Letter V
Clarke Bustard
The Virginia Classical Music Blog
1314 Entries

Because of weather conditions forecast for the weekend, the Richmond Symphony concert under its Big Tent outdoor stage in the Celebrate Jackson Ward festival has been rescheduled to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 22 in Abner Clay Park, Brook Road at Leigh Street in central Richmond.

The symphony will be joined by a festival chorus and members of Elegba Folklore Society and Virginia Repertory Theatre. The program includes works by Florence Price, James P. Johnson, Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hammerstein and others.

Festival concerts scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21 will be staged indoors at Richmond Alternative School, 119 W. Leigh St., next door to Clay Park.

Admission is free for all festival events.

UPDATE (May 22): Richmond Symphony spokesman Scott Dodson writes that the orchestra cannot participate in the May 22 concert if the temperature remains under 65 degrees, because of potential damage to musical instruments. With or without the symphony, the 6 p.m. show will go on with Elegba, Virginia Rep and the Celebrate Jackson Ward Chorus, and other events of the final day of the festival will go on as scheduled.
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story
May 19
1-5 p.m. EDT
1700-2100 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Josef Myslivecek: Concertino in E flat major
Concerto Köln/Werner Ehrhardt
(DG Archiv)

Past Masters:
Dvorák: Cello Concerto
in B minor
Pierre Fournier, cello
Berlin Philharmonic/
George Szell
(Deutsche Grammophon)
(recorded 1961)

Three Romances, Op. 94
Katherine Needleman, oboe
Jennifer Lin, piano (Genuin)

Haydn: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major
Shai Wosner, piano
Danish National Symphony Orchestra/
Nicholas Collon (Onyx)

Brahms: Sonata in E flat major, Op. 102, No. 2
Paul Neubauer, viola
Gilbert Kalish, piano (Music@Menlo)

Ben Johnston: Quartet No. 7
Kepler String Quartet
(New World Records)

Past Masters:
Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201
English Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Britten
(recorded 1971)
Webern: Quartet,
Op. 28
Emerson String Quartet
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Frescobaldi: “Fantasia terza, sopra un soggetto solo”
Gustav Leonhardt, harpsichord (Philips)

Schubert: Sonata
in B flat major, D. 960
András Schiff, fortepiano (ECM)

Poulenc: Theme and Variations
Aleck Karis, piano (Bridge)
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story

Tim Jonze, writing for The Guardian, recounts the trauma of selling off his collection of nearly 1,000 compact discs, rendered obsolete by digital streaming services such as Spotify and music storage on his computer’s hard drive.

“Cracked plastic cases that contained magic and memories! Waving goodbye to them was surely going to break my heart,” Jonze laments:


Readers of a certain age will remember similar angst about ditching their vinyl records.

Vinyl, of course, came back into vogue. CDs, lacking several of vinyl’s advantages – sufficient size to accommodate arresting album art and readable liner notes, playability even when damaged – aren’t likely to make a comparable comeback.
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story

My review for the Richmond Times-Dispatch of the Richmond Symphony’s season finale, with the Richmond Symphony Chorus joining the orchestra in “Daphnis et Chloé” by Maurice Ravel:

2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story

A symphonic orchestration of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” including all the music that the composer scored originally for a chamber ensemble, premiered this week in Dallas and will be performed in June by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop conducting.

The new completion was prepared by David Newman, working under the auspices of the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

The original score was for 13 instruments because the orchestra pit of Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress in Washington, site of the work’s 1944 premiere, could not accommodate a larger ensemble. The more commonly performed “Appalachian Spring” Suite for full orchestra, prepared by Copland in 1945, cuts about seven minutes of music, which the composer considered to be “primarily choreographic,” from the original score.

The chamber version went largely unheard until Copland led a recording of it for Columbia Masterworks (now Sony Classical) in 1973. Subsequently, that original score has been widely performed and recorded.

A partial restoration of the complete score for full orchestra was prepared for Eugene Ormandy, who recorded it in 1955 with the Philadelphia Orchestra for Columbia. That version also was recorded by Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for EMI in the 1980s.

