Descent into Oboe Hell

Principal Oboe Olivier Stankiewicz is embarking upon the oboe solo at the end of last Sunday’s performance of The Damnation of Faust when he realises he has a water bubble in his keys.

Tapping to clear it, he accidentally splits his reed. In a heartbeat he leans over and grabs 2nd Oboe Rosie Jenkins’ oboe and continues the solo – Rosie’s oboe has a completely different fingering system to Olivier’s, which does not trouble him even for a moment.

What we didn’t capture on camera: Rosie cleans Olivier’s instrument, fits a new reed and hands it back to him, all in time for their next entries.

And meanwhile, none of the players around them bats an eyelid, and no one in the hall is any the wiser that there has been a drama.

The cameras were rolling because we live-streamed the whole concert which you can watch here:

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Philip Glass at 80: Reflections and predictions for classical music’s future

Philip Glass reflects on his career to date including addressing why he isn’t a minimalist, his early years as an up-and-coming artist in New York which saw him supplement his income with stints as a plumber and cab driver, and what he thinks the future is for classical music.

American composer Philip Glass is one of the world’s most popular living composers. He has written prolifically for the stage, his works including several ballets and more than twenty operas. The Linbury Studio Theatre has been the site of two UK premieres of Glass chamber operas, with The Royal Opera producing Orphée in 2005 and Music Theatre Wales In the Penal Colony in 2010. In 2014 MTW gave the world premiere of Glass’s chamber opera The Trial in the Linbury. in the 2016/17 Season Javier De Frutos creates a new production of Glass’s dance opera Les Enfants Terribles for The Royal Ballet in the Barbican Theatre.

Glass was born in Baltimore and studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School, and with Nadia Boulanger and Ravi Shankar. In 1967 he formed the Philip Glass Ensemble in New York. By 1974 had created a large collection of new music for the Philip Glass Ensemble and Mabou Mines Theater Company, culminating in Music in Twelve Parts and the landmark opera Einstein on the Beach. He went on to expand his repertory to include music for opera, dance, theatre, chamber ensemble, orchestra and film. His film scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). Further works include the operas Appomattox and The Perfect American (a co-commission between Teatro Real, Madrid, and English National Opera), the song cycle Ifé for Angelique Kidjo, the Double Piano Concerto for Katia and Marielle Labèque and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and his memoir Words Without Music (Liveright Publishing).

Glass presents lectures, workshops and solo keyboard performances around the world and has created collaborations with such figures as David Bowie, Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen, Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma, Doris Lessing and Twyla Tharp.

Hanns Eisler – 14 Arten den Regen zu beschreiben (14 Ways To Describe The Rain), Op. 70 (1941)

In 1941, Eisler wrote music for the 1929 black-and-white documentary Rain by legendary Dutch director Joris Ivens. The Ivens website describes the film as “a very poetic film with changing moods, following the change from sunny Amsterdam streets to rain drops in the canals and the pooring rain on windows, umbrellas, trams and streets, until it clears up and the sun breaks through once again.” Eisler’s score was written as an experiment for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Film Music Project at the New School in New York City. The music does not exactly correspond to the mood of each image in the film; instead, it explores the textures of sadness—an unusual theme for Eisler. The chamber suite based on the film score was one of Eisler’s favorite works and is a study in his communicative style of twelve-tone music. It was premièred in Arnold Schönberg’s home in Los Angeles for the elder composer’s seventieth birthday celebration in 1944. [source]

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Anton Webern – Variations for piano Opus 27 (1936)

Variations for piano, op. 27, is a twelve-tone piece for piano composed by Anton Webern in 1936. It consists of three movements:

  1. Sehr mäßig (“Very moderate”)
  2. Sehr schnell (“Very fast”)
  3. Ruhig fließend (“Calm, flowing”)

Webern’s only published work for solo piano, the Variations are one of his major instrumental works and a seminal example of his late style. [source]

Glenn Gould – pianoforte, filmed in 1974.

 

Eric Tanguy – Improvisation

Born in 1968, Eric Tanguy is a reputable and accomplished composer in France and abroad. He studied at the National Conservatory of Paris and later served as composer in residence for several orchestras. Possessing an impressive catalog of eighty works, which have been performed by renowned conductors, ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, Tanguy was recently voted Composer of the Year for the second time at the annual Victories de la Musique Classique Awards in 2008. [source]

The Art Of Piano – Great Pianists Of The 20Th Century (2011)

Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century movie was released July 26, 2011 by the Kultur Films Inc. studio. From Ignaz Jan Paderewski in 1936 to Claudio Arrau in 1970, The Art of Piano features some of the most fascinating material, historically and musically, from the world’s film and television archives. Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century movie Commentaries by Piotr Anderszewski, Daniel Barenboim, Schuyler Chapin, Sir Colin Davis, Gary Graffman, Evgeny Kissin, Zoltan Kocsis, Stephen Kovacevich, Paul Myers, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, György Sandor and Tamás Vásáry.
Using footage that was painstakingly collected over a two year period, THE ART OF PIANO features rare clips of eighteen amazingly talented pianists who reached career heights at the middle of the 20th century Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century video. Featuring legends like Rachmaninoff, Hofman, Horowitz, and Glenn Gould performing live and on film, the theme of the video is tied together through interviews and commentary by conductors including Sir Colin Davis and Daniel Barenboim Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century film. [source]

A documentary about the art of Piano Playing with works by Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Tschaikowsky, Mozart, Chopin u. a. 

Artists: Arrau, Backhaus, Cortot, Cziffra, A. Fischer, Gilels, Hess, Hofmann, Horowitz, Michelangeli, Gould, Paderewski, Rachmaninoff, Richter, Rubinstein .

Donald Sturrock – Director / Pierre-Olivier Bardet – Executive Producer / Stephen Wright – Executive Producer / Clive Sugars – Executive Producer /Christian Labrande – Screenwriter / Donald Sturrock – Screenwriter / Release date Jul 26, 2011 / Runningtime 107 Minutes /

Peter Gabriel’s New Blood Orchestra recording at Air Studios

A series of orchestral teasers for Peter Gabriel’s ‘New Blood’ record. The New Blood Orchestra recorded versions of Peter’s songs for a forthcoming album at Air Studios in June. The arrangements are by John Metcalfe and Richard Chappell led the team magically capturing the audio with the lovely people at Air. For more information on the album release and live dates visit petergabriel.com.