Author Topic: Kirov Ring at the Met  (Read 10308 times)

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Offline Anne

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Kirov Ring at the Met
« on: June 27, 2007, 04:39:52 AM »
 
 

Maestro Valery Gergiev brings his spectacular Kirov Opera to the Met to perform Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. The epic four–part series forms the centerpiece of this year's Lincoln Center Festival.

You now have the opportunity to purchase tickets for individual operas in Cycle 1 of the series, co–presented by the Lincoln Center Festival and the Met. Performances take place at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Magnificent voices, monumental scenery, and a "swift and action–packed" musical backdrop make this "a Ring to match the four or five most important stagings since the middle of the last century" (The New York Times). Don't miss the chance to experience "the kind of rare grandeur that Wagnerians live for" (Los Angeles Times).

Buy Tickets Now:
Call 212–362–6000, visit metopera.org or come to the Box Office.

 
 

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 08:04:17 AM »
I'm going to the second cycle, July 16-19.  Anyone else going?  Music aside (I know, that's a big "aside"  ;D) I'm eager to see the production by George Tsypin, who has done some amazing work with Prokoviev, specifically The Gambler and War and Peace at the Met, and the Kirov's Semyon Kotko

His Ring has already been amusingly called "the Ring with Shmoos," a reference to the characters in Al Capp's Li'l Abner.  (I'm not agreeing, just reporting the news.)  Here is a review of the same production, with some cool photos, of Götterdämmerung, in Cardiff.

--Bruce
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 09:04:48 AM by bhodges »
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Offline Iago

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2007, 10:25:03 PM »
If the Met Orchestra is the Orchestra in the pit, the productions will be overwhelmingly successful. If it's the Kirov Orchestra in the pit, having heard them several times in recent years (especially in Disney Hall-A great acoustical environment), i'm sorry to have to tell you that the singing and sets better be magnificent, because the playing of that orchestra is not even good enough to be called third rate by american standards.
Gergiev is good. But he cannot walk on water.
"Good", is NOT good enough, when "better" is expected

M forever

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2007, 11:46:06 PM »
If the Met Orchestra is the Orchestra in the pit, the productions will be overwhelmingly successful. If it's the Kirov Orchestra in the pit, having heard them several times in recent years (especially in Disney Hall-A great acoustical environment), i'm sorry to have to tell you that the singing and sets better be magnificent, because the playing of that orchestra is not even good enough to be called third rate by american standards.

Both the MET and the Kirov are very good orchestras, but with rather different sound and playing styles.
However, for you that doesn't matter since you would not be able to tell them apart in a blind test anyway. You probably wouldn't be able to tell either of them apart from a Salvation Army band either with your tin ears.
Your stupid comments here are not even good enough to be called third rate by American standards.

BTW, "American" is spelled with a capital "A" here. Are you sure you really were a school teacher, not a school janitor or something like that? Judging from your writing here, as a teacher you are not even good enough to be called third rate by American standards.

Offline bricon

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2007, 12:51:41 AM »
i'm sorry to have to tell you that the singing and sets better be magnificent, because the playing of that orchestra is not even good enough to be called third rate by american standards.
Gergiev is good. But he cannot walk on water.

Having heard the Kirov/Gergiev combination a number of times; my experience is that their output is extremely variable. In some repertoire (eg Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel) their performances are absolutely stunning; in some other rep (eg Salome) the performance that I witnessed could barely be described as professionally proficient. Their season of Italian standards in London several years ago was an artistic fiasco.

Whether their NY Ring will be first rate or something below that is hard to say; I’d bet on something far less than stellar. They are a highly suspect ensemble in anything other than the Russian repertoire.

M forever

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2007, 01:31:32 AM »
"Highly suspect in anything other than the Russian repertoire"?

That's very obviously just biased nonsense, as if other repertoire was generally more difficult to play technically or artistically.
As if the same ensemble which was "absolutely stunning" in Prkofieff one night suddenly forgot everything the night "Salomé" was on. Bullshit.

