I'd intended to make the previous "Days between" post the last…until such time as I once again fall so badly behind that I can't locate the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to flog a bit of my writing for The New York Times here on my own site, anyway. Then I looked at the eight items on hold since my last post, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players performance of Patience on January 3, and changed my mind. What's past is past; time to clear out whatever remains and look ahead.
So, here: A profile of indie-opera impresario Beth Morrison; two reviews of shows in Prototype, the festival Morrison co-directs; two reviews of operas that were not part of Prototype; and three Classical Playlist posts from the Times's ArtsBeat blog – and thus we arrive at my present sabbatical. As ever and as applicable, the performance date is provided first, followed by the publication date.
One final note: The service information underneath the review of composer-soprano Kate Soper's brilliant musical-theater piece Here Be Sirens notes four further performances that were meant to take place between January 30 and February 2. Those performances were cancelled due to a sick vocalist, but watch out for a return engagement in September.
Prototype "Paul's Case" at HERE, January 8, 2014
January 11, 2014
In the first of two continuous acts, Paul is encircled and trapped by his teachers; in the second, the same singers, as hotel maids, buoy and buffet Paul’s airy elation.
In spirit, “The Rivals” harks to Rossini and Donizetti; in sound, it weds Puccini’s generous lyricism to the dancing meters of Bernstein’s “Candide.”
“I think the performer thing wasn’t right, because it was all about me, all about me, all about me,” she said. “The minute that it could be not about me at all, and about everything else, then I relaxed and became very excited and passionate.”
…Brad Peterson’s video projections present an oceanic horizon increasingly cluttered with victims of the sirens’ irresistible allure — a quality shared by Ms. Soper’s remarkable show.
VIVALDI: Concertos for Two Violins and Strings I
Dmitry Sinkovsky and Riccardo Minasi, violinists; Il Pomo d’Oro
SIBELIUS: Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7; ‘Tapiola’
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Robert Spano, conductor
PISARO: ‘asleep, forest, melody, path’
Greg Stuart, percussionist, and ensemble
Mr. Pisaro’s close collaborator Greg Stuart leads a 30-member ensemble in a patient, unpredictable, exceedingly beautiful mingling of simple structures, improvised textures and field recordings
Prototype "Have a Good Day!" at HERE, January 15, 2014
January 17, 2014
After invoking the slumbering groceries (“Buttermilks in a deep sleep/Eggs in line, wearing calcium pajamas”), the cashiers robotically chant shopping lists and sales incentives in Lithuanian, with English titles projected overhead on the back wall.
Olivia Block, electronics, field recordings
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 4
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; conductor, Vasily Petrenko
ROSENBLUM: ‘Möbius Loop’
Raschèr Saxophone Quartet; Boston Modern Orchestra Project, conducted by Gil Rose
…the two tremendous pieces that constitute her newest LP are as rigorously assembled, finely detailed and dramatically taut as any modern composition you might care to name, each evoking a dreamlike story without words.
RADIGUE: ‘Naldjorlak I II III’
Charles Curtis, cellist; Carol Robinson and Bruno Martinez, basset horn players
Giovanni Martinelli, Elisabeth Rethberg, Lawrence Tibbett, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Ettore Panizza
Anne Schmid, contralto; Katharina Suske, oboe d’amore player; Elisabeth Grimm, violinist; Klavierduo Kordzaia-Blum and others
…her goal remained the same: to parse the vast range of overtones and resonances latent in every humble note — “a kind of wild and frail, versatile and volatile world of sounds,” in Ms. Radigue’s own words.