MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Divining Harmony: West-Eastern Diwan Orchestra at 20

Tonight and tomorrow, at Berlin’s Philharmonie, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding by Daniel Barenboim and the late Edward Said — with a program including guest soloists and longterm artistic collaborators Anne-Sophie Mutter and Yo-Yo Ma.

I was honored to be asked to write the notes for the Beethoven-Bruckner program.

Tune in at 8pm CET time for a livestream on Arte or on fidelio. The performance will also be available to view on arte between 23 and 30 October here (VPN might be needed, not sure).

Filed under: Anton Bruckner, Beethoven, Daniel Barenboim, West-Eastern Diwan Orchestra

Times Two

One-half at least of the line-up from last night’s piano duo recital at the new Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. Playing on his custom-made (and, for the occasion, uncovered) Steinways, Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich gave the following program:

MOZART/ Sonata in D Major K. 448 (375a) for Two Pianos
Sonata in F Major K. 497 for Piano Four Hands
SCHUMANN/Studies for Pedal Piano Op. 56 / Arrangement for Two Pianos by Claude Debussy
LISZT/Réminiscences de «Don Juan» de Mozart S 418

Plus, as encores, Debussy’s Lindaraja and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

Filed under: Daniel Barenboim, Martha Argerich, Pierre Boulez Saal

Martha Argerich

I finally had my first chance to see the fabled Martha Argerich live at last night’s Lucerne Festival concert — the second of two concerts at the Summer Festival by Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

Even in such a decided non-masterpiece as Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1, she’s the real thing, one of the most magnetic musical personalities I’ve encountered.

As a generous encore, she and Barenboim sat together at the keyboard to play a Schubert’s piano duo: the Rondo in A major, D 951.

Filed under: Daniel Barenboim, Martha Argerich, pianists

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