The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Festival Choir opens its season Saturday night with a light and music project devoted to peace

October 27, 2016
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Festival Choir of Madison (below, in a photo by Stephanie Williams), singing under its director Sergei Pavlov, will open its new season with a mixed arts event devoted to peace.

Festival Choir of Madison Tchaikovsky Fall 2014 CR Stephanie Wiliams

The concert is this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Atrium Auditorium at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive.

Da Pacem Domine” is a project of music and light dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

It will feature light design by Andrew Schmitz.

Tickets are $15 for general admission; $12 for seniors; and $9 for students.

For more information about this concert, tickets and the entire season with three more concerts, go to: http://festivalchoirmadison.org

festival-choir-of-madison-new-logo-2016

Says Pavlov (below), who teaches at Edgewood College:

“Tonight the Festival Choir of Madison presents a project that goes beyond the concept of a traditional concert. With the help of compositions from all around the world, we recreate a day in the life of a nation. Yes, this day is September 11, 2015. But in fact, it could be any day in history, when humanity has faced profound grief caused by hatred and destruction.

“The concert comprises six parts: “Morning,” “Cries and Whispers,” “A Prayer for Peace,” “Interlude,” “The Memory of our Heroes” and “On Earth, as it is in Heaven.”

“From the dream-like visions of Daniel Elder, through the biting dissonances of Hikaru Hayashi and the otherworldly sounds of Ēriks Ešenvalds, the Festival Choir of Madison and the light designer Andrew Schmitz will take you on a journey of compassion and hope.

“Experience the healing power of LIGHT AND MUSIC in a project inspired by choral works of Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, Ēriks Ešenvalds (heard below in a YouTube video), Hikaru Hayashi, Daniel Elder, Rene Clausen and James MacMillan.”

There will also be cello music by Johann Sebastian Bach and bagpipe music performed by Rhys O’Higgins.

Sergei Pavlov


Classical music: Here are the Classical Music WINNERS of this year’s Grammy Awards, complete with the nominees they beat.

February 16, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

It’s time to catch up.

It has been a busy week for local music and other events. So some things inevitably got put off, especially reviews.

Sorry, but The Ear can hear more and faster than he can write and post. My apologies.

One the highlights last week was the announcement on last Sunday night of the 55th annual Grammy Awards for 2013. Of course, on the CBS-TV broadcast just about all the attention went to the more popular genres – rock, pop, rap, gospel, R&B, country and so forth.

grammy award BIG

But I thought you might like to see how the industry is leaning more towards recognizing contemporary music. Not a lot of the really GREAT composers seem to have scored big.

Here are some stories (with photos — dual winner chamber music group eighth blackbird is below in a photo by Allen J. Scherben for the Los Angles Times) and analyses, including one from NPR’s exceptional blog “Deceptive Cadence”:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-grammy-awards-metropolitan-operas-ring-eighth-blackbird-win-20130210,0,4652838.story

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2013/02/grammys_2013_eighth_blackbird.html

eighth blackbird Allen J. Schaben for the Los Angeles Times

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/02/11/171689348/classical-grammys-2013-same-old-winners-bold-new-music

Similarly, the Grammys seem to be focusing on smaller and less well-known labels. Many of which are the in-house labels of the performing organizations. Of course, that is also a trend in the recording industry, and the Grammys exist to promote the recording industry.

In any case, the horse race aspect interest me less than offering you what could be a good check list of new recording to acquire for your library – and your listening pleasure:

You can also find the complete list of nominations and, later, winners in ALL genres at www.grammy.com

Any comments or advice to others you can provide about the nominees would be appreciated. Just use the COMMENT section.

So, maestro, a drum roll, please!

70. Best Engineered Album, Classical

Americana: Daniel Shores, engineer; Daniel Shores, mastering engineer (Modern Mandolin Quartet); [Sono Luminus]

Beethoven: The Late String Quartets, Op. 127 & 131: Bruce Egre, engineer (Brentano String Quartet); [Aeon]

WINNER: Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen: Tom Caulfield & John Newton, engineers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer; (Charles Bruffy & Kansas City Chorale); [Chandos]

Music For A Time Of War: Jesse Lewis & John Newton, engineers; Jesse Brayman, mastering engineer (Carlos Kalmar & The Oregon Symphony); [PentaTone Classics]

Souvenir: Morten Lindberg, engineer; Morten Lindberg, mastering engineer; (TrondheimSolistene); [2L (Lindberg Lyd)]

