Posts Tagged ‘Faust’
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In today’s classical news: Roman Totenberg’s stolen Stradivarius is reintroduced by Mira Wang, and PRS for Music celebrates the first birthday of its Member Anti-Piracy System. Duelling’ violin brothers Vladimir & Anton discuss the lost art of classical improvisation. Researchers have found that accelerometers in smart devices can be hacked using sound waves. Are non-profits a sustainable system for classical music?

The Times 

Conductor more minor than Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim first conducted an orchestra at the age of 12 while Sir Simon Rattle was 13.


PRS for Music announces anti-piracy successes

PRS for Music is celebrating the first birthday of its Member Anti-Piracy System (MAPS), which allows music creators to remove their repertoire from unlicensed online services and platforms.

Robert Murray withdraws from ENO’s Partenope

Robert Murray has withdrawn from ENO’s production of Partenope following a fall. He is suffering from severe concussion and has been advised to rest as far as possible.


Harness the Power of Classical Music: Five Reasons Why Classical Music should be on your Playlist

Classical music is powerful, and that’s no secret. May it be playing the piano, a Cremona violin perhaps, or cello amongst others, there’s always a certain beauty in putting together a beautiful piece and making a whole music out of it.


Plagiatsvorwurf gegen designierten Wiener Staatsopernchef

Bogdan Roscic, dem designierten Intendant der Wiener Staatsoper wird vorgeworfen, sich in einer Arbeit über Theodor Adorno, mit der er 1988 in Wien promovierte, des Plagiats schuldig gemacht zu haben.

Music Business Worldwide

Deezer strikes major partnership with french retailer FNAC

Interesting news out of France: The market’s No.1 physical music retailer, FNAC, is getting into bed with its No.1 streaming music provider, Deezer.

Classic FM

How do you memorise music?

The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra first played a piece of music from memory in 2010. It was Grieg’s five-part Holberg Suite. And while it was normal to see soloists performing from memory, it was something else to see a whole orchestra without music.


Is nonprofit the best way to do classical music?

Is non-profit status a good thing for classical music? It’s the standard model in the United States, but does that mean it’s the best model?

The Guardian 

The Damnation of Faust review – Liverpool Phil moves from loftiest speculation to the lowliest taverns

Berlioz’s “dramatic legend” eludes any single genre – is it a philosophical oratorio? An opera of the imagination? A macabre, metaphysical satire featuring lowbrow songs about fleas and a eulogy to a dead rat?

The Strad

Whatever happened to improvisation in classical music?

‘Duelling’ violin brothers Vladimir & Anton grew up surrounded by Romani music and use a variety of Romani techniques in their performances – including writing their own variations and cadenzas. Here they discuss the lost art of classical improvisation.

The New York Times

Misha Mengelberg, Bold and Spirited Jazz Pianist, Dies at 81

Misha Mengelberg, a Dutch pianist and composer who approached the jazz tradition with an adventurous spirit and an antic sense of humor, died on March 3 in Amsterdam. He was 81.

The Washington Post 

Roman Totenberg’s stolen Stradivarius was once lost forever. Now, it plays again.

No two Strads are alike, they say, but the violin that Mira Wang reintroduced to the world Monday night is truly special. It was gone for decades, stolen after a concert in 1980, and its owner, Roman Totenberg, died in 2012 thinking it would never be seen again.


Music Can Be Used to Hack Phones, Computers, and Cars, New Research Shows

“It’s like the opera singer who hits the note to break a wine glass, only in our case, we can spell out words.”


Sound and Music Watch “The Iris Murder” an award winning new chamber opera by Alasdair Nicolson and librettist John Gallas.

Classical Music News CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Performed
Image: The Times

(Written on March 15, 2017 )

Schubert (1797 – 1828) wrote over 600 Lieder, some of which became immediately popular, whilst others remained unknown until after his death.

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, composers including Schumann, Brahms, Wolf and Richard Strauss also wrote Lieder, and they all acknowledged Schubert as the pioneer of the form. Unfortunately, Goethe (1749-1832) never opened a package of Schubert’s Lieder, which was sent to him in 1816. Had he done so, Schubert would probably have become well known further afield while he was still alive. 

Schubert set to music the works of a wide range of poets and Goethe in particular was a constant inspiration. Goethe had a special interest in the relationship between poetry and music; to him, music was essential. In a letter from 1822, he wrote: “He who does not love music does not deserve to be called a human being; he who merely loves it is only half a human being; but he who makes music is a whole human being.” The musicality of his poetry attracted many composers.

Here are some of Schubert – Goethe’s most famous compositions.

Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel): written when Schubert was just 17 years old. The music is set to a text from Goethe’s Faust, in which Gretchen is anxious about her love for Faust, whom she barely knows. This is Schubert’s first setting of a text by Goethe.


Heidenroeslein (Wild Rose): this is a very sweet piece, and you can hear elements of German folk song which, along with a sense of unaffected simplicity and closeness to nature, were important for composers of Lieder.


Der Erlkoenig (The Erlking): this was the first of Schubert’s works to be published. The text tells a dark tale of the death of a young boy who encounters a supernatural being. Schubert uses different vocal ranges, as one singer unusually plays all four characters.


Goethe measured the success of a Lied by whether the meaning of the text had been produced in musical form. In his renditions, Schubert unites his music with Goethe’s words successfully, just as Goethe would have wished.


(Written on November 2, 2015 )

Tonight, Saturday 5th April, Tim Murray will be conducting the opening night performance of pioneering sound artist Matthew Herbert’s The Crackle at the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House. Herbert adapts Faust’s legend; when a stranger offers a music teacher powerful technology, he hastily accepts, with horrifying consequences…

Star Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel has recorded the voice of Méphistophélès. The opera mixes live and electronic music, features the ‘Chirp’ app allowing audience members to share links via sounds, and a on-stage machinery developed by MIT.

Tim Murray said to Classic FM about conducting this live electronic feat:

It’s quite a tricky piece to conduct, as there is a lot of technology to understand. What I see in my score doesn’t necessarily show what the music sounds like; for example if someone plays a ‘C’, it might produce a ‘C’, or the sound of a buzzing phone, or the creaking branches of a tree. I still do a double-take when I see Tom, our drummer, playing the dripping taps – especially yesterday when he sprung a leak in the rehearsal… Sometimes they play a ‘D’ and out comes a recording of Bryn Terfel! We recorded Bryn last week – he is the voice of Méphistophélès in the show – and the audience will certainly feel his presence…

The Crackle runs from 5-12 April 2014.

Courtesy of ROH

Tim Murray and Bryn Terfel Courtesy of The Crackle, © ROH


(Written on April 5, 2014 )

Earlier this week, the Royal Opera House announced their exciting programme for the 2013/2014 season, which can be seen here, generating a discussion in the office about how we choose which operas we would like to see.

Watch our video blog below to find out what we are looking forward to and why:

Are you looking forward to the 2013/2014 season at the Royal Opera House as much as we are? Tell us what you would like to see and why?

(Written on March 15, 2013 )

The new trailer for the ACCENTUS music production of Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez and the Staatskapelle Berlin’s performance at the Philharmonie, Essen, is available to view on YouTube now. The programme is composed of:

Franz Liszt:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2

Consolation No. 3

Valse oubliée No. 1

Richard Wagner:

A Faust Overture

Siegfried Idyll

This exciting DVD is the first of the ACCENTUS Music 2012 new releases – the concert when live received outstanding reviews with The Daily Telegraph describing it as ‘A real miracle, like catching two starts in a rare celestial conjunction…no wonder the audience went into delirium at the end. They knew they’d witnessed something utterly extraordinary.’

The DVD and Blu-ray will be available from 27th February (UK), 20th February (Germany), 28th February (USA) and 6th March (France).

To view the trailer please see below:

(Written on January 18, 2012 )

LA Times

L.A. Opera Makes Early $7-Million Payment On Country Loan.

Plácido Domingo and other leaders of Los Angeles Opera appeared before the L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to announce that the company has paid back $7 million of the $14 million emergency loan it received in 2009.

Blue Whale Turns Over Its Wednesdays To L.A. Jazz Collective.

