In the Conservatory

Featured Performances: Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ MDR-Rundfunkchor ∙ Solisten ∙ David Zinman

Read article here.

And this superb performance below from the Nederlands of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in D, performed by Cappella Amsterdam and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century conducted by Daniel Reuss (who is also the Chorus Director; unusual to have the Chorus Director conduct the performance). Awhile back when I was writing about the many problems with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus (TFC), a couple of people asked me: Well what should the TFC sound like? They should sound like either of these superb Orchestra Choruses. Both sing with perfect intonation (the perfect blending of voices within the Chorus and within each section of the Chorus), one of the rudimentary requirements for choral excellence. One guy smugly asked me, “What’s wrong with (a little) vibrato in choral music?” Noticeable vibrato prevents perfect intonation, stupid one. Where did you train? Was he one of the choristers who got kicked out of the TFC because he failed James Burton’s new stringent audition requirements for the new Tanglewood Festival Chorus to make them a Chorus that the BSO could be proud of again as the Official Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra? By the way, someone emailed me yesterday asking why the Chorus for the BSO is not called the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Well, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was started by John Oliver — at the suggestion of Seiji Ozawa (小澤 征爾) — to be the Chorus of the Tanglewood Music Festival, hence the name: Tanglewood Festival Chorus. John went to Seiji and said to him, “We should have our own Chorus.” They’d been inviting Lorna Cooke de Varon’s New England Conservatory Chorus up until then to perform with them. Seiji said to John to his astonishment: “Well go start one.” John held auditions and named the Chorus the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

A Perfect Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis: Cappella Amsterdam. Read article here.

Girasol Amarillo
La amapola de California

La Dalia Roja y Blanca

We’re down to The Big Three.
The fad pieces now being performed by “everyone” in lockstep. Such creative programming [sarcasm intended]! You can probably guess the first one. Read article here.

Sexist pigs slobbering over females, and the sexist women who enjoy being slobbered over.
The Sexist Women of The Male Patriarchy. These women say, “He’s just being a gentleman.” Ugh. No, he’s just being a sexist pig. Real “gentlemen” — a word I never use — are not sexists. Read article here.

Is the AGO a religious organisation? Can I write about the elitist clique known as the AGO without raising my blood pressure? Well I’ll try. Oddly, for me I had a far better experience with church organists before I trained in pipe organ than after I trained. Read article here.

Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem performed by the outstanding hr-Sinfonieorchester and the MDR-Rundfunkchor. The Chorus was glorious throughout. The extremely well-prepared Chorus from Leipzig, the MDR-Rundfunkchor, sang with perfect intonation in all voice parts (SATB) and very clear German diction.  And some of their most beautiful singing was when they were singing very quietly and in a hushed manner, such as on the text, “Selig sind” which translates as “Blessed are.”  Read article here.

Trolling the hr-Sinfonieorchester. The Classical Music Armchair Critics would appear to have nothing better to do with their time. The self-appointed Classical Music Armchair Critics go around giving their “expert opinion” on performances. Read article here.

I thought music was the international language. Therefore, why do people say, “Leave French music to the French and Russian music to the Russians?” Read article here.

Male Musicians: A female is not a rubbish bin for your flowers. Forget the flowers at the end of classical music performances. It’s become an unappreciative and predictable ritual of sexist chivalry. Unfortunately most male musicians don’t possess the maturity, integrity or politeness to graciously accept the flowers given to them by orchestral management. What other gifts do these ungrateful people give away, and in public view? Who would have ever thought that innocent flowers threaten a male’s masculinity? Read article here.

The Prison of Wife and Child. It’s not entirely all about the training, study of and performance of music in any Conservatory or a University’s School of Music (with a Conservatory environment), and unlike the students right out of high school, a few of the students are older because they made decisions later in life to go into music as a career. Some days here in the Conservatory social issues and personal problems seem to make it difficult to concentrate on one’s training and especially practise time — one’s mind can be distracted — and out-weighting music with some of the students. The Conservatory’s Symphony Orchestra’s First Concertmaster tells me about something going on in her life. Read article here.

Is it a graduation picture, Kim Jong Un’s military or a “memorised” Chorus? The “memorised” Chorus is an unfortunate gimmick used to “wow the audience.” Read article here.

The tremendous talent and artistry of Lyle Mays. So sorry to hear of the death of Lyle Mays who was the iconic and extremely talented keyboardist for the (now disband) Pat Metheny Group (PMG), one of my favourite jazz ensembles. Read article here.

This is not A Clockwork Orange. Mi amigo/My friend and I were watching a performance the other night from the EU and these heterosexuals with their Straight Privilege were sitting there in the front row — clearly exhibitionists — putting on their own soft porn show for the Orchestra’s cameras and the people seated around them in the expensive orchestra seating. Read article here.

In the Conservatory:

Superb International Performances: