Classical Music online - News, events, bios, music & videos on the web.

Classical music and opera by Classissima

Benjamin Britten

Friday, December 2, 2016


parterre box

Yesterday

Impressed seaman

parterre boxOn this day in 1951 Benjamin Britten‘s Billy Budd premiered in London. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJGz09z1biI Born on this day in 1823 composer Ernest Reyer who wrote the “other” Ring opera. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYFfsSjmsi0 Born on this day in 1877 composer Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (who wrote something other than a familiar Ukrainian Christmas carol.) //www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XQyRRcBDX0 Born on this day in 1932 mezzo-soprano Heather Begg. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8gRVRWsixM On this day in 1956 Leonard Bernstein’s Candide opened on Broadway. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgXMxhMhYm4 On this day in 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song opened on Broadway. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p5MRGQP5e4 Happy 56th birthday soprano Leontina Vaduva. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_jwv8c4nfA On this day in 1968 Burt Bacharach-Hal David’s Promises Promises opened on Broadway. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=15S4M5EAG8Y

Meeting in Music

Today

Britten: Music for oboe

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) Temporal Variations / Two Insect Pieces for oboe and piano Six Metamorphoses after Ovid op.49 for oboe Phantasy Quartet for oboe, violin, viola and cello op.2 Suite n. 1 for solo cello op.72 Ensemble Contrastes: Eric Speller oboe, Olivier Peyrebrune piano, Ophélie Gaillard cello, Stephanie-Marie Degand violin, Agathe Blondel viola Ambroisie AMB 9909 (2001) [flac, cue, log, scans]




The Boston Musical Intelligencer

November 30

Russell Oberlin: 1928 – 2016

The stuff of legend since his retirement from the concert stage in 1965, the distinguished countertenor died in New York City on November 26, 2016 at the age of 88. Russell Oberlin’s legacy will long endure in the recordings he made and musicians he mentored and inspired. One such shares his personal tribute. His beautiful, otherworldly, almost inhuman voice then epitomized the early music movement. In the 50s, when I was a junior or senior at Brown, the chamber music series at the School of Design Auditorium had brought in Noah Greenberg’s New York Pro Musica for a double bill: Flemish Renaissance music on the first half, Spanish Renaissance on the second. Although I had sung Renaissance partsongs in high school choir, and played a few lute transcriptions on my classical guitar, this concert delivered my very first hearing of an entire program of early music. By the end, I knew that performing this stuff was what I wanted to do. A vocation was born. And that sense of being called had quite a bit to do with Oberlin’s voice that evening. Was it a man’s sound, or a woman’s? It was supported all the way up, without a break, and without resorting to falsetto. Magical, compelling. It was full, with continuous vibrato, dead accurate as to pitch and rhythm. There was something sexless or androgynous in the timbre, verging on metallic, as though an angel were singing from on high, in some celestial tongue unknown to man. Oberlin’s voice did not make you feel warm and cuddly; rather, it gave you some sort of cosmic, strangely delightful chill. As I discovered later, listening to his other recordings, across several repertoires, it really did not matter much what language he was singing in, nor what style. If memory serves me, Oberlin made solo recordings of medieval English monodies, of 13th-century Spanish Cantigas, of English consort songs, of Buxtehude. He sang Oberlin in Britten’s opera of Midsummer Night’s Dream (a career-ending overstretch of his instrument, as rumor had it). Leonard Bernstein hired him and NYPM colleague, tenor Charles Bressler, to sing the “Et misericordia” duet from the Bach Magnificat on network TV. Was he also the Evangelist in a Bernstein TV special about the Bach St. Matthew Passion? I believe so. None of those performances, as I recall, had much in the way of style-specific nuance, or text-inflected phrasing, or localized, in-the-moment emotional commitment. It was, always, about that incredible sound. Oberlin’s way was my gold standard. Still an undergrad student, I recall meeting an Alfred Deller maven at a Manhattan bohemian party circa 1962. The Dellerite praised his countertenor hero’s nuance, delicacy, and infinite sensitivity to text. I criticized Deller’s falsetto technique, his preciosity, his lack of power and punch compared to the supernal Oberlin. I guess that it was, in a nutshell, a debate between old Europe versus young America. And I suppose we debaters were both right, in our way. But, at the time, I had trouble recognizing the legitimacy of my opponent’s viewpoint and musical values. Things change. Now, several lifetimes later, I still listen with pleasure to Deller’s old recordings; only rarely do I choose to hear something with Oberlin. Yet that first shock of encounter with Oberlin’s artistry remains, and I am grateful for that experience, and for the ensuing vocation that it triggered. I wrote about that moment for a magazine about a decade ago, and, after the article had appeared in print, was surprised to receive a handwritten, carefully calligraphed note from Oberlin in acknowledgement. I’m quite sorry now that we did not communicate further at that point ten years back, and only wish that there was more to this memoir of sound than a final, irrevocable silence. Well, perhaps there is, as we all, each in succession, stumble ascending to Helicon, bearing our humble, imperfect offerings to the Muse. The post Russell Oberlin: 1928 – 2016 appeared first on The Boston Musical Intelligencer .



Benjamin Britten
(1913 – 1976)

Benjamin Britten (22 November 1913 - 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. Showing prodigious talent from an early age – he composed his Quatre Chansons françaises for soprano and orchestra at the age of fourteen – he first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945 Britten leapt to international fame, and for the next fifteen years he devoted much of his compositional attention to writing operas, several of which now appear regularly on international stages. Britten's interests as a composer were wide-ranging; he produced important music in such varied genres as orchestral, choral, solo vocal (much of it written for the tenor Peter Pears), chamber and instrumental, as well as film music. Britten also took a great interest in writing music for children and amateur performers, and was considered a fine pianist and conductor.



[+] More news (Benjamin Britten)
Dec 2
Norman Lebrecht -...
Dec 2
Meeting in Music
Dec 1
parterre box
Nov 30
The Boston Musica...
Nov 30
ArtsJournal: music
Nov 30
Google News USA
Nov 29
Guardian
Nov 29
The Independant -...
Nov 28
Wordpress Sphere
Nov 27
Wordpress Sphere
Nov 27
Norman Lebrecht -...
Nov 26
Topix - Classical...
Nov 22
parterre box
Nov 22
My Classical Notes
Nov 22
On An Overgrown Path
Nov 21
Norman Lebrecht -...
Nov 20
The Well-Tempered...
Nov 18
The Boston Musica...
Nov 17
The Well-Tempered...
Nov 11
Wordpress Sphere

Benjamin Britten
English (UK) Spanish French German Italian




Britten on the web...



Benjamin Britten »

Great composers of classical music

War Requiem Requiem Purcell Rejoice In The Lamb Ceremony Of Carols

Since January 2009, Classissima has simplified access to classical music and enlarged its audience.
With innovative sections, Classissima assists newbies and classical music lovers in their web experience.


Great conductors, Great performers, Great opera singers
 
Great composers of classical music
Bach
Beethoven
Brahms
Debussy
Dvorak
Handel
Mendelsohn
Mozart
Ravel
Schubert
Tchaikovsky
Verdi
Vivaldi
Wagner
[...]


Explore 10 centuries in classical music...