The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Wisconsin State Capitol will mark Earth Day this Saturday and next Wednesday with music by Wisconsin composer John Harmon plus words by Wisconsin figures responsible for the environmental tribute. Plus, the Edgewood College Chamber Orchestra performs Mozart, Debussy and Stravinsky this Sunday afternoon. And don’t forget about WYSO’s “Art of Note” fundraiser Saturday night and two performances on Friday night and Sunday afternoon of Rameau’s opera-ballet “Pygmalion” by the Madison Bach Musicians.

April 17, 2015
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REMINDERS: This Saturday night from 6 to 10 p.m., the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) will hold its annual “Art of Note” fundraiser at CUNA Mutual. Auctions, fine food and live music will be featured.

For more information visit: http://wyso.music.wisc.edu/artofnote/ and https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/classical-music-education-wysos-art-of-note-benefit-on-april-18-seeks-to-raise-50000-to-benefit-music-education-in-greater-madison-area/

Art of Note logo copy

Also: The Madison Bach Musicians presents two performances of “Pygmalion” by Jean-Philippe Rameau It’s a 1784 Baroque opera-ballet done in the Atrium Auditorium (below, in a photo by Zane Williams) of the First Unitarian Society of Madison.

The first performance is tonight with a 6:45 p.m. lecture and 7:30 p.m. concert. The second is on Sunday afternoon with a lecture at 2:45 p.m.  and a 3:30 p.m. concert.

Internationally recognized UW-Madison early-music specialist Marc Vallon will direct a full baroque orchestra, dancers and an outstanding vocal cast as they tell the tale of a sculptor who falls in love with his beautiful creation—and then, through the power of Venus, the statue comes to life. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

For more information, go to: http://madisonbachmusicians.org/concerts/current-concert-season/

FUS Atrium, Auditorium Zane Williams

ALERT: At 2:30 p.m. this Sunday afternoon, in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, the Edgewood Chamber Orchestra will give its Spring Concert.

Admission for the public is $5 and will benefit music scholarships. Admission is FREE with an Edgewood College ID.

The Edgewood Chamber Orchestra will play under the director of Blake Walter (below, in a photo by John Maniaci). Included on the program are the Symphony No. 32 in G by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; the “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy and the Pulcinella Suite by Igor Stravinsky.

blake walter john maniaci

Also being performed is the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19, K. 459, featuring pianist Stephanie Crescio (below), the winner of the Edgewood College Music Department Student Concerto Competition.

Stephanie Crescio

By Jacob Stockinger

Madison-based music publicist and activist Jon Becker writes:

Wisconsin’s Earth Day Heritage will be celebrated in music and words this Saturday, April 18, and on next Wednesday, April 22. (You can hear a short history of Earth Day in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

Music broadcasts will feature the voices of the descendants of
John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Earth Day Founder U.S. Senator and former state Governor Gaylord Nelson, set to the symphonic music of Wisconsin composer John Harmon.

There will be several opportunities to hear a “sneak preview” of Earth Day Portrait, music celebrating Earth Day values, before its international release on CD later this year.

For the third year, the music will be “broadcast” in the Rotunda of Wisconsin’s State Capitol building (below). Listeners should gather at the bust of “Fighting Bob” La Follette (the East Gallery entry is closest).

Wisconsin Capitol

Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda

On Saturday, April 18, the music will be broadcast 10 times on the half hour, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m.

On Wednesday,  April 22 — which is Earth Day — there will be broadcasts at 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Earth Day 2015

Earth Day Portrait is a symphonic setting of eco-moral texts of John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Earth Day founder, former Wisconsin Gov. and U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (below). For the CD recording, the words of these environmental legends were read by their descendants: William (Muir) Hanna, great-grandson; Nina Leopold Bradley, daughter; Gaylord Nelson Jr., son; and Kiva Nelson, grand-daughter.

Gaylord Nelson

Patty Loew, an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, narrated connecting texts that paint intimate, personal portraits of Muir, Leopold, and Nelson, while recalling their unique mutual connection to Madison, Wisconsin.

All this is woven together by the story of the passenger pigeon’s extinction. Members of the Madison Youth Choirs (below, in a photo by Karen Holland) recorded a call-and-response part that -– at concert performances -– is spoken by audience members.

Madison Youth Choirs boychoirs Purcell, Britten and Holst CR Karen Holland

Earth Day Portrait was composed in 2001 by John Harmon (below), who graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and who makes his home on the Wolf River, near Winneconne.

Harmon’s music was recorded in Glasgow by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, led by conductor Marin Alsop, the first conductor to win a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. London’s EMI-Abbey Road Studios produced the master recording. Voiceovers were recorded at Audio for the Arts in Madison and at Umbrella Studios in Los Angeles.

John Harmon

For the forthcoming Earth Day CD, Harmon’s composition will be paired with Hymn to the Earth, by American composer Edward Joseph Collins (1886-1951, below). Composed in Door County, and inspired by Wisconsin’s seasons and landscapes, Collins’s ode to nature also may well be the first Western classical composition to refer to our home planet as “Mother Earth.”

Edward Joseph Collins

 

 

 


Classical music: Award-winning British composer Cecilia McDowall to headline a three-day residency this week, with public workshops and concerts, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.

February 17, 2015
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ALERT:  On this Wednesday, Feb. 18, at noon, British composer Cecilia McDowall will be featured live on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Midday” show with host Norman Gilliland (88.7 FM). On this Thursday morning on WORT Radio (89.9 FM), host Rich Samuels plans a half-hour special on McDowall that he pre-recorded with organizer UW-Madison professor of trumpet John Aley. It will be broadcast at 7:15 a.m.

By Jacob Stockinger

A major event involving new music and contemporary music is taking place this week at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music:

Here is a round-up provided by the UW-Madison School of Music and concert manager Kathy Esposito: 

British composer Cecilia McDowall (below), who in December was awarded the 2014 British Composer Award  (BCA) for Choral Composition, will visit UW-Madison’s School of Music this week for a three-day series of concerts and discussions.

Cecilia McDowall

The visit, to take place Thursday through Saturday, marks McDowall’s first United States residency and will include one colloquium and two concerts, all open to the public.

McDowall won the BCA prize for “Night Flight,” a work for a cappella choir and solo cello that honors Harriet Quimby (below), an aviatrix who was the first woman to fly over the English Channel. Download a BCA news release here. 

Harriet Quimby

“Night Flight” was premiered by the Phoenix Chorale, an Arizona ensemble that included a McDowall work on its 2008 Grammy-award winning CD, “Spotless Rose: Hymns to the Virgin Mary.”

Cecilia McDowall’s music has been commissioned and performed by leading choirs and instrumental groups, including the BBC Singers, the Westminster Abbey Choir, the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. She came to composition later in life, after raising two children, teaching and singing in choirs for many years. She holds a master’s degree in composition from Trinity College in London and is now a composer-in-residence at the Dulwich College, a pre-college school in London.

Listen to selected McDowall works on SoundCloud.  

You can also listen to a sample in a YouTube video at the bottom.

Cecilia McDowall 2

Writes Guy Rickards of Gramophone magazine: “Cecilia McDowall is another of the new generation of highly communicative musicians who, though often inspired by extra-musical influences, favors writing which, without being in any way facile, is brightly cogent, freshly witty and expressive in its own right.

“She often uses minimalist ostinatos – the spirit of Steve Reich hovers – but constantly tweaks the ear with her range of spicy rhythms and colors, then suddenly produces a highly atmospheric and grippingly expressive interlude which is just as compelling. Each of the individual movements within her works is titled, sometimes descriptively, sometimes perhaps with tongue in cheek.”

On Friday, Feb. 20, in Mills Hall at UW-Madison, a student and faculty chamber orchestra (conducted by James Smith, below top), coupled with the university’s Madrigal Singers, conducted by Bruce Gladstone (below bottom), will perform the U.S. premiere of her work “Seventy Degrees Below Zero.” (Read a review here.)

Smith_Jim_conduct07_3130

BruceGladstoneTalbot

“Seventy Degrees” is a cantata for solo voice (to be sung by faculty tenor James Doing, below), which McDowall composed in 2012 to commemorate the voyage of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott to the Antarctic. Scott and crew members died while on that expedition; one hundred years later, the City of London Sinfonia and the Scott Polar Research Institute commissioned the music to honor Scott and his men.

James Doing color

As a twist, the concert will extend the polar theme with a slideshow and lobby presentation linking Antarctic research of yesterday with today’s, presented by Michael Duvernois (below) of UW-Madison’s IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center.

Michael Duvernois

McDowall’s residency will also feature the piano playing of UW-Madison’s Christopher Taylor (below) performing McDowall’s “Tapsalteerie,” described by Gramophone as “ingenious play with a cradle song by the turn-­of-the-­century Aberdeenshire fiddler James Scott Skinner.”

Many other UW-Madison faculty musicians will also perform. Here is a link with details about other performers:

http://www.music.wisc.edu/cecilia-mcdowall/

Taylor_Chris_piano01

Events include:

THURSDAY

At noon in Mills Hall.

Meet the composer at a free public colloquium.

The topic will be “The Effects of Extra-Musical Influences”: McDowall will discuss how she interweaves composition with events, past or present; with real, imagined or visual images; or as a response to the physical environment or written text.

FRIDAY

At 8 p,m. in Mills Hall.

Concert and Presentation: UW Madrigal Singers and Concert Choir, with a faculty/student chamber orchestra, featuring the U.S. premiere of “Seventy Degrees Below Zero.” With Michael Duvernois of the UW IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center.

Meet the composer and performers at a reception to follow in Mills Hall lobby.

Tickets: $20 adults, free for students. Tickets available via the Wisconsin Union Theater prior to show (online and in person) and on the day of show at Mills Hall.

Box office: http://www.uniontheater.wisc.edu/location.html

SATURDAY

At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall.

Concert: Cool It — The Chamber Music of Cecilia McDowall.

Free concert.

For a link to this festival on our website, please see: http://www.music.wisc.edu/cecilia-mcdowall/ 

For an interview:

http://www.boardroommum.com/interviews-archive/cecilia-mcdowall/


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 can provide a helpful holiday gift shopping guide. Part 2 of 2.

December 9, 2012
5 Comments

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 2 of 2:

 72. BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE

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

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] (below)

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

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

Music in a Time of War

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]

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] (below)

Wagner Ring DG Levine Luisi

74. BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE

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

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] (below)

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]

Ligeti San Francisco

75. BEST CHAMBER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

Americana. Modern Mandolin Quartet; [Sono Luminus]

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] (below)

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]

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

Schiff Bach WTC ECM

77. BEST 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]

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.]

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

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

Fete Baroque

79. BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION

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] (below)

Steve Stucky Aug. 4, 1964


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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