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Simon Rattle

Monday, July 25, 2016


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

June 29

Australia claims seat at the Berlin Philharmonic

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discA permanent place has been reserved for a young Australian to play in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, as part of its Academy. Two philanthropists – Naomi Milgrom and Peter Weiss – are paying for the arrangement and the candidate will be selected from students at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). Simon Rattle said : ‘It gives me great pleasure that a dedicated position for young Australians is now to be established at the Orchestra Academy, thus ensuring that this mutually rich exchange may be guaranteed for many years to come.’ A similar post exists at the Academy for young Israeli musicians.

Guardian

July 18

Jenůfa review – no histrionics, just raw emotion for Janáček's tragic opera

Longborough, Moreton-in-Marsh Conductor Jonathan Lyness handled the emotional undercurrents of the Czech composer’s classic work with care in a stark, controlled new productionThe tragedy of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa – its painful love and infanticide – never fails to stab at the heart. The first act is deceptive, taking its time to establish the humdrum and claustrophobic nature of life: from the opening bars, the xylophone’s monotone rattle captures the turning mill wheel. Yet Janáček’s concern is with the internal workings of the mill family and, in this new production by Longborough Festival Opera, its passions and motives as played out across three generations are unmistakable. Relationships in this opera, however, can be confusing – even the composer had trouble explaining to his publisher who was who. Essentially, of Grandmother Buryovka’s three grandchildren by her two sons, the two half-brothers Steva and Laca are in love with their cousin Jenůfa. Steva’s inheritance of the mill at the expense of his half-brother causes the bad blood. The strong tenor voices of Andrew Rees as Steva (the charming but irresponsible drinker by whom Jenůfa is pregnant) and Daniel Norman (the disgruntled but eventually gracious Laca) made for feisty portrayals. Continue reading...




Guardian

July 3

The Hogboon; Max: A Celebration; Das Rheingold, Die Walküre – review

Barbican; St John’s Smith Square; Royal Festival Hall, London A cast of hundreds raised the roof at the world premiere of the late Peter Maxwell Davies’s folklore-inspired The Hogboon“God bless you all. Goodbye”, chorused a throng of singers aged seven and upwards, hands raised in unison at the end of the world premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’s opera, The Hogboon. In all, 270 people, many in wigs and bright costumes, squeezed together on the Barbican stage like multicoloured sheep jammed in a pen, rounded up by a super-sharp sheep dog in the guise of Simon Rattle. This rumbustious farewell, boosted by a fanfare of trumpets and drums from high in the auditorium, brought to a close the composer’s last major work before his death, aged 81, earlier this year. As silence fell, Rattle slipped from view to ensure his vast forces – seven soloists, the LSO Discovery Choirs, the London Symphony Chorus, the Guildhall School Singers, London Symphony Orchestra, members of the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra and chorus director Simon Halsey – took the first whoop of applause.There’s a risk that this high-spirited work will not be taken seriously in the Maxwell Davies oeuvre. It’s hard to explain why a brilliant confection in which students, children and amateurs perform alongside professionals apparently cannot match a symphony or string quartet in artistic eminence. Predominantly tuneful, tonal and full of great choruses, The Hogboon also acts as a quirky stylistic precis of many aspects of his output. Maxwell Davies rejected any distinction between “high” and “low”, entertainment music (at which you smile) or concert work (at which you frown). Like Britten, he always wrote music of every kind, almost pioneering the idea of outreach – stretching far beyond the confines of classroom or, vitally, class. Continue reading...



Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle (19 January 1955) is an English conductor. He rose to international prominence as conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and since 2002[1] has been principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic



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