Author Topic: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)  (Read 709031 times)

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Offline ritter

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6060 on: June 24, 2021, 12:15:34 PM »
Cross-posted from the relevant composer thread.

Managed to attend the second performance (the premiere was, fittingly, last night) of the reconstructed ballet La nuit de Saint Jean or Les feux de la Saint Jean (“Midsummer Night” or “The Midsummer Night Bonfires”) by Roberto Gerhard. The production is being presented (invitation only) here in Madrid by the Juan March Foundation, and will travel to the Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona in the fall.

This ballet, which remained unperformed until now, has a chequered history. It started as a prospective commission in 1936 by Colonel de Basil’s Ballets Russes de Montecarlo for a Spanish-themed ballet, with music by Gerhard, scenario by Ventura Gassol, choreography by Léonide Massine and sets by Joan Junyer. The outbreak of the Spanish civil war (the outcome of which forced Gerhard, Gassol and Junyer into exile), followed by WW2, prevented any real progress to be made on the work, and in the meantime Colonel de Basil’s company had folded.

The composer rescued some numbers for the suite Soirées de Barcelone (which exists in solo piano and orchestral versions—both available on CD), but the whole ballet is, at around one hour, four times as long as the suite. Pianist Miguel Baselga, in a post-performance colloquium (more about that later  >:() explained how reconstructing the whole score was not easy, as the unpublished numbers were only available in a score not meant for performance (but rather as a base for the never to be completed orchestration) and had no dynamic markings, etc. In any case, he did a splendid job, and brought out every nuance in this substantial score, which is clearly derived from Catalan folk music (one of the most beautiful balletic moments included the catalan circle dance sardana, and one of the typical human towers castell), but some numbers are clearly by Gerhard the pupil of Arnold Schoenberg.

The single set and the costumes were based on the original sketches, but apparently no trace has survived of the choreography Massine had intended for the work, so Antonio Ruz (the mastermind of the whole project) worked from scratch, but did so very effectively IMHO. The only weak point was that the (otherwise splendid) ballerina playing Cupid would recite some passages from the scenario before each of the three tableaux, and that was unnecessary, sounded really kitschy, and cheapened the whole show a bit.

The three tableaux are i) the bonfires of midsummer night (an age old tradition in Spain, particularly on the east coast), ii) a dreamlike love scene in a forest after the bonfires, and iii) a wedding on the next day. Nicely varied and beautifully danced, fitting perfectly with the musical material. The fact that the music was piano only was not a real problem, but the ballet would be really something in full orchestral garb (which I suppose would not be that complicated—apart from the financial effort, of course—as good chunks are already available in orchestral score in the Soirées suite).

As mentioned above, there was a colloquium with the performers and artistic director of the whole enterprise  Ruz after the show. As mentioned above, Miguel Baselga (who may by known to some for having recorded the complete piano music of Albéniz on the BIS label) talked about the music, the dancers introduced themselves and expressed their joy at the project, and then questions or comments from the audience were taken. Unfortunately, the second audience member to speak was some bloke who started saying how happy he was, having just arrived from Barcelona at noon, to be able to attend this performance, particularly after having been yesterday  outside Lledoners prison to cheer and welcome the convicted Catalan separatist leaders upon their release—thanks to a controversial governmental pardon—.  This threatened to degenerate into an unnecessary and completely misplaced political diatribe. It’s unbearable how these people try to contaminate every aspect of life (not only in Catalonia, but elsewhere in Spain) with their political fixation. As I hadn’t gone to the performance to listen to such gibberish, and even less to engage in any sort of argument with strangers, I (and several other members of the audience) quietly but conspicuously rose and left the hall. O ciel, che noia!   ::)

Here a couple of scenes from the ballet:





And for those not familiar with them, here’s the typical formation of the sardana, and a group of castellers (of course, concerning the latter, what we saw in the ballet—with only six dancers—was rather more modest  ;)):




« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 12:22:03 PM by ritter »
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Online Brewski

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6061 on: June 29, 2021, 06:07:08 AM »
Managed to attend the second performance (the premiere was, fittingly, last night) of the reconstructed ballet La nuit de Saint Jean or Les feux de la Saint Jean (“Midsummer Night” or “The Midsummer Night Bonfires”) by Roberto Gerhard. The production is being presented (invitation only) here in Madrid by the Juan March Foundation, and will travel to the Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona in the fall.


