Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bernard Herrmann: Vertigo (Full Soundtrack)

Vertigo - Soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann (1958)

Track Listing:

01 - Prelude and Rooftop - 0:00
02 - Scotty Trails Madeline - 04:56 *
03 - Carlotta's Portrait - 13:20
04 - The Bay - 15:56
05 - By the Fireside - 19:05
06 - The Forest - 22:45
07 - The Beach - 26:11
08 - The Dream - 29:39
09 - Farewell and The Tower - 32:23
10 - The Nightmare and Dawn - 39:06
11 - The Letter - 43:19
12 - Goodnight and The Park - 47:13
13 - Scene d'Amour - 50:23
14 - The Necklace, The Return and Finale - 55:32

* (including: Madeline's First Appearance, Madeline's Car, The Flower Shop, The Alleyway, The Mission, Graveyard and Tombstone)

Monday, September 1, 2014

“Winter Journey” at the Greek Festival 2014

By Thanassis Vavlidas

14/7/2014, “Winter Journey” in the Summer (D. Mitropoulos Concert Hall at Megaron Moussikis of Athens – Greek Festival 2014)

In its summer program, Greek Festival 2014 included only a few concerts of classical and contemporary (not pop) music. However, all concerts were more or less of high quality as far as interpretation standards are concerned.

Hans Zender (Wiesbaden 1936 - ) is an esteemed German composer and conductor who composed, under the title “Winterreise - eine komponierte interpretation for tenor and small orchestra” (1993), a new version of the well-known song cycle composed by Franz Schubert in 1827, one year before his death. The cycle was published as Opus 89 in 1828 and was based on 24 poems written by Wilhelm Mueller, who followed the romantic style of his time, paying much attention to the inner self and its sentimental reflections to Nature. This cycle is considered as a “colossal peak in art song” and audiences always confirm its great appeal.

Hans Zender’s version managed to filter the romantic spirit of the cycle into a summary of the twentieth century’s conquests concerning the art of composition. He also managed to produce a transcription from piano to a small orchestra, although he changed a few key tones and created new sounds. One of Zender’s aims was the accurate description of natural, as well as psychological, phenomena through these new sounds. And although one might object to the need for such an expression of the original composer’s feelings, we must admit that these sounds revealed new paths to the wanderer of music. Zender’s composition was recorded for the first time by RCA with Hans Peter Blochwitz (tenor) and the Ensemble Modern, the composer himself conducting.

At the concert we attended in July, the famous Greek conductor Theodoros Kourentzis collaborated with the Afro–American tenor Keith Stonum and the music group “Kyklos Ensemble” which was founded in 2013 and consists of experienced Greek musicians. “Kyklos Ensemble” has already given performances of classical and avant–garde music and is taking part in educational programs. The conductor, Th. Kourentzis, is currently living in Russia. He is the artistic director of the Opera House of Perm and the principal conductor of the orchestra “MusicAeterna”.

The collaboration of the above-mentioned musicians led to an interpretation of high level, which has undoubtedly imposed new standards for the performers of such music in Greece. It was obvious from the start that accuracy and clarity were the main characteristics of their interpretation. The conductor took care of every single detail and no mistake was detected, even when some of the musicians had to change positions playing from different sides of the music hall.

Keith Stonum (tenor) also sang with clarity and his voice seemed to be closer to the original score’s demands. But he did not hesitate to use a... loudspeaker when there was a need to emphasize on extreme desperation arising from the verses!

The verses were translated by the poet Alexandros Issaris and the translation was shown, with adequate synchronization, on a board above the musicians.

We are confident that conductor Kourentzis can perform even the most complicated contemporary compositions and make them attractive to a wider audience, since his great abilities are combined with a strong image promotion.

Thanassis Vavlidas
Member of the “Union of drama and music Greek critics”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A. Piazzolla 'Oblivion' - Arabella Steinbacher

Astor Piazzolla: 'Oblivion'

Wurttembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn
Conductor: Ruben Gazarian
Viola: Arabella Steinbacher

Weilburger Schlosskonzerte 2007
Live recording, 14 July 2007

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto - Arabella Steinbacher

P. I. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, op.35

Arabella Steinbacher - Violin
Vladimir Fedoseyev - Conductor
Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra)

25/9/2011, Musikverein Saal, Vienna, Austria.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Elgar: Enigma Variations - Bernstein

Edward Elgar composed his Variations on an Original Theme for Orchestra ("Enigma"), Op. 36, commonly referred to as the Enigma Variations, in 1898–99. It is a set of fourteen variations on a hidden "theme" that is, in Elgar's words, "not played". It is Elgar's best-known large-scale composition, for both the music itself and the enigma behind it.

Elgar dedicated the piece to "my friends pictured within", each variation being an affectionate portrayal of one of his circle of close acquaintances. The people portrayed in the variations include Elgar's wife Alice, Augustus J. Jaeger and Elgar himself. The enigma is the hidden theme, which has been the subject of much speculation. Various musicians have proposed theories for what melody it could be, although Elgar did not say that that his "theme" was a melody. The enigma could be something else, such as a symbol or a literary theme. Elgar accepted none of the solutions proposed in his lifetime, and took the secret with him to the grave.

After its 1899 London premiere, the piece achieved popularity and was performed internationally. It has been recorded over 60 times.

Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Enigma Variations, Op. 36
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein