Another conductor has been in trouble with sexual allegations made against him. Charles Dutoit the longtime conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
He is Swiss. He is married to French Canadian violinist Chantel Juillet with whom he has made various recordings. He had been married to previously Canadian economist Marie-Josee Drouin and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich. He currently resides in California. He has never been associated with any American orchestras and none of the allegations took place in America.
As with Levine, it is a shame that they will now both be remembered for sexual allegations. I do not know if they are true or not. I do not consider this as behavior becoming of a gentlemen.
I was listening to Bill McLaughlin's Exploring the Music today. he mad some interesting insights. He was saying that you can't tell what the composer is saying in the music. In the Soviet Union, Poets and writers were sent to the gulags while poets were not.one of the things about
Classical Music excluding Opera or songs is that you try to figure out what the composer is saying in that piece of music. The composer is usually trying to tell a story in a piece of music or sometimes express an idea. Tomne pomes and symphonies like Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and Harold in Italy and Lalo's symphonie Espagnol are trying to tell stories or express a poem or play.
During the Soviet era and in Nazi Germany many writers and other people who did not agree with the government were imprisoned for disagreeing with the state. Many famous writers and musicians left Nazi Germany because of that situation. Many also defected form the Communist countries because of that same situation.
I was at the annual Christmas party for the St. Luis Symphony Orchestra volunteer association this evening. It is Still Christmas Season until January sixth or Epiphany Day. The Principal oboest Jelenia Dirks spoke. She said that Oboes have a very short shelf life. The reeds only last for a short time. The reed is a wooden part fo the mouth piece on a woodwind instrument that vibrates and makes the sound.
The oboe is part of the woodwind family of instruments which includes the flute, bassoon, clarinet and English Horn. another branch of the woodwind family is the saxophones. the saxophone is not usuallu associated with classical music. It is usually associated with jazz and big band. Debussy wrote a rhapsody for Saxophone and Piano.
The woodwind family is a part of classical music. The reed on an instrument makes the sound. There pieces for wind ensemble. The reed makes the noise.
There are a lot of Oboe Concertos and chamber pieces for oboe. Mozart, Vaughan-Williams and Richard Strauss all wrote concertos for the Oboe. J. S. Bach wrote several oboe concertos ass well as the Brandenberg Concertoes which use oboe and a concerto for Violin and Oboe. Franz Krommer (1759-1831) wrote concertos for oboe as well as the clarinet. He was of Czech origin and was considered to be a rival to Beethoven. Today he is almost forgotten.
The Ovoe is also associated with marching bands, jazz anad big Bands. Big band and swing were popular in the 30's and 40's. Some big bands even played classical music!
Happy 2018! Christ is born!-Glorify Him!
It is still Christmas Season until January 6 Epiphany Day.
The Coptic from Egypt and certain Eastern Orthodox groups
observe Christmas on January 7 because they use the Julian Calendar
which is 13 days late. I am glad that the music channel on cable still
plays Christmas music in to January when most radio stations turn it
off at Midnight on December 25
among the lesser known Christmas music is Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) which is actually a series of six contatas about the nativity of Christ. Camille Saint Seans also wrote a Christmas Ortatorio (Opus#12) Which I heard live a few years ago at a Christmas Concert. There are a few records available of this work. I have a copy of Bach's work it is on the Naxos label with the Hungarian Radi Choir. This is a good recording. Naxos is a budget label and uses lesser known orchestras and soloists. many of whom come from the former Soviet Block where copy right laws were different.
I don't know much about Saint Sean's work there are several versions available of this work. Saint Seans was Catholic and he was an organist at the Church of La Madeline (St. Mary Magdaline) in Paris France. This is a famous church in Paris. St. Mary Magdalene is one of the patron saints of France. Legend has it that she had preached in what is now France. This work was written in 1858 for soloists, choir, organ and orchestra.
Also it would not be Christmas with out hearing Handel's Messiah, Tchaikovsky's Nutckracker or What child is This? As I have said there are many awesome areas from the Messiah. Nutcracker was one of the firtst pieces of music I remember. I recall when I was five watching it on TV. "What Child is this? " is taken form Ralph Vaughan-Williams' Green Sleeves. Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was a British composer who had an interest in British folk melodies. I have a CD of him conducting Bach's St. Matthew passion. it is one of the few versions available in English.
Conductor James Levine is now in trouble for Sexual harassment. Men are dropping. He looked funny with his afro hair style. He was the music director of the Metropolitan Opera. It is ashamed that he will be remembered for his actions.
The Grammy Nominations are out. The ceremony is January 28. Next tear will be the 60yh anniversary of the Grammys. There are a lot of categories.
In the Classical field two of Handel's works are nominated. Fist in the choral the Messiah is nominated. It is conducted by Andrew Litton with the Toronto Mendelssohn choir. The other is in the Opera category. It is his opera Ottone. It is conducted by George Petrou who I have never heard of. The Operas of Handel, Vivaldi and other Baroque era composers are not popular today. It would take too long to explain why. the Messiah has many other magnificent areas in addition to the Halleluja chorus. Just like Beethoven's Fifth and Ninth Symphonies. The rest of these works needs to be heard.
