“O Fortuna” – this appeal to the goddess of destiny marks the beginning of the well-known cantata Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Many have heard this work used in the soundtracks of film, television and advertisements, or in one of its countless concert performances around the world. This summer, audiences in Germany can enjoy performances at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival on 2 August and at the Rheingau Musik Festival on 4 August, both conducted by Justus Frantz with the Philharmonie der Nationen. Also on 4 August, the Hitachi Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Hideaki Muto will perform the work at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s opera Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane) has enjoyed a recent period of rediscovery with performances of the work in Brno, Gent, and Freiburg. Last year a production by Deutsche Oper Berlin was awarded “Rediscovery of the year” by Opernwelt magazine. The opera will receive its US premiere this month at the Bard Music Festival as part of the festival’s theme, “Korngold and his world”. The performance will take place on 26 July, performed by the American Symphony Orchestra and conductor Leon Botstein; the director will be Christian Räth.
Since its world premiere in 1924, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has become one of the most famous symphonic works of the 20th century, and features regularly in the programmes of orchestras around the world. On 21 July, at the Klassik Open Air in the Luitpoldhain in Nuremberg, Joana Mallwitz conducts the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg and pianist, Michail Lifits, in a performance of this iconic work.
Peter Eötvös found inspiration for his third violin concerto Alhambra in the picturesque fortress enthroned over the southern Spanish city of Granada from which the work takes its name. The world premiere of the violin concerto will take place on 12 July at the palace of Charles V in the center of Alhambra. Soloist Isabelle Faust and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado – to whom the work is dedicated – will perform with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
Fiery beats for a hot summer – that’s what Dos danzas españolas by Joaquín Rodrigo has in store. The driving rhythm of castanets shapes and colours these two Spanish dances, making this entertaining Suite para castañuelas y orquesta perfect for summer concerts. With the theme “Y Viva España”, Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin presents music of southern Europe in their Festival “Meckproms”, including Dos danzas españolas with music director Daniel Huppert on 2 July at the open-air stage Schwerin and on 7 July in the garden of Bothmer castle in Klütz.
Continue reading “Work of the Week – Joaquín Rodrigo: Dos danzas españolas”
In Nils Holgerssons wunderbare Reise (“Nils Holgersson’s Wonderful Journey”), composer Anno Schreier transforms the children’s book “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” by Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf into a work of music theatre for children aged six and up. Commission by Kölner Philharmonie and KölnMusik for a joint project, “Singing with the class!”, it receives its world premiere in Cologne on 27 June 2019. Around 300 local primary school children will take part in the world premiere, singing side by side with the Gürzenich-Orchester Cologne under the baton of Andreas Fellner. Christoph Bertram and Eva Marianne Kraiss will perform Nils and the other characters of the adventure tale.
Toru Takemitsu’s evocative work, Rain Coming captures the atmosphere of the moment just before rain has started to fall. The work, which has been widely performed in Europe and the US, will receive its Chinese premiere in Hong Kong on 22 June with Hong Kong Sinfonietta and conductor Ryusuke Numajiri.
The city of Hiroshima in southern Japan was once primarily known for its oysters which were farmed just off the coast. In Noriko Koide’s work Oyster Lullaby, the oyster is symbolic of the process of healing following the devastation that resulted from the use of the atomic bomb in the final month of World War II, an event that has overshadowed the city’s historic reputation. The new work for orchestra, commissioned for the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, will receive its world premiere on 14 June 2019 under the baton of Seitaro Ishikawa.
On 7 June 2019 the Villiers Quartet will give the world premiere of Alexander Goehr’s string quartet Vision of the Soldier Er at the idyllic Swaledale Festival. The piece comes after a break of almost thirty years since the completion of his fourth quartet.
On 28 May, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt will open at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. With musical direction from Alan Gilbert and a cast including Asmik Grigorian as Marietta and Klaus Florian Vogt as Paul, Korngold’s thrilling psychological opera is set to receive a daring production.