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In today’s news, Vienna celebrates the 150th anniversary of Strauss’ Donauwaltz, and an insight into the role classical crossovers play in radio broadcasting. A classical revolution is arising in Madras, and Mandy Parnell surfaces as a hidden powerhouse influence in modern music. The Grammys tackle race politics from last weekend’s award ceremony, and the Vienna Philharmonic plays an homage to Schubert.

The Guardian

Master blaster: the woman making Björk, Aphex Twin and Eno sound so good

Parnell is one of the country’s leading mastering engineers, and this is where the likes of the Chemical Brothers, Max Richter and Brian Eno come to hear their finished tracks. Parnell has polished a huge number of albums here including, last year, Jamie xx’s In Colour and Aphex Twin’s Syro.

Classical Music Magazine

Chamber concert in aid of Arco project

Students at Birmingham Conservatoire are holding a chamber music concert later this month in aid of the Arco (Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music & Birmingham Conservatoire) project, which sees strings students aged between eight and 16 in South Africa participate in weekly instrumental Skype lessons given by academics, current students and alumni of Birmingham Conservatoire.

The Washington Post

Do the Grammys have a race problem? No, their president says — they’re like Trump’s election

The Grammys’ race problem followed the awards show all the way to the stage this year, when a white singer once again beat an acclaimed black artist for the top honor — but this time called attention to the fact.

BBC News

How an Indian maestro is taking classical music to the masses

India’s southern Indian city of Chennai (Madras) is witnessing a musical revolution of sorts.

The Harvard Press

Warner Free Lecture: The ‘other’ sounds of nature in music

Explosive, turbulent, violent—these are not the usual words to describe classical music inspired by the sounds of nature. And yet, by contrast, their musical presence adds richness to the perfect pitch of the hermit thrush’s song, the jazz riffs depicting clouds, the rhythmic sound of the surf at the seaside, and more.

Klassik

Wien feiert 150-jähriges Jubiläum des Donauwalzers von Johann Strauss

Die Johann-Strauss-Gesellschaft Wien hat eine Feier zum 150-jährigen Jubiläum des sogenannten Donauwalzers von Johann Strauss (Sohn) ausgerichtet.

neue musikzeitung

Eine kleine Tagesbegleitmusik

Was Crossover für klassische Musik in öffentlich-rechtlichen Kulturradios bedeutet

concerti

Interview Daniel Barenboim

Man kann seine Visionen wie ein Prophet in die Welt hinaustragen, man kann sie aber auch ganz einfach verwirklichen. Daniel Barenboim gehört zu letztgenannter Spezies: als genialer Pragmatiker, der seine Kräfte und Mittel dazu nutzt, seine Ideen in die Wirklichkeit umzusetzen.

The New York Times

Highlights From the Met Opera’s 2017-18 Season

A starry new production of “Tosca”; the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel,” based on a Buñuel film; and a Mozart work set in Coney Island are among the highlights of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-18 season.

The Vienna Philharmonic Remembers Schubert

Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, nicknamed “Unfinished,” forms the centerpiece of a three-part concert series by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra that opens on Friday, Feb. 24.

Twitter

Classical Music News Vienna remembers Jewish roots of its most famous tune

Music History  in 1884 FP of ‘s Orchestral Suite No. 2, in Moscow.

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Image: BBC News

(Written on February 16, 2017 )

WildKat PR is excited to announce our new client ECC100 Records!

Mark Constantine, founder of organic cosmetic company LUSH, had a feeling that vinyls would make their comeback when he founded ECC100 Records, a UK-based vinyl record label. He was right – vinyls have reached groundbreaking sales figures this year. They take us back to when music was combined with a beautiful artwork on the cover, when albums were eagerly anticipated, and every element of the music, art and sleeve notes were dissected, digested and discussed. ECC100 Records aims to honour that time and to bring the listener a unique experience by sitting down to actively listen to an album instead of having music played in the background.

wildkat-pr-ECC100 logo

“A journey through ancient stone circles and a descent to the centre of the Earth”

On 4th November, ECC100 Records will release Set In Stone, a pioneering concept album composed by renowned musicians and producers John Metcalfe (Peter Gabriel, The Pretenders, The John Metcalfe band) and Simon Richmond (Neneh Cherry, Imagined Village, The Bays). It is inspired by ancient stone circles and merges classical music with technological sounds; the modern with the ancient. Some of its songs were recorded outdoors amongst nature.

wildkat-pr-SetInStone_Cover

We are looking forward to work with ECC100 Records on the release of Set In Stone!

Keep up to date with news from ECC100 Records through their websiteFacebook, twitter and, as always, through the WildKat PR blog.

(Written on September 6, 2016 )

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.

Goethe-Gretchen

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.

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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.

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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 )

100 years ago, on 28 October 1915Eine Alpensinfonie by Richard Strauss was premiered in Berlin by the Dresden Hofkapelle, conducted by the composer. The critics didn’t particularly like it, some even called it ‘cinema music.’