Rene Clausen Life and Breath

71. Producer Of The Year, Classical

WINNER: Blanton Alspaugh (below)

  • Chamber Symphonies (Gregory Wolynec & Gateway Chamber Orchestra)
  • Davis: Río De Sangre (Joseph Rescigno, Vale Rideout, Ava Pine, John Duykers, Kerry Walsh, Guido LeBron, The Florentine Opera Company & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
  • Gjeilo: Northern Lights (Charles Bruffy & Phoenix Chorale)
  • In Paradisum (Brian A. Schmidt & South Dakota Chorale)
  • Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen (Charles Bruffy & Kansas City Chorale)
  • Music For A Time Of War (Carlos Kalmar & The Oregon Symphony)
  • Musto: The Inspector (Glen Cortese & Wolf Trap Opera Company)

Tim Handley

  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (Leonard Slatkin & Orchestre National De Lyon)
  • Debussy: Orchestral Works, Vol. 7 (Jun Märkl & Orchestre National De Lyon)
  • Debussy: 24 Préludes (Jun Märkl & Royal Scottish National Orchestra)
  • Fuchs, K.: Atlantic Riband; American Rhapsody; Divinium Mysterium (JoAnn Falletta, Paul Silverthorne, Michael Ludwig & London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Gershwin: Piano Concerto In F; Rhapsody No. 2; I Got Rhythm Variations (Orion Weiss, JoAnn Falletta & Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Hailstork: An American Port Of Call (JoAnn Falletta, Virginia Symphony Chorus & Virginia Symphony Orchestra)
  • Holst: Cotswolds Symphony; Walt Whitman Overture (JoAnn Falletta & Ulster Orchestra)
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (Marin Alsop & Baltimore Symphony Orchestra)
  • Roussel: Le Festin De L’Araignée (Stéphane Denève & Royal Scottish National Orchestra)
  • Still: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 (John Jeter & Fort Smith Symphony)

Marina Ledin, Victor Ledin

  • Americana (Modern Mandolin Quartet)
  • Brubeck & American Poets (Lynne Morrow & Pacific Mozart Ensemble)
  • Delibes: Sylvia; Coppélia (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)
  • Mind Meld (ZOFO Duet)
  • Rupa-Khandha (Los Angeles Percussion Quartet)
  • Weigl: Isle Of The Dead; Six Fantasies; Pictures & Tales; Night Fantasies (Joseph Banowetz)

James Mallinson

  • Britten: War Requiem (Gianandrea Noseda, Joseph Cullen, Alastair Tighe, Choir Of Eltham College, London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra)
  • Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (Bernard Haitink & London Symphony Orchestra)
  • The Greatest Film Scores Of Dimitri Tiomkin (Richard Kaufman, Whitney Claire Kaufman, Andrew Playfoot, London Voices & London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Massenet: Don Quichotte (Valery Gergiev, Andrei Serov, Anna Kiknadze, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Soloists’ Ensemble Of The Mariinsky Academy Of Young Singers & Mariinsky Orchestra)
  • Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances (Valery Gergiev & London Symphony Orchestra)

Dan Merceruio

  • Arensky: Quartets Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Quintet, Op. 51 (Ying Quartet)
  • Brasileiro – Works Of Francisco Mignone (Cuarteto Latinoamericano)
  • Change Of Worlds (Ensemble Galilei)
  • The Complete Harpsichord Works Of Rameau (Jory Vinikour)
  • Critical Models – Chamber Works Of Mohammed Fairouz (Various Artists)
  • The Kernis Project: Schubert (Jasper String Quartet)
  • Le Bestiaire (Celine Ricci)
  • Scarlatti: La Dirindina & Pur Nel Sonno (Matthew Dirst & Ars Lyrica Houston)
  • Two Lutes – Lute Duets From England’s Golden Age (Ronn McFarlane & William Simms)
  • Weill-Ibert-Berg (Timothy Muffitt & Baton Rouge Symphony Chamber Players)

Blanton Alspaugh

72. Best Orchestral Performance

WINNER: Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride In A Fast Machine: Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony); [SFS Media] (below)

Mahler: Symphony No. 1: Iván Fischer, conductor (Budapest Festival Orchestra); [Channel Classics]

Music For A Time Of War: Carlos Kalmar, conductor (Oregon Symphony); [PentaTone Classics]

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances: Valery Gergiev, conductor (London Symphony Orchestra); [LSO Live]

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5: Osmo Vänskä, conductor (Minnesota Orchestra); [BIS]

