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Tag: Susan Graham

Openings: Boston Musica Viva plays Boulez, Marteau sans maître, and Nelsons and the BSO present Richard Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier

One hoped and expected there would be performances of Pierre Boulez pieces in Boston this season to honor this great musician who died last winter. The Berlin Philharmonic, hardly a local group, will play one piece on its visit here in November. I don’t see anything else on the horizon. So, many thanks to Boston Musica Viva, our fine contemporary music ensemble now in its 48th year, for opening its season with Boulez’s perhaps most significant work, Le Marteau sans maître (The Hammer without a Master, 1954-57).

Charles Warren

About Charles Warren

Charles Warren studied literature and music formally and now teaches film
history and analysis at Boston University and in the Harvard Extension School.
He is the author of “T.S. Eliot on Shakespeare,” and edited and contributed to
the volumes “Beyond Document: Essays on Nonfiction Film” and “Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Hail Mary:’ Women and the Sacred in Film.”

The Damnation of Faust and the Ascension of Berlioz

The paradox of Berlioz is that he is both quintessentially of the nineteenth-century and in many ways far ahead of his time. Grandiose, self-absorbed, at home in both Heaven and Hell (well, perhaps a bit more in Hell), operating on the largest temporal and spatial canvases, bringing together mammoth forces to speak in one voice; but also episodic and arbitrary in construction, harmonically idiosyncratic and technically suspect, bombastic, addicted to overwhelming sound spectaculars, in short, in questionable taste; in these ways he epitomizes Romanticism. All of these characteristics of his music have been noticed and pondered in attempts to come up with an evaluation of this unavoidable maverick, a figure whose closest counterpart in his own time might be Mussorgsky, or in ours, Charles Ives. Today, with post-modernism, mash-ups, the valuing of discontinuity and fragmentary statements, Berlioz rides high. He is seen as a predecessor to the liberation of tone color as an independent element of construction, as in the music of Debussy. In the past, when polished craftsmanship and solid structure were primary virtues, critics often looked askance at Berlioz’s bulky, generically ambiguous compositions. Today, we recognize the uniqueness of his vision.

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.

Susan Graham Sings French Songs at Cadogan Hall

Matinee musicale. On a sunny day off Sloane Square, it was a perfect idea to skip lunch and listen instead to an hour of French songs. The singer was Susan Graham, the acclaimed Texas-born mezzo who has made a speciality of this repertoire, like Frederica von Stade before her. Ever since the Twenties, when young expatriates travelled to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, there’s been a preference in New York and Boston, now rather slim, for chansons over lieder. Graham has made a recording of songs by Ned Rorem, who duplicates the ephemeral delicacy and finely etched sophistication found in Ravel, Poulenc, and Debussy. The virtues of the French art song are either delectable or debatable, depending on your orientation. Paris or Vienna? I lean so far to the latter that I hesitated about going to hear Graham’s recital, but I knew her singing would be very accomplished, so I took my seat in the front row at Cadogan Hall.

Huntley Dent

About Huntley Dent

Huntley Dent is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Santa Fe.

Don Giovanni at the Met x 2

Mozart is my favorite composer. I’m lucky enough to be able to sing Mozart fairly often, and when I sing Tchaikovsky, or even Rachmaninoff, Mozart is there too. Needless to say, I was delighted when the editor asked me to fill in for him at the final performance of Don Giovanni this season. On the other hand, if you approach an opera performance as a singer, you will always be aware of style, and what you have learned is appropriate for a particular composer or a particular work. For that reason, if a singer does something that doesn’t fit Mozart’s classical style, or if something doesn’t work technically, it comes between the opera and me, and the result will be unsatisfying or wrong. Fortunately the result of this performance—a very special one, because it marked Samuel Ramey’s 25th anniversary at the Met, and he was presented with a c. 1824 score of Don Giovanni and a fragment of the Met curtain after the first act—was nothing less than a fine show. On the level of spectacle and drama this performance was very strong. The entire cast acted well, and most of them sang very well, but there were a few disappointments.

About Roza Tulyaganova

Soprano Roza Tulyaganova is a native of Uzbekistan. Since moving to the United States in 2000, she has traveled extensively, performing major and supporting opera roles in cities across the country.

Miss Tulyaganova pursued and completed her Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music from 2005-2007. At MSM, she performed the roles of Livia in L’Italiana in Londra and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi. She is currently studying for her Ph.D. at Stony Brook University.

Before attending the Manhattan School of Music, Miss Tulyaganova performed roles with many opera companies throughout the east coast. These include Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with Mississippi Opera, Musetta in La Bohème with Cantiamo Opera Theatre in New York, and Micaëla in Carmen with the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory.

From 2002-2004, Miss Tulyaganova performed in numerous scenes with Opera Las Vegas, including Mimí in La Bohème, the title role in Lakmé, and Frasquita in Carmen. With the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she has sung the roles of Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus and Lola in Gallantry, as well as appearing in UNLV’s opera scenes program as Musetta in La Bohème and Violetta in La Traviata. Her Fiordiligi at the Hubbard Hall Opera and her Countess in the Capital Opera’s Marriage of Figaro have been warmly acclaimed.

Miss Tulyaganova has appeared as a soloist in many concert engagements, including Brahms’ German Requiem with the Las Vegas Music Arts Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra, and a Russian Music Recital with the Las Vegas Russian Trio.

Miss Tulyaganova is the winner of multiple notable awards. These include being a two-time district winner at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, a district winner of the 2002 NATSAA competition, a winner of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas concerto competition, and a finalist in the Meistersinger Competition in Graz, Austria.

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