Archive for the “Violin” Category

Anne-Sophie Mutter latest cdViolinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is continually creating something new – from concerti by Krzysztof Penderecki and Andre Previn to works by Sebastian Currier and Henri Dutilleux.

Mutter’s latest project is a recording of Sofia Gubaidulina’s In Tempus Praesens, written in 2006-07 and premiered with the Berlin Philharmonic in August 2007. Selke Harten-Strehk has more background here on Mutter’s website.

I spoke with Mutter about the new concerto recording and about working with composers, and even if she composed herself. Listen to our conversation here.

That morning it was very difficult to get an international connection, and then about 10 minutes into our talk, the line went dead, and to my horror, it was another 3 minutes until I could connect again. (She now has my number as well, hahaha) Despite that, we had a great talk – this version (without our disconnect) also leaves out our talk about period bows (which she uses for the Bach concerti on the disc) as well as some talk about technology. You can hear the longer version over at ClassicallyHip.

I did leave out our talk about politics, which she was very interested in, and said Europe is watching the election closely.

Mutter performs very soon in New York City on October 13th, and you can find the rest of her schedule here. She’ll be back at Carnegie Hall in April 2009 to premiere a Piano Trio by Previn with Lynn Harrell, and a celebration of Previn’s 80th birthday with the orchestra of St, Luke’s including his Violin Concerto and a Concerto for Violin and Viola.

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How does it sound – a double concerto written by a musician weaned on Beethoven, salsa, Stravinsky and Bulgarian folk music? In short – like nothing else!

The Danish composer Anders Koppel (b. 1947) is himself. “My music consists of the life I have lived,” is as close as he gets to a definition of his style.

Anders Koppel grew up with music all day long. His father, Herman D. Koppel, was one of Denmark’s leading composers and pianists, and worked in the living room at home. Anders and his siblings were eye-witnesses to all aspects of the musical creative process and got to know about the smallest components of music. As adults all four became some of the most prominent Danish musicians.

The key words for Anders’ music are energy, collectivity and festivity. After one of the most versatile careers in Danish music, which still includes intense improvisations on Hammond organ, Anders Koppel is now concentrating on writing classical solo concertos. He has written over 20 since the mid-1990s, most recently also a couple of double concertos.

On two CDs from Dacapo you can hear Anders’ mixture of vital energy and classical forms. On one CD his son Benjamin is the soloist in his Saxophone Concertos 1 and 2, and on the other you can hear Anders Koppel’s double concertos: one is for violin and accordion with a definite touch of tango. The other is for saxophone and piano and drags Beethoven along to a nightclub. There are inserted improvisations that give the music freedom and personality – a good indication of the attitude of this congenial composer, who was one of Denmark’s best known hippies in the 1960s and is still a passionate representative of breadth of taste and a zest for life.

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Marvin Rosen’s Classical Discoveries program is a  special one this week involving, as it does, several members of the S21 community.  Marvin’s doing the first radio broadcast of OgreOgress’s world premiere recording of Alan Hovhaness’s Janabar, a 37-minute Sinfonia Concertante for Piano, Trumpet, Violin & Strings.  The recording features Christina Fong on violin, Paul Hersey on piano, and Michael Bowman on trumpet, with the Slovak Philharmonic, conducted by Rastislav Stur.

The piece is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18th during the 10am EST hour. The program, from Princeton, NJ, can be heard locally on 103.3 FM  or online.  Lots of details about the new recording here.

Also scheduled is the one hour Symphony No. 6, for chorus and orchestra by the Latvian composer, Imants Kalniņš in a recording produced by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. That piece will air beginning at around 8:00 am EST.
Marvin is also doing a series of special summer programs of avant-garde music titled Classical Discoveries goes Avant-Garde, which is devoted to more modern works than one normally hears on his Wednesday morning Classical Discoveries program.  Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde can be heard every Friday from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm on WPRB.

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For your dining and dancing pleasure–through the miracle of YouTube–Club Sequenza21 is delighted to present the talented violinist/composer Piotr Szewczyk performing short solo violin pieces by regulars Lawrence Dillon and Jeff Harrington, live and in color, as part of his Violin Futura program at Spoleto.  Roll ’em, Pete.

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Hey Folks —

Don’t know how we managed to scoop the Times on this one.  But here’s an interview with violinist Jeffrey Phillips, who’s doing many honors on next month’s Sequenza21 concert.  The interview has to do with a certain set of violin solos by a composer who will be familiar to those who wander these parts.  Enjoy!

Q. You’re going to be giving the U.S. premiere of two works for solo violin by Tom Myron on the first-ever Sequenza21 Concert. Are they hard?
A. “They are as difficult as one would expect two pieces that were written for Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and having their U.S. premiere to be. (That means yes.)”
Q. New Music types are obsessed with questions of style and influence. What style does Tom Myron write in. Is he a post-minimalist or a post-modernist or what? Style-wise is he ripping anyone off?
A. “I don’t know what kind of –ist(s) Tom or his music are, but it does seem as if he’s ripped off pretty much everyone including the poor guy at the 7-11 down the street.  I guess those New Music types will just have to come to the concert and find out for themselves what –ist(s) Tom and his music are. I know I’m gonna.”
Q. According to the composer one of the pieces takes its inspiration from a poem by Ted Hughes and the other from a drawing by an 18th century German woman naturalist working in the Caribbean. Can you tell this just by playing them? Which is which?
 A. “No, I can’t tell which is which just by playing them. Tom even told me which one was inspired by a poem by Ted Hughes and which one was inspired by Maria Sibylla Merian’s  “A Surinam caiman fighting a South American false coral snake” and I still can’t keep them straight. I have caimans fighting poems and a snake arranged as a haiku stuck in my head.”
Q. Does it psych you out to be giving the U.S. premieres of two pieces that have been played all over the world by Naxos recording artist and violin god Peter Sheppard-Skaerved?
A. “Yes, of course, there is a little psyching out going on. Peter Sheppard-Skaerved has given the premieres of these two pieces (and numerous others) all over the world. Except in the U.S. That’s me.”
Q. Is Jeffrey Phillips a violin god?
A. “In the omnipotent/omnipresent sense, no. In the Greek sense, yes.”

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