John Adams Michael Tilson Thomas

73. Best Opera Recording

Berg: Lulu: Michael Boder, conductor; Paul Groves, Ashley Holland, Julia Juon & Patricia; Petibon; Johannes Müller, producer (Symphony Orchestra Of The Gran Teatre Del Liceu); [Deutsche Grammophon]

Handel: Agrippina; René Jacobs, conductor; Marcos Fink, Sunhae Im, Bejun Mehta, Alexandrina; Pendatchanska & Jennifer Rivera (Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin); [Harmonia Mundi]

Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress; Vladimir Jurowski, conductor; Topi Lehtipuu, Miah Persson & Matthew Rose; Johannes Müller, producer (London Philharmonic Orchestra; Glyndebourne Chorus); [Opus Arte]

Vivaldi: Teuzzone: Jordi Savall, conductor; Delphine Galou, Paolo Lopez, Roberta Mameli, Raffaella; Milanesi & Furio Zanasi (Le Concert Des Nations); [Naïve Classique]

WINNER: Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen: James Levine & Fabio Luisi, conductors; Hans-Peter König, Jay Hunter Morris, Bryn Terfel & Deborah Voigt; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus); [Deutsche Grammophon]

Wagner Ring Cycle Grammy

74. Best Choral Performance

Handel: Israel In Egypt: Julian Wachner, conductor (Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Trinity Choir Wall Street); [Musica Omnia]

WINNER: Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen; Charles Bruffy, conductor (Matthew Gladden, Lindsey Lang, Rebecca Lloyd, Sarah Tannehill & Pamela Williamson; Kansas City Chorale); [Chandos]

Ligeti: Requiem; Apparitions; San Francisco Polyphony. Peter Eötvös, conductor (Barbara Hannigan & Susan Parry; WDR Sinfonieorchester; Köln; SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart & WDR Rundfunkchor Köln); [BMC]

The Nightingale. Stephen Layton, conductor (Michala Petri; Danish National Vocal Ensemble); [OUR Recordings]

Striggio: Mass For 40 & 60 Voices. Hervé Niquet, conductor (Le Concert Spirituel); [Glossa]

Rene Clausen Life and Breath

75. Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

Americana. Modern Mandolin Quartet; [Sono Luminus]

WINNER: Meanwhile. Eighth Blackbird. [Cedille Records] (below)

Mind Meld. ZOFO Duet; [Sono Luminus]

Profanes Et Sacrées. Boston Symphony Chamber Players; BSO Classics]

Rupa-Khandha. Los Angeles Percussion Quartet; [Sono Luminus].

Meanwhile eighth blackbird

76. Best Classical Instrumental Solo

Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Clavier. András Schiff; [ECM New Series]

The Complete Harpsichord Works Of Rameau. Jory Vinikour; [Sono Luminus]

Gál & Elgar: Cello Concertos. Claudio Cruz, conductor; Antonio Meneses (Northern Sinfonia); [AVIE Records]

Holst: The Planets. Hansjörg Albrecht; [Oehms Classics]

WINNER: Kurtág & Ligeti: Music For Viola. Kim Kashkashian; [ECM New Series] (bel0w)

kim kashkashian kurtag ligeti

77. Best Classical Vocal Solo

Debussy: Clair De Lune. Natalie Dessay (Henri Chalet; Philippe Cassard, Karine Deshayes & Catherine Michel; Le Jeune Coeur De Paris); [Virgin Classics]

Homecoming – Kansas City Symphony Presents Joyce DiDonato. Joyce DiDonato (Michael Stern; Kansas City Symphony); [Kansas City Symphony]

Paris Days, Berlin Nights. Ute Lemper (Stefan Malzew & Vogler Quartet); [Steinway & Sons]

WINNER Poèmes. Renée Fleming (Alan Gilbert & Seiji Ozawa; Orchestre National De France & Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France); [Decca Records] (below)

Sogno Barocco. Anne Sofie Von Otter (Leonardo García Alarcón; Sandrine Piau & Susanna Sundberg; Ensemble Cappella Mediterranea); [Naïve Classique]

renee fleming poemes

78. Best Classical Compendium

Partch: Bitter Music. Partch, ensemble; John Schneider, producer. [Bridge Records, Inc.]

