Inspiration from the Ground Up: Kanaris and Wise Perform Beethoven and Schubert at Beethoven-Haus Bonn

There could not have been a more fitting location for the Friday, March 3rd release concert of “Songs of Yearning: Sehnsuchtslieder” (Hänssler Classic) than the sleek, wood-paneled Hermann J. Abs Chamber Music Hall of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn - and the reason was not merely the setting’s pleasing balance between formality and intimacy. Underneath the feet…

Advertisements

The Lads from LA: Calder Quartet at Wigmore Hall

When the four gentlemen of the Calder Quartet strode onto the Wigmore Hall stage Saturday October 1st, my first thought was “These are the Beatles of the classical music world.” The members’ trim black suits, long skinny ties and wide grins radiated an eager, boyish energy. Many musicians’ somber faces during pre-performance bows would better…

A Golden Performance: Yaniv d’Or, Ensemble NAYA, and Barrocade

As instrumentalists from the Ensemble NAYA and Barrocade took their places onstage on Sunday June 26th at Wigmore Hall, the period instruments from voila de gamba to theorbo to hammered dulcimer indicated a concert of acoustic veracity. But when Yaniv d'Or joined them onstage, you knew immediately that this was not going to be your traditional Baroque performance. Tall…

Fresh Footprints: The Dark Mirror at the Baribcan

cruff cruff cruff cruff cruff cruff cruff cruff cruff.   cruff cruff cruff cruff cruff cruff. Like a train, puffing slowly away along a barren horizon. A moving dark line between a ice-covered earth and a grey-clouded sky. Or the crunching of frozen snow under foot as a body drags itself mechanically along. Motion. Journey. Solitude. Bleakness. So begins Hans Zender's Winterreise, an composed interpretation for tenor and small orchestra…

The essential in vocal music is truthful reproduction of emotion and state of mind. Absolute accuracy of musical declamation is a negative quality and its importance should not be exaggerated. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Role of Present Musical Strangeness in Past and Future

In his Guardian op-ed examining Zender's version of Schubert's monumental song cycle Winterreise, tenor and scholar Ian Bostridge makes an important point about the role of a re-worked piece of the classical music canon: it "allows us to experience it as strange, a strangeness Schubert’s contemporaries felt and which we may have lost." When we perceive classical…