In the Orchestra category, Debussy, Mahler and Shostokovich are represented. Debussy, Images for Orchestra conducted by Mihael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Orchestra, Mahler's fifth symphony conducted by Osmo Vanska with the Minnesota orchestra and Shostokovich's fifth symphony conducted by Manfred Hoenek with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
I am not a fan of Mahler. Much of his music sounds depressing. I like Debussy's music. next tear will be the centennial of his death. His most famous work is the Clair De Lune. Hi was involved with The French impressionist music. Demetri Shostokovich (1906-1975) was a soviet composer. His son is the conductor Maxim Shostokovich. the work is coupled with saumel Barber's Adagio for Strings. Barber (1919-1981) was an American composer. the Adagio is his most famous work taken from his string Quartet. It was arranged for orchestra. It was played on the radio at the assassination of President Kennedy, the Death of Franklin Roosevelt and 9-11.
I have purchased two new CDs one of them is of Beethoven's First and Second Piano Concertos with Wilhelm Kempff on piano and the Berlin Philharmonic with Ferdinand Leitner. I don't know much about those two individuals It is on the Deutsche Grammophone label. the other is of Richard Strauss' Second Symphony (Opus#13) with his Romance for Cello and Six songs. It is on the Chandos lable with the Royale Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Neeme Jarvi. Raphael Wallifish plays the Cello in the romance.
I have written about Beethoven's first Piano concerto before. Both Beethoven and Strauss could have volumes written about.
Richard Strauss wrote two early Symphonies early in his career. He is not known for these two works. He also wrote Symphony Domestica (Opus #530 and his more famous Alpine Symphony (Opus#64) which I have also written about. both of his early symphonies along with his Violin concerto need to be listened to and need to be heard by any classical music enthusiast. He wrote a First Symphony in F which I do not know much about either.
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was born in the Romantic era and died in the early years of TV. He remained mainly romantic. his best known work is Thus Spoke Zarathustra which was used in the Movie 2001 a Space odyssey which I have not seen. I am not in to science fiction.
Richard Strauss is known primarily for his tone poems and his operas. He wrote concerti, chamber music and songs and other genres of music.
The Second symphony has influence from Beethoven's middle period. Some of this symphony is influenced by Beethoven's Third and Seventh Symphonies. A version of this work has been written for piano duel. I am not in to that form of music. Richard Strauss did conduct this work with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1935 but any recordings of it are lost. He was also a good conductor and conducted many of his own works. It dates from 1885.
His other symphony dates from 1880 when he was only 16! He had completed it after he completed his musical studies. As I had mentioned earlier, his father was also a composer and a French horn player. In fact the senior Strauss was involved in the premier of this work. There are very few recordings of this work. I have only seen one or two on Arkiv Music. There may be some others that are out of print. I also like his Violin concerto which there are also very few works available. I especially like the second movement of the Violin Concerto.
I have seen recordings of both works on YouTube. I think that both woks need to be re-examined and performed more. So does the Violin concerto. Most Richard Strauss fans or anybody else will not be disappointed!
happy Thanksgiving! Watching Macy's Parade then dog show. Thanksgiving traditions. Like movie "Miracle on 34th Street. It should have won Oscar for Best Picture in 1947. Always connected with parade. There are several other movies that have gotten Best Picture.
I went to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Concert this evening and returned home. I usually go the weekend before Thanksgiving weekend. There Was just one work on the bill Beethoven's Missa Solemnis "Solemn Mass" in D (Opus #123). It lasted an hour and 15 minutes. They Symphony Chorus were there plus four soloists: Kelly O'Connor (Mezzo), Joelle Harvey (Soprano), Stuart Skelton (Tenor) and Shenyang (Basso). The female soloists are American, The Tenors Australian and the Basso is Chinese. When you think of opera singers you don't usually think of Chinese.
Beethoven like Bach, Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, R. Strauss, Debussy and Mendelssohn can be written a lot about because they are popular and very storied. When we think of Beethoven we do not usually think of religious music. This was one of his most important works and one that he highly regarded. He wrote one other setting of the Catholic Mass. J.S. Bach who was Lutheran was wrote settings for the Mass. Beethoven was a Catholic. Bach on the other hand is associate with religious music. he wrote music for use in the Lutheran church.
The mass is the basic Catholic worship service. it is also used in the episcopal church or the high Episcopal church. Until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) The Mass was said in Latin not the local language. now it is usually in the local language. I am not Catholic.
The piece is in five movements: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. It is part of the Ordinary Mass which is standard mass during the year. Additional hymns for the season are added plus the Bible readings.
it was first performed in St. Petersburg Russia on April 7, 1824 of all Places. The Russians are Orthodox and the Catholic Church was at times looked on with suspicion in Russia. The piece was dedicated to Archduke Rudolph who was a member of the Austrian Royal Family and was made Archbishop of Olomouc and was eventually made a cardinal.
It has a lot of melodies that are typically associate with Beethoven. It can be likened to a five movement symphony. This is one of his more famous pieces. It is both typical and non typical of Beethoven in that it sounds like a Beethoven piece and that Beethoven did not write much other religious music. One of the more famous religious piece that he wrote was Christ on the Mount of Olives (Opus#85) which I am not familiar with right now.
As mentioned earlier, Chinese are not associated with Opera. Australians have produced a good amount of Opera singers. Russia has produced a good amount or operatic Bassos