed alongside the sitarist Ravi Shankar in the 1960s and 1970s. Here is a wonderful little café concert given by Hope and Gaurav Mazumdar, a virtuoso on the Indian sitar, and Vishal Nagar, a tabla player. Enjoy!
Café Concert: Daniel Hope’s ‘East Meets West’ Ensemble – WQXR (video included).
Sir Simon Rattle and the most magnificent Berlin Philharmonic perform Mahler’s Symphony Nr. 2 at Carnegie Hall. But the program begins with 3 songs by Hugo Wolf. As wonderful as these songs are, the symphony by itself would be enough for the concert. A performance of Mahler symphony is almost a religious experience in itself. The symphony begins at the 51st minute of this streaming audio.
Yuja Wang is all the rage these days, and not just because of her concert dress. Here she performs an encore at a concert given last summer at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
Daniel Hope in concert at the Savannah Music Festival performing music by Ravel, Fauré (Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 15) and Franck. Odd that the Savannah Festival’s website completely blocks out access to concert pages after they’ve happened to get full concert info, such as the name of the pianist. I guess the one who plays the most notes is the least important. ;-)
In the summer of 2002, SummerFest performed Stravinsky’s ‘L’Histoire du Soldat’ which I think is one of the finest performances of this work that I’ve ever heard. The narrator is actor John Rubinstein, son of pianist Arthur Rubinstein. They really need to release a higher definition version of this concert on DVD. Until now, this performance has only been found on YouTube and UCTV. It’s definitely worth you while to sit through the entire one hour and fourteen minutes.
The Takács Quartet has always been one of my more favorite string quartets. In 2005 they brought on Geraldine Walther, one of my all-time favorite violists and the former principal violist of the San Francisco Symphony for 29 years. Here they are in concert at the Savannah Music Festival in performances of Schubert’s Quartettsatz and Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4.