NWR Opera and classical concert notes

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

  1. I wouldn't have dreamt of asking this question thirty years ago, but does it matter? I never get the impression that Ms.Wang's playing reflects a profound understanding of the cultural implications of the work in question, but when you can play like that you simply don't have to and lest it be thought that this implies criticism nothing could be further from the truth.
    Charles Muttar and Po-yu Sung like this.
  2. I can spend around 8 days in Vienna, wondering if i should stay and see all I can get there or travel to Munich in the middle.
  3. Interestingly, my Taiwanese pianist/piano teacher friend listened to Agerich‘s proms earlier and said "why she played like that in 1st movement?" I said "she‘s 78, she can do whatever she wants. She always did whatever she wanted anyway!"

    I guess with that technique, Yuja Wang can also do whatever she wants. Though I wonder if I should buy the ticket of her playing the same thing in Vienna. Even Agerich played a bit more restrained in Vienna or Salzburg. I guess proms has a strange maniac magic.

    And I hope she wont over push. Lang Lang injured his hands, I heard.
  4. I haven't been to Munich in a very long time. Both cities have great art museums and music, food might be a bit more interesting in Vienna. I can see filling up eight days in Vienna, but I think you also won't regret it if you go to Munich (except for the lost time getting there and back).
    Po-yu Sung likes this.
  5. Yes, I should have posted over the week end... but I recommend Aggripina by Handel at the ROH. Superb music, great singers, I suppose it is not played more often because of the need for hautecontres... ( I did not like the lights in my face though...).
    You should not miss this if tickets are available... beautiful and magic...
  6. We enjoyed it a couple of weeks ago. Some amazing singing.
    You may have been lucky to have had the lights in your eyes. From our perch in the amphitheatre we had no idea what was going on off-stage in the stalls.
    If I had to be critical I do find Handel operas a little long - a problem I don't have with Wagner!
  7. Peter,
    I understand... the reason (long) why I used to listen to this opera in the car on holiday trips... Mind you, once you listen to a piece several times, it starts feeling shorter (you build understanding )... and I am getting older, hence more patient.

    Probably the reason why you don't have the problem with Wagner. It is performed very often (in a similar way, I was horrified when my teacher asked me to learn the Waldstein, a half hour piece but once you keep on practising, he starts feeling shorter...)
  8. I was there at general rehearsal, was a lot of fun and great relaxed atmosphere not sure if due to rehearsal or not. In the tripple affairs scene two singers fell down from the chair, apparently a funny accident as they were both laughing and the music stopped for a while.
    Plus I have never seen so many counter tenor in one performance.
    Antoine Singer likes this.
  9. Here is the reports from my Munich and Vienna trip.

    R. Strauss
    K. Petrenko, Marlis Petersen, etc.
    Bayerischer Staatsoper

    After exactly 20 years, I am back in this beautiful opera house. 1999 summer, as a student tourist first time set foot in Europe, I managed to get a 10 Deutsche Mark standing ticket for Die Meistersinger von Nurenburg. 5 hours standing was not easy, but OK for a 20 yo student. Now it would be a little bit hard for me, while standing for Salome I can still cope with.
    It's a hot ticket, so there's only standing ticket left when I bought it. By co-incidence, I was at around same place as 20 years ago. In 1999 I was so impressed by the rich and warm sound bursted up from the orchestral pit, from the first note of the prelude of Die Meistersinger. I had always wondered, was it a bit sugar coated in my memory, as I was just a young Asian boy first time in a proper opera house seeing a cast that most of my friends only heard from CDs?
    No, it's not sugar coated. It's really a opera house with very good sound, well, at least from where I standed! And the orchestra was truely outstanding, as C. Kleiber once said, Bayerischer Staatsorchester is no less than any other ochestra in the world. From standing place seeing how double bass players enjoyed playing Salome, teasing fellow trombone players was quite a fun. They were obviously having fun, too, with Petrenko.
    The star of the night was rightfully Marlis Petersen; can you imagine just 10 years ago she was considered as a coloratura soprano. And then she sang LuLu, now Salome! She was both physically and vocally convincing; she still got the clear and light texture in her voice, while just loud enough to be heard all the way through except in the very end (where even a dramatic soprano would struggle). Petrenko really lowered the volume to hold her. Her dress was mimicking Alexej von Jawlensky's painting "Portrait of the Dancer", which you can see in Munich museum. Other than that I couldn't see the stage much, but probably for the better, as there were so many details coming out from the orchestra and maybe not distracted by staging was a good thing.

