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(UK) Opera Today Article: "The nature of narropera?" (by Claire Seymour, 23 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 27, 2016

"How many singers does it take to make an opera? There are single-role operas - Schönberg’s Erwartung (1924) and Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies (1969) spring immediately to mind - and there are operas that just require a pair of performers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart i Salieri (1897) or The Telephone by Menotti (1947).  ...


(CA) Holiday Wishes from EarlyMusicNews.org

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

EarlyMusicNews.org wishes all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

As the year draws to its close, please consider supporting your local early music group.
In most cases, tax receipts will be issued for any financial donations/gifts.

Marc Paré
Owner/Editor
EarlyMusicNews.org
 


(US) The Conversation Article: "Scientists are trying to uncover what makes Stradivarius violins special – but are they wasting their time?" (by Bruno Fazenda and Trevor Cox, 19 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

Stradivarius violins are renowned for their supposedly superior sound when compared to other instruments. This has resulted in numerous studies hunting for a scientific reason for why Strads sound so good. A number of these studies have focused on the chemical composition of the wood in violins made in Cremona by Antonio Stradivari in the 17th and 18th centuries. Others have considered the violins made by Stradivari’s contemporary, Joseph Guarneri del Gesu, whose violins are widely considered to be just as good. ...


(UK) Medieval Manuscripts Blog: "The Medieval Origins of the Christmas Carol" (23 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

"Most people today think of a carol as any song or hymn related to Christmas. In its origins, it is something both more and less specific than this. It is derived from the Old French word carole, referring to a round of dancers, singing and holding hands. What they sung was not limited to Christmas music, and musicologists often identify a refrain repeated after each stanza as the key feature of an early carol. Not all medieval carols were overtly religious, but most focused on the Virgin Mary or the winter holy days. ...


(US) American Theatre Article: "Is the Ticket Price Right?" (by Marshall Jones III, Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

"As a college student studying theatre in the early 1980s, I frequently paid 50 cents to take PATH to New York, stand on line at the TKTS booth in Duffy Square, and pay $12.50 to see a Broadway show. (A regular ticket was $25.) Venturing into midtown Manhattan during the Reagan presidency was an adventure, as you had to make your way through homeless people living in the street and avoid eye contact with the ladies of the night. Half the Broadway theatres were dark and shuttered. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, so young artists and enthusiasts had easy access to plays, which also served as an extended classroom for emerging artists. ...


(US) The Austin Chronicle Article: "Not Very Statesman-like" (by Seth Orion Schwaiger, 23 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

(A growing trend in media outlets of releasing their art critic journalists and closing down these departments should worry us. Here again is another example of such a closure.)

"There is a continual conversation about the lack of support for the arts in Austin that is so pervasive at openings and afterparties that it serves as a sort of dark, loathsome substitute for small talk. While universally accepted that funds are in short supply, there are signs that the scene is by other measures healthy. ...


(CH) Tobie Miller debut CD - Crowdfunding: "Bach for hurdy gurdy"

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

"My name is Tobie Miller, and I am a Canadian hurdy gurdy player based in Basel, Switzerland. 

The music of J.S. Bach has followed me throughout my musical life as a sort of leitmotif. I grew up listening to and playing his music in so many different and varied forms - both original versions and adaptations - that it was a natural next step to adapt some of Bach's most beautiful solo works for my instrument. Bach's music is often described as "universal", and has been transcribed, adapted and adopted by and for numerous different instruments and musical genres. However, this is the first time that Johann Sebastian Bach's music has been recorded on the hurdy gurdy! ...


(US) Journal of Seventeenth Century Music - New Publication: "Thematic Catalogue of Chamber Cantatas by Marc'Antonio Pasqualini" (compiled by Margaret Murata, Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

(From a recent post from Kelley Harness, Editor-in-Chief (outgoing), Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music)

... announcing the publication of Margaret Murata's Thematic Catalogue of Chamber Cantatas by Marc'Antonio Pasqualini  ...


(US) Bach Society Houston Invites You to Leipzig (Deadline date to sign up 25 Jan 2017)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

We invite you join us and our Bach Choir Houston for the 2017 Leipzig Bach Festival, June 8–19.  This international event is the world’s major Bach festival, and Bach Society Houston is the first professional American choir to be honored with an invitation for the 2017 Festival. The Bach Choir under the direction of Rick Erickson will sing for various parts of the Festival and in other locations outside of Leipzig. ...


