French conductor goes in search of his Polish-Jewish roots
We’ve been sent a short clip of a documentary being made about Marc Minkowski, a baroque specialist who has recently become absorbed in his family’s distinguished origins. Should be interesting. First screening is scheduled at EFM Berlin.
Go on, Hilary. We dare you…
This shoe was ‘specially designed for the “8 variations for Stradivari” exhibition at Cremona, Italy. The brown leather mimics the warmness of carved wood and with “strings” up the heel and S-shaped “holes” on the insole and sole, the transformation into a shoe shape is complete. – See more here. Price? A mere $1,650, legs not […]
‘The one composer I can’t connect with’
The Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin spends much of his time exploring neglected corners of repertoire. His latest Busoni album on Hyperion may not sell a million copies, but it renews our acquaintance with a brilliant musical mind in a performance entirely unhampered by technical difficulty. There is, however, once composer M. Hamelin cannot fathom. Read Elijah […]
Breaking: Wales could lose its main concert hall
Cardiff Council, its budgets squeezed by £50 million further cuts, says it cannot afford to maintain St David’s Hall, the nation’s main orchestral venue. The council’s chair of finance says he is seeking an outside operator to take over the hall and he’s not hopeful of finding one. St David’s which seats 2,000, receives £1.2 […]
Slipped Disc editorial: Renée has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reverse rigor mortis
On Super Bowl Sunday, the soprano Renée Fleming will step out into the arena and sing The Spar-Spangled Banner. Yes, she will actually sing. Unlike the host of Hollywood actors and pop stars who have performed the rite before, this operatic soprano will not lip-synch to a pre-recorded track. She will not gyrate, or fake, […]
Mortier did not slander conductor, judge rules
The libel action brought by Jesús López Cobos against the former Teatro Real director Gerard Mortier has been thrown out by a judge in Madrid lower court 48. López Cobos claimed that Mortier had defamed him in an Austrian interview by saying the conductor had been fired from his post as music director at the Real. The […]
Finland is selling a Sibelius house. Interested?
The conductor Sasha Makila tells Slipped Disc that house where Jean Sibelius lived in his home town Kerava is being put up for sale by the Finnish Government. Sibelius lived there between 1889 and 1902, the period when he composed Finalndia and the first two symphonies. You would have thought the house counted as national […]
Renée pitches up for Super Bowl
photo (c) Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports She told an eve-of press conference: ‘I’ve probably sung through it (The Star-Spangled Banner) in my mind and vocally 800 times in the last three weeks.’ Editorial comment here. She has also just made it into the ranks of America’s richest celebrities.
Ex-crackhead pianist takes a crack at Lang Lang
Eduard Laurel is an international pianist who, by his own admission, ‘ became a slave to crack cocaine in his relative youth’. Clean for the past six years, he writes a blog that maintains scrutiny on the ever-slipping critical standards of the New York Times. He’s also just got around to the new, self-acclaimed Lang Lang/Simon […]
Eight winners to play Van Cliburn memorial concert
FORT WORTH, Texas, January 30, 2014—The Cliburn, with Sundance Square, will host a special memorial concert in honor of its inspiration and namesake, Van Cliburn, onThursday, February 27, 2014—the one-year anniversary of his passing. The tribute will be held in the new Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will feature recitals by eight Cliburn […]
The record I have listened to most this month is…
… not terribly well played. Nor is the music brilliantly constructed. The opening movement is 20 minutes long, verging on inarticulate. The second is embarrassingly derivative. It is only when you get to the adagio that the emotional storm-force of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s 12th symphony kicks in, revealing its inner anguish. Written in 1976 in […]