Thursday, December 31, 2020
Friday, December 25, 2020
|This montage from our Podcast Vault revisits a post from December 25, 2015. It can be found in our archives at |
Today isn’t a usual Podcast Vault post, as I am not proposing a new take or a filler YouTube clip. I will refer you back to what I provided as commentary when I originally issued the montage.
What I will do instead is use this opportunity to do my “Year in Review”.
We will all agree that 2020 is a forgettable year, dominated by the pandemic, the public health emergency and the socio-economic impacts that followed. Speaking for myself, I was fortunate that I could work from home, and that my immediate family has (so far) avoided contracting the ‘Rona.
As far as our activities are concerned, I kept going in the hope that my posts and shares could serve as a momentary distraction to our daily concerns. In 2020, we completed our Project 366 and launched with another daily podcast series, this time focused on our Friday Blogs ad Podcasts. We are now nearly a third of the way through that series, and are on track to publishing our 350th montage next week (as we traditionally do for milestones, it will be an extended montage that blows past our self-imposed 90-minute limit).
The series will conclude on Tuesday August 31st with Montage #365, a “Fifth Tuesday” quarterly release which will introduce our “anniversary series” for the Tuesday Blog. Look for more on that when we get close!
The pace at which we have been publishing new podcasts has been somewhat unpredictable ; we have 16 montages planned between now and late August, which maps out to about 2 a month, though the timing is interweaved with our greater calendar. Please consult the calendar (or subscribe to our podcasts) so you don’t miss anything!
As for the Tuesday Blog, we will continue to publish them fortnightly with both YouTube and Pod-O-Matic shares. As this year will be our 10th anniversary of the Tuesday Blog, I plan to resurrect “classic” music link/YouTube playlist shares and will interleave them with our Vinyl’s Revenge and Cover 2 Cover series.
In the Fall, we resumed providing some content on OperaLively – mostly in the form of “Short Stories” that are coupled to already planned Daily Podcasts. I plan to keep to that formula until the Fall, where we may provide more Opera programming – as our collaboration with Luiz and his forum are also nearing the 10 year mark.
Before sharing our “video favourites” (a running playlist of most of the single clips we used throughout the year), I wanted to again thank our friends and followers for their continued support and (too few) comments against our material. I’d love to see more of you subscribe to our Podcasting channel, though I’m always pleased to see you subscribe to our YouTube channel…
Happy Holidays to all
PierreVideo Favourites Playlist - https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6swnss9F7SEXDc9zpMAlTLn2Vmduc_qD
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
|This is my post from this week's Tuesday Blog.|
My final Tuesday Blog for 2020 features a CD I acquired in the early 2000’s, from an early set of self-produced discs by the Royal Philharmonic under their own label. These disks, distributed in North America by Intersound, spanned the repertoire from Mozart to Leonard Bernstein.
According to Discogs, this album was originally released in 1993 and features the Royal Philharmonic under guest conductor Jane Glover in a coupling of Mozart’s final two numbered symphonies (40 and 41) with the overture to The Marriage of Figaro as filler.
According to her website, Jane Glover made her professional debut at the Wexford Festival in 1975, conducting her own edition of Cavalli’s LʼEritrea. She joined Glyndebourne in 1979 and was music director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1981 until 1985. She was artistic director of the London Mozart Players from 1984 to 1991, and has also held principal conductorships of both the Huddersfield and the London Choral Societies. From 2009 until 2016 she was Director of Opera at the Royal Academy of Music where she is now the Felix Mendelssohn Visiting Professor. She was recently Visiting Professor of Opera at the University of Oxford, her alma mater.
Jane Glover has conducted all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain, as well as orchestras in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia. In recent seasons she has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the San Francisco, Houston, St. Louis, Sydney, Cincinnati, and Toronto symphony orchestras, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Bamberg Symphony.
The works themselves don’t need any introduction. As a period instrument scholar, Mrs Glover manages to convey a sense of lilt and urgency in her interpretations, which are in general respectful of the composer’s wishes and quite easy to the ear.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Overture to Le nozze di Figaro, K.492
Symphony No.40 in G Minor, K.550
Symphony No.41 in C Major, K.551 ('Jupiter')
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Jane Glover , conducting
Recorded October 1993 at All Saints Church, Petersham, Surray
Tring International PLC – TRP004
RPO Records – 204404-201
Original Issue - 1993
Discogs - https://www.discogs.com/The-Royal-Ph...elease/6926786
YouTube - https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OL...jb-YwQbBTjLaTo
Friday, December 18, 2020
|No. 349 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series of audio montages can be found in our archives at https://archive.org/details/pcast349|
Though he was unfavourably reviewed by critics – many of whom saw his work as immoral – German dramatist and writer August von Kotzebue was one of the most popular writers of his time. IHe was politically conservative and cosmopolitan in outlook and spoke out against the antisemitism of student nationalists.
