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Joseph Haydn

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


My Classical Notes

March 17

Tetzlaff Quartet Plays Schubert and Haydn

My Classical NotesThere is no better way to experience intimacy in music than through the magic of string quartets. I experienced this myself as an amateur violinist many years ago when I organized a trio, and later when I was invited to participate in performing quartets. This recording presents the fine players of the Tetzlaff Quartet in their performance of the following: Haydn: String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 3 in G minor Schubert: String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D887 In this new recording the prestigious Tetzlaff Quartett (Christian Tetzlaff, Elisabeth Kufferath, Hanna Weinmeister and Tanja Tetzlaff) present a program of String Quartets by Franz Schubert and Joseph Haydn in exemplary performances. Praised by The New York Times for its “dramatic, energetic playing of clean intensity”, the Tetzlaff Quartett is one of today’s leading string quartets. Alongside their successful individual careers, Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff, Hanna Weinmeister and Elisabeth Kufferath have met since 1994 to perform several times each season in concerts that regularly receive great critical acclaim. Here Is Christian Tetzlaff with members of the Berlin Philharmonic performing the Schubert Octet:

On An Overgrown Path

March 27

The art of understanding the ordinary

Understanding the ordinary: Enlightenment Not understanding the ordinary: Blindness creates evil. Understanding the ordinary: Mind opens. Mind opening leads to compassion, Compassion to nobility, Nobility to heavenliness, Heavenliness to TAOThere is definitely nothing ordinary about the keyboard music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, which forms an important but too often overlooked bridge between the high baroque of his father's circle and the emerging classicism of Haydn and Mozart. And there is nothing ordinary in the playing of the Croatian pianist Ana-Marija Markovina whose discerning interpretations on a 'modern' Bösendorfer are faithfully captured in Hänssler Classics' 26 CD anthology of C.P.E. Bach's complete works for solo piano. But in an age when the classical promotion machine practises its own nuanced version of 'if it bleeds it leads', I suspect that this admirably bleed-free release will be misguidedly judged ordinary. The TAO tells us* that understanding the ordinary opens the mind. And listening to Ana-Marija Markovina playing C.P.E. Bach also opens the mind. * Quotation is from Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo's purist translation of Lao-Tzu's Tao Te Ching. No review samples used in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.




