Akiko Fujimoto is the assistant director of the San Antonio Symphony and her duties include giving pre-concert talks, knowing the repertory just in case (called cover conductor), conducting educational and pops concerts, and this year leading a new series of baroque concerts with musicians of the San Antonio Symphony. All of that happens to overlap this week with performances of the Nutcracker.
Last week, we played Wagner's Parsifal, which is often referred to as an Opera-Oratorio. This week, for the beginning of the holiday season, it's Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion; in its turn, the work is often called a Concertante Opera. If ever there was an oratorio that called out to be dramatized, the St. Matthew Passion is it. While living in New York, I met many scenographers who dreamed of the day they'd have a shot at the cosmic drama. Also termed, "The most monumental musical drama before the Ring," Bach's passion has it all.
If Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote a dull piece of music, I've not yet heard it. And even if there is a workaday piece or two lurking within his 300 keyboard sonatas, you certainly won't find it on this new album by British pianist Danny Driver, who deftly uncovers the surprising restlessness of the music.
A new book, a new recording and some old instruments, all addressing the most memorable phrase in music: the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
Matthew Guerrieri has written a book about this symphony, called The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination. Guerrieri writes about how Beethoven's piece resonated with everyone from revolutionaries to Romantics, and German nationalists to anti-German resistance fighters.
San Antonio's two period-instrument early music ensembles will join forces to present a concert that traces the evolution of musical styles from the Renaissance to the Baroque. Ensemble Cazona performs on copies of Renaissance-era recorders. Retablo will perform music of the 18th century using Baroque recorder and traverso with viola da gamba, harpsichord, and theorbo. This concert will take place at 3:00 on Sunday, November 25, in the Chapel of the Incarnate Word on the campus of Incarnate Word University located at 4301 Broadway. This event is free and open to the public.
In the 3 sonatas of Opus 10, Ludwig van Beethoven was making a statement about his pianistic abilities, and one thing he knew that would certainly attract attention was contrast. The composer asks for double fortes, throws in unexpected rests, and invents the heroic funeral movement that he would exploit in future symphonies. This is all in the third sonata in D Major.
The showbiz trade Variety recently polled 40 composers active in the movie industry, asking for their top three film scores of all time. John Williams came out on top with the most mentions, while Ennio Morricone's score for "The Mission" was ranked as Best Score overall. Read the entire article after the jump.
Ennio Morricone's original music for Roland Joffe's 1986 film "The Mission" landed on top of a Variety poll of 40 active composers who were asked to name their top three original movie scores of all time in order of preference.
Richard Wagner’s Parsifal, his final opera, was created in parallel with his greatest creations including The Ring and Tristan. Beginning in the 1850’s, its prose and poetry was returned to over and over again in first and second drafts, and was finally orchestrated and presented in 1882; it occupied over a quarter century in Wagner’s creative life. The work was scored with the acoustics of the newly built Bayreuth in mind and has one of the oddest operatic history’s imaginable.