MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Seattle Opera Meets the Museum of Flight

Seattle Opera at the Museum of Flight, producing “Flight.” (Ted Huetter / The Museum of Flight)
 Seattle Opera at the Museum of Flight, producing “Flight.” (Ted Huetter / The Museum of Flight)

My latest story for The Seattle Times:

We’ve all been there.

The familiar dread that accompanies air travel — Will my flight be delayed? Will I end up stranded? — has only become aggravated in the time of the coronavirus. But the reverse side to such anxieties is the promise of escape, which leads us ever onward. The resulting ambiguity gives airports their tremendous symbolic power.

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The company premiere of Jonathan Dove and April De Angelis’s Flight will be streamed on the Seattle Opera website from April 23-25; tickets $35.

Filed under: Seattle Opera, Seattle Times

Tippett Rise on Tour

The Spring Festival Tippet Rise on Tour from April 16 to 18 will premiere 10 short films featuring eclectic music performances, readings of poetry, and live discussions with musicians. Highlights of the Spring Festival include flutist Claire Chase giving the world premiere of a new work by Bora Yoon, an homage to Surrealism by pianist Pedja Mužijević, and performances by violinists Benjamin BeilmanKatie Hyun, and Tessa Lark, cellist Gabriel Cabezas, pianists Richard Goode, and Baritone Tyler Duncan. The performances were filmed in sculptor Joel Shapiro’s studio and in the DiMenna Center for the Arts in New York City.

The three-day event will also feature Canadian cellist Arlen Hlusko, who was recently appointed cellist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Arlen put an ask out on social media during lockdown to see if any composers would be interested in writing miniatures for solo cello that would be premiered on her Instagram in September 2020. This resulted in exhilarating collaborations with numerous composers and four of the works were subsequently filmed by Tippet Rise and will be offered during the Festival.

Each night of the Spring Festival will begin at 5:30PM MDT with a live backstage Zoom discussion before the evening’s performances.

Filed under: music news, Tippet Rise

Charpentier Program from Les Arts Florissants

Les Arts Florissants recorded its concert program Charpentier, Grands Motets at the Royal Chapel at Versailles on 28 February following cancellation of two public performances (at Versailles and La Rochelle) due to the pandemic. The film will be available on Qwest TV starting on April 9

From the press release:

Les Arts Florissants collaborates for the very first time with Qwest TV, a global video platform, to offer the exclusive broadcast of the film Charpentier, Grands Motets recorded at Versailles’ Royal Chapel.

Digital Concert – public premiere
Musical Direction: William Christie
Choir and Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants
Royal Chapel – Versailles
Filmed on 28 February 20212 without a live audience

Coproduction Les Arts Florissants and Château de Versailles Spectacles

Qwest TV recently launched a “Classical” category on their premium SVOD platform, across which Charpentier, Grand Motets will be released.

SVOD broadcast (access by subscription, with 7 days free trial)
For more details on how viewers can stream the film on Qwest, click here.

See also Les Arts Florissants’ film of Haydn’s Paris Symphony no. 87, released on 11 January 2021.

Filed under: early music, Les Arts Florissants, music news

Robert Carl: White Heron

My review of this marvelous BMOP anthology of Robert Carl’s music for Gramophone has now been posted here.

Aficionados of contemporary music will already be familiar with the name Robert Carl as a writer. He has authored extensive reviews for Fanfare and a recent, thought-provoking collection of essays on the challenges faced by 21st-century composers…

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Filed under: American music, CD review, Gramophone

Bach Passions

If you haven’t yet experienced the Peter Sellars staging of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, I can’t recommend it highly enough — and the Berliner Philharmoniker production with Simon Rattle is currently available to view for free (until Monday) at the Digital Concert Hall.

Meanwhile, Bach’s St. John Passion will be performed by John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir, and the English Baroque Soloists. It can be viewed for a fee of 9.90 Euros on a Deutsche Grammophon Stage stream from the historic Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, starting at 3pm CET on Good Friday, 2 April.

Remarks Gardiner: “I look forward to this performance for DG Stage of Bach’s St John Passion. “I recorded the piece for the first time for Archiv Produktion back in 1986 and it remains truly special to me. Bach conceived the piece as much as an act of worship as a work of religious art. Almost 300 years after it was heard for the first time, it continues to move listeners of all faiths and none.”

And here’s a performance from 2019 of the 1725 version of the St. John Passion (available for the next 48 hours) from Solomon’s Knot: recorded live at the Nikolaikirche, Bachfest Leipzig, on 19 June 2019. Dramatization by John La Bouchardière.

Filed under: Bach, music news

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