WINNER: Penderecki: Fonogrammi; Horn Concerto; Partita; The Awakening Of Jacob; Anaklasis. Antoni Wit, conductor; Aleksandra Nagórko & Andrzej Sasin, producers; [Naxos] (below)

Une Fête Baroque. Emmanuelle Haïm, conductor; Daniel Zalay, producer; [Virgin Classics]

Penderecki Wit Naxos

79. Best Contemporary Classical Composition

WINNER: Hartke, Stephen: Meanwhile – Incidental Music To Imaginary Puppet Plays. Stephen Hartke, composer (Eighth Blackbird); Track from: Meanwhile; [Cedille Records]

León, Tania: Inura For Voices, Strings & Percussion. Tania León, composer (Tania León, Son Sonora Voices, DanceBrazil Percussion & Son Sonora Ensemble); Track from: In Motion; [Albany Records].

Praulins, Ugis: The Nightingale. Ugis Praulins, composer (Stephen Layton, Michala Petri & Danish National Vocal Ensemble); Track from: The Nightingale; [OUR Recordings]

Rautavaara, Einojuhani: Cello Concerto No. 2 ‘Towards The Horizon’. Einojuhani Rautavaara, composer (Truls Mørk, John Storgårds & Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra); Track from: Rautavaara: Modificata; Percussion Concerto ‘Incantations’; Cello Concerto No. 2 ‘Towards The Horizon’; [Ondine]

Stucky, Steven: August 4, 1964. Steven Stucky, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist (Jaap Van Zweden, Dallas; Symphony Chorus & Orchestra); [DSO Live]

Meanwhile eighth blackbird


Classical music: The classical music nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards provide a helpful holiday gift shopping guide. Part 1 of 2. Plus, the UW Russian Folk Orchestra, the UW Chamber Orchestra, the UW Choral Union and Madison Area Concert Handbells perform this weekend.

December 8, 2012
5 Comments

ALERTS: It’s another very busy weekend in the Madison area. (Here is a partial listing. You can also look at this past’s week’s postings.) Today at noon, you can hear a FREE one-hour holiday concert by the University of Wisconsin Russian Folk Orchestra (below) at the downtown Grace Episcopal Church, 116 West Washington Avenue, on the Capitol Square. For more information, visit http://www.russorch.wisc.edu.  Then at 8 p.m tonight in Mills Hall, you can hear conductors James Smith and David Grandis lead the UW Chamber Orchestra in a FREE concert featuring Kurt Weill‘s Symphony No. 2; UW composer Joseph Koykkar’s “Cosmic Code”  with video; and Franz Joseph Haydn‘s Symphony No. 99. On Sunday at 3 p.m., Madison Area Concert Handbells will perform a holiday concert at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 5700 Pheasant Hill Road, in Monona. For more information about other performances and tickets, visit www.madisonhandbells.org. Then on Sunday at 7:30 p.m., you can hear the UW Choral Union, the UW Symphony Orchestra and soloists perform Brahms’ “German” Requiem in Mills Hall. Tickets are $15, $8 for seniors and students.

UW Russian Folk Orchestra

By Jacob Stockinger

On Wednesday night, the nominations for the 55th annual Grammy Awards, to be awarded in early 2013, were announced and posted. The actual air time on the TV show goes to the more popular genres such as rock, pop, hip-hop, country and the like.

You can tell that by the numbers listed next to the various classical categories, numbers that I left in. They are a good indication of the priority of classical music to The Industry.

But as I have done in past years, I will post this list in two installments over the weekend. The nominations can help guide you to some fine holiday gifts for classical buffs. And shopping, whether in brick-and-mortar stores or on the Internet, will be in high gear this weekend and for the next several weekends, I imagine.

Grammy

I won’t provide a lot of commentary on the Grammy nominations, although I will provide more detail commentary by other critics and bloggers as they appear.

But I will remark on how the Grammys seem to be getting further and further away from standard composers and works.

Similarly, the Grammys seem to be focusing on smaller and less well-known labels. Many of which are the in-house labels of the performing organizations. Of course, that is also a trend in the recording industry, and the Grammys exist to promote the recording industry.

The final awards will be announced live on Feb. 10, 2013 at 8 p.m. EST on the CBS network.

You can also find the complete list of nominations and, later, winners at www.grammy.com

Any comments or advice to others you can provide about the nominees would be appreciated. Just use the COMMENT section.

