Slipped disc: December 2010 Archives
It was in 1982, in Helsingborg, Sweden that I had the great fortune of collaborating with Emil Gilels, conducting Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto Nº1 in Bb minor for him. This encounter which turned to be a memorable one for me in more then one way, was a "miracle" in itself: At that time no Soviet musician was allowed by the Soviet régime to perform with Israeli colleagues, and so the collaboration between Mr. Gilels and myself should have been forbidden. Anyway, to my great amazement it was allowed to happen.
After the first rehearsal with the Helsingborg Symphony Mr. Gilels asked me to join him for lunch at the hotel bistro and a conversation ensued between us: (Gilels' wife Lala, was not feeling very well and preferred to rest in the room upstairs)
Gilel: "Have you ever been to Russia"?
Gilels: "Have you ever been to a communist country"?
Segal: "Yes. I have been to Poland (touring the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra in 1972)
Gilels: "And what was your impression"?
Segal: " Well, it was mixed. However, when I took my seat on the plane back to the West I felt a great relief".
Gilels: "I want to show you something".
At that point Gilels drew out of his purse a piece of yellow newspaper cutting in which a few words were underlined in red. It was a cutting of the New York Times from 1962 describing the press reception given to Stravinsky on his returne back to the US from his visit to Russia, his first visit in 48 years. To the question by the press was there anything he liked about the USSR Strvinsky replied there were indeed two things he did like about it, namely "the vodka and the exit visa" (Stravinsky was regarded as an "émigré traitor to the Motherland" by the Soviet régime).
I was touched to the core of my heart. Gilels was keeping this piece of newspaper all those years in his purse as a kind of "secret moto" and at a tremendous risk to himself, and what's more, he trusted me enough to unravel it to me (at a time the harsh Brezhnev régime is still raging).
That evening I was invited by the Gilels to their room for tea and Mr. Gilels was very interested to hear my view on