(UK) Gramophone Editor's Choice - Blue-Ray of the Month: " Alcina & Tamerlano, Handel by Les Talens Lyriques (dir. Christophe Rousset), Alpha" (by David Vickers)
"These productions began life a few years apart in Drottningholm before double-bill revivals at the Dutch National Opera and La Monnaie in Brussels. Pierre Audi’s post-Baroque stagings are often astutely deliberate in pacing and action, and are designed simply but artfully (beautiful 18th-century-style costumes, economical lighting, use of mechanical stage flats). At their best, they function as compellingly psychological dramas reminiscent of tragedies by Shakespeare and Racine. ...
(BE) Outhere Music CD Release: "Sigismund von Neukomm - REQUIEM à la mémoire de Louis XVI" (Jan 2017)
La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy - Jean-Claude Malgoire
"In spite of the immense success he enjoyed in his lifetime, Sigismund Neukomm (born in Salzburg in 1778, died in Paris in 1858 at the age of eighty) is practically forgotten nowadays. Yet he left a catalogue of nearly two thousand works, including fifty masses and a number of oratorios and motets. ...
"For "WFMT welcomes GRAMMY-nominated lutenist, Ronn McFarlane to Impromptu. He and fellow all-star veteran of the lute, Paul O’Dette, perform[ed]virtuoso duets from Elizabethan Italy and England at the University of Chicago on January 8."
(BE) Compact Disc Reviews: "Flanders Recorder Quartet (FRQ) - "The End of a Beautiful Chapter" (by Tom Bickley)
"An Interview by Tom Bickley, Compact Disc Reviews Editor, with members of the Flanders Recorder Quartet for their approaching 30th Anniversary and Final Tour
Since being founded in 1987, the Flanders Recorder Quartet (FRQ) has evolved into one of the world ’s top ensembles.Their success in 1990 at the prestigious Musica Antiqua competition in Bruges (Belgium), organized by the Flanders Festival, was the start of an extensive concert career. ...
(US) Columbia Journalism Review Article: "Curtains fall on arts critics at newspapers" (by Jed Gottlieb, 06 Jan 2017)
"“Boston is a music city, look at how many music schools are here and at the number of people purchasing concert tickets,” says Steve Morse, a Globe staff critic from the 1970s through the 2000s. “There should be much more coverage.” ...
(IT) Libreria Musicale Italiana (LIM) New Title Release: "Rivista Internazionale di Musica Sacra - n. 37, 2016/1-2"
News from LIM of the availability of the "Rivista Internazionale di Musica Sacra"
The Summary of its contents:
Aggiornare la mente, vivificare lo spirito Giacomo Baroffio
Apologia per una manutenzione degli edifici intellettuali Valerio Morucci
La musica nella filosofia mistica ebraica medioevale e rinascimentale: una prospettiva storiografica Francesca Mellace ...
News of 3 CD releases of interest from BIS Records:
Beethoven – Complete Works for Solo Piano, Vol.15: ‘Diabelli’
BIS-1943 | SACD EAN 7318599919430 TT: 67'34
Ronald Brautigam, fortepiano, completes his acclaimed series with Beethoven’s last great piano work
Ludwig van Beethoven: 33 Veränderungen über einen Walzer von Anton Diabelli ('Diabelli Variations'), Op.120
6 National Airs with Variations, Op.105 ...
From a recent newsletter, the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras announce their upcoming confirmed tour dates and suggest to monitor their website and social media pages for updates.
April - October 2017
An international cast of soloists, together with members of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, will celebrate the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth by performing his Vespers and surviving trilogy of operas: L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and L’incoronazione di Poppea, across Europe and the USA. ...
(From a recent Linn Records newsletter)
"The Dunedin Consort continues to dominate the 'Best Of' lists that are so popular at year end. Here are just some of the accolades the brilliant Christmas Oratorio collected: 2016 Best Classical Christmas Releases - The Observer ; The Year's Best Seasonal Releases - The Arts Desk: Notable Performances and Recordings of 2016 - The New Yorker ; Top 100 Discs Of The Year 2016 - Presto Classical; One Of The Albums For Christmas - Berliner Zeitung. ...
News from Ut Orpheus Edizioni that the most recent issue of Ad Parnassum Journal is now available.
The contents of this issue:
A New Network on Music Criticism
Robert Valentine and the Roman Concerto Grosso
Joshua S. Walden
«Novelty, Wit and an Abundance of Ideas»: The Mid-Eighteenth-Century German Instrumental Cadenza as Interpretation ...
(UK) National Centre for Early Music Newsrelease: "National Centre for Early Music Launches Free Online Directory" (11 Jan 2017)
"The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) announces the launch of its free online early music artist directory.
The directory contains a comprehensive list of early music artists and ensembles working across the UK. It is presented alphabetically, across specialist periods including: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical and also by style including: vocal, instrumental, consort and soloist. Each entry includes biographical information, an image and any relevant You Tube video audio soundbites. The directory is easy to navigate and will be an invaluable resource for the early music community, promoters and agents. ...
"2017 is a significant year for the York Early Music Festival, as the internationally acclaimed 10-day summer festival celebrates its 40th anniversary and announces a new three-year partnership with specialist insurer, Hiscox. ...
(US) Yahoo! News Article: "Scholars fret about fate of 'holy grail' German abbey books" (by David Rising, 26 Dec 2016)
"It was filthy, cramped and in major disarray, but when art historian Eva Lindqvist Sandgren entered the library in Altomuenster Abbey, off-limits to all but the German monastery's nuns for more than five centuries, she immediately knew she was looking at a major treasure.
The dusty shelves held at least 500 books, by her estimate, including precious illuminated manuscripts from the 16th century, chants used by the uniquely women-led Bridgettine Order and processionals bursting with colorful religious and ornamental decoration in their margins. ...
(UK) New Scientist Article: "Norway is first country to turn off FM radio and go digital-only" (by Timothy Revell, 10 Jan 2017)
(Sign of the times ... EarlyMusicNews.org Editor)
"Norway will be the first country to start turning off FM radio. Over the course of 2017, the FM radio network will slowly be switched off, with listeners only able to listen to digital programmes instead.
The northern county of Nordland will cease to broadcast FM radio from tomorrow, with other regions following suit throughout the year. ...
(CZ) Arte Records CD Release: "Jan Dismas Zelenka: Psalmi Vespertini II - Ensemble Inégal, Adam Viktora"
Gabriela Eibenová, Lenka Cafourková – soprano;
Filippo Mineccia – alto; Tobias Hunger – tenor;
Marián Krejčík, Jiří Miroslav Procházka – bass
Ensemble Inégal, the Prague Baroque Soloists conducted by Adam Viktora
This is Arta Records second CD installment of the "Jan Dismas Zelenka: Psalmi Vespertin" set.
"Beginning late in 1725 and ending towards the end of 1728, he composed three cycles of 33 compositions for Vespers. Each cycle begins with a setting of the psalm Dixit Dominus and then develops to serve one or more Vespers sequences. Thus, the psalm texts set by Zelenka for this entire project could be used for almost every Vespers service of the liturgical year (Psalms for Saturday Vespers before the four Sundays of Advent, Saturday Vespers before Septuagesima, and Vespers of Wednesday of Holy Week were not set by Zelenka). ...
"Historical dance workshop will focuse on reconstruction of Sarabande d'Issé, theatrical dance for a couple (man and woman). Among different versions of this choreography of sarabande à deux, extract from Issé by Destouches, we have chosen to work on the choreography created by Mr. Pécour and notated by Mr. Gaudrau (1713). ...
"This Christmas Eve we offer a dual discussion: first a brief mention of a 15th-century painting of the Nativity, and secondly a synopsis of a miniature musical masterpiece by Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500 – 1553). ...
(UK) British Library - Medieval Manuscripts Blog: "Christmas Coronations" (by Becky Lawton, Dec 2016)
"Throughout the Middle Ages, Christmas was a season of festivities and celebrations, just as it is today. 25 December was certainly a high point of this festive season, beginning the twelve days of Christmas which would last until Epiphany. On three occasions in the early medieval period, the Christmas Day celebrations may have been more extravagant than usual: on Christmas Day in 800, 855 and 1066, merrymakers also celebrated the coronations of the very first Holy Roman Emperor and two English kings with interesting legacies. ...
"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). ...
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.
(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)
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. ...
"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. ...
"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. ...
(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. ...
"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! ...
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Summer Workshops 2017
The “Summer Workshop and Festival 2016” season has come and gone! Have you posted a review of a recent workshop on your site or blog page? Let us know and we will mention it on our news pages. Feel free to browse our summer workshops list, it is never too early to plan for the next installment of summer workshops. Let us know if we have missed a workshop listing or if updated information is needed. Summer Workshop Organizers: let us know of your plans as your summer workshop details are finalized for 2017. Visit our Summer Workshop Links ("Web Links" section) for past/next year summer workshop details. Should you wish, you may also browse our news articles filtered by “Workshops/ Festivals 2016” category for more “up-to-the-minute” details of this year’s workshops.
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