Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ACE reviewed


My review of the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble performance at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, for the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

http://www.richmond.com/entertainment/music/article_bca9eb25-3ebf-5ca7-a9e0-47644f3295a0.html

Letter V Classical Radio this week


As the fall semester begins at the University of Richmond, the show moves to a new time.

Aug. 27
10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT
1400-1700 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Handel: Solomon” – “From the censer curling rise”
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner (Philips)

Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga: Quartet No. 1 in D minor
Guarneri Quartet
(Newton Classics)

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1
(“Afro-American”)
Chicago Sinfonietta/
Paul Freeman (Cedille)

Jennifer Higdon:
“String Poetic”
Jennifer Koh, violin
Reiko Uchida, piano (Cedille)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major
Ronald Brautigam, piano
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/
Andrew Parrott (Bis)

Enescu: “Romanian Rhapsody” No. 1
George Enescu Bucharest Philharmonic/
Christian Mandeal
(Arte Nova)

Bartók: Violin Concerto
No. 2
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Norwegian Radio Orchestra/
Manuel Harth-Bedoya (Avie)

Past Masters:
Gershwin: 3 preludes
George Gershwin, piano (Sony Classical)
(recorded 1928)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lucretia West comes home


Lucretia West, a Virginia-born mezzo-soprano, built a life and a thriving performing career in Germany in the years after World War II. After her retirement, she returned to the United States to be with her family. The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Laura Kebede profiles the now 93-year-old singer:

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/henrico/article_1cb3dce6-8296-5268-b7d2-fd310098dde1.html

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Letter V Classical Radio this week


Variations on and variants of what may be the most ubiquitous tune in European music over the past six centuries: “Folía,” a peasant dance of 15th-century Portuguese and Spanish origin, borrowed by composers from Corelli, Bach and Handel to Liszt, Brahms and Rachmaninoff.

Aug. 20
11 a.m.-2 p.m. EDT
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

“Folía”
(arrangement, c. 1490, by Rodrigo Martinez)
Hesperion XXI (AliaVox)

Corelli: Violin Sonata
in D major, Op. 5, No. 12
(“La Follia”)
Manfred Kraemer, violin
Hesperion XXI (AliaVox)

Handel: Suite in D minor – sarabande
Olivier Baumont, harpsichord (Erato)

J.S. Bach: “Peasant” Cantata, BWV 212 – “Unser trefflicher lieber Kammerherr”
Emma Kirkby, soprano
Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
(L’Oiseau Lyre)

Beethoven: Cello Sonata
in A major, Op. 69
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Christopher O’Riley, fortepiano
(Pentatone/Oxingale)

Salieri: “26 Variations on
‘La Folia de Spagna’ ”
London Mozart Players/
Matthias Bamert (Chandos)

Brahms: Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18
Regis Pasquier & Raphael Oleg, violins
Bruno Pasquier & Jean Dupouy, violas
Roland Pidoux & Etienne Péclard, cellos
(Harmonia Mundi France)

Liszt: “Rhapsodie espagnole”
Stephen Hough, piano (Virgin Classics)

Past Masters:
Ponce: “Theme, Variations and Fugue on Folias de España” (abridged)
Andres Segovia, guitar (EMI Classics)
(recorded 1930)

Rachmaninoff: “Variations on a Theme of Corelli”
Paolo Giacometti, piano (Brilliant Classics)

improvisation on the “Folía” bass
Teatro Lirico/Stephen Stubbs (ECM)

Relief for sweaty highbrows


Kevin Yu, a Texas violinist, has designed a tuxedo shirt, inspired by moisture-wicking athletic clothing, to ease the sweaty ordeal of playing classical music in formal wear. It feels like a winner: “Mr. Yu sold out his first run of 300 shirts in nine days” and back orders are accumulating rapidly, The New York Times’ Michael Cooper reports:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/arts/music/taking-the-starch-out-of-orchestra-attire.html?ref=music&_r=0

Monday, August 17, 2015

John Scott (1956-2015)


John Scott, the British-born organist-choirmaster who was to have given a recital here in October in the Repertoire Recital Series of the Richmond chapter, American Guild of Organists, has died at 59.

Scott, the former organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, came to the United States in 2004 to become organist of St. Thomas Church (Episcopal) in New York and director of the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, one of the preeminent such ensembles in this country.

An obituary by The New York Times’ James R. Oestreich:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/15/arts/music/john-scott-organist-and-choirmaster-dies-at-59.html?ref=music

Russia wants Rachmaninoff back


“Nobody needs Rachmaninoff in America,” says the Russian minister of culture, Vladimir Medinsky, who is calling for the disinterment of the remains of Sergei Rachmaninoff from a cemetery in Westchester County, NY, and reburial of the composer-pianist at a memorial under construction at the former estate of his family in Russia, Norman Lebrecht reports on his Slipped Disc blog:

http://slippedisc.com/2015/08/russian-minister-demands-the-return-of-rachmaninovs-ashes/

Rachmaninoff fled Russia after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. In the West, he maintained homes in the United States and Switzerland. He became a US citizen shortly before his death in 1943.