That reflects nothing but clichéed ideas about what it supposed to be "Russian" and what not.
In fact, some of the Wagner stuff I heard from them was orchestrally highly impressive. While there was a slight hint of "Russian" sound in the brass playing (which I found actually quite interesting), they can certainly muster a whole lot more substance and weight of sound than the MET orchestra, judging from their very good, but fairly lightweight contributions on disc. Certainly that is much further away from a "real Wagner sound" (not that you would know what that actually is) than what the Kirov can offer.

I enjoy these variations as very interesting, but then I also don't have such clichéed (and obviously wrong) ideas about what this or that is supposed to be like as you do. As if this was some kind of folklore ensemble.

Offline bricon

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2007, 04:43:01 AM »
That's very obviously just biased nonsense

Would you care to share any of your opinions of the Kirov/Gergiev combination from (specifiically) any of your in-house experiences of those performers?

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2007, 05:57:48 PM »
I would LOVE to be able to attend this Ring cycle.

One day my wife and I plan to travel [somewhere] to see it as its unlikely to ever be performed here :(
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2007, 06:04:30 AM »
Just for the record, my many experiences with the Kirov have been mostly very, very positive.  I've heard them occasionally when they sounded a bit ragged (probably due to fatigue) but most of the time they have sounded marvelous.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline knight66

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2007, 07:22:31 AM »
Well, what M says sounds like perfect sense. I did not hear them in their Covent Garden appearances, but I do recall the surprise I had on reading the Sunday papers in which they got a real drubbing for their Verdi, not just the playing but the productions and the supposed clear under rehearsal. The Russian opera, (I think it was Boris), within the run got good reviews.

It has been mentioned before that Gergiev can sale close to the wind and from what the newspapers reported, the non-Russian operas were poorly performed all round. As I was not there I am only passing on what stuck in my head, as I had assumed they would get the glowing reports they had previously garnered.

As far as the Wagner in Wales is concerned, it was given terrific reviews for the orchestral playing and Gergiev's conducting. The production was pretty much detested.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2007, 07:33:09 AM »
I think Gergiev's schedule is a bit over-ambitious at times.  If anything, I'm slightly worried that he and the Kirov will simply run out of steam by the end of the week; the scheduling of the two cycles seems a little daunting.  I mean, just doing the cycle once (i.e., four nights in a row) would be challenging, but they're doing it twice.

July 13: Das Rheingold
July 14: Die Walküre
July 15: (break)
July 16: Das Rheingold
July 17: Die Walküre
July 18: Siegfried
July 19: Götterdämmerung
July 20: Siegfried
July 21: Götterdämmerung

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline knight66

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2007, 07:50:17 AM »
Assuming they go home on the 22nd, I wonder what they are doing on the 23rd.

Mike
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2007, 07:55:44 AM »
I found this schedule for July on their website.  They must have a great many extra players; during the New York run they have operas scheduled at the Mariinsky every night!  And then Gergiev is doing The Gambler on Thursday, the 26th.

 http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

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Offline knight66

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2007, 08:07:06 AM »
I wonder when the Vienna Phil is on tour whether the Opera has any performances on the same basis as the Kirov? I know of stories where conductors rehearse with one set of musicians and are then confronted with a substantial number of 'substitutes'. I recall conductors taking exception to it. Of course players are called into orchestras on a part time or ad hoc basis depending on repertoire, but I wonder what sort of arrangements can be made to enable the same orchestra to appear in two places at the same time and to what extent we are hearing the authentic orchestra?

Mike
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Offline Iago

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2007, 10:24:18 AM »
The same thing is happening right here in the good old USA.

The Boston Symphony is currently in residence at Tanglewood and has both teaching, performing (and probably recording) commitments that extend into late August.
Yet the "Boston Pops" (usually consisting of members of the BSO, without the first desk players) is currently on "tour" at various summer music festivals throughout the U.S. Good trick if you can be in two places at once. They "cover" their publicity by calling the tour group the Boston Pops "Esplanade" Orchestra, although that third word is usually in very small print.
So once again, let the buyer beware!
"Good", is NOT good enough, when "better" is expected

M forever

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2007, 10:56:18 AM »
Wrong again, Iago.