He was approached in 1812 by Beethoven, who suggested that Kotzebue write the libretto for an opera about Attila, which was never written. Beethoven did, however, produce incidental music for two of Kotzebue's plays, The Ruins of Athens (Beethoven's opus 113) and King Stephen (opus 117).
Beethoven write few works for the stage; in addition to his only opera (Fidelio) and the incidental music to the aforementioned incidental music to Kotzebue’s two plays, he left us his overture to Heinrich Joseph von Collin's tragedy Coriolan, his ballet music The Creatures of Prometheus and the incidental music to Goethe’s tragedy Egmont.
Today’s montage features the music from Egmont and the Ruins of Athens, both featuring sung numbers, as well as displaying some of Beethoven’s flair for pace and drama.
Beethoven wrote the incidental music for Egmont between October 1809 and June 1810. Composed during the Napoleonic Wars when the First French Empire had extended its domination over vast swathes of Europe, Beethoven had famously expressed his great outrage over Napoleon Bonaparte's decision to crown himself Emperor in 1804, furiously scratching out his name in the dedication of the Eroica Symphony. In the music for Egmont, Beethoven expressed his own political concerns through the exaltation of the heroic sacrifice of a man condemned to death for having taken a valiant stand against oppression. The overture to Egmont is well known, and so are som of the sung passages, Die Trommel gerühret and Freudvoll und leidvoll.
The Ruins of Athens was a play commissioned to August von Kotzebue for the dedication of a new theatre at Pest. Perhaps the best-known music from The Ruins of Athens is the Turkish March, a theme that has claimed a place in popular culture. The overture and the Turkish March are often performed separately, and the other pieces of this set are not often heard.
In 1822 the play was revived for the reopening of Vienna's Theater in der Josefstadt with a revised libretto by Carl Meisl, for which Beethoven wrote a new overture, now known as The Consecration of the House, Op. 124, and added a chorus "Wo sich die Pulse" (WoO 98).
The music for The Ruins of Athens was reworked in 1924 by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal in 1926.
I think you will love this music too!
Friday, December 11, 2020
|This montage from our Podcast Vault revisits a post from June 8, 2012. It can be found in our archives at |
This week’s we take out a montage from the podcast vault that dates from early 2012 that features a work by our birthday boy, Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97, was completed in 1811. It is commonly referred to as the Archduke Trio, because it was dedicated to Archduke Rudolph of Austria, himself an amateur pianist and a patron, friend, and composition student of Beethoven. Beethoven dedicated a total of fourteen compositions to the Archduke, who dedicated one of his own to Beethoven in return.
Although the "Archduke Trio" is sometimes numbered as "No. 7", the numbering of Beethoven's twelve piano trios is not standardized, so that in some sources the Op. 97 trio may be shown as having a different number, if any.
The use of the number 7 is significant today, as all the works on the playlist harbor number 7 or 11 – a reference to games of chance and spirituality.
The fundamental bet in craps is the pass line bet, which is a bet for the shooter to win. If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, the bet wins. But there’s more…
The number 7 symbolizes spirituality and spiritual evolving, spiritual awakening and enlightenment. This number also symbolizes knowledge, faith, education, learning, studying, teaching, deep understanding of things, psychic abilities, healing, inner guidance and wisdom, intuition, empathic abilities, philosophy and mysticism.
The number 1 symbolizes initiative, beginning point, new beginnings, new projects, new endeavors, success, intuition, progress, moving forward, ambition, pursuing your goals, inspiration, determination, confidence, leadership, and making your reality with your thoughts and expectations.
Eleven is made up of two ones, but also the Master Number 11 symbolizes illumination and enlightenment, teaching, idealism, consciousness, mysticism, prophesy, visions, enthusiasm, creativity and inspiration.
And you thought we were shooting craps!
As filler today, keeping to the 7-11 theme, a concerto grosso by Giuseppe Valentini – his opus 7, number 11.
