Listening to these two concerts – largely devoted to the music of Richard Strauss, and given by the soprano Diana Damrau, and the superlative Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the second – I was reminded of Wilhelm Furtw‰ngler’s observation that German music would be unthinkable without him.
Month: January 2019
De la Maison des Morts in Lyon
The obsessive Russian Dostoevsky’s novel cruelly objectified into music by Czech composer Leos Janacek brutalized into action by Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski beatified by Argentine conductor Alejo PÈrez.
A First-Ever Recording: Benjamin Godard’s 1890 Opera on Dante and Beatrice
The composer Benjamin Godard (1849–95) is today largely unknown to most music lovers. Specialist collectors, though, have been enjoying his songs (described as “imaginative and delightful” by Robert Moore in American Record Guide), his Concerto Romantique for violin (either in its entirety or just the dancelike Canzonetta, which David Oistrakh recorded winningly decades ago), and some substantial chamber and orchestral works that have received first recordings in recent years.
La Nuova Musica perform Handel’s Alcina at St John’s Smith Square
There was a full house at St John’s Smith Square for La Nuova Musica’s presentation of Handel’s Alcina.
Ermonela Jaho is an emotively powerful Violetta in ROH’s La traviata
Perhaps it was the ‘Blue Monday’ effect, but the first Act of this revival of Richard Eyre’s 1994 production of La Traviata seemed strangely ‘consumptive’, its energy dissipating, its ‘breathing’ rather laboured.
Vivaldi scores intriguing but uneven Dangerous Liaisons in The Hague
“Why should I spend good money on tables when I have men standing idle?” asks a Regency country squire in the British sitcom Blackadder the Third. The Marquise de Merteuil in OPERA2DAY’s Dangerous Liaisons would agree with him. Her servants support her dinner table, groaning with gateaux, on their backs.
Between Mendelssohn and Wagner: Max Bruch’s Die Loreley
Max Bruch Die Loreley recorded live in the Prinzregenstheater, Munich, in 2014, broadcast by BR Klassik and now released in a 3-CD set by CPO. Stefan Blunier conducts the M¸nchner Rundfunkorchester with Michaela Kaune, Magdalena Hinterdobler, Thomas Mohr and Jan-Hendrick Rootering heading the cast, with the Prager Philharmonischer Chor..
Porgy and Bess at Dutch National Opera – Exhilarating and Moving
Thanks to the phenomenon of international co-productions, Dutch National Opera’s first-ever Porgy and Bess is an energizing, heart-stirring show with a wow-factor cast. Last year in London, co-producer English National Opera hosted it to glowing reviews. Its third parent, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, will present it at a later date. In the meantime, in Amsterdam the singers are the crowing glory in George Gershwin’s 1935 masterpiece.
Il trovatore at Seattle Opera
After a series of productions somehow skewed, perverse, and/or pallid, the first Seattle Opera production of the new year comes like a powerful gust of invigorating fresh air: a show squarely, single-mindedly focused on presenting the work of art at hand as vividly and idiomatically as possible.
Garsington Opera’s 30th anniversary season: four new productions including an Offenbach premiere
Garsington Opera’s 30th anniversary season will feature four new productions – the UK stage premiere of Offenbach’s Fantasio, Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and finally Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.