The search for Enrique Granados’s lost opera, Maria del Carmen, has been a career-long obsession for US scholar, Walter Clark. Written when the Spanish composer was in his early thirties, it got lost as his fame took off.

Granados was killed when a German torpedo stuck his ship in 1916. The score was sold by his sons to a New York collector during the Spanish civil war. Later, it was reported to have perished in a warehouse fire. The diligent Clark kept looking.

He now has a full score and Spanish opera houses are eager to put the work on stage. More here.

maria del carmen



Arthur Richard Itter, founder of Lyrita Recorded Edition, has died near his home in Burnham, aged 85.

He launched Lyrita in 1959 when UK recording was dominated by HMV and Decca, both with an international outlook. Richard sensed that those labels were neglecting mid-century British composers. Lyrita produced modern British music performed by British musicians.

Among its first composers were John Ireland and Gerald Finzi whose music often had its first recordings under Richard’s care. The label grew through the 1970s with premieres of symphonic works and concertos by Bax, Moeran, Alwyn, Bridge, Holst, Hurlstone, Rawsthorne, Rubbra and Sterndale Bennett.

Although keenly interested in music and in recording technology Richard was happy to remain in the background. His decision to hire Decca to provide all recording, manufacturing and distribution services was practical, and significantly gave him access to Ken Wilkinson, one of the most celebrated recording engineers of the time. Richard nurtured long relationships with the London orchestras, particularly the LPO.

The Lyrita label was virtually dormant in the decade 1995-2005 until a license agreement was signed with Wyastone Estate Ltd, the owners of Nimbus Records. Under this agreement every Lyrita title was reissued in time to celebrate Richard’s 80th birthday.

‘From the 1960s to the 1990s, those with a taste for obscure English classical composers, or for the obscure works of the well-known ones, needed only one port of call: Lyrita Records. For aficionados of the English canon the re-issue of this material is one of the great events in our musical history. It is like coming across long-buried treasure, and represents perhaps the finest exhibition our music has ever had,’ wrote Simon Heffer in the Telegraph.

lyrita ireland

New lab tests assess and address conductor pain. Check out the remedies here.

Meantime, anyone know a good clinic for writer’s shoulder?

daniele gatti

Just listen to this, from the Schoenberg Centre in Vienna.


His replacement last night as Werther was debutant Jean-François Borras. Anyone catch the show?

UPDATE: Here’s one. He was ‘major-league’… ‘brighter’ (than Kaufmann)… ‘more forward.’ Any more?

 h/t Yehuda Shapiro

Jean-François Borras

This is Abby Martin, who is unlikely to keep her US-based job on the Putin channel.

abby martin

There were demonstrations outside the concert of the St Petersburg Philharmonic and one peaceful protestor during the concert, drawing attention to Russia’s anti-gay laws and general aggression. The performance, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov on March 3 at Davies Hall in San Francisco was briefly delayed by a young pro-Pussy Riot feminist in a brightly colored balaclava, waving a rainbow flag.

Report here. Video below.


pussy riot sf inside 1

photo: Bill Wilson of Gays Without Borders

The veteran conductor, 85 today, has used his birthday to launch a fresh attack on the orchestra he led for close to three decades.

He tells the Dutch newspaper Het Parool that he has been ‘almost humiliated’ by the present management and ‘totally ignored’ during the orch’s 125th anniversary year. He singles out Jan Raes, CEO, and Joel Fried, artistic director, for particular criticism, saying they had ‘no contact’ with him and a lack of ‘interest in the (orchestra’s) tradition’. He wants to hand back the honorary title they gave him.

Apparently nothing has been done to mark the 60th anniversary this year of his debut with the orchestra. Read on here (in Dutch).

Down the years, Haitink has been frequently at odds with his national orchestra.

UPDATE: Here’s the orch’s response.


They’ve promote Nick Gatfield’s deputy, Nicola Tuer, to replace him, a week after his removal.

But Nicola, a label lifer, is named as COO not CEO.

Sounds like panic stations at Sony Towers. Either that, or a half-successful putsch.


Renato Cioni, who sang Cavaradossi in Tosca at Covent Garden opposite Callas and Gobbi, has died aged 84.


cioni callas

A fisherman’s son from the isle of Elba, Cioni made his debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, a role he later recorded with Joan Sutherland. At the Met, he sang in Pollione with Sutherland and Marilyn Horne.

May he rest in peace.

Warm wishes to the Dutch master.

He was appointed chief of the Concertgebouw at 30 and subsequently wielded the rod at the London Philharmonic, Glyndebourne, Covent Garden and, in the 21st century, at the Dresden Staatskapelle and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

He is one of the most prolific conductors on record.

UPDATE: However, he has just launched another spat against the Concertgebouw.



Research at Aalto University in Finland confirms that music has a wider dynamic range in rectangular concert halls of shoebox shape. ‘Our research is the first that explains how halls influence perception of dynamic expression,’ says Dr. Jukka Pätynen.

Oh, really? Read here.


We’ve known for two centuries that shoebox works best. The issue is how to make other, more flexible halls work better.