But a complete symphonic version of the score has waited until now, Jane Levere reports on the website of New York’s WQXR radio:


(via http://www.artsjournal.com)

Marin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with the Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers, in David Newman’s symphonic completion of Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” on a program with Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé” Suite No. 2 and Thomas Adès’ “Polaris,” at 8 p.m. June 11 at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD. Tickets: $35-$99. Details: (877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office); http://www.strathmore.org
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story
May 12
1-5 p.m. EDT
1700-2100 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Stravinsky: “Symphonies of Wind Instruments”
Berlin Philharmonic/Pierre Boulez
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Amy Beach: Theme and Variations, Op. 80
Eugenia Zukerman, flute
Shanghai Quartet (Delos)

Jan Dismas Zelenka:
Trio Sonata No. 2 in G minor
Heinz Holliger &
Maurice Bourgue, oboes
Klaus Thünemann, bassoon
Christiane Jaccottet, harpsichord (ECM)

Past Masters:
John Powell: “Rhapsodie nègre”
Zito Carno, piano
Los Angeles Philharmonic/Calvin Simmons
(New World Records)
(recorded 1977)

Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C minor (“Organ”)
Olivier Latry, organ
Montreal Symphony Orchestra/Kent Nagano (Analekta)

Adams: “Short Ride
in a Fast Machine”
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/
Simon Rattle (EMI Classics)

Brahms: Scherzo in C minor, WoO 2
(from “F.A.E” Sonata)
Leonidas Kavakos, violin
Yuja Wang, piano (Decca)

Ravel: “Gaspard de la nuit”
Lucas Debargue, piano (Sony Classical)

Beethoven: Quartet
in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Cypress String Quartet (Avie)

Nico Muhly: “Control (Five Landscapes for Orchestra)”
Utah Symphony/
Thierry Fischer
(Reference Recordings)

Nielsen: Symphony No. 3 (“Sinfonia Espansiva”)
Camilla Tilling, soprano
Michael Nagy, baritone
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/
Paavo Järvi (RCA Red Seal)
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story

This space is generally a safe haven from political commentary.

However, in a week when “very unfavorable” ratings of the two major US parties’ presumptive presidential nominees together add up to nearly 100 percent in opinion polls, something really needs
to be said.

Charles Ives to the rescue!


(Right about now, I’d say we’re at 4:45.)

Conveniently, for British readers, Ives just as cogently addresses the ongoing Brexit debate.
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story

Launching the summer season – in which the show expands to four hours and airs at a new time – with a program devoted to the traditional three Bs of classical music – Bach, Beethoven and Brahms – plus a fourth B, Bartók, who ascended to the pantheon in modern times.

May 5
1-5 p.m. EDT
1700-2100 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

J.S. Bach: Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041
Giuliano Carmignola, violin
Concerto Köln
(DG Archiv)

J.S. Bach: Magnificat
in D major, BWV 243
Barbara Schlick &
Agnès Mellon, sopranos
Gérard Lesne, alto
Howard Crook, tenor
Peter Kooy, bass
Collegium Vocale
La Chapelle Royale/Philippe Herreweghe (Harmonia Mundi)

J.S. Bach: “Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue,” BWV 903
Peter Sykes, clavichord
(Raven Recordings)

Past Masters:
Beethoven: Symphony
No. 7 in A major
Columbia Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Walter (Sony Classical)
(recorded 1958)

Beethoven: Sonata in A flat major, Op. 110
András Schiff, piano (ECM)
Brahms: Intermezzo in
B flat minor, Op. 117, No. 2
Orli Shaham, piano
(Canary Classics)

Brahms: Piano Quintet
in F minor, Op. 34
Stefan Vladar, piano
Artis Quartet
(Sony Classical)

Brahms: “Academic Festival” Overture
Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig/Riccardo Chailly (Decca)

Bartók: “Dance Suite”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez (Deutsche Grammophon)

Past Masters:
Bartók: “Contrasts”
Béla Bartók, piano
Joseph Szigeti, violin
Benny Goodman, clarinet (Naxos)
(recorded 1940)

Bartók: Divertimento for string orchestra
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/
Neville Marriner (Argo)
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story

A third season of summer chamber-music programs at downtown Richmond’s Dominion Arts Center, surveying “Rachmaninoff and the Russians,” will open with the first extensive local performance by Ronald A. Crutcher, the cellist who is concluding his first year as president of the University
of Richmond.

