Fine Singing from Yvonne Howard in Title Role of Daring Norma + MORE


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opera singer

Horn player killed, cellist hurt in road smash + MORE

Two players in Musica Aeterna, an ensemble directed by Teodor Currentzis, were involved in a two-car collision on the road from Perm to Ekaterinburg. Vladimir Garushka, an outstanding horn player from Minsk, was killed on the spot. He was 31. His companion, the cellist Anna Morozova, 24, was taken t.... More »

Free Download: Kuula 'Festive March' + MORE

This week's free download is Toivo Kuula's Festive March. A pupil of Sibelius, Kuula's music would no doubt be .... More »

SF Opera's Susannah Media Round-Up + MORE

Production Web Site | SF Opera's Blog Music critics loved Patricia Racette in the title role of San Francisco Opera's Susannah (Act I pictured left, photograph by Cory Weaver). Reviews: San Francisco Chronicle | San Francisco Classical Voice | San Francisco Examiner | San Jose Mercury News.... More »
symphony news

Does Opera Cause the Rise of Fascist Movements? + MORE

The Washington Post has an interesting article on the resurgence of new extreme far right movements throughout the world.Far right movements were common throughout the world during the Great Depression. Shown here is Sir Oswald Morsley leading the British Union of Fascists: the forerunner of UKIP an.... More »

Classical Music News - Robert Anderson + MORE

British conductor, critic and scholar Robert Anderson died in November 2015.... More »

The official classical chart


Week ending 26 July 2014


Bruckner: Symphony No. 9
Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado
Deutsche Grammophon 4793441
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Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas
Alina Ibragimova (violin), Steven Osborne (piano)
Hyperion CDA67514
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Miloš Karadaglić (guitar); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Mercury Classics 481 0811
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Mozart: Symphonies 39-41
Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Sony Classical 88843026352
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Handel: The Triumph of Time and Truth
Ludus Baroque
Delphian DCD34135
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Jenkins: Motets
Polyphony/Stephen Layton
Deutsche Grammophon 479 3232
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Elgar: Symphony No…

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Silly season


We always used to regard this July – August period as down time, the "silly season", when nothing much happened and we could all relax and play.  Then I went to work at Glyndebourne for 27 years and everything changed.  And now I am back being silly again………so you will I hope excuse me for my lapses!
I missed out on the Welsh National Opera Moses and Aaron which visited Covent Garden last week, which I regret…

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Calpesta il mio cadavere!


Calpesta il mio cadavere!This week, Our Own Jungfer Marianne Leizmetzerin turns her vigilant ears to the recent past to take in a performance of Il trovatore featuring Anna Netrebko and Plácido Domingo.
Giuseppe Verdi: Il trovatore
Berliner Staatsoper im Schillertheater
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
11 December 2013
In-house recording
Manrico – Gaston Rivero
Leonora – Anna Netrebko
Il conte di Luna – Plácido Domingo
Azucena – Marina Prudenskaya
Ferrando – Adrian Sâmpetrean
Ines – Anna Lapkovskaja
Ruiz – Florian Hoffmann

Photo: Bettina Straub

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SALZBURG Austria (Reuters) – The Berlin-born Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon left behind a body of watercolors and text she called “Life? or Theatre?” before she was killed at Auschwitz in 1943 at age 26, carrying her unborn child.

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 Wagner, Das Rheingold: Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival / Kirill Petrenko (conductor). Bayreuth, Germany. 27.7.2014. Cast Wotan: Wolfgang Koch Donner: Markus Eiche Froh: Lothar Odinius Loge: Norbert Ernst Fricka: Claudia Mahnke Freia: Elisabet Strid Erda: Nadine Weissmann Alberich: Oleg Bryjak Mime: Burkhard Ulrich Fasolt: Wilhelm Schwinghammer Fafner: Sorin Coliban Woglinde: Mirella Hagen Wellgunde: […]

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Andriessen’s De Staat coming to Peckham


Too much work, school holidays, home building work going on, don’t think I’m going to get time to do a proper Secret Music for August. But it would be remiss of me if I didn’t draw your attention at least to the return of the Multi-Story Orchestra to Peckham Car Park on 7 and 8 … Continue reading →

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Symphony guide: Mahler's Ninth


Symphony guide: Mahler's NinthIt’s usual to interpret Mahler’s last completed symphony as a prefiguring of his death. But different conductors make the work mean very different thingsMore from 50 greatest symphoniesLets begin at the end. The final page of the last, cataclysmically slow movement of Mahlers Ninth Symphony is one of the most famously death-haunted places in orchestral music, a moment in which the music slowly, achingly, bridges the existential gap between sound and silence, presence and absence, life and death…

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 Bellini, Norma: Opera Holland Park, City of London Sinfonia, Opera Holland Park Chorus / Peter Robinson (conductor), London, 25.7.2014 (RB) Cast: Norma: Yvonne Howard Adalgisa: Heather Shipp Pollione: Joseph Wolverton Oroveso: Keel Watson Clotilde: Rosalind Coad Flavio: Jung Soo Yun Production: Director: Olivia Fuchs Designer: Niki Turner  Bellini’s Norma is a masterpiece of the belo […]

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John Malveaux recounts plans for the Roy Harris Symphony 'for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games'Roy Harris“The Politics of Music-Part 2”John MalveauxJuly 28, 2014In 1978- 9, I offered American composer Roy Harris a commission to write a symphony for me. After some thought and asking me a few questions, Roy Harris said he did not know what to write about me and he was presently committed to write a symphony and his age may be a challenge…

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Amadeus, Chichester Festival Theatre


Peter Shaffer has always been a big ideas man and the curse laid upon Antonio Salieri that he and he alone should recognise the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart while all around him – not least himself – bask in mediocrity is one of his biggest and most challenging. Amadeus isn’t a play about rivalry, deceit, murder (all scantly addressed through historical heresay), it’s about the eternal mystery of musicality – something which cannot be taught or cultivated but which defines composers and performers alike and so often – more often than not – goes under the guise of that most elusive and misleading of words: inspiration…

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C.P.E. Bach on Capitol Hill


Charles T. Downey, Sampling of C.P.E. Bach’s music at Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival
Washington Post, July 28, 2014
This year’s installment of the Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival opened with another observation of the tricentennial year of the birth of C.P.E. Bach. On Saturday night at St…

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The plot is mesmerising but finding music to match Wilde’s wit proves a challenge in Lowell Liebermann’s modernist opera

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Adriana Lecouvreur


Adriana LecouvreurCheryl Barker and Peter Autyphoto credit Fritz Curzon Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur, Cheryl Barker, Peter Auty, Manlio Benzi; Opera Holland Park Reviewed by Robert Hugillon Jul 26 2014 Star rating: 4.0Stylish 1940’s setting for Cilea’s lyrical operaTwelve years after their first production of the opera, Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur made a welcome return to Opera Holland Park (we saw the second performance, 27 July 2014)…

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