MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Melody, Metamorphosis, and Memory: Music for Oboe and Friends

For this evening’s recital at the Boulez Saal by Cristina Gómez Godoy, principal oboist of the Staatskapelle Berlin, has chosen a fascinating program of Saint-Saëns, Britten, Skalkottas, Carter, Kalliwoda, and Loeffler. Michail Lifits accompanies from the keyboard, and violist Joost Keizer joins the lineup. My program essay is here (starting p. 13).

Filed under: concert programming, oboe, Pierre Boulez Saal, program notes

Europa: Mythos und Vision

D9aLlu3W4AAZzbvHere’s the program book for the celebration this evening at Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin of the 50th anniversary of the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (my contribution starts on p. 42).

Filed under: Europe, Pierre Boulez Saal

Matthias Pintscher Premiere

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Tomorrow’s program at the Boulez Saal in Berlin brings the world premiere of the new commission Nur by Matthias Pintscher, along with his early work Verzeichnete Spur and Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp. Here’s my essay for the program:

The complex phenomena associated with a dialogue—musical, social, intellectual, emotional—inform the core of Matthias Pintscher’s musical thinking, whether in his guise as composer, conductor, or teacher. In an interview with the immunologist Jacques Banchereau on the topic of creative inspiration, Pintscher remarked that “these musical objects start talking and erasing each other or clashing and transforming, and then you start developing the drama, the narrative, the story.”

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Filed under: Matthias Pintscher, Pierre Boulez Saal

Kinan Azmeh and His CityBand

My piece for Boulez Saal on Kinan Azmeh as he completes an incredibly creative year with stops with his CityBand and friends in Berlin and Amsterdam:

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Filed under: Kinan Azmeh, Pierre Boulez Saal

Arabic Music Days at Boulez Saal in Berlin

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Friday’s opening night concert to the Arabic Music Days weekend currently under way at Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin was spirited and delightful from first to last. The vocalist, oud player, and composer Moneim Adwan introduced and led a fantastic set with fellow musicians Zied Zouari (violin), Leïla Soldevila (double bass), Yassir Bousselam (cello), and Yousef Zayed (percussion).

From the Boulez Saal description: “Moneim Adwan, born in the Palestinian city of Rafah in Gaza, is a singer, oud player, and composer whose music mixes influences from his native country and from France, where he has lived for a number of years. Questions of freedom, justice, and identity play an important role in his work, which includes collaborations with artists from the worlds of classical and traditional music. His second opera, Orfeo & Majnun, premiered this past summer at the Aix-en-Provence Festival; it brings together the Greek myth of Orpheus with the Persian-Arabic story of Layla and Majnun. At the Pierre Boulez Saal, Adwan will present a selection of Arabic songs and settings of poems by Jalal Ad-din Rumi and Mahmoud Darwish: ‘Rumi is immersed in philosophy, and Darwish writes in a musical language. Both of them paint images that touch everyone who encounters them and enter hearts without asking permission.'”

There’s also an exhibition of works by Nasser Hussein (open all weekend), as well as film screenings. Admission to these events is free. Full line-up here.

Filed under: Arabic Music, Moneim Adwan, Pierre Boulez Saal

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

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