Summer Series 2016,
staged by the Richmond Symphony in collaboration with the UR and Virginia Commonwealth University music departments, will present six casual hour-long duo recitals on Thursdays from July 7 to Aug. 11. Each begins at 6:30 p.m. in the arts center’s Gottwald Playhouse.

Crutcher has performed in the Cincinnati, New Haven and Greensboro symphonies and the Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, Germany, and is cellist of the Klemperer Trio. He held leadership posts at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Texas in Austin, and was president of Chamber Music America (1996-2000).

Other performers in the series include violinist Susy Yim, violist Molly Sharp, cellist Jason McComb, flutist Mary Boodell, oboist and English horn player Shawn Welk and pianist Russell Wilson – all members of the symphony; and pianists Joanne Kong, Daniel Stipe, Charles Staples, John Walter and Magdalena Adamek.

Programs will mix chamber and solo-piano works by Rachmaninoff with chamber and solo pieces by Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and other composers active in Russian music from the 18th to 21st centuries.

Subscription tickets sets are $100 for six concerts, and 10 percent off the single ticket price of $20 for three or more concerts. Discounted subscriptions and single tickets are available for students and children. (Concerts often sold out in advance in previous seasons of the series.)

For ticket information, call (804) 788-1212 or visit http://www.richmondsymphony.com

Summer Series 2016 artists and programs: 

July 7
Ron Crutcher, cello
Joanne Kong, piano
Glazunov: Elegie, Op. 17
Scriabin: Prelude in B major, Op. 16, No. 1
Scriabin: Étude in C sharp minor, Op. 42, No. 5
Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19

July 14
Susy Yim, violin
Daniel Stipe, piano
Rachmaninoff: “Variations on a Theme of Corelli”
Prokofiev: Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80
Tchaikovsky: “Valse-Scherzo”

July 21
Mary Boodell, flute
Russell Wilson, piano
César Cui: Scherzetto
Sofia Gubaidulina: “Allegro rustico”
Gubaidulina: “Sounds of the Forest”
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14
Rachmaninoff: Études-tableaux in C minor, A minor, Op. 39, Nos. 1-2
Prokofiev: Flute Sonata

July 28
Molly Sharp, viola
Charles Staples, piano
Glinka: Viola Sonata
Shostakovich: Viola Sonata, Op. 147
Rachmaninoff: Étude-tableaux in E flat minor, Op. 39, No. 5
Scriabin: Étude in D sharp minor, Op. 8, No. 12
Lera Auerbach: Postlude for viola and piano

Aug. 4
Jason McComb, cello
John Walter, piano
Miaskovsky: Cello Sonata No. 1, Op. 12
Shostakovich: Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40
Rachmaninoff: Prélude in F major, Op. 2, No. 1

Aug. 11
Shawn Welk, oboe & English horn
Magdalena Adamek, piano
Boris Vladimirovich Asaf’ev: Sonatina for oboe and piano
Marina Dranishnikova: Poem
Rachmaninoff: Moments musicaux, Op. 16, No. 3
Rachmaninoff: “Two Pieces,” Op. 2
Prokofiev: “Ten Pieces from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ” –
VI: “Montagues and Capulets”
Johann Heinrich Luft: “Concerto brillant,” Op. 5
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story

Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero,” composed in 1928, entered the public domain today, meaning that the piece can be performed, recorded and used in advertisements, film and television soundtracks, and one shudders to think how else, without incurring royalty fees.

The French news agency AFP reports that “Bolero” has generated about $57 million in fees since 1960.

“[A] performance of ‘Bolero’ begins every 10 minutes in the world,” Laurent Petitgirard of the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers (SACEM), the French licensing agency, tells AFP. “As the work lasts 17 minutes, it is therefore playing at all times somewhere.”

And that was before it was free.

(via http://slippedisc.com)
2 months ago | |
| Read Full Story
31 - 40  | 123456789 next