I think you will (still) love this music too.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
|This is my post from this week's Tuesday Blog.|
December’s Vinyl’s Revenge post is a record I acquired when I was a member of the Columbia Record and Tape Club. It is a performance of Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto featuring Andrei Gavrilov as soloist. The disc was originally released in the Soviet Union under its flagship Melodiya label, but reissued by CBS Masterworks.
Melodiya was established in 1964 as the "All-Union Gramophone Record Firm of the USSR Ministry of Culture Melodiya". By 1973, Melodiya released some 1,200 gramophone records with a total circulation of 190-200 million per year, in addition to 1 million cassettes per year, was exporting its production to more than 70 countries.
The label's production was dominated by classical music, music by Soviet composers and musicians, performances by Soviet theatre actors, and fairy tales for children. For example, Melodiya notably released performances of works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Melodiya recordings of classical and folk music appeared on the Melodiya/Angel (USA) and Melodiya/HMV labels as the result of an exclusive contract with EMI, the owner of both labels. A smaller number of recordings were distributed on other labels, particularly after 1989, before Melodiya granted exclusive rights to BMG in 1994. After expiry of the BMG contract in 2003, the company re-opened under new management and in 2006 started re-releasing recordings through its own label.
Andrei Gavrilov was born into a family of artists in Moscow; his mother was the Armenian pianist Assanetta Eguiserian (December 20, 1925 – November 29, 2006), who had studied with Heinrich Neuhaus and gave Gavrilov his first piano lessons at age 2. By the age of 18, after one semester at the conservatory, he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1974 and rose to international fame when, at the Salzburg Festival the same year, he substituted for Sviatoslav Richter. Until 1979, Gavrilov performed in all the major music centers of the world performing up to 90 concerts a year, while continuing his studies at the university.
There are some intriguing bits about this 1976 recording. Reissued by EMI, Eurodisc and distributed elsewhere by Neodiya, the orchestra’s name changes from the Moscow Philharmonic, to USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra to USSR Symphony Orchestra… As recordings and performances go, this is solid and quite enjoyable.
In 1979, at the first peak of Gavrilov's career, Herbert von Karajan, who had heard him in Tchaikovsky's First Concerto in Berlin, offered recordings of all the Rachmaninoff concertos, despite the fact that Karajan only rarely conducted them. In December 1979, recordings were scheduled in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic for the 2nd concerto, but Gavrilov did not appear for the rehearsals. It was discovered that due to his critical remarks about the Soviet regime, the USSR had seized Gavrilov's passport.
Wonder how that would have sounded…
Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Concerto No. 3 In D Minor for Piano And Orchestra, Op. 30
Recorded At – Grand Hall Of The Moscow Conservatoire, April 1976
Andrei Gavrilov, Piano
USSR State Academic Orchestra
Alexander Lazarev, conducting
Label: CBS Masterworks – M 36685
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
(Original Melodiya release, 1976)
Discogs - https://www.discogs.com/Rachmaninoff...elease/3213621
Friday, December 4, 2020
|No. 348 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series of audio montages can be found in our archives at https://archive.org/details/pcast348|
The Beethoven catalogue has many trio combinations: string trios (violin, viola and cello), wind trios (two oboes and cor anglais), trios for piano, clarinet and cello but the most well known are for the standard piano trio (piano, violin and cello). For that specific combination, he composed at least seven trios, two series of variations as well as a few stand-alone movements. From his first collection (his opus 1), I retained is trio no. 1, from the original configuration of the Beaux Arts Trio.
The ten Beethoven sonatas represent the most important body of work for violin and piano. The Beethoven violin sonatas do not quite span his whole life’s work, as do the piano sonatas or string quartets for instance. His last example is from 1812, whist he was still just managing to perform in public and a full 15 years before his death. As always with this unique genius, the standard across the cycle is unwaveringly superb, often touching absolute greatness. There is no weak sonata – but then we would be amazed were we to find one. They give a particular insight into Beethoven as a young man, full of confidence as composer and pianist, and blazing a trail for a new way forward. I retained the sonata no. 2, performed by Martha Argerich and Gidon Kremer.
Beethoven inherited the string-quartet tradition from his predecessors and shaped it into something unsurpassed in virtuosity, invention, and expressiveness. He wrote 16 string quartets, and they reveal his evolution as a composer and a man. It’s all there: earthy wit (yes, Beethoven could crack a joke), volatile temper (his fury was state of the art), and personal sorrow (he had plenty to weep about). On today’s montage, I retained no. 3, performed by the 1950’s lineup of the Budapest String Quartet.
I think you will love this music too.