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Month: October 2017

A Singer’s Notes, 7: Three mezzos (and three more)

Our area is the best in the country for hearing young singers. If you go regularly to Tanglewood, Marlboro, and Glimmerglass, you have the absolute cream of operatic talent pre-selected for you each summer. Better yet, you hear these marvellous young ones singing a role, not an audition. During just one summer in the ’90s at Glimmerglass you might have heard Charlotte Hellekant as the Composer in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, and Michelle DeYoung and Theodora Hanslowe as young apprentice artists. Ms. Hellekant and Ms. DeYoung are now international stars, and Ms. Hanslowe is a Metropolitan Opera regular. This past summer James Levine’s Tanglewood Music Center fielded a tremendous array of young talent.

Keith Kibler

About Keith Kibler

Twice a Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, Keith Kibler’s doctorate was earned at Yale University and the Eastman School of Music. He is one of the region’s most sought after teachers with students accepted at the New England Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Peabody and Hartt Conservatories, the Tanglewood Institute, and the Aspen Music School. Keith Kibler is an adjunct teacher of singing at Williams College.

Radio City—A Great Escape?

Why do we go to the theater? To learn? To be inspired? To infuse our eyes and our minds with culture and history? Yes. Yes. And yes. Nevertheless, deep down, beyond the pretension, the academia, and the commentary, what is at the essence of why we attend a performance? To escape. To have, for an hour or two, the divine pleasure of slipping into another world, another life—one where your problems, your hopes, your daily duties are null and void, and for one small moment, it is acceptable, and expected, to abdicate your own life for the sake of immersing yourself in someone else’s. When have we needed an escape—a fantasy—more than now?

Acis as Genius of Cannons

In the summer of 1717, after the highly successful performance of his Water Music for the King of England, Handel left busy London and went to take up residence at rural Cannons, a few miles from the English capital. The composer, temporarily unable to have his operas produced, was answering the invitation of one of his patrons: James Brydges, the Earl of Carnarvon, who would in 1719 be elevated to the title by which he is best known: the Duke of Chandos.

Music for Civility and Civil Defense: Crescendo Performs Georg Philipp Telemann

G. P. Telemann has never escaped his fate of being on the longer side of compositional quantity over quality. A genius in all musical genres, Telemann produced over three thousand works for every imaginable combination of instruments and voices. While many of his works are lost, what remains has been the core of a Baroque revival since the 1960s, spurred, in part, by many amateur Baroque musicians and ensembles.

Seth Lachterman

About Seth Lachterman

Seth Lachterman lives in Hillsdale, New York, which abuts the Berkshires in Massachusetts. While dividing his past academic career between music (composition and musicology) and mathematics, he has, over past three decades written original and critical works on the Arts. His essays have appeared in The Thomas Hardy Association Journal, English Literature in Transition, and poetry in The Raritan Quarterly. As a charter member and past president of the Berkshire Bach Society, he provided scholarly program notes for the Society’s concerts for over two decades. His Bach essays and reviews have been referenced in Wikipedia and have appeared in concerts at Ozawa Hall and the College of St. George, Windsor Castle.  Simultaneously, he has been a principal at Encore Systems, LLC, a software and technology consulting company. A president emeritus of Walking The Dog Theatre of Hudson, New York, he has invented a new technology for insuring privacy in text messaging and for social networking. In 2012, he founded UThisMe, LLC. to launch this new technology. Seth writes regularly for Berkshire Review of The Arts. When not listening to music, Seth Lachterman reads philosophy with a current interest in Heidegger.

Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic play Brahms and Schoenberg at Carnegie Hall

By opening the Berlin Philharmonic’s three-concert series at Carnegie Hall with Schoenberg’s arrangement of Brahms’ G minor Piano Quartet Sir Simon Rattle made a definite statement about what was to come and how we should listen to it, but just what this meant was not clear until we heard the performance. Since the arrangement has found a place in the repertory, conductors have succumbed all too easily to the temptation to take advantage of its powers as a crowd-pleaser, but it is far more than that, as Rattle and the BPO brilliantly demonstrated. Schoenberg wrote it as an illustration of his thesis that Brahms, regarded widely as a conservative composer in the early twentieth century, was in fact a modernist, but in doing this Schoenberg accomplished something devilishly clever, as this performance made clear…

About Michael Miller

Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L’Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

Angela Gheorghiu at the Royal Festival Hall – Introducing our new London correspondent, Gabriel Kellett

The recent news of Angela Gheorghiu’s impending divorce from Roberto Alagna may give some clue as to why this performance, part of the South Bank’s second ‘International Voices’ season, was postponed from its planned date of 2nd October. In the interim she has also, in the role of her accompanying tenor, swapped the American up-and-comer James Valenti, due to co-star with her in next year’s Covent Garden La Traviata, for her compatriot Marius Manea, who she has performed with several times already this year. The conductor Ion Marin made it three out of three for Romanians in the principal roles of the evening, here conducting the Philharmonia.

Gabriel Kellett

About Gabriel Kellett

A music graduate of Roehampton University, London, Gabriel has over the course of the last 18 months worked as a cameraman and editor on a feature film, documentary and music video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9cQhh4hXZI), and is currently working on his first short film as writer/director.

Ensemble Rebel’s Concert: “Kingdoms and Viceroys: Music of Spain and its Dominions”

A beautiful, warm, late-autumn Sunday afternoon in the peaceful village of Bedford, New York was disrupted by some cracklingly energetic performances of Hispanic vocal and instrumental music performed on period instruments by Ensemble Rebel and guests. The title of the program was misleading; there was nothing that referred to the political powers that shaped the cultures from which this music came. This raises the question: how should such a program be billed? As “Spanish and Latin-American Music from the Baroque Era” or “Baroque Music from Spain and the New World?” The difference has to do with the way you like to categorize such unruly experiences.

About Laurence Wallach

Larry Wallach is a pianist, musicologist, and composer who lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and heads the Music Program at Simon’s Rock College of Bard. He has also taught composition at Bard College. He studied piano privately with Henry Danielowitz and Kenneth Cooper, and was trained at Columbia University where he studied music history with Paul Henry Lang, performance practices with Denis Stevens, and composition with Otto Luening, Jack Beeson, and Charles Wuorinen. He earned a doctorate in musicology in 1973 with a dissertation about Charles Ives. In 1977, he was awarded a grant to become part of a year-long National Endowment for the Humanities seminar at the University of North Carolina directed by William S. Newman, focussing on performance practices in earlier piano music. He went on to participate in the Aston Magna Summer Academy in 1980, where he studied fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, both privately and in master classes.

Larry Wallach has been an active performer of chamber music with harpsichord and piano, and of twentieth century music. He has collaborated with harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper, with recorder virtuoso Bernard Krainis, with violinist Nancy Bracken of the Boston Symphony, with violinist/violist Ronald Gorevic, with gambist Lucy Bardo, and with his wife, cellist Anne Legêne, performing on both modern and baroque instruments. He has appeared with the Avanti Quintet, the New York Consort of Viols, and is a regular performer on the “Octoberzest” series in Great Barrington. He has been on the staffs of summer early music workshops at World Fellowship and Pinewoods Camp.
In 1996, he presented a program at the Bard Music Festival devoted to Charles Ives designed around a performance the composer’s Second Violin Sonata along with all the source tunes that are quoted in it. Part of this program was repeated at Lincoln Center in NY. He has also appeared on programs in Washington DC, and at St. Croix VI. As a composer, his works have been heard in New York, Boston, Amherst, the Berkshires, and at Bard College.

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