MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Jonathan Biss Reflects on “Late Style”

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Jonathan Biss. (Benjamin Ealovega)

My Seattle Times interview with Jonathan Biss, who will perform in two events this coming weekend at UW:

At the advanced age of 36, Jonathan Biss finds himself fascinated by “late style” — the manner of expression an artist adopts as the end of life approaches.

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Filed under: Beethoven, Brahms, Kurtág, pianists, Seattle Times

Joshua Bell Teams up with Cellist Steven Isserlis and Jeremy Denk

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Image by Shervin Lainez

My story on the making of For the Love of Brahms, the marvelous new release from Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, and Jeremy Denk, is now live on Strings:

“Humanity . . . must in the long run regain its health through the true and great works Brahms produces,” wrote Clara Schumann in her diary in January 1889. To which cellist Steven Isserlis adds “Brahms—we need you!” to complete a Tweet he shared just a few days after wrapping up a recording project in May with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk.

The release, For the Love of Brahms, contains the Double Concerto, Op. 102, and the First Piano Trio, along with the slow movement of Robert Schumann’s Violin Concerto, and is being released in September by Sony.

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Filed under: Brahms, chamber music

Brahms 1

This is going to be a good concert:

Filed under: Brahms, Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony

Kancheli’s Latest in Seattle, with Counterpoint from Martinů and Brahms

Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony

Bearing an exotically enigmatic title — Nu.Mu.Zu — the new work by the 80-year-old Georgian composer Giya Kancheli left a distinctly memorable impression in its North American premiere by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Ludovic Morlot. The world premiere took place only a few weeks ago in Brussels (Kancheli’s current residence is in Antwerp), with Andrey Boreyko and the National Orchestra of Belgium; both that ensemble and the SSO co-commissioned the piece.
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Filed under: Brahms, Kancheli, Ludovic Morlot, Martinů, new music, review, Seattle Symphony

A Gorgeous Chamber Music Première in Seattle

Steven Stucky; photo (c) 2005 Hoebermann Studio

Steven Stucky; photo
(c) 2005 Hoebermann Studio

Along with its mix of well-known and unusual repertoire, the Seattle Chamber Music Society annually commissions a brand-new work for its Summer Festival. Monday evening’s programme unveiled the selection for 2015: Cantus by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, who has gained prominence primarily as an instrumental and choral composer. (His first opera – a brilliantly witty yet at the same time touching one-act buffa to Jeremy Denk’s libretto improbably “dramatising” Charles Rosen’s The Classical Style – will receive its full stage première next week at the Aspen Festival.)

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Filed under: American music, Brahms, chamber music, commissions, Mendelssohn, review, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Steven Stucky

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