MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Prokofiev’s Stalingrad Sonata

Early in 1943, I received the score of the Seventh Sonata, which I found fascinating and which I learned in just four days…. The work was a huge success. The audience clearly grasped the spirit of the work, which reflected their innermost feelings and concerns. (This was also felt to be the case with Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, which dates from more or less the same period.)

With this work we are brutally plunged into the anxiously threatening atmosphere of a world that has lost its balance. Chaos and uncertainty reign. We see murderous forces ahead. But this does not mean that what we lived by before thereby ceases to exist. We continue to feel and love. Now the full range of human emotions bursts forth. Together with our fellow men and women, we raise a voice in protest and share the common grief. We sweep everything before us, borne along by the will for victory. In the tremendous struggle that this involves, we find the strength to affirm the irrepressible life-force.

Sviatoslav Richter, In: Bruno Monsaingeon, “Sviatoslav Richter: Notebooks and Conversations,” trans. Stewart Spencer

Filed under: Prokofiev

Dausgaard and Seattle Symphony Take on an Early Sibelius Epic

84319-1617-concerts-dausgaard-0091-credit-brandon-patoc

photo: Brandon Patoc

My review for Bachtrack of Thomas Dausgaard and the Seattle Symphony in Sibelius’s Kullervo:
On 28 April 1892, when he was only 26, Jean Sibelius unveiled Kullervo to the public. Its triumph established both his career as a composer and his reputation as Finland’s musical bard…

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Filed under: review, Seattle Symphony, Sibelius, Thomas Dausgaard

Night Scenes from the Ospedale

Enjoying Night Scenes from the Ospedale by Robert Honstein, a project for the amazing Antico Moderno.

Filed under: new music with period instruments, Vivaldi

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