Wow. Thanks for this detailed report. Great photos, too. FWIW, Gerhard seems to be rarely performed in the U.S., and certainly not a big work like this one. Now fantasizing about a trip to Barcelona (though probably not in the cards at the moment).

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6062 on: June 29, 2021, 06:10:10 AM »
Tonight, live from Banff, the JACK Quartet in the program below, free at the link:

"Divide" (2019)  | Marc Sabat

Nightmare for JACK (a ballet)  | Natacha Diels
(world premiere, commissioned by Banff Centre, 2020)

Dig Deep (2019) |  Julia Wolfe

Passage (2020) |  Jason Eckardt
Movement TBC

https://www.banffcentre.ca/events/evolution/faculty-concert-jack/20210629/1730

--Bruce
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Offline André

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6063 on: July 06, 2021, 09:19:20 AM »
Great programs !!

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6064 on: July 06, 2021, 09:32:30 AM »
Great programs !!

I agree! (And as stated, "Nice to have something to go to anyway," meaning, anything at all. Many of us are starved for a concert experience.)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6065 on: July 06, 2021, 09:38:49 AM »
Triad's November concerts which we are e'en now planning.
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6066 on: July 06, 2021, 09:40:51 AM »
In late August, looking forward to the TIME:SPANS Festival, returning live and in-person after last year's hiatus. The artists involved—including soprano Tony Arnold, JACK Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink, Yarn/Wire, cellist Seth Parker Woods, and Alarm Will Sound—could not be better.

https://timespans.org/program/

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Offline Brian

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6067 on: July 06, 2021, 09:51:40 AM »
A few weeks ago, a guy from the Box Office phoned me about all the refunds I was owed from last season's cancellations, during the course of which he commented that they'd met quite a lot of reluctance from some members (the implication was, older members) about returning to the concert hall.  Which may be a reason for the deliberately popular programming - to entice back that audience.  So while it may not be ideal - and certainly not how it used to be - it is at least something.  For a while there it looked distinctly possible that live orchestral concerts might be a thing of the past... :'( ::) ;D
Next year's Dallas Symphony programming is similarly very pops-heavy.

You're lucky you got a phone call about refunds! The DSO emailed me to say I had $180 in account credit to use by a certain date, and if I didn't use it, they'd consider it a donation. Of course, they waited to tell me until there were no more events to use it on (except a children's concert), so I guess I donated it.

Offline mabuse

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6068 on: July 06, 2021, 11:19:50 AM »
Tonight, live from Banff, the JACK Quartet in the program below, free at the link:

"Divide" (2019)  | Marc Sabat

Nightmare for JACK (a ballet)  | Natacha Diels
(world premiere, commissioned by Banff Centre, 2020)

Dig Deep (2019) |  Julia Wolfe

Passage (2020) |  Jason Eckardt
Movement TBC

https://www.banffcentre.ca/events/evolution/faculty-concert-jack/20210629/1730

--Bruce

I will watch this :)
Thanks very much, Bruce !

And there are other interesting things to come next few days too : https://www.banffcentre.ca/events/evolution-concert-series

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6069 on: July 06, 2021, 11:20:06 AM »
I think we’re going to see more workhorse heavy concert programs due to 2020’s financial losses than anything else. Remember that an orchestra is like any other business entity in that it has to get seats filled and the only way to do that is to bring out those heavy-hitters that will surely give me them that financial surplus that they didn’t get in 2020.
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6070 on: July 06, 2021, 11:41:30 AM »
I will watch this :)
Thanks very much, Bruce !

