Saturday, July 23, 2016
Péter Esterházy died yesterday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 66. The most renowned of Hungarian literary authors, his breakthrough novel Celestial Harmonies traced his family’s fortunes from the days when Haydn worked on their estate to the post-Communist era. Péter Esterházy showed little interest in contemporary music – with one exception. He wrote an oratorio, Halleluja – Oratorium balbulum, with Péter Eötvös, five years ago. It will be premiered at the end of this month in Salzburg by Daniel Harding and the Vienna Philharmonic. Eötvös says: ‘Péter Esterházy, proved to be a true prophet when he wrote these lines in 2011: “We need borders. We put up fences everywhere; we even fence within the fences. We’re on the inside, but outside… well, that’s not us. […] Perhaps for the first time, we now have nothing to say about the future.”‘
The Joseph Haydn Privatstiftung Eisenstadt has acquired a portrait of the composer made in 1785, when he was a provincial kapellmeister on a visit to Vienna. Five years later, with the death of his Eisenstadt patron, Haydn became a world traveller, settling for two long periods in London and earning continental acclaim. The portrait, by Christian Ludwig Seehas, was found in a US antique store. The portrait was his ticket to publicity.
Garsington Opera at Wormsley, Bucks; Grange Park, Hampshire The Creation was busier than usual at Garsington Opera. And Grange Park marked the end of an era with a masterly TristanThe old story that Haydn, on a visit to London in the 1790s, looked down a telescope, glimpsed infinity and rushed away to write the opening “chaos” music of The Creation may be a touch exaggerated. One thing is certain: dark matter was, you might say, in the air. Haydn’s friends included William Herschel, the British-German astronomer-musician who discovered the planet Uranus and a good deal more besides. His observatory was in Slough, and it was his optical instrument through which Haydn peered.Had he gone a few miles farther up the M40 to the Wormsley estate, home of Garsington Opera, where The Creation was performed this week with dancers from Rambert, Haydn might have found earthly inspiration quite enough: ancient trees, deer on a distant ridge, beings on two legs in curious, dazzling raiments and “great swarms”, to borrow from the oratorio’s English text, of tiny night insects. Continue reading...
The Creation, staged with Garsington Opera and featuring stunning designs by the artist Pablo Bronstein, features more than 40 Rambert dancers. See how they found the moves to match Joseph Haydn’s celebrated oratorio. All photographs: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian Continue reading...
Composer Johannes Brahms was aware for his entire life that the listening public would compare his music with that of Beethoven. For that reason, Brahms continuously improved his Symphony number 1, and it was not published until Brahms was 40 years old. The recording I have for you today, however, deals with Brahms’ chamber music. This music, too, was subject to great on going scrutiny. Brahms: String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1 String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51 No. 2 Performed by the New Zealand String Quartet Brahms’ two String Quartets, op.51, were the first he published, and they are very much mature masterpieces. He was very conscious of the tradition that lay behind the quartet genre, and the spirits of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert ensured that he took the greatest of care when preparing his own quartets. Each perfectly proportioned movement of these works creates its own unique expressive narrative, exploring bitter-sweet tonalities and thematic treatment ranging from tender lyricism to dramatic intensity. The New Zealand String Quartet celebrates its 29th season in 2016, and its distinguished international reputation has been enhanced through acclaim for their recordings. Here is the New Zealand Quartet, performing the music of Beethoven, specifically the Rasumofsky quartet number 2:
The very mixed record of Darío Lopérfido as the Colón´s Artistic Director does have some good points. One of them involved Lopérfido as the city´s Minister of Culture: he programmed at the Usina del Arte eleven concerts of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic and seven of the Colón´s Resident (Estable) Orchestra, and with different repertoire from that heard at the Colón. Thus he filled the gaps on the calendar of both organisms, too often unoccupied at their mother institution. But of course, as he as Minister named Marcelo Panozzo as Director of the Usina del Arte, it stands to reason that the latter had to honor the dates announced by the Colón already in March, in the book that contains the whole 2016 activities of the Colón either there or elsewhere. But recently the Usina wasn´t the venue of two of those concerts: the third of the series, with conductor Andrés Tolcachir and violinist Xavier Inchausti, was derived to the Coliseo. The fourth did take place at the Usina and I attended it: conductor Roberto Paternostro and pianist Paula Peluso. However, the fifth, where Paternostro presented fragments of Johannn Strauss II´s "The Bat" ("Die Fledermaus") with talented youngsters from the Colón´s Institute of Art, happened at the Auditorio de Belgrano. There was no explanation either from the Usina or the Colón. And, as already explained in another article for the Herald, programming at the Usina is erratic, with no yearly plan, and announced only on Internet and quite late: one week before the first day of July the site for that month was still unavailable. Maybe there´s a sunny side: the Phil has been playing at four different venues in one month, so they had to adapt to different acoustics; and that´s the sort of flexibility that you need if you go on tour, so this can be taken as training... But I can only ascribe to Lopérfido as erstwhile Minister the strange fact that reviewer´s tickets are provided by Festivales de Buenos Aires, a completely different institution that should have no interference in matters of the Usina. I asked for an explanation, I was given none. I don´t know what happens with the general audience. Now to Paternostro´s concert at the Usina. You will probably remember that he was one of García Caffi´s conductors and he had the redoubtable task of leading the Colón Ring; quite apart from the essential wrongness of that venture, he proved an experienced Wagnerian with the stamina to last the 6½ hours of the compressed Ring and give sense to the music played by two consecutive orchestras. Well, his programme at the Usina needed an orchestra of moderate size and was based on the First Vienna School: Mozart, Haydn and Schubert. From the latter, the delightful "Rosamunde" Overture (in fact, that of the melodrama "Die Zauberharfe" –"The Magic Harp"). Mozart was represented by Piano Concerto Nº23, a perfect score of his mature style. And Haydn, by the peculiar Symphony Nº 100, called "Military" due to the enlarged percussion of the second movement (a unique case in his abundant production): Paternostro has an Italian surname but he is Viennese and he has imbibed the proper style from Swarowsky,Von Dohnányi and Von Karajan. However, he also follows recent trends: rather fast speeds and firm solid sound, leaving aside dainty wispiness. His phrasings are musical, the attacks and releases clear, and he knows how to maintain a living pulse. The Phil played well for him. And Peluso is an accomplished classicist with very clean articulation; however, I missed a bit more accent and roundness to her tone. For Buenos Aires Herald
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". 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.
Great composers of classical music