(US) Createquity Article: "Everything We Know About Whether and How the Arts Improve Lives" (by By Salem Tsegaye, Ian David Moss, Katie Ingersoll, Rebecca Ratzkin, Sacha Wynne and Benzamin Yi, 19 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

The platitudes are on the lips of every arts supporter, ready to be recalled at the first sign of a public hearing or potential funding cut. “The arts are essential – a necessity, not a luxury.” “The arts help kids learn.” “The arts are the foundation of the knowledge economy.” It feels good to say those things, especially if you’re someone who has spent a life in the arts. But are they actually true? Are we pulling a fast one on ourselves and our audience by saying them? Or are we doing a service to the world by spreading the good news? ...


(US) Unquiet Thoughts Blog: "More on Jonathan Bekoff"

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

(In Memoriam ... from a recent post from the Unquiet Thoughts blog (Donna Stweart & Ron Andrico, Mignarda))

Having stumbled across a few old letters from old friend and amazing fiddler, Jonathan Bekoff (1959 – 2015), amusingly tucked away in old issues of the journal Early Music, I am prompted to add a few more reminiscences – and also make available more tracks from our tune session way back in 1983. ...
 


(UK) Fugue State Films Crowdfunding: "Max Reger: The Last Giant" (to be released in early 2017)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

News from Fugue State Films regarding the status of their crowdfunding project of "Max Reger: The Last Giant".

As of mid-December: "Thanks to your support, we have reached a milestone with our Reger crowdfunding. We have now raised a grand total of:

£85,908. This is 95% of our goal of £90,000! We've got just £4,092 left to go. ...


(UK) Polonsky Digitisation Project: Call for Nominations

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

"Our latest digitisation project has begun as we work to digitise 400 pre-1200 manuscripts from the British Library holdings, with a generous support from The Polonsky Foundation. The joint project between the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France seeks to promote and explore the contacts between France and England from 700 to 1200, as witnessed in medieval manuscript culture. We have already started, and have compiled a list of around 250 manuscripts that are key to the project themes. However, we would welcome ideas from readers about illuminated manuscripts at the British Library that you would like to see digitised. ...


(US) Unquiet Thoughts Blog: "Performing Dowland"

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

Although ’tis the season for that particularly tactless style of unapologetic American commercialism, we sidestep the sales talk, share a video of a recent performance, and reflect upon one of the primary reasons we began performing as a duo—the ayres for voice and lute by John Dowland (1563 – 1626).  Although we have released only one recording devoted to Dowland, his music is and always has been a staple in our concert repertory.   Readers who have been with us for a while will recall that we have written an ample handful of earlier posts that discussed singing Dowland’s music, as well as our in-depth series that outlined the schooling typical of professional musicians in Elizabethan England in an attempt to understand Dowland’s training. ...


(IT) Dynamic CD Availability: "Gkuseppe Tartini ~ Tartini Sonatas vol.2"

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

Soloist
Črtomir Šiškovič
- violin
Luca Ferrini - harpsichord

"A perpetuator of Corelli’s style, but endowed with a more passionate nature and a more refined technique, Tartini fully embodies the musical taste of the 18th century, according to which “music ought to be expressive and not merely ornamented, insignificant and artificial”, thus truly earning the title of “master of the nations”. The works of the present CD embrace an arc of almost thirty years, spanning from the 1730s (Sonata No. 45) to the 1760s (Sonata No. 40).  ...


(AT) 2017 Innsbruck Festival of Early Music (18 Jul-27 Aug 2017)

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

"450 years of Monteverdi 
Baptised on 15 May 1567 in Cremona, Claudio Zuan Antonio Monteverdi’s impact on Western music culture is virtually second to none. By “inventing” the basso ostinato alone, his influence goes as far as jazz and rock, and his operas have had a lasting effect on the development of music theatre. Ever since the Monteverdi Choir sang some of his madrigals under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music in 1977, the composer’s music has been closely and continually linked to the Festival. The first staged production of a baroque opera as part of the Festival was Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea” in 1980 (musical direction: Alan Curtis). In the Monteverdi year of 1993 – the 350th anniversary of his death – René Jacobs conducted performances of Monteverdi’s opera “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria”. Incidentally, Alessandro De Marchi made his debut at the Innsbruck Festival as a harpsichordist with the opera orchestra Concerto Vocale in that production. Now he will conduct the same opera in his position as Artistic Director of the Festival in the Monteverdi year of 2017 – the 450th anniversary of his birthday – at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. The production from Oslo by Den Norske Opera & Ballett unites ...


(US) Harmonia Early Music: "John Blow Symphony Anthems" (by Janelle David, 10 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 17, 2016

"Chapel music, coronations, criminal conspiracies, charitable concerts, a chancel consecration…all occasions around which English composer, John Blow, composed concerted music that as a genre, we call Symphony Anthems. ...