And there are other interesting things to come next few days too : https://www.banffcentre.ca/events/evolution-concert-series

Most welcome. One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been widespread archiving of livestreams, so that if you can't watch live, you can often catch the concert later. (Among major institutions, I know the Minnesota and Seattle orchestras have been doing this.)

And in any case, Banff has great programming in general.

--Bruce
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6071 on: July 06, 2021, 11:43:25 AM »
I think we’re going to see more workhorse heavy concert programs due to 2020’s financial losses than anything else. Remember that an orchestra is like any other business entity in that it has to get seats filled and the only way to do that is to bring out those heavy-hitters that will surely give me them that financial surplus that they didn’t get in 2020.

This is likely true. The more esoteric repertoire may have to wait, at least for awhile. To me, that's a good reason to support some of these smaller organizations, which have a little more flexibility.

--Bruce
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6072 on: July 06, 2021, 12:19:04 PM »
This is likely true. The more esoteric repertoire may have to wait, at least for awhile. To me, that's a good reason to support some of these smaller organizations, which have a little more flexibility.

--Bruce

Yes.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6073 on: July 06, 2021, 12:26:14 PM »
This is likely true. The more esoteric repertoire may have to wait, at least for awhile. To me, that's a good reason to support some of these smaller organizations, which have a little more flexibility.

--Bruce

I’ll have to look around and see what kind of Atlanta-based chamber ensembles there are to see if any of them will be performing near me. I wouldn’t mind seeing something more intimate like chamber music performed, but I’d still love to see something great happen for the more well-known orchestras.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6074 on: July 07, 2021, 07:42:28 PM »
While we're at it...

Wednesday 6th October at London Barbican
MartinůRhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
ShostakovichSymphony No.1
LSO

Simon Rattle conductor
Antoine Tamestit viola

Don't get too many opportunities to hear these in concert. :)

Wow...that’s an awesome concert! I hope they stream this one. Rattle conducting Martinů is an interesting proposition I must say. I’m not a great fan of Rattle’s conducting, but I think a quirky composer like Martinů would be right up his alley. His Shostakovich from years past isn’t half bad either --- I remember enjoying his recordings of Symphonies Nos. 4 & 10 with the CBSO (on EMI). I do have to wonder if Rattle’s wife, the fabulous mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, had talked him into conducting more Czech music? I know Rattle’s done some Dvořák (with the Berliners on EMI of the symphonic poems sans The Hero’s Song, which conductors leave out all of the time plus the Biblical Songs w/ Kožená and the Berliners I believe?) and Janáček (there’s at least two recordings here: The Cunning Little Vixen on LSO Live w/ Kožená in lead role and the pairing of Glagolitic Mass and Sinfonietta w/ the CBSO on EMI).
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 07:50:02 PM by Mirror Image »
"Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art." - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6075 on: July 08, 2021, 05:20:30 AM »
I'm also not a huge fan of Rattle's conducting - I don't share the enthusiasm for his Bruckner, for example - but I have found him better in modern repertoire than the classical/romantic, so I have hopes for this one. :)

It’ll feature Antoine Tamestit, who is no slouch on the viola ;), so this should be a good concert. 8)
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Offline VonStupp

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6076 on: July 14, 2021, 06:58:19 AM »
At the risk of offending people my ears objectively tell me that Coleridge-Taylor is a competent not great composer.  But I'd say the same about Florence Price.  Duke Ellington is clearly a different case/calibre - who once said that Duke Ellington was America's greatest composer?  I do understand that there are elements of discrimination against these composers on account of race or gender and as such their struggle against that is to be celebrated.  But a hundred years later we are left with the Art itself not the context of its creation.  Is later Beethoven even better than it is because he was deaf or do we just accept it as great?  Do we sit there saying of the late string quartets; "they are even better than you think they are because the guy who wrote them couldn't hear a note".  I'd say not.   I understand this is a touchy and sensitive subject but that is not a reason to avoid a debate......

The cynical side of me says this music is now being programmed NOT because anyone thinks it is of especial merit but simply to be seen to be programming it and therefore promoting the idea that CM is inclusive and relevant.  I'm not saying for a second that the historical fact that people were marginalised on the basis of race or gender was a good thing but it is simply how it was.  We have to change things going forward , we cannot be hostages to history - instead we should learn from it.  Saying CM is the provenance of dead white men is a bit like saying organised religion - any religion - was the domain of influential educated men too.  It was - learn from that, change things and move forward.

Per our tête-à-tête, I checked the first SO concert I will attend this year, and the opening of the Chicago SO in September has the following program led my Riccardo Muti:

1. Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: An Anonymous Lover Overture
2. Florence Price: 'Andante Moderato' from String Quartet in G Major
3. LvB: Symphony 3 "Eroica"

I will enjoy the Beethoven, but I will be looking forward most to the others that I am not so familiar with. The questions is, are the literature choices (obviously ones of diversity) made by committee, or is Muti an advocate of this music? I am all for diversity in programming, but if it is mere concert-hall time-filler, or a quota being met, I agree with your sentiments completely. At least I can hear these in concert and be able to take away an opinion of this music, ones that probably wouldn't be heard normally, especially live.

I'm ALL for diversity of programming - but as mentioned here before there are many very very fine composers NEVER played at the Proms - take just about ALL the Latin American composers for example.  I would feel on purely musical merit that type of composer deserves attention more than Coleridge-Taylor

I also agree that Hispanic composers (among others) need more advocacy in concert.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 07:24:18 AM by VonStupp »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6077 on: July 14, 2021, 07:34:57 AM »
Per our tête-à-tête, I checked the first SO concert I will attend this year, and the opening of the Chicago SO in September has the following program led my Riccardo Muti:

1. Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: An Anonymous Lover Overture
2. Florence Price: 'Andante Moderato' from String Quartet in G Major
3. LvB: Symphony 3 "Eroica"

I will enjoy the Beethoven, but I will be looking forward most to the others that I am not so familiar with. The questions is, are the literature choices (obviously ones of diversity) made by committee, or is Muti an advocate of this music? I am all for diversity in programming, but if it is mere concert-hall time-filler, or a quota being met, I agree with your sentiments completely. At least I can hear these in concert and be able to take away an opinion of this music, ones that probably wouldn't be heard normally, especially live.

This program doesn’t look very encouraging for the CSO, tbh. I think Muti hasn’t really done anything remotely interesting in years and of all the works one could perform, this was the program chosen? Geez...so disappointing. :(
"Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art." - Claude Debussy

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6078 on: July 14, 2021, 07:38:24 AM »
This program doesn’t look very encouraging for the CSO, tbh. I think Muti hasn’t really done anything remotely interesting in years and of all the works one could perform, this was the program chosen? Geez...so disappointing. :(

I agree. He is only leading three concerts, that I am aware of, all at the start of the fall, and each seem dull. Michael Tilson-Thomas will be coming later, and his are a little more engaging.

I thought much the same of Barenboim when he was here too, though.

VS
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 07:45:57 AM by VonStupp »
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Offline Brian

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6079 on: July 14, 2021, 07:51:14 AM »
It is very clear nationally that orchestras are all looking to the same pieces to meet new diversity guidelines. Everyone is programming Clara Schumann's teenage piano concerto; everyone is programming a short elegy by Still or Hailstork; everyone is programming a Chevalier de Saint-Georges piece instead of Mozart. Some of that is fine (Schumann's piano concerto would be kinda dull to see live, I think), and a lot of the music is very good (Florence Price's solo piano pieces are REALLY fun). But the fact that they're all doing it, and they're all making the same fairly conservative choices, is really indicative of a lack of knowledge of the repertoire and a certain laziness in exploring it.

NYPO has one notable exception, a newly commissioned clarinet concerto that is programmatic and describes encountering hostile police officers, programmed on the same bill as a Missy Mazzoli piece. Still, you would hope to see the new push for less "dead white men" centric programming to go beyond the same 5 people (Clara and Still especially) and include lots of living composers, Afro-Cuban composers, South American and Asian composers, the fun Native American composer Jerod Tate, etc.