Around The Classical Internet: October 7, 2011

Clare Cashman and Anna Netrebko in Donizetti's 'Anna Bolena' in rehearsal at the Met, Sept. 15, 2011. i i
Ken Howard/courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
Clare Cashman and Anna Netrebko in Donizetti's 'Anna Bolena' in rehearsal at the Met, Sept. 15, 2011.
Ken Howard/courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
  • So what if Anna Netrebko broke character as Anna Bolena on opening night at the Met? asks Zachary Woolfe. "Such an irredeemably tacky breach of narrative decorum is rare in opera today. That was what was so remarkable about what happened on opening night at the Metropolitan Opera last Monday... [But] with its stylization and its larger-than-life emotions, opera has never been about unbroken narrative or cinematic realism. It is about going in and out of the drama, in and out of realism."
  • The LA Phil will now lead the charge in establishing El Sistema-like outposts in the U.S., in partnership with Bard College and the Longy School of Music in Boston. Now dubbed "Taking a Stand," the program will play host to conferences and workshops for educators across the country, as well as offering a Master of Arts in Teaching degree to be developed at Longy. (The most well-known graduate of El Sistema? The LA Phil's own music director, Gustavo Dudamel.)
  • The Washington Post's Anne Midgette has gotten into a very public spat with Placido Domingo, who claims that Midgette "has crossed the line between reasonably objective criticism and what appears to be open animosity."
  • Midgette ripostes: "Neither past nor present fandom can blunt my ear to things I don't like ... I am surprised that Mr. Domingo takes such exception to this review, since, as he himself has told me, an artist knows when he has done well or badly. I can't believe he feels in his heart that this Tosca represented his finest hour."
  • Remember the outcry after Russian conductor Mark Gorenstein made racist remarks about Armenian cellist Narek Akhnazaryan (who went on to win the the Tchaikovsky competition)? Well, he's been canned by the Svetlanov Orchestra. A choice quote from one of the ensemble's violinists: "We are so sick of Gorenstein's arbitrary behavior that today is like May 9, 1945 for us."
  • Here's a nice profile in the New York Times of conductor Alan Pierson, who's aiming to make over the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and his new board partners. Says the orchestra's new chairman, Jack W. Rainey: "We need to learn from, play to and embrace our home community."
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra and the union which represents their musicians have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.
  • Alert the editor: in the midst of serious doubts about the orchestra's future, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra is issuing unreassuring press releases that say things like: "The reason that these facts are concurrently factual . . ."
  • Then they canceled half their concerts for this fall.
  • Composer/conductor John Adams on composer/conductor Gustav Mahler: "He was in every sense what we'd now call a control freak ... His printed scores are full of admonitions to the performers. Musical ideas are marked with emphatic underlinings, accents, and notational and verbal reminders that seem to shout at or plead with the performer to do exactly as the composer wanted. Mahler, long used to dealing with careless or indifferent musicians, appears to have had little faith in the ability of future generations to get his music right."

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