(ES) Glossa Music CD Release: "Jean Hanelle ~ Cypriot Vespers"

Contributed by admin on Dec 17, 2016

"The little-known composer Jean Hanelle was a petit vicaire (professional musician) at Cambrai Cathedral and possibly later a teacher of Guillaume Dufay, also spending more than 20 years from 1411 onwards at the French court of Lusignan in Nicosia, Cyprus, a stay which involved him becoming the chapelmaster there. According to leading scholars, Hanelle was the author of the ars subtilior cycle of Magnificat-antiphons - the so called “O”-antiphons traditionally performed during the last week of Advent - found in the Codex Turin J.II.9 and included in this new Graindelavoix production. Both the original plainchant and the Hanelle troped antiphons are presented in a series of nine pairs, between which the ensemble also performs an appropriate and context-defining selection of Maronite and Byzantine chants. ...


(US) Quartz Article: "Mozart, the best new artist of 1782, outsold Drake and Beyoncé this year" (by Amy X. Wang, 12 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 17, 2016

" ... Mozart owes the win to a boxed set of his music that was released Oct. 28 in celebration of the 225th anniversary of his death and went on to sell 1.25 million CDs in just five weeks. (Drake’s Views took twice that time to edge past 1 million sales, by comparison.) The compilation “is the fruit of years of scholarship, planning, and curation,” according to Universal Music Group. ...


(US) The Washington Post Article: "Her 300-year-old instrument was in perfect condition. Had it been interred?" (by Anne Midgette, 16 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 17, 2016

"It’s the stuff of stories and musical legend: the buried violin, dug up and brought to sing anew. In the film “The Red Violin,” the titular instrument is at one point interred with a gifted young player, then unearthed by grave-robbing gypsies who play it for a couple of generations.

But the violinist Chee-Yun didn’t expect to have one in real life. ...


(ES) Glossa Music New CD Release: "Johann Sebastian Bach Goldberg Variations, Ignacio Prego, harpsichord" (Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 16, 2016

Ignacio Prego is a leading member of the rising generation of Spanish early music specialists, which numbers existing Glossa recording artists such as Fahmi Alqhai and Josetxu Obregón. Prego has already been securing for himself a very busy concert schedule across Europe, the US and Asia, and he is frequently to be heard performing harpsichord concertos with ensembles such as the Portland Baroque Orchestra or The English Concert, collaborating with eminent musicians such as Monica Huggett and Nicholas McGegan, or giving solo harpsichord recitals, where he is able to demonstrate his special preference for the works of JS Bach. ...


(UK) Arts Professional Article on Crowdfunding and Tips: "Collaborating with the crowds" (by Peter Baeck and Sam Mitchell, 08 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 16, 2016

"Over the past five years crowdfunding has grown into a vital source of finance for community groups, artists and creatives. In the US, Kickstarter famously helped raise more funds for the arts than the National Endowment for the Arts. In the UK crowdfunding for the arts has also grown rapidly, with models such as rewards-based crowdfunding – the model most popular with artists and creatives – facilitating £42m worth of donations in 2015, a growth of more than 60% from £26m in 2014. ...


(US) Texas Early Music Project: Broadcast: TEMP's "An Early Christmas" (Livestreamed on 15 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 15, 2016

(From a recent newsletter item from Texas Early Music Project (TEMP))

"TEMP's "An Early Christmas" Gets an Encore on KMFA THIS THURSDAY!

If you had to miss TEMP's very special Christmas concert (or if you loved it so much you can't wait to hear it again), then you are in luck!

Austin's very own classical station, KMFA 89.5, will be playing an hour-long version of our concert from this past weekend on their hit new program, "Listen Local"!

Tune in at 6 P.M. CST this Thursday [15 Dec 2016] or livestream via the link below for our latest Christmas concert! ...


(UK) Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016

Contributed by admin on Dec 15, 2016

Watch the 2016 Gramophone Awards ceremony

This year's Gramophone Classical Music Awards ceremony was streamed live, courtesy of medici.tv. You can continue to enjoy the complete broadcast (with live performances by Vilde Frang, Igor Levit, Benjamin Appl and Véronique Gens) ...

Of early music note, the winners are ...


(CA) Musical Toronto Article: "Is The Vinyl Boom Leaving Classical Music Behind?" (by Will Pearson, 09 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 15, 2016

"Vinyl is booming in Toronto. Record shops have popped up all over the city to serve a new generation of record buyers as the format becomes popular again, but fans of classical music might be feeling a little left out of the resurgence. The new shops carry everything from folk to electronica to hip hop, but in many of them, the classical “section” amounts to a single milk crate on the floor near the back. ...

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