So, maestro, a drum roll, please! Here is part 1 of 2:

70. BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL

Americana: Daniel Shores, engineer; Daniel Shores, mastering engineer (Modern Mandolin Quartet); [Sono Luminus]

Beethoven: The Late String Quartets, Op. 127 & 131: Bruce Egre, engineer (Brentano String Quartet); [Aeon]

Life & Breath – Choral Works By René ClausenTom Caulfield & John Newton, engineers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer; (Charles Bruffy & Kansas City Chorale); [Chandos]

Music For A Time Of War: Jesse Lewis & John Newton, engineers; Jesse Brayman, mastering engineer (Carlos Kalmar & The Oregon Symphony); [PentaTone Classics]

Souvenir: Morten Lindberg, engineer; Morten Lindberg, mastering engineer; (TrondheimSolistene); [2L (Lindberg Lyd)]

Music in a Time of War

71. PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, CLASSICAL

Blanton Alspaugh

  • Chamber Symphonies (Gregory Wolynec & Gateway Chamber Orchestra)
  • Davis: Río De Sangre (Joseph Rescigno, Vale Rideout, Ava Pine, John Duykers, Kerry Walsh, Guido LeBron, The Florentine Opera Company & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
  • Gjeilo: Northern Lights (Charles Bruffy & Phoenix Chorale)
  • In Paradisum (Brian A. Schmidt & South Dakota Chorale)
  • Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen (Charles Bruffy & Kansas City Chorale)
  • Music For A Time Of War (Carlos Kalmar & The Oregon Symphony)
  • Musto: The Inspector (Glen Cortese & Wolf Trap Opera Company)

Tim Handley

  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (Leonard Slatkin & Orchestre National De Lyon)
  • Debussy: Orchestral Works, Vol. 7 (Jun Märkl & Orchestre National De Lyon)
  • Debussy: 24 Préludes (Jun Märkl & Royal Scottish National Orchestra)
  • Fuchs, K.: Atlantic Riband; American Rhapsody; Divinium Mysterium (JoAnn Falletta, Paul Silverthorne, Michael Ludwig & London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Gershwin: Piano Concerto In F; Rhapsody No. 2; I Got Rhythm Variations (Orion Weiss, JoAnn Falletta & Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Hailstork: An American Port Of Call (JoAnn Falletta, Virginia Symphony Chorus & Virginia Symphony Orchestra)
  • Holst: Cotswolds Symphony; Walt Whitman Overture (JoAnn Falletta & Ulster Orchestra)
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (Marin Alsop & Baltimore Symphony Orchestra)
  • Roussel: Le Festin De L’Araignée (Stéphane Denève & Royal Scottish National Orchestra)
  • Still: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 (John Jeter & Fort Smith Symphony)

Marina Ledin, Victor Ledin

  • Americana (Modern Mandolin Quartet)
  • Brubeck & American Poets (Lynne Morrow & Pacific Mozart Ensemble)
  • Delibes: Sylvia; Coppélia (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)
  • Mind Meld (ZOFO Duet)
  • Rupa-Khandha (Los Angeles Percussion Quartet)
  • Weigl: Isle Of The Dead; Six Fantasies; Pictures & Tales; Night Fantasies (Joseph Banowetz)

James Mallinson

  • Britten: War Requiem (Gianandrea Noseda, Joseph Cullen, Alastair Tighe, Choir Of Eltham College, London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra)
  • Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (Bernard Haitink & London Symphony Orchestra)
  • The Greatest Film Scores Of Dimitri Tiomkin (Richard Kaufman, Whitney Claire Kaufman, Andrew Playfoot, London Voices & London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Massenet: Don Quichotte (Valery Gergiev, Andrei Serov, Anna Kiknadze, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Soloists’ Ensemble Of The Mariinsky Academy Of Young Singers & Mariinsky Orchestra)
  • Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances (Valery Gergiev & London Symphony Orchestra)

Dan Merceruio

  • Arensky: Quartets Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Quintet, Op. 51 (Ying Quartet)
  • Brasileiro – Works Of Francisco Mignone (Cuarteto Latinoamericano)
  • Change Of Worlds (Ensemble Galilei)
  • The Complete Harpsichord Works Of Rameau (Jory Vinikour)
  • Critical Models – Chamber Works Of Mohammed Fairouz (Various Artists)
  • The Kernis Project: Schubert (Jasper String Quartet)
  • Le Bestiaire (Celine Ricci)
  • Scarlatti: La Dirindina & Pur Nel Sonno (Matthew Dirst & Ars Lyrica Houston)
  • Two Lutes – Lute Duets From England’s Golden Age (Ronn McFarlane & William Simms)
  • Weill-Ibert-Berg (Timothy Muffitt & Baton Rouge Symphony Chamber Players)

Tim Handley SOUND ENGINEER

Tomorrow: Best Orchestra Performance, Best Opera, Best Instrumental Solo and more.

 


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