Best Engineered Recording
Michael Bishop (Atlanta Symphony: Vaughan Williams)
Producer of the Year
John Adams – City Noir (St Louis Symphony)
Best Opera Recording
Charpentier: La Descente D’Orphée Aux Enfers
(Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble; Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble (Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, conductors; Aaron Sheehan; Renate Wolter-Seevers, producer)
Best Choral Music Performance
Sacred Spirit of Russia
Craig Hella Johnson, conductor (Conspirare)
Best Chamber Music (Small Ensemble)
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album’
Douce France – Anne-Sophie von Otter
Best Classical Compendium
Partch: Plectra & Percussion Dances
Best Contemporary Classical Composition
John Luther Adams (Become Ocean)/ Seattle Symphony
Lifetime achievement: Pierre Boulez
UPDATE: It’s Philip Glass.
All in stripes: Henry Cowell and friends
One cat score?
Two always better for Jennifer Higdon
John Cage and the prepared purrer.
Harsh critics have complained of recent waves of dark, gloomy and contemplative stories in Slipped Disc. We respond with a series of pure trivia.
Young Shostakovich with Lady Catbeth of Mtsensk.
Many years later….
Amari Barash was playing oboe in the orchestra when she saw the love of her life, conductor Israel Yinon, collapse and die on the Lucerne concert stage. Two days after Israel’s funeral, she writes for the first time about their life together. A blessing on his memory.
When I first had the great good fortune to perform with Israel Yinon, I was struck by his generosity and light-hearted wisdom; his conducting revealed that he had suffered and overcome untold obstacles to become the exquisite artist and jubilant person he was. Now, seven or more years after that first encounter, I write this in our strangely silent home under the gentle gaze of hundreds of meticulously marked scores. It is a misfortune for all of us that he will no longer coax the secrets and magic out of their pages. For me, it is a singular tragedy to write these words on my 38th birthday, a day like all the days to follow in that he will now accompany me only in my imagination.
Israel collapsed during his first performance of Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, an extraordinarily complex programmatic work representing a climber’s ascent to a mountaintop (with excursions along the way), descent, and contemplation of a majestic sunset. Israel left us just after I played the extended, serene oboe solo in the section entitled “Auf dem Gipfel” (“At the Summit”). He reached a summit of musical euphoria analogous to the peak of excellence and joy he had achieved in life, and then he disappeared from this world.
Israel was best known for his discoveries, revivals, and astute recordings of so-called entartete Musik; despite the significance of his work in that field, though, I believe that his musical legacy lies principally in his interpretive power. He was in every sense a composer’s advocate and immediately endeared himself to those with whom he worked, including Tilo Medek, Hans-Peter Dott, Helmut Lachenmann, John A. Speight, Josef Tal, Thüring Bräm, and countless others. Israel took pride in his ability to draw out his distinctive sound from every ensemble he conducted. He called his work a transfer of energy. As with the Yinon sound, a particular exhilaration was always palpable in the audience during and after Israel’s concerts. The transfer of energy was more than his sound concept; it would never have succeeded without the humanity and vitality that radiated so physically from him. It was temporal, too: Israel often consciously created the illusion of a forward-pushing tempo while in fact maintaining a quite stable pulse. This sleight of hand depended, of course, on the flexibility and freedom of the orchestra, and I witnessed more than one instance (mostly in rehearsals, but occasionally in performances) in which the players’ fears or simple inexperience held Israel back from expressing his vision por completo (a phrase he was fond of using). Even in those moments, though, deep respect and affection blossomed between him and the musicians with whom he worked.
Sometimes Israel puzzled me.
In conversations both musical and otherwise, he often responded in a way so unanticipated that I wondered if he had misunderstood what I had said. But he existed and thought on intersecting points, lines, and planes; he found subtle ways of steering a talk about politics or psychology toward accordions or stereo components while keeping a meaningful thread running through it all. With time I realized that he had opened up new dimensions of thought for me. I suspect that many reading this essay will know just what I mean: Israel offered the prism of his exuberance unconditionally to everyone he met, and he listened too, taking a genuine interest in the remarks and in the spirit of each individual.
May we all find the inner freedom, enthusiasm, and big-heartedness to keep experiencing the musical and human essence of the irreplaceable Israel Yinon.
Dr. Amari Barash
Berlin, 7 February 2015
(c) Amari Barash/Slipped Disc
Mathieu Gallet, incoming head of Radio France, has already warned of the need to cut 21 million Euros from the budgest. Latest estimates say the state broadcaster will be 50 million in the red over four years if it does not act promptly to stem the losses.
There is talk, as ever, of scrapping an orchestra, or perhaps more. Prepare to fight the fire now, or evacuate.
A new kind of job share from Cesare Novellini.
Cello judges include:
Lynn Harrell, Misha Maisky, David Geringas, Alexander Knyazev and Carnegie Hall chief Clive Gillinson (a former cellist in the LSO).
Sergey Dorensky, Dmitry Bashkirov, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Denis Matsuev, Michel Béroff, Barry Douglas, Peter Donohoe, Alexander Toradze, Menahem Pressler, Verbier chief Martin Engström.
Yuri Bashmet, Maxim Vengerov, Leonidas Kavakos, Viktor Tretyakov, Vadim Repin, Lucerne chief Michael Haefliger, Boris Kushnir, James Ehnes, Salvatore Accardo and Liana Isakadze.
On the voice panel Gergiev has picked:
Olga Borodina, Thomas Quasthoff, Julia Varady, Samuel Ramey and two ex-Met chiefs John Fisher and Sarah Billingshurst.
More names will be added. The calibre of the juries is outstandingly high. Many of the participants are close personal associates of Valery Gergiev. The resident Russians among them are obedient cap-doffers to the Putin regime.
Fascinating profile of the Los Angeles Philharmonic president in her city blatt. Doesn’t delve much below the epidermis – her Dutch predecessor left ‘undisclosed issues between him and the board’ (oh, yeah?) – but the reporter does well to convey the optimistic charge that this orch chief infuses into her organisation and its far-flung relationships.
More than most in her isolated and often harassed position, she thinks constantly beyond the medium term.
Sample quote: An orchestra has to have “the patience and courage to play the long game,” said Borda. “I don’t think anything we’ve done is revolutionary, but it has been seriously evolutionary…. What we’re moving toward, in essence, are micro-audiences.”
Rohan Kalé writes from New Delhi:
Emirates recently broke my Gibson ES – 335. They took their time to tell me that they will not be claiming any responsibility whatsoever and will not be reimbursing me at all. Further, they have told me this “In conclusion, I do hope that you will not allow this unfortunate incident to mar your impression of our airline and that we can look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you on board our flights again soon.” Shame on you Emirates. My MUSICIAN friends and Non-Musician friends.. I seriously urge you to share this and help get the word out. Thank you! #shameonyouEmirates