'Eine Alpensinfonie' World Premiere Programme

‘Eine Alpensinfonie’ World Premiere Programme

Strauss’s love of nature greatly influenced this atmospheric composition. For most of his life, Strauss lived in southern Bavaria at the foot of Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze. Eine Alpensinfonie portrays the distinct episodes of an alpine trek undertaken by Strauss and friends during which they got lost in a thunderstorm.

Although Strauss labelled the work a symphony, it doesn’t follow the typical conventions of a multi-movement symphony. The work consists of twenty-two continuous sections of music making it technically a tone poem.

Eine Alpensinfonie includes a wide range of instrumental combinations and effects, requiring an orchestra of 123 players. Strauss regarded performing this piece as the equivalent of the challenge of climbing an actual mountain.

Listen to Eine Alpensinfonie, played here by the Dresden Staatskapelle who first premiered this dramatic work on this day 100 years ago!

(Written on October 28, 2015 )

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

This video takes us on a journey through the Finnish landscape which inspired his music. Erkki Korhonen talks of the “landscape which came to his mind when he composed Finlandia and “opened his soul.”

The video was made in co-production with the Sibelius 150th Anniversary and the London Philharmonia Orchestra.

#vlogtober 8th

(Written on October 8, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

This year’s classical music anniversaries – and some less usual suspects

Composer anniversaries fuel concert programmes the world over. So here are a few musicians we should be celebrating this year alongside Nielsen and Sibelius

Cerys Matthews: arias to impress a lover

Our musical agony aunt’s alter ego Dr Crotchety offers advice for a Welsh tenor who wants to wow his new love

International Arts Manager

New funding links art and nature

A new US initiative will celebrate the intersections between art and nature, as part of a grant jointly launched by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service.

Gramophone

Mezzo Elena Obraztsova has died

The Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova has died at the age of 75.

Der Tagesspiegel

Klassik an der Autobahn

Am Mittwoch wird Jean Nouvels Philharmonie de Paris eröffnet.

Elbphilharmonie soll 2017 eröffnet werden

Skandalbaustellen gibt es nicht nur in Berlin: Auch Hamburg hat mit der Elbphilharmonie ein schier unendliches Projekt.

Die Welt

Überflieger prallt auf Marmor

Benjamin Millepied übernimmt den Chefsessel am Pariser Opernballett.

Musik Heute

Christian Reif gewinnt Deutschen Operettenpreis für junge Dirigenten

Der Publikumspreis ging an den Franzosen François López-Ferrer.

Le Parisien

La chanteuse d’opéra russe Elena Obraztsova est décédée à 75 ans

La chanteuse d’opéra russe Elena Obraztsova est décédée lundi à l’âge de 75 ans suite à un arrêt cardiaque, a indiqué la fondation caritative fondée par la célèbre mezzo-soprano russe dans un communiqué.

Twitter:

London Symphony Orch ‏@londonsymphony :  As for the “fantasy” outfit @HanniganBarbara mentioned she’d be wearing for this Thursday’s concert… you’ll have to wait and see! 😉

Sinfini Music ‏@SinfiniMusic : NEWS: New collaboration between @RoyalOperaHouse & @RoundhouseLDN with Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo

Arthur Cormack ‏@artmaccarmaig :  @BBCSSO coming to #Portree High School in project with @HighlandCouncil – Friday 13 February. Tix from @arosskye

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Elena Obraztsova. Photo found at Gramophone

(Written on January 13, 2015 )

Classic FM Online

Eric Whitacre to work with Pentatonix?

The choral composer met the ‘Daft Punk’ singers in London, discussing the possibility of working together

Huffington Post

Tom Hodge On The Nature Of Collaboration

Composer and Pianist Tom Hodge examines the nature of musical collaborations, and specifically, the challenges of writing new music with another person

The Telegraph 

Mt Annan McDonald’s employs classical musical to deter loitering youths at night

With the dulcet tones of Pavarotti and his fellow tenors filling the airwaves, the carpark at Mt Annan McDonald’s has been much quieter in the past few weeks. The McDonald’s store started playing classical musical late at night recently to deter young people from loitering at the store

The Arts Desk

The journey to hell in Theresienstadt

The violinist Daniel Hope introduces Refuge in Music, his new film on the musicians of Terezín

BBC News 

How Martin guitars became an ‘American Stradivarius’

Vintage Martin guitars – the finest of which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars – are sought after by musicians around the world for their distinctive tone and timeless design

Deadline Detroit

The Diva and the Ducks: Visiting Opera Singer Chooses Urban Farm For Detroit Lodging

Soprano Nicole Cabell is definitely NOT a diva. In fact, she’s explaining why opera shouldn’t be exclusively perceived as an elitist art form

Forbes

The World’s Highest-Paid Musicians 2013

Madonna pulled in $125 million over the past year, making her the highest-paid musician in the world. The bulk of her millions came from the tail end of her MDNA Tour, which grossed $305 million. She augments her income with heady merchandise sales at concerts, as well as her Material Girl clothing line and Truth or Dare fragrance

New Music Box

Audience Cultivation in American New Music

Historically, new music has sought to confront general audiences with unexpected sounds and forms.  The present, however, sees the milieu of new music splintered into factions, each with its own loyal but marginal audience

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

 

(Written on November 22, 2013 )