Every Wednesday evening will be given over to the music of three composer/instrumentalists in the Los Angeles Jazz Collective. via LA Times

Opera America Awards Audience Development Grants To 16 Opera Companies.

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, has announced that it has awarded nearly $200,000 in Audience Development grants, as part of The Opera Fund, to 16 U.S. opera companies.

San Antonio Express-News via LA Times

S.A. Opera Cancels ‘Don Giovanni’.

Money woes have prompted a restructuring.

BBC News

Artist Director Responds To Kim Novak Vertigo Claim.

The director of The Artist has defended using music from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo in his Oscar-tipped film after a complaint from its star Kim Novak.

Placido Domingo And Simon Rattle Win Israeli Wolf Prize.

Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo has become the first vocal artist to win Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize for the arts, organisers have announced.

New York Times

Washington National Opera To Present ‘Ring’ Cycle In 2016.

The company announced on Tuesday that it would present the complete Wagner “Ring” cycle that it had commissioned with the San Francisco Opera but suspended because of money problems.

A Last-Minute Substitution For ‘Faust’.

The tenor Roberto Alagna is stepping in for an ailing Joseph Calleja in the title role of “Faust,” by Gounod, at the Metropolitan Opera on Monday evening.

The Guardian

The Enchanted Island: The Isle Is Full Of Mash-Ups.

A new opera, made from chopped-up bits of baroque music and The Tempest, is about to hit UK cinemas. Its creator Jeremy Sams relives a labour of love.

Portrait Of The Artist: Thomas Allen.

‘Opera can be a difficult thing to understand: shouting, albeit in a musical way, is an odd way to express oneself’.


(Written on January 11, 2012 )


Hildegard Of Bingen To Be Canonised And Admitted As A Doctor Of The Church.

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the 12th-century mystic and composer.


Singer’s Fall Stops Faust.

Wendy White suffers fall during Saturday evening performance.

Arts Journal: Slipped Disc

Barefoot Diva Is Dead.

RIP Cesaria Evora, the Cap Verde diva.

The Independent

In A Warren Of Tunnels Under Waterloo Station, A Revolution In Classical Music Is Stirring.

It’s not what you do, it’s the place where you do it.

New York Times

Vaclav Havel, Former Czech President, Dies At 75.

Czechs’ Dissident Conscience, Turned President.


(Written on December 19, 2011 )

Every day the WildKat team scan the newspapers and blogs online to bring you a digested list of the day’s classical music news.

LA Times

Cultural Exchange: The diplomatic view of classical music

US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks offer sometimes-vivid glimpses into cultural diplomacy involving musical performances abroad. By Marcia Adair.


The conductor Kurt Sanderling has died

Born September 19, 1912; September 17, 2011

BBC Proms celebrates ticket sales success

More than two-thirds of events sold out.

The Telegraph

Berlin Staatskapelle/Barenboim, Lucerne Festival, review

On its final weekend the Lucerne festival made an extravagant flourish with three concerts by Daniel Barenboim and his Berlin Staatskapelle orchestra. Ivan Hewett Reports.

Don Giovanni, WNO, Wales Millenium Centre, review

John Caird’s new production for Welsh National Opera seems devoid of any thoughtfulness at all, says Rupert Christiansen.

The Arts Desk

Faust, Royal Opera House

Simple but stunning McVicar production achieves a level of profundity that almost had reviewer Igor Toronyi-Lalic in tears.

(Written on September 19, 2011 )

What? Khatia Buniatishvili, piano

Where? Wigmore Hall

When? Monday 1st November 13.00 (click to purchase tickets!)

This light, lunchtime concert will be a cultural way to begin your month and first week of November. The repertoire offers the pianist, Khatia Buniatishvili a BBC New Generation Artist and winner of the 2010 Borletti-Buioni Trust, the opportunity to demonstrate her technique and interpretive skills. This concert will let you enjoy classical music in a calm environment and also let you see young, talented musicians. She will be performing:

Schumann, Fantasy in C major for piano

Liszt, Mephisto Waltz no.1

Stravinsky, Pétrouchka (3 movements played)

What? Nigel Kennedy

Where? Royal Albert Hall

When? Wednesday 3rd November 19:30 (click to purchase tickets!)