Royal Opera House

March 15

From Moscow to Peking via Nuremburg: how opera uses folk music

The cast of Turandot © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013 Traditional music has always featured in classical works, from ballad opera ’s popular songs to the Croatian tunes in Haydn ’s string quartets. But it was from the 19th century onwards that opera composers developed a particular interest in national and folk music, using it both to explore other cultures and to celebrate their own countries’ traditions. For the 19th-century Russian composers known as the ‘Mighty Handful’ , traditional music was a vital part of the new style of opera they planned to create, celebrating their country’s history and folklore. Musorgsky expresses the Russian people’s loyalty through the popular folksong ‘Slava Bogu’ in Boris Godunov ’s Coronation Scene . In Prince Igor , Borodin quotes a vast array of Russian folk tunes; he also consulted a Hungarian traveller on how to make the opera’s Polovtsian scenes sound appropriately ‘Eastern’. Rimsky-Korsakov meanwhile collected more than a hundred Russian folksongs, mastering their style so well that the original ones he wrote for his operas were sometimes mistaken for authentic traditional songs. Nineteenth-century German composers also explored their country’s popular musical traditions. Wagner ’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg does not contain any authentic German folk music, but numbers such as Hans Sachs’s Act II Cobbling Song and Act III’s chorale (to a text by the real Sachs) pay tribute respectively to German folksong and Lutheran chorales . Wagner went still further in Parsifal , where the traditional ‘Dresden Amen’ is of major musical and dramatic importance . Traditional German culture meant much to him, as it did to his one-time assistant Humperdinck , who celebrated German popular song in his original folksongs for Hänsel und Gretel . In Carmen , Bizet uses traditional music to a different end – not to celebrate his own culture, but to depict a mysterious foreign one, associated almost entirely with the gypsy heroine. Carmen’s opening Habanera (based on a popular 19th-century Spanish song that Bizet wrongly believed to be a folk tune), vibrant Seguidilla and exuberant ‘Danse Bohémienne’ use melodies spiced with chromatic twists and lively Spanish dance rhythms to characterize her as sensual, exotic – and very different from the other characters, who sing in a more conventional operatic style. Puccini went further in Madama Butterfly , using traditional Japanese music – ten songs in all, sourced from a book of Japanese folk music – to depict not only his vulnerable heroine but also her environment . However, his main focus is always on Butterfly, and the conflict between East and West embodied in her ‘marriage’ to Pinkerton. He highlights the couple’s differences from their first appearances: while Pinkerton enters with a forthright, ‘Western’-sounding aria that includes a quote from ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, Butterfly arrives to a delicate setting of the Japanese folksong ‘The Lion of Echigo Province’. As the opera progresses and Butterfly’s situation worsens Japanese music increasingly dominates the score, culminating in Act III’s ritual suicide. Puccini returned to Eastern traditional music some twenty years later with Turandot , sourcing Chinese music from a musical box and a book of traditional songs. In this opera, however, national music is used to create an exotic fairytale ambience rather than depict a personal tragedy. It is also primarily associated with ritual: Turandot arrives in Act I to the Chinese folksong ‘Mo Li Hua’ (Jasmine Flower), while Emperor Altoum makes a grand entrance in Act II to the Ancient Imperial Hymn. The opera composer perhaps most associated with traditional and folk music is Janáček . A dedicated folklorist, he used his studies of the traditional music of Moravia (now the Czech Republic) to create original versions of Moravian folk music for operas such as Jenůfa with its dances and wedding songs, and The Cunning Little Vixen with its rustic animal rituals. Nor did he limit himself to his native country’s music. His two ‘Russian’ operas draw movingly on traditional Slavic music, from the playfully amorous folksongs of the young lovers Varvara and Kudrjáš in Kát’a Kabanová to the exquisite orchestral folksongs expressing the prisoners’ nostalgia for their past lives and the outside world in From the House of the Dead . Janáček’s wonderful operas show what a rich source of operatic inspiration folk music can be, both in the depiction of individual characters and in the creation of vivid environments. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg runs 11–31 March 2017. Tickets are still available. The production is a co-production with National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing , and Opera Australia , and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Dr Genevieve Davies, Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Maggie Copus, Peter and Fiona Espenhahn, Malcolm Herring, The Metherell Family, Die Meistersinger Production Syndicate and the Wagner Circle . Madama Butterfly runs 20 March–25 April 2017. Tickets are still available. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 30 March 2017. Find your nearest cinema. The production is a co-production with Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona , and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Spindrift Al Swaidi, Mrs Philip Kan and the Maestro's Circle . Turandot runs 5–16 July 2017. Tickets go on general sale 28 March 2017.



Royal Opera House

March 6

Renée Fleming, Così fan tutte and 4.48 Psychosis nominated for Olivier Awards 2017

