Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pan Cogito Contemplates Gates And Buffett's $600 Billion Extra To Charity Proposal -- One Five Thousandth To The Classical Arts? ($120 Million)

Jeef Koons "Michael Jackson and Bubbles" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

"All right, all bets are down.

No more bets, please.

I'm just a bad boy

All dressed up in fancy clothes

I ain't takin' no trouble

To blow my bubbles away"

Photo credit: (c) Russel Daniels and the Associated Press 2010. Copyright controlled.

Summertime ...['You are so very creative, my Gaga']

In May 2010, Time magazine included Gaga in its annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In June 2010, Forbes listed Gaga fourth on its list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world; she is also ranked as the second most powerful musician in the world.

Image credit: (c) Rolling Stone 2010. Copyright controlled.


Disney News of Summer 1982. (c) Disney 2010. Scanned by Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Classical WETA-FM To Broadcast Bakers' Dozen Of Orchestral Works From Castleton Festival -- Opera To Follow

A variety of 18th, 19th, and 20th c. orchestral works, recorded live days earlier, will be broadcast by WETA-FM at 9 PM on July 5 and July 19, 2010

Verdi: Luisa Miller Overture
Puccini: Manon Lescaut, Intermezzo
Geminiani: Concerto grosso, Op. 3, No. 2
Rossini: The Barber of Seville Overture
Rossini: La gazza ladra Overture
Respighi: The Fountains of Rome
Respighi: The Pines of Rome
Carter: Holiday Overture
Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Copland: El salon Mexico
Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite (selections)
Bernstein: Candide Overture
Maazel: Monaco Fanfares
Barber: Adagio for Strings
Gershwin: An American in Paris

Photo credit: Native Virginian Powhatan Mantle. (c) Pamunkey Regional Library 2010.


“In conceiving the piece Azul, Golijov knew immediately that he didn't want to write a virtuoso solo showcase for Yo-Yo Ma, who has many such pieces already in his repertoire. Rather he chose to eschew bombast for contemplation, and wrote a work that is not a concerto, somewhat in the sphere, Golijov says, of Berlioz's non-concerto for viola Harold in Italy, although here there is no literary impulse behind the music. Among the various ways the composer has thought about Azul is as a 21st-century Baroque adagio, such as those by Handel or Bach. In fact it is the French Baroque composer Couperin who, as in others of Ma's pieces, stands as a model. Azul began as a reconsideration of Golijov's earlier Tenebrae for soprano and string quartet, which itself is based partly on the melismatic settings of Hebrew letter names in Couperin's Leçons de Tenebrae. Golijov wanted to "evoke the majesty of certain Baroque adagios," and recapture for the present that ability of the late Baroque composers to suspend time without stopping motion in their music, and to achieve somehow for himself the special light-filled airiness that one hears in Couperin. …

In creating this unique sound-world Golijov's aim for Azul is to establish an environment sympathetic to communal silence, where the music onstage ebbs and flows through "emergences and submersions" that suggest different levels of focus on the part of the listener. The notion of an orchestra receptive of musical energy is an idea that expands to take in the audience, and expands yet further to take in the space beyond the audience, in a gathering of quiet energy refocused on a soloist playing a cello and a group of musicians on a stage.”

© Robert Kirzinger for the Boston Symphony Orchestra 2006.

Yo Yo Ma's performance of Golijov's Azul, with the National Symphony orchestra this evening, is sold out.

Photo credit: Odesa, Ukraine, Future European Union. (c) Copyright controlled 2007. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 28, 2010

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Midas, now hating wealth and splendor, moved to the country and became a worshipper of Pan, the god of the fields and satyr. Once, Pan had the audacity to compare his music with that of Apollo, and challenged Apollo, the god of the lyre, to a trial of skill. Tmolus, the mountain-god, was chosen as umpire. Pan blew on his pipes and, with his rustic melody, gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas, who happened to be present. Then, Apollo struck the strings of his lyre. Tmolus at once awarded the victory to Apollo, and all but one agreed with the judgment. Midas dissented, and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo would not suffer such a depraved pair of ears any longer, and caused Midas' ears to become the ears of a donkey.

Also see Ernst Bloch "Magic Rattle and Human Harp"

The Medici or Midas Of Sochi?

[Click on image for enlargement.]

"The Russian Federation plans to spend 950 billion roubles on preparations for the 2014 Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a keen skier who sees the 2014 edition as his personal project..."


(950 billion roubles is the equivalent of ca. $30.6 billion.)

Image credit: (c) Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. 2010.


Public Hearing on the U.S. Dirty Tar Sands Oil Pipeline, June 29, 2010. Noon. U.S. Department of State.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Life, Song, Aging, And Death On Earth: In Memorium, Maureen Forrester

“I go around preaching to young people that the performer is the mouth of the composer. You must see that the composers in your country get a hearing. When I travel and do recitals, I always program a big piece of Canadian music [such as Michael Conway Baker, Srul Irving Glick, and Malcolm Forsyth].”

Photo credit: Maureen Forrester. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, reproduction number van.5a51993.


