Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 7:48 am
To say that you're writing a symphony today is a statement, especially for a young composer like me. The challenge is to find just the right way to commandeer the age-old form, to render it fresh and vital once again within an American context.
The latest release from Passacaille Records is a solo cd of Elinor Frey, La Voce Del Violoncello. The amazing disc explores lesser known works of Italian cellist-composers such as Domenico Galli, Guiseppe Maria Dall'Abaco and more. The stellar recording is now available as a download or cd. I asked Elinor some questions about this project.
Miles Hoffman, who you might know from playing viola or commenting on NPR's Morning Edition, has written a delightful opinion piece about the word "crescendo." He points out that its use is not always correct, even by some very famous authors!
Maurice Ravel was somewhat ambivalent about his "Bolero," calling it "18 minutes of orchestra, with no music." But "Bolero," with its hypnotic rhythm, stands as one of the best-loved, most interesting studies of orchestra color and musical acoustics ever composed.
The show this week also includes Spanish music from both Ravel and Manuel de Falla, and impressionistic pictures for orchestra by Claude Debussy. It's music from both sides of the Pyranees on this week's "San Antonio Symphony" broadcast.
In October 2013 Marin Alsop will bring the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil’s leading cultural export, to Europe for a 15 concert tour. The Orchestra’s most extensive European tour to date takes in Berlin’s Philharmonie, Paris’s Salle Pleyel, London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus, plus three dates at the Salzburg Festival.
Pigeonholing the classically trained string trio Time for Three isn't easy, but that's also a blessing. The musicians — violinists Zachary De Pue and Nick Kendall with double bassist Ranaan Meyer — say they love a kaleidoscopic spectrum of music. "If we like it, we play it" is their motto.
Francia Russell hasn't performed in 50 years, but she says as soon as she hears the music for George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, her body starts to move: "I could do it in my sleep, you know, get up and sleepwalk and do it."
We love to look back to birthdays, premieres, and all sorts of anniversaries to celebrate classical music and musicians. Ensembles and music festivals often celebrate a theme or composer - think about the excellent music the San Antonio Symphony has focused on over the last few years: Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms, and next season, Dvorak!
Summer reading can be a blast, but it doesn't have to be the latest thriller from the NY Times, or a cheap romance novel. I was delighted to see so many new novels just typing in "Classical music" in Amazon.com and sorting by publication date - they start next April (2014) with lots of titles to preorder!
The music of Mozart has not gone out of style since his time, and the third incarnation of the Mozart Festival Texas has some of the master's greatest works on tap. "Of course, we feature other composers too," says founder and maestro Terry Frazor. "This year Beethoven, Brahms, and even Scarlatti get their due."