NWR Opera and classical concert notes

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Po-yu Sung, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. I may well be wrong but I seem to recall that the text circulating at that time was very incomplete and that Davis was the first to conduct the genuinely complete work. I am relying on ancient memory, however.
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  2. The Barbican was certainly the place to be last night!
    Marvellous indeed all round. I was particularly impressed actually by the impeccable intonation of the orchestra - and so little vibrato.
  3. Yes, indeed. What a marvellous orchestra this is.
  4. I've only heard this weekend that the composer John Joubert died on 7 January, aged 91. Originally from South Africa, he decided to stay in the UK after coming here to study. He was a lecturer for much of his life but then gave it up to concentrate on composing. He is best known as the composer of the carol 'Torches' but wrote a large volume of other music, including two symphonies, five concertos and eight operas.
  5. I recall Torches extremely well, but I could not have told you who composed it and nor could I have told you anything he wrote.

    However, it is always genuinely sad when an artist dies, even if in this case he has a long life.
  6. Here's a brilliant performance by one of my (and Charles Muttar's) piano teachers of his piano concerto.
  7. Beautiful rendition of Dvorak's Rusalka tonight at the Bastille. Camilla Nylund, Finnish soprano, in the title role; Klaus Florian Vogt as the Prince; Karita Matilla, also Finnish, who apparently never had the title role in her repertory, singing as the foreign princess; and yet another Finn, Susanna Mälkki, conducting. Lovely sets that were simple without being minimalist. Interestingly, I mistakenly thought this was the only opera Dvorak wrote; it turns out he wrote at least nine others, but Rusalka is the only one I've ever seen notice of, and its performances, at least in recent years, outnumber those of all the other operas combined.
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  8. At Covent Garden tonight for the new production of Katya Kabanova. Tremendous stuff. There are plenty of tickets left for the remaining performances, although I suspect word will get around that this is not one to miss.
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  9. Yes, I am aware that Dvorak wrote a number of other operas but most are scarcely ever performed outside his native country. I think I must pop over to Prague or Brno at one point and try to sample one or two.

    The same is also true of Dvorak's contemporary Smetana. I've seen The Bartered Bride in London a few times but none of the others.
  10. Even Rusalka, which has gained some international popularity in recent decades is not performed all that often. This was only the second production I'd ever seen in decades of opera-going, and several friends who may not be opera geeks but do like and attend opera had never heard of Rusalka. It's not just because the Czech language puts up a barrier because Janacek's operas are performed internationally with some frequency, as well they should be. Nor is it any difficulty with Dvorak's music -- his lush compositions are popular with beginners.
  11. As you probably know, Claude, Rusalka is on at Glyndebourne this summer. I quite fancied it, but as I think you also know, our selections require compromise. Magic Flute and Rinaldo it seems, for us in 2019.

    Still, I’ll be pushed to see better than King Arthur this year, though I hope to try. Really wanted to get up for Akhenaten but seems unlikely.
  12. We were there too! And yes what a wonderful production (save for the lazy set!)
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  13. At the Barbican on Thursday for one of Bernard Haitink's last concerts. First the Dvorak violin concerto, with Isabelle Faust as the soloist. After the interval a wonderful account of the Mahler 4th symphony, with all the details brought out with wonderful clarity and the LSO on top form. A memorable evening.

    Last night something completely different. At the RCM for a performance of Offenbach's little performed opera Robinson Crusoe. The chorus and orchestra were comprised of students and the soloists were young professionals. Good fun. The role of Friday was sung by a young Australian soprano, Fleuranne Brockway. She stole the show and I hope we hear more of her. Australia seems blessed with fine young sopranos at present - think of Nicole Car and Helena Dix.
  14. First visit, courtesy of friends, to 22 Mansfield Street W1, home of Bob Boas, a generous patron of classical music through his charity in the name of his late son, Nicholas. A fascinating performance of Schubert’s Die Schoner Mullerin by young artists who’s names escaped me unfortunately. Drinks and canapés and a stunning room in his beautiful home made for a wonderful evening. Put my name down for his mailing list so hope to return many times.
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  15. I've just bagged a return for the opening night of La Forza del Destino at the ROH on Thursday. With Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufman. Enticing!

    Most of the performances have been sold out for a while but it's always worthwhile keeping an eye on the ROH website in case a return crops up.
  16. Saw Cossi fan Tutte at ROH at the weekend. Very enjoyable performances from the singers and orchestra, but boy was the staging confusing. If you did not already know the story then I think you would have been very confused about what was going on! Nice to be able to see Sir Thomas Allen's last performance for the Royal Opera as well.
  17. I went to Barbican for Haitink's Bruckner fourth and Mozart 22nd concerto... didn't have time to summarise my though but well, I am packging for Amsterdam to listen to Agerich and Kovachevich's all four hands piano pieces concert...
    Also got ticket for La Forza. I saw Netrebko having interview about it on Facebook ROH page, with her new husband (she really promotes him hard). I don't mind listen to her singing most of the time but Gosh, what a shallow interview.
  18. Slipped Disc reports that Kaufmann unlikely to sing Forza, as he is not at dress rehearsal. So Mr Netrebko will get to sing all performances I guess. JK knew he was having a baby around now at least 6 months ago - so why wait until the last minute? Not exactly considerate to the ticket buyers - I know of people coming from overseas just to see JK and AN on stage together. Poor show.
  19. I can hardly review my own concert, but I played (violin) in a performance of the Saint-Saens 3rd symphony on the weekend, with a 'pop-up' Allen organ doing a great job of channelling a nineteenth century French cathedral organ. What a blast - and indeed a previlege it was - to play in such a concert. SS3 may not be the most profound piece ever written, but it's such fun. Still buzzing days later!
    And, with El Salon Mexico and Gershwin's concerto also on the programme, it really was a great night.
    Lucky me!
  20. My Dad loved playing SS3 on his newly acquired LP12/Naim set up( at my instigation as a keen 12 year old!). I can still hear the effect on me when the organ comes in at full chat.
  21. There is a lengthy obituary of John Joubert in today's Guardian.
  22. John Joubert is a composer not hitherto on my radar screen. I did a Google search and landed on the biography of a serial killer with the same nameo_O. Can anyone recommend a composition which is a good introduction to his work?
  23. Perhaps his first symphony might be a good starting point. This seems to have been recorded only by Vernon Handley and the LPO. It i's available by itself (it lasts half an hour) or coupled with the first symphony by William Matthias.

    Or you could try listening to the piano concerto linked in Tom's post above.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  24. Well, Forza del Destino on Thursday night was quite splendid, with a star-studded cast.

    And on Saturday I went to the Festival Hall for a marvellous concert by the LPO and Gardner. In the first half we had the Egmont overture and the Elgar cello concerto, with the young German cellist Kian Soltani. He gave a very careful, nicely judged performance. He didn't find the emotion in the music that Du Pré and others have but that will surely come with time. After the interval, a rip-roaring performance of Mahler's 1st symphony, with the LPO's horns in magnificent form. Superb stuff.
  25. Just managed to get a ticket for Forza at ROH on Wednesday, direct from ROH . About the same price as a bottle of DP P2 ! Still, it lasts for 4 hours which is a lot longer than a bottle of DP P2 !
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