Renée Fleming as The Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Catherine Ashmore The nominations for the Olivier Awards 2017 have been announced. The ceremony will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 April 2017. The Royal Opera has received three nominations this year. In the Best New Opera category, Jan Philipp Gloger 's production of Mozart 's Così fan tutte has been nominated alongside Philip Venables ' 4.48 Psychosis . The latter production was staged at the Lyric Hammersmith and won a UK Theatre Award in October 2016 . English National Opera 's Lulu and Akhnaten complete the nominations in this category. American soprano Renée Fleming has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for her performance in Robert Carsen 's Royal Opera production of Der Rosenkavalier . Other nominees in this category include Stuart Skelton for his performance in ENO's Tristan and Isolde, and Mark Wigglesworth for his performances of Don Giovanni and Lulu at the Coliseum. Other nominees familiar to Covent Garden audiences include Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite in the Best New Dance Production category for Betroffenheit at Sadler’s Wells , and Irish designer Bob Crowley , who receives two nominations for Best Set Design in recognition for his work on Aladdin at the Prince Edward theatre and The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre . Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has become the most nominated new play in Olivier history this year, with 11 nominations. The full list of Olivier Award 2017 nominees: Best actor in a supporting role in a musical Ian Bartholomew for Half a Sixpence at Noël Coward theatre Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre Ben Hunter for The Girls at Phoenix theatre Andrew Langtree for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Best actress in a supporting role in a musical Haydn Gwynne for The Threepenny Opera at National Theatre Victoria Hamilton-Barritt for Murder Ballad at Arts theatre Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat at New London theatre Emma Williams for Half a Sixpence at Noël Coward theatre Outstanding achievement in music Dreamgirls – music by Henry Krieger at Savoy theatre Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – composer and arranger: Imogen Heap at Palace theatre Jesus Christ Superstar – the band and company creating the gig-like rock vibe of the original concept album of Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre School of Rock the Musical – three children’s bands who play instruments live every night at New London theatre School of Rock the Musical at New London theatre. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian Best new dance production Betroffenheit by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young at Sadler’s Wells Blak Whyte Gray by Boy Blue Entertainment at Barbican theatre Giselle by Akram Khan and English National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells My Mother, My Dog and CLOWNS! by Michael Clark at Barbican theatre Outstanding achievement in dance Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for their London season at Sadler’s Wells Luke Ahmet for The Creation by Rambert at Sadler’s Wells English National Ballet for expanding the variety of their repertoire with Giselle and She Said at Sadler’s Wells Best entertainment and family Cinderella at London Palladium David Baddiel – My Family: Not the Sitcom at Vaudeville theatre Peter Pan at National Theatre The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells Best theatre choreographer Matthew Bourne for The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells Peter Darling and Ellen Kane for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Steven Hoggett for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Drew McOnie for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre Magic Radio best musical revival Funny Girl at Savoy theatre Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre Show Boat at New London theatre Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum Best actor in a musical David Fynn for School of Rock the Musical at New London theatre Tyrone Huntley for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre Andy Karl for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Charlie Stemp for Half a Sixpence at Noël Coward theatre Amber Riley in Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre Best actress in a musical Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum 'The Girls' – Debbie Chazen, Sophie-Louise Dann, Michele Dotrice, Claire Machin, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding – for The Girls at Phoenix theatre Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre Sheridan Smith for Funny Girl at Savoy theatre Best revival The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre This House at Garrick theatre Travesties at Apollo theatre Yerma at Young Vic Best new comedy The Comedy About a Bank Robbery at Criterion theatre Nice Fish at Harold Pinter theatre Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at National Theatre – Dorfman The Truth at Wyndham’s theatre Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at Dorfman, National Theatre Outstanding achievement in an affiliate theatre Cuttin’ It at the Maria, Young Vic The Government Inspector at Theatre Royal Stratford East The Invisible Hand at Tricycle theatre It Is Easy to Be Dead at Trafalgar Studios 2 Rotterdam at Trafalgar Studios 2 White Light award for best lighting design Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Lee Curran for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre Natasha Katz for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre Hugh Vanstone for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Best sound design Paul Arditti for Amadeus at National Theatre Adam Cork for Travesties at Apollo theatre Gareth Fry for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Nick Lidster for Autograph for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air theatre Best costume design Gregg Barnes for Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre Hugh Durrant for Cinderella at London Palladium Rob Howell for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Blue-i Theatre Technology award for best set design Bob Crowley for Disney’s Aladdin at Prince Edward theatre Bob Crowley for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre Rob Howell for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Best actor in a supporting role Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Freddie Fox for Travesties at Apollo theatre Brian J Smith for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre Rafe Spall for Hedda Gabler at National Theatre – Lyttelton Best actress in a supporting role Melissa Allan, Caroline Deyga, Kirsty Findlay, Karen Fishwick, Kirsty MacLaren, Frances Mayli McCann, Joanne McGuinness and Dawn Sievewright for Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at National Theatre – Dorfman Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Clare Foster for Travesties at Apollo theatre Kate O’Flynn for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre Best new opera production 4.48 Psychosis at Lyric Hammersmith Akhnaten at London Coliseum Così Fan Tutte at Royal Opera House Lulu at London Coliseum Outstanding achievement in opera Renée Fleming for her performance in Der Rosenkavalier at Royal Opera House Stuart Skelton for his performance in Tristan and Isolde at London Coliseum Mark Wigglesworth for his conducting of Don Giovanni and Lulu at London Coliseum Best actor Ed Harris for Buried Child at Trafalgar Studios 1 Tom Hollander for Travesties at Apollo theatre Ian McKellen for No Man’s Land at Wyndham’s theatre Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre Best actress Glenda Jackson for King Lear at the Old Vic Cherry Jones for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre Billie Piper for Yerma at Young Vic Ruth Wilson for Hedda Gabler at National Theatre – Lyttelton Best director Simon Stone for Yerma at Young Vic John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre John Tiffany for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s theatre Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Virgin Atlantic best new play Elegy at Donmar Warehouse The Flick at National Theatre – Dorfman Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace theatre One Night in Miami … at Donmar Warehouse Mastercard best new musical Dreamgirls at Savoy theatre The Girls at Phoenix theatre Groundhog Day at the Old Vic School of Rock the Musical at New London theatre

Joseph Haydn
(1732 – 1809)

Joseph Haydn (31 March 1732 - 31 May 1809) was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms. He was also instrumental in the development of the piano trio and in the evolution of sonata form. A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Hungarian aristocratic Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original".[5] At the time of his death, he was one of the most celebrated composers in Europe. Joseph Haydn was the brother of Michael Haydn, himself a highly regarded composer, and Johann Evangelist Haydn, a tenor. He was also a close friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven.



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