MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Shostakovich Concerto Festival at SSO

sso-shost1

Soloist Aleksey Semenenko with the Seattle Symphony and Pablo Rus Broseta conducting; (c) Brandon Patoc

The Seattle Symphony’s Shostakovich Concerto Festival started off last night with a powerful program covering half of the Russian master’s six concertos for solo instruments.

It’s a fascinating opportunity to hear, compare, and contrast each of the pairs of concertos for piano, violin, and cello in a two-evening marathon. Ditto the three young artists appearing as the soloists: pianist Kenvin Ahfat, violinist Aleksey Semenenko, and cellist Edgar Moreau. Leading the Seattle Symphony is its marvelously talented associate conductor, Pablo Rus Broseta.

I’ll have a report on the whole festival later on in Strings magazine. In the meantime, based on the caliber of the performances — not to mention the new relevance of Shostakovich at the dawn of an era of profound political and cultural angst — I highly recommend Part Two this evening. On the program tonight: the Second Piano and Cello Concertos and the First Violin Concerto.

Filed under: Seattle Symphony, Shostakovich

Heavy-Metal Dmitri

Getting in the mood for the start of Seattle Symphony’s two-concert Shostakovich Concerto Festival.

Filed under: Seattle Symphony, Shostakovich, Uncategorized

New Take on Old Favorite: La traviata at Seattle Opera

trav

La traviata director Mika Blauensteiner, in rehearsal at Seattle Opera

This familiar story of Violetta, her love, and death is the world’s most-performed opera. With new staging that marks the North American debut of the German director Peter Konwitschny, Seattle Opera hopes to shed fresh light on Verdi’s 1853 masterpiece.

continue reading

Filed under: directors, Seattle Opera, Seattle Times, Verdi

Classic

img_6077

Filed under: photography

Alan Gilbert’s Legacy

gilbert-e1482347799819My cover story for the February 2017 issue of Strings is now online:

Two years ago, in February 2015, Alan Gilbert announced his surprising decision to step down from his position as music director of the New York Philharmonic

continue reading

Filed under: New York Philharmonic, Strings

Opening of the Elbphilharmonie

Arte has made the opening event available for streaming here:

http://concert.arte.tv/de/eroeffnungskonzert-elbphilharmonie

And here’s a report (in German) on the new hall’s acoustics.

Filed under: music news

At Seattle Symphony, Cosmic Radiation from Beethoven and Messiaen

sso

The Seattle Symphony, with guest musicians and vocalists, perform works by Messiaen and Beethoven this weekend. (Brandon Patoc)

My Seattle Times review:

In their first program of the new year, Ludovic Morlot, the Seattle Symphony and guests offer an inspired pairing of Beethoven’s immortal Ninth and the spiritually attuned music of Olivier Messiaen.

continue reading

 

Filed under: Beethoven, Olivier Messiaen, review, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Times

Pierre Boulez, Modernist Legend, Dies at 90

On the first anniversary of Pierre Boulez’s death.

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

PierreBoulez-1050x700Here’s my obituary for Napster:

French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who wielded incalculable influence on the modern music scene, died at his home in Baden-Baden, Germany, on Tuesday, January 5. He was 90.

Boulez gained fame as an uncompromising champion of the avant-garde and ranked among the towering figures of European modernism in the 20th century. He remained a powerful force for innovation in the world of classical music until his death.

continue reading

View original post

Filed under: Uncategorized

Déjà vu?

greenring

I found the above image accompanying a review of The Cunning Little Vixen (aka Das schlaue Füchslein) from a Wiener Staatsoper production reviewed on Bachtrack.

Am I imagining things, or is this uncannily reminiscent of Seattle Opera’s so-called “green Ring” set?

Die Walkure

 

 

Filed under: Seattle Opera, Wagner

Revolution No. 9

lb9

It was premiered almost two centuries ago. And Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 still feels as urgently needed today as ever.

continue reading

Filed under: Beethoven, Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Times

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

RSS Arts & Culture Stories from NPR

  • Trump's Inauguration Sets Up Uncertain Future For Conservative Movement
    NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Sam Tanenhaus, author of The Death of Conservatism, about what Donald Trump's inauguration means for the future of the conservative movement.
  • Novelist Zadie Smith On Historical Nostalgia And The Nature Of Talent
    Smith's latest book, Swing Time, tells the story of two girls who dream of being dancers, but only one has the talent to do so. Originally broadcast Nov. 21, 2016.
  • Unexpected Heroines Of An Indian Box Office Hit: Female Wrestlers
    'Dangal" is a Disney film that tells the story of India's Phogat wrestling family. It's broken the record for ticket sales for a Hindi language film. And it's in theaters in the U.S. too.
  • Just Say No
    Our finalists finally put their foot down in this game where every answer ends with the word "NO." If we asked, "What artist married John Lennon?" the answer would be "Yoko Ono."
  • Easy Degrees
    In this game we play a clip of a famous person accepting an honorary degree, and contestants buzz in to guess who else has joined the exclusive club.
  • Stuff By The Ocean
    Jonathan Coulton takes us all the way back to the summer of 2016 with a parody of "Cake By The Ocean," where each clue is about something you'd find--you guessed it--by the ocean.
  • Mystery Guest
    This episode's mystery guest, Alan Drazen, joins us from the Philadelphia area. Alan created something "very, very cool." Can you figure out what he invented before Ophira and Jonathan do?
  • Muppets, Beanies Or Mascots
    In this week's edition of This, That, or the Other, contestants must decide: is it a Muppet, a Beanie Baby or a college sports mascot?
  • Cereal Brawl
    This word game is about cereal...the breakfast, not the podcast. We'll describe a brand, and you guess the name with one letter changed.
  • Eugene Mirman: Burger On A Sesame Seed Pun
    AMA goes back to school at Haverford College with all-student contestants! Plus, comedian Eugene Mirman, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in comedy, plays Burger of the Day—AMA style.