Leila Fadel "Iraq ill-equipped to cope with an epidemic of mental illness" Washington Post June 18, 2010

"Iraqi man turns to music to cope with depression, war
Dhia Hardan, 38, who deals with manic depression, plays the oud, a pear-shaped string instrument. He says music helps him purge his sadness, but when militants took over the streets following the U.S. invasion and during Iraq's sectarian war he worried he'd be killed for playing. Now he only plays at the mental health hospital and in his home."


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New American Opera -- From Austria, The European Union

Focus on Austrian composer Johanna Doderer with Édua Zádory (violin) and the Momenta Quartet (New York)

Friday, June 18 2010, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Embassy of Austria. Washington, D.C.
Free. Reservations required. 202-895-6776

On June 18, the work of Austrian composer Johanna Doderer will be featured at the Austrian Embassy in concert by violinist Édua Zádory and the Momenta Quartet (New York). Johanna Doderer´s (born 1969 in Bregenz, Austria) current work ranges from chamber music to orchestral work to opera. In the near future, she envisages concentrating her work on the field of opera. Her next opera will have the title A kind of Yellow and is dealing with Ira Hayes an almost mythological figure of the American history.

Introduction by Johanna Doderer

violin solo: Édua Zádory
2nd Piano Trio: Momenta Quartet
Wutmarsch for piano and violin: Édua Zádory and piano
string quintet (2 violins, viola, 2 celli): Momenta Quartet
violin solo: Édua Zádory

Conversation on opera with Johanna Doderer

Photo credit: (c) Copyright controlled.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible: In Memorium Sigmar Polke

Sigmar Polke
The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible III (Nickel/Neusilber)
157 1/2 in. x 118 1/8 in. (400 cm x 300 cm)
Acquired 1989
Collection San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Gift of the friends of John Garland Bowes, William Edwards, and Donald Fisher, and Accessions Committee Fund purchase: gift of Frances and John G. Bowes, Shirley and Thomas Davis, Doris and Donald Fisher, and Mimi and Peter Haas
© Sigmar Polke

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Peter Ruzicka In TRANSition To Follow-Up Opera To CELAN

"The new orchestral piece TRANS by Peter Ruzicka will receive its world premiere on 10 June 2010 during the course of the 7th Subscription Concert of the Munich Chamber Orchestra.

The Munich Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Alexander Liebreich will also perform works by Modest Mussorgsky and Alfred Schnittke, alongside TRANS, in the “Grosses Haus” of the Prinzregententheater in Munich.

Peter Ruzicka has frequently worked on individual independent works leading towards a larger upcoming project. The composition “VORGEFÜHLE” (Premonitions) in anticipation of his opera “CELAN” was an example of this. The new piece “TRANS” also stands at the beginning of his occupation with an operatic project to be realised in 2014. It does not yet have a title or libretto, but only a “vision,” as Ruzicka says." ...


Header credit: (c) 2010. Copyright controlled.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

In Which Bulgaria Tries To Get On My Mind

"There was a more concrete agreement today to allow Eurostat, the Union’s statistical agency, to audit countries suspected of falsifying economic data. Eurostat would be able to “visit and have access to all information it deems necessary,” said Elena Salgado, the Spanish finance minister, who chaired the talks on this issue.

Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, identified Bulgaria as one country where the new powers might be used."

Header: Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bulgaria, European Union.

Monday, June 07, 2010

A Little Hardcore, Pre-Solstice Lightning Music

It is time, before I forget, to document a few of the pieces of music that I heard in the Bay Area this past week. In no particular order:

Excerpts from Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in Tahiti" and John Adams's "Gnarly Buttons" on the ARTS philanthropic arts broadcast network. (My mother does not believe that this free television arts service is not shown in Washington, D.C. ... And "Gnarly Buttons" is one of my favorite Adams's works, if not my favorite) ... Stravinsky's "Ode" and Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and Ravel's "Daphnis" on the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus's delayed broadcast on KDFC - FM. (I had partially timed our visit so that I could hear the delayed broadcast of the subsequently cancelled Stravinsky "Threni".) ... Live Tibetan and world music chanting from the Tibet Festival at Live Oak Park, North Berkeley ... The first act of the Ricardo Muti DVD of the 1986 La Scala production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, which Joseph Kerman recommended as his preferred version. I enjoyed it and look forward to watching the rest, soon. ... Walter di Maria's 28 minute soundtrack to his beautiful 1969 experimental film "Hardcore" set in the wonderfully colorful Black Rock desert of Nevada. ... Various ambient music and warblings at the Yuerba Beuna Center for the Arts ... and sea lions ... and the historic Tilden Park Carousel. ... Cannon shot at Fort Ross (Fort Rus) State Park, north of Jenner ... Not located: the Codornices waterfall. ... And later, I listened to Colin Matthew's Fourth Sonata [1975], which seems to have had a huge impact on John Adams just after he composed his "Shaker Loops" [1978]. That Sonata was apparently influenced by early Steve Reich and Terry Riley ... and Jean Sibelius. Matthews studied with Arnold Whittall and the late Nicholas Maw. His later music sounds more like Birtwistle.

'Cricket music' [1964] and 'Ocean music' [1968] by sculptor and composer Walter de Maria

Oral history interview with Walter De Maria, 1972 Oct. 4

Header credit: From Oakland's historic Mountain View Cemetary. Copyright controlled.