That has nothing to do with practices like this. The Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper and therefore the Wiener Philharmoniker have enough full time musicians to man (and since recently, even wo-man in a few cases) two orchestras, and so does the Kirov Orchestra. The WP have around 150 members or so, and then they can also invite extras, of course, the Kirov has a huge orchestra, probably around 190 or 200. That can easily be seen by clicking on the link 3 posts above, then "orchestra", then "musicians". I haven't counted them, but based on how large the wind sections are, they might even have over 200. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen an orchestra with such a huge roster. Even the Gewandhaus which does full time opera and concert and which has 192 members appears to have "less" members.

Well, what M says sounds like perfect sense. I did not hear them in their Covent Garden appearances, but I do recall the surprise I had on reading the Sunday papers in which they got a real drubbing for their Verdi, not just the playing but the productions and the supposed clear under rehearsal. The Russian opera, (I think it was Boris), within the run got good reviews.

It has been mentioned before that Gergiev can sale close to the wind and from what the newspapers reported, the non-Russian operas were poorly performed all round. As I was not there I am only passing on what stuck in my head, as I had assumed they would get the glowing reports they had previously garnered.

As far as the Wagner in Wales is concerned, it was given terrific reviews for the orchestral playing and Gergiev's conducting. The production was pretty much detested.

I wasn't there either, but we are talking about the quality of the orchestra in general, and that is very good, without any doubt, nothing that deserves to be called "not even third rate" by a complete amateur and ignorant. Respect for the artists is the basis for any real criticism, however strict.

It is true, Gergiev's sometimes...uh...improvisational style brings an element of unpredictability in here, and that can certainly lead to less than ideal individual performances now and then, but as we all have had opportunities to hear, maybe even live or at least in live recordings, this ensemble can deliver truly outstanding results. The "spontaneous" approach certainly holds some dangers, but then it can also result in truly exciting "live" events which carefully planned and controlled "safe" performances rarely do.
After all, it is a "live" art form.

I agree about the Wagner, what I have heard from that was very impressive orchestrally. It had a slight, but not very strong "Russian" sound and feel to it which may not be entirely "authentic". But it was still musically and orchestrally very, very good and maybe all the more interesting for this "exotic" element. And you know what? They still sound more like a "Wagner orchestra" than the MET ever did. The MET orchestra is technically very good, but they don't sound much like anything. They certainly lack the depth of tone and the sheer weight of sound this music sometimes needs, and the Kirov has that, even if it is a slightly "Russian" sounding kind of weight.

Which brings us to those reviews. Neither you nor me were there, but reading between the lines, the Russian operas "great", the Italian operas "terrible", that simply can't be even if one evening can indeed be good and the next disappointing. But that sounds much more like disappointed cliché expectations, maybe about how "Russian opera has to sound" - pass, after all this is a Russian ensemble, it must be "authentic" and about how "Italian opera has to sound" - fail, after all what is "authentically Russian" somehow can't be right for Italian music. Which is bullshit of course. These Russian musicians may not be from as sunny a place as their Italian colleagues, but they are still very good musicians and they still know much more about Italian music than some newspaper critic, even though he may go to the Toscana for his summer holidays once in a while. 

Offline bricon

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2007, 01:50:11 AM »
I wasn't there

So you don't really know what you're talking about when commenting on those specific performances?

Quote
After all, it is a "live" art form.

So, as a general rule, someone who actually attended and heard a performance would have a better idea about the actual merits of that specific performance?

Quote
Which brings us to those reviews. Neither you nor me were there

Yet, you feel that you are qualified to make comments about those specific performances?

You're a blowhard ................ unfortunately your thoughts on this matter are blowing out of your rear end.

M forever

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2007, 02:50:14 AM »
Sorry if what wrote was too complex for you to understand. Knight, bhodges and me obviously weren't talking about specific performances you heard but we didn't, but about the overall level of quality of the ensemble.

Your response contains absolutely no musically relevant points at all. Looks like we have another little Iago here.

Offline Iago

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2007, 09:08:28 AM »
Wrong again, Iago.

That has nothing to do with practices like this.

Sez who? Sez you.
What you know about the Boston Symphony can be put in a thimble with space remaining for the Empire State Building.
"Good", is NOT good enough, when "better" is expected

Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Kirov Ring at the Met
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2007, 05:30:12 PM »
Those of you who attend this Ring Cycle please post your reviews as it sounds like its going to be fantastic :)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte