Uploading the mind on the operatic stage – Interview with Michel van der Aa

Michel van der Aa portrait by © Sarah Wijzenbeek On Thursday 29 July, Upload (2019-20), the new film opera by Michel van der Aa receives its stage premiere at the Bregenz Festival, starring soprano Julia Bullock and baritone Roderick Williams, with Otto Tausk conducting the Cologne-based ensemble MusikFabrik, in production directed by the composer.  Co-commissioned... Continue Reading →

Album review: Another look at Karajan’s DG Sibelius with the Berlin Philharmonic

In the course of the sixties and early eighties, Herbert von Karajan recorded most of his Sibelius repertoire for Deutsche Grammophon with the Berlin Philharmonic. These recordings convey an impressive thirty-year span of the composer’s orchestral music, encompassing four of the seven symphonies, the Violin Concerto, two forays into Sibelius’s theatre music, as well as... Continue Reading →

Album review: The Boston Symphony and Nelsons Shostakovich cycle matures well

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Dmitri Shostakovich symphony-cycle-in-progress with their Music Director Andris Nelsons on Deutsche Grammophon has reached its fifth volume. The latest installation, a two-disc set clocking at two hours and thirty seven minutes, encompasses an impressive forty-six-year span of the composer’s symphonic career, extending from his very first foray to the genre to... Continue Reading →

Album review: Splendidly organic journey through the Beethoven realm with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax

Among the Ludwig van Beethoven oeuvre, the works for cello and piano comprise a microcosm of their own, extending into an encompassing twenty-year span and demonstrating the most fascinating developmental arch, both in terms of the composer’s style and within the very medium itself. Beethoven’s first forays to the genre originate in the mid-1790s, comprising... Continue Reading →

Downscaled but not diminished – Gripping Mahler 9 from the English Symphony Orchestra and Kenneth Woods

The members of the English Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director & Principal Conductor Kenneth Woods performing Mahler 9 at Wyastone Concert Hall. © ESO Digital Released online on the composer’s 161st birthday yesterday, the performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (1908-09) by the English Symphony Orchestra and Kenneth Woods is a gripping affair. Recorded... Continue Reading →

Absorbing Bruckner Eight with Gergiev and Mariinsky

The members of the Mariinsky Orchestra and their Chief Conductor Valery Gergiev at St Michel Cathedral after Monday evening's performance of Bruckner VIII. © Jari Kallio Sharing an acoustic space with the full sonic spectrum of a large symphony orchestra is always such unique experience. Hearing the sheer mass of sound of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony... Continue Reading →

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