For over twenty-five years, Nigel Kennedy has been acknowledged as one of the world’s leading violin virtuosos and is, without doubt, one of the most important violinists Britain has ever produced. His virtuoso technique, unique talent and mass appeal have brought fresh perspectives to both the classical and contemporary repertoire. He is the best selling classical violinist of all time.Nigel Kennedy returns to the Hall for an evening of Vivaldi. The programme will include Vivaldi concertos and Kennedy’s legendary interpretation of The Four Seasons.

What? Pocket Caravan

Where? The Forge, Camden

When? Wednesday 3rd November 19:00 (click to purchase tickets!)

Pocket Caravan explores the fascinating rhythms and fiery dances of the world. The inspiration for the ensemble came from British guitarist Peter Michaels’ research into the historic route of the Gypsies across the continents. From Flamenco to Manouche Jazz, this is the unique music of people absorbing what they find into their own culture. In Brazil the same process was occurring. Styles such as Samba, Baiao and especially Choro are the result of African cultures colliding with European and native sounds. Peter began playing with musicians from around the world who had made their homes in London. He worked with Spanish guitarists and North Indian singers, as well as exploring his own Eastern European heritage. After a chance encounter with South Brazilian musician Felipe Karam, they quickly realised they had a shared interest in learning from other cultures.

Tonight they are celebrating the launch of their album on Forge Records

What? Vanbrugh String Quartet

Where? Cadogan Hall

When? Monday 8th November 19:30 (click to purchase tickets!)

Complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle 5
Beethoven: String Quartet Op.18 No.3
Beethoven: String Quartet Op.135
Beethoven: String Quartet Op.130

Although it is numbered third, Op.18, No.3 was the first quartet Beethoven composed; as he began writing the Op.135 quartet, Beethoven knew it would be his last. Op.135, begun in 1826, was dedicated to Johann Wolfmayer just a few days before his death. Beethoven sent a note to the publisher along with the final manuscript: “Here, my dear friend, is my last quartet. It will be the last; and indeed it has given me much trouble. For I could not bring myself to compose the last movement.” It was not ultimately his last movement. Beethoven wrote one more. His last movement was the replacement finale for Op.130, replacing the gritty grosse fuge, which will be played in the next concert; this much shorter and lighter finale was Beethoven’s final movement.

What? The Music of Edward Elgar- Cadogan Hall

Where? Cadogan Hall

When? Tuesday 9th November 19.30 (click to purchase tickets!)

This is for the English patriots who love classical music, a whole concert dedicated to the music of Edward Elgar. The evening is hosted in Cadogan Hall which features on our Unmissables frequently, and rightfully so as they hold a variety of events and evenings to attract all ages. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing some of Elgar’s most recognisable and significant works. Mezzo-soprano Christine Rice also joins RPO for this evening of nationalistic music.

The Serenade for Strings

Chanson de Matin

Sea Pictures

‘Enigma’ Variations, featuring Nimrod variation.

What? London Mozart Players & Francesco Piemontesi

Where? Fairfield Hall

When? Saturday 13th November 19:30 (click to purchase!)

Another BBC New Generation Artist, Francesco Piemontesi, pianist will be gracing Fairfield Halls with the acclaimed London Mozart Players. He will be performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.25 with the London Mozart Players, conducted by Gérald Korsten. LMO are a unique ensemble based in the Croydon area, with Fairfield Halls hosting regular events with them, it is definitely worth viewing their website to see their upcoming concerts.

Last Chance:

What? Faust

Where? Young Vic, Waterloo

When? 25th September-30th October 19.45 (click to purchase tickets!)

Although this production has already started and doesn’t run into November when the rest of our selection is, we thought we would add this to our list as we missed it out before. Faust is a brand new opera production direct from Iceland, portraying the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil. Do not expect your stereotypical opera, this is an exciting infusion of glam-rock, soulful ballads, acrobatics and humour. The Young Vic is also an exciting venue to check out, it has various types of productions, including theatre, dance and contemporary . It’s name derives from the nearby Old Vic which is an popular venue with the famous actor; Kevin Spacey as Artistic Director.

(Written on September 27, 2010 )