    R. Strauss
    Four Symphonic Interludes for Intermezzo
    J. Brahms
    Symphony no. 4
    Bayerischer Rundfunks, M. Jansons, Sarah Wegener
    Another top orchestra. Another really very good sound concert hall. And it suits R. Strauss like hand and glove. As they say concert hall shapes the sound of orchestra where it residents, you find positive examples in Wiener Philharmoniker and Concertgebouw Amsterdam, I think here, too.
    Jansons is no doubt one of the most loved conductors in the world now. The fact that Berliner Phil wanted him to take the position before anyone else says a lot. Though he decided to stay in Munich with this orchestra, and the orchestra obviously devotes to him. They played for him like for a god. The ensemble and the responsiveness to conductor was truely amazing, and that made R. Strauss full of charm, especially in those lieders, the colours surrounding the vocal was an inspiration for listeners.
    Jansons put his own thoughts on Brahms. It was surely a romantic, dramatic approach for Brahms, and orchestra delivered all what he wanted with a touch of oil-painting-like texture. I have heard him and this orchestra in London and Amsterdam, I feel that not only the hall was good (surely better than Royal Albert Hall), the musicians were more relaxed and focused.

    (The Vienna part to be continued)
  10. Ha! I did the very same as a young backpacker in 1989, buying a stehplatz ticket for the final Meistersinger performance closing the Festival. Sawallisch conducted, with Kurt Moll, Rene Kollo, Lucia Popp.
    I suppose I could do it again!
    Po-yu Sung likes this.
  11. A good concert at the RFH on Wednesday. Vladimir Jurowski conducting the LPO in the prelude from Tristan und Isolde, songs by Richard Strauss and the Mahler 5th. Sarah Wegener was the soloist and a late replacement for Diana Damrau. Excellent singing and playing by all concerned.
  12. This brings back some good memories. I heard Moll and Popp several times at the ROH. Two excellent artists. I think I did hear Popp in Meistersinger in the early 80s and she was excellent, as always. I think I heard her in Mozart also. Moll I heard in Die Entfuhrung and possibly something else.
  13. Again? Damrau has lots of problems nowadays or?
  14. In the end, it's one of several last concerts of M. Jansons.
    That beautiful R. Strauss can only come from a marriage of an orchestra with great R. Strauss tradition, and a conductor truely understand his music who worked with this orchestra for long time. I wonder if we will have this kind of marriage any soon.
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  15. I went to a fabulous piano concert last week : Chopin 24 preludes, Debussy children corner and Mussorgski exhibition... by Behzod Abduraimov... a future star I think from Uzbekistan...

    And while I am at it, my piano teacher just released this inspired by the sound of music
  16. Over the weekend I went to two concerts at he Barbican by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, with Andras Schiff and conducted by Ivan Fischer. Same formula for each - started with small bits of Dvorak, including a choral sung by the orchestra; then a Beethoven piano concerto (4 and 5); and then a symphony by Dvorak (7 and 8). Tremendous playing!

    Heard today that Mariss Jansons has died. Sad news. One of my favourite conductors.
  17. Not a concert note, but a recent news:
    Pianist Yuja Wang issues emotional reply after critics shame her for wearing... - Classic FM

    In brief, Yuja Wang wore sunglasses on stage, doing a great performance. Then Norman Lebrecht 'reported' that she was criticised by the conductor Tania Miller, using the term 'attention-seeking pianist' (you know when a reporter wants to rubbish you). In the end, Yuja Wang made a statement saying she was detained by Canadian authority, for an hour for intense questioning. She cried because of it, and she didn't want to show her swollen eyes to the audience.
    Tania Miller apologised since, but Norman Lebrecht....

    There are so many issues can be talked about from this news, how men seeing female performers' dress, how it's reported, and why Canadian Border had problem with a I thought quite widely known pianist, even when they always have problem with young single woman...
  18. Lebrecht never misses an opportunity for gratuitous nastiness. Some may regard it as a rather squalid way to make a living.
    Po-yu Sung likes this.
  19. Anybody going to Yuja’s recital at the Barbican on 31st March? An interesting and varied programme.
  20. I will ask Alex.

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