Author Topic: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)  (Read 693099 times)

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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6080 on: July 14, 2021, 08:09:41 AM »
On July 22 I'm going to Ravinia to hear some live music for the first time in 2 years. Alsop conducting the CSO:


Prokofiev:       Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”)
Mahler:       Symphony No. 4 for soprano and orchestra (arr. Klaus Simon)

I'm slightly put off by the fact that they're doing a chamber orchestra reduction of the Mahler. Apparently they're very cautious about having many musicians on the stage at one time, don't you know.

Still, we have to start somewhere, getting back to live music. The last live music I heard was Alsop conducting Mahler at Ravinia with the CSO (Mahler 8 ) in 2019, so there's a pleasing continuity to this concert.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 08:27:23 AM by Archaic Torso of Apollo »
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6081 on: July 14, 2021, 08:22:23 AM »
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

Well, I like Tilson Thomas’ repertoire more than Muti's. It’s a shame that MTT wasn’t named music director of the CSO, but I think he’s been basically guest conducting since stepping down from his post with the San Francisco SO.
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6082 on: July 14, 2021, 08:26:49 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.

If they want to program a female composer’s PC, why not pick Bacewicz? Her concerto would sure set fire to any hall and I think audiences would be enthusiastic. As for African American composers, why not program some Duke Ellington? He’s more interesting than any of the other African American composers I’ve heard. If they want to throw in a gay composer, then there’s plenty to choose from, but how about some lesser known work from Barber? I mean there’s endless possibilities, but, as I’ve stated previously, these orchestras’ board members are more concerned with filling seats instead of making any kind of memorable artistic statement.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6083 on: July 14, 2021, 08:31:03 AM »
On July 22 I'm going to Ravinia to hear some live music for the first time in 2 years. Alsop conducting the CSO:


Prokofiev:       Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”)
Mahler:       Symphony No. 4 for soprano and orchestra (arr. Klaus Simon)

I'm slightly put off by the fact that they're doing a chamber orchestra reduction of the Mahler. Apparently they're very cautious about having many musicians on the stage at one time, don't you know.

Still, we have to start somewhere, getting back to live music. The last live music I heard was Alsop conducting Mahler at Ravinia with the CSO (Mahler 8 ) in 2019, so there's a pleasing continuity to this concert.

The Prokofiev is cool, but performing the Mahler 4th in a chamber music arrangement is just stupid, especially when Alsop will have the CSO at her disposal. :-\
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Online Brian

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6084 on: July 14, 2021, 10:25:25 AM »
If they want to throw in a gay composer, then there’s plenty to choose from, but how about some lesser known work from Barber?
Can't dispute much of the rest of your post (love Duke, but there are some black concert hall composers as interesting as the orchestral music the Duke wrote), but I don't know that sexuality is something being considered in this programming, as there has always been a lot of Barber, Poulenc, Britten, Bernstein, Copland, and now Jennifer Higdon in concert halls, not to mention Tchaikovsky or composers like Handel whose orientations will never be known.

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6085 on: July 14, 2021, 10:26:33 AM »
Can't dispute much of the rest of your post (love Duke, but there are some black concert hall composers as interesting as the orchestral music the Duke wrote), but I don't know that sexuality is something being considered in this programming, as there has always been a lot of Barber, Poulenc, Britten, Bernstein, Copland, and now Jennifer Higdon in concert halls, not to mention Tchaikovsky or composers like Handel whose orientations will never be known.

I was just throwing that out there to make it sound like I knew what I was talking about. ;) ;D
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6086 on: July 14, 2021, 10:36:03 AM »
The Prokofiev is cool, but performing the Mahler 4th in a chamber music arrangement is just stupid, especially when Alsop will have the CSO at her disposal. :-\

I agree. It's some health-related thing. They're working with a reduced orchestra this summer, as well as "checkerboard seating" and other fun stuff. I'm going more to show support for the enterprise than anything else.

South American and Asian composers,

I'd love to hear more Latin American and Asian composers in concert; that may have to wait for our politicized moment to pass. BTW when Dudamel was appointed in LA, one aspect of his remit was to play more composers from those areas. Does anyone know how successful he was at this?

I think we're going to be looking at orchestras playing it safe for the next few years, as they recover from the devastation of COVID. That means even more warhorses than usual, sadly.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 10:48:09 AM by Archaic Torso of Apollo »
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6087 on: July 14, 2021, 10:48:27 AM »
I agree. It's some health-related thing. They're working with a reduced orchestra this summer, as well as "checkerboard seating" and other fun stuff. I'm going more to show support for the enterprise than anything else.

Ah okay, I see. I’m forgetting that we’re still very much in the age of COVID in terms of public events and so forth. I understand the precautions of course, but instead of Mahler’s 4, how about Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings or Bartók’s Divertimento? These would’ve been better than a Mahler 4 reduction. Anyway, I understand your reasoning and it sounds like, if anything, it’ll a be fun to hear the Prokofiev.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6088 on: July 14, 2021, 10:53:46 AM »
instead of Mahler’s 4, how about Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings or Bartók’s Divertimento? These would’ve been better than a Mahler 4 reduction.

Yeah, or Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. They seem to be consciously avoiding putting a lot of wind instruments on the stage.

There was a chamber music concert near me (which I didn't go to), the flyer for which pointed out that there would be absolutely no wind instruments there to potentially infect us! Frankly that sounds rather excessive.
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6089 on: July 14, 2021, 10:56:25 AM »
Yeah, or Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. They seem to be consciously avoiding putting a lot of wind instruments on the stage.

There was a chamber music concert near me (which I didn't go to), the flyer for which pointed out that there would be absolutely no wind instruments there to potentially infect us! Frankly that sounds rather excessive.

There you go or even Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion. We could go on like this for hours! :) Oh man, that’s one hell of a flyer! ::) Excessive is certainly the right adjective here.
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Offline Brewski

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Carnegie Hall Selects: 5 free concert films in July/August
« Reply #6090 on: July 16, 2021, 12:29:01 PM »
Over the next few weeks, Carnegie Hall is showing 5 archived concerts (below) from venues around the world. Each one is available on demand for a week. I'm particularly looking forward to the last two: a 2008 Salzburg appearance by Boulez and the Vienna Philharmonic, and from 1973, a concert with Karajan, Berlin, and Alexis Weissenberg in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

https://www.carnegiehall.org/Explore/Watch-and-Listen/Live-with-Carnegie-Hall/Carnegie-Hall-Selects

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Offline Wanderer

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6091 on: July 20, 2021, 01:32:58 AM »
Something to look forward to upon the eventual return to Athens: Monday, 13 September 2021, Jonas Kaufmann at the Herodeion.

“In his Odeon of Herodes Atticus debut Kaufmann will perform arias by Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, Pietro Mascagni, Jules Massenet, and Umberto Giordano, with the Orchestra of the Greek National Opera under the baton of Jochen Rieder.”

I’ve seen Kaufmann live twice (in Fidelio and in Die tote Stadt, both times under Kirill Petrenko in Munich) and this looks too good to pass up.

Other interesting Athenian September concerts include Martha Argerich in Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and piano recitals by Kissin and Pogorelich at the Megaron.

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6092 on: July 22, 2021, 10:00:36 AM »
Tomorrow night, livestreamed from Bryant Park in NYC, The Knights in the program below. (Trying to recall the last time I heard the Mozart live, and it must be decades.)

Viewing info here:
https://bryantpark.org/programs/picnic-performances-livestreams

July 23, 7:00 pm (EDT)
The Knights
Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
W.A. Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Anna Clyne: Prince of Clouds, featuring Colin Jacobsen and Alex Gonzalez, violins
Singer and violinist Christina Courtin performing original songs with The Knights

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6093 on: July 22, 2021, 10:42:41 AM »
And another livestreamed concert on Saturday afternoon, at 3:00 pm (EDT): the KAIA String Quartet from the DePaul Art Museum, part of the Ear Taxi Festival, presented by New Music Chicago.

A most unusual program:

Javier Alvarez: Metro Chabacano
Silvestre Revueltas: String Quartet No. 2, "Magueyes"
Carlos Chavez: String Quartet No. 1
Elbio Barilari: Tango Suite (2020, world premiere)

Free with registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ear-taxi-festival-preview-concerts-kaia-string-quartet-tickets-159048699943

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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6094 on: July 23, 2021, 08:04:05 AM »
The Prokofiev is cool, but performing the Mahler 4th in a chamber music arrangement is just stupid, especially when Alsop will have the CSO at her disposal. :-\

Well, we got a pleasant surprise last night: instead of doing the chamber arrangement, they did it properly, with a full orchestra. It sounded great; the orchestra hadn't lost its edge during all that enforced downtime.

And hey, how often do we get pleasant surprises under today's circumstances? It feels like a gift.

Based on my two live experiences with Alsop, she's a really good Mahler conductor. Turnout wasn't as high as I'd normally expect for a concert like this - I think a lot of people are still skittish about live events - but there was a sense of normality about the whole event, and that's good enough for me, having not heard any live music since summer 2019.
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6095 on: July 23, 2021, 11:58:59 AM »
Well, we got a pleasant surprise last night: instead of doing the chamber arrangement, they did it properly, with a full orchestra. It sounded great; the orchestra hadn't lost its edge during all that enforced downtime.

And hey, how often do we get pleasant surprises under today's circumstances? It feels like a gift.

Based on my two live experiences with Alsop, she's a really good Mahler conductor. Turnout wasn't as high as I'd normally expect for a concert like this - I think a lot of people are still skittish about live events - but there was a sense of normality about the whole event, and that's good enough for me, having not heard any live music since summer 2019.
Hey, that's awesome! The very best kind of surprise. I've seen Alsop do Mahler 1 in concert (in 2010ish) and it was excellent. Mahler was also my return to the concert hall post-pandemic (1 with Luisi). There's something about that much extroversion and such a big sound-world which makes it a great way to return. Jumping straight into the deep end with the kind of big extroverted music which makes the live experience so worth having.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6096 on: July 23, 2021, 01:58:41 PM »
Jumping straight into the deep end with the kind of big extroverted music which makes the live experience so worth having.

Ain't it the truth. Ravinia is insisting on having a full season this year, COVID be damned, and this is the sort of thing that brings people back. More generally, I have high hopes for the Alsop/CSO partnership, which started officially two years ago.

It's funny how I said I wanted to hear more Latin American composers, because a few days ago they did Ginastera's Variaciones concertantes, and I was dumb enough to miss it.
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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6097 on: July 23, 2021, 02:54:38 PM »
Mahler's 4th seems too much (dynamic contrast) for a stereo.  Always wanted to hear it live.  Hope you had a good time!

I attended a concert last June.  It was the first time the local orchestra came back together in full force.  Previously it was chamber orchestras outdoors.  The audience was socially distanced and they performed twice.  The highlight of the program was an American in Paris.

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6098 on: July 23, 2021, 03:22:24 PM »
Mahler's 4th seems too much (dynamic contrast) for a stereo.  Always wanted to hear it live.  Hope you had a good time!
You know that spectacular moment in the slow movement, near the end, when it's just the strings, and the violins reach for that really really high note, and they play it so hushed and reverential and unearthly? Yeah that's the exact note where someone had a coughing fit when I saw Mahler 4 live  >:( >:( ;D ;D

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Re: What concerts are you looking forward to? (Part II)
« Reply #6099 on: July 24, 2021, 05:52:27 AM »
You know that spectacular moment in the slow movement, near the end, when it's just the strings, and the violins reach for that really really high note, and they play it so hushed and reverential and unearthly? Yeah that's the exact note where someone had a coughing fit when I saw Mahler 4 live  >:( >:( ;D ;D

lol that moment was exactly what I was talking about.  I can either never hear it clearly or have my ear drums blown out at another point.  Or I could (which is what I usually do) fiddle with the volume knob up and down the whole time.  I know that everyone loves dynamic contrast but there are times where it should be a little more manageable imo.

That sucks to just have someone cough right then!  I once was at a concert where I had the urge to cough so bad, but I didn't want to ruin it for anyone else so I patiently waited for the end so I could cough when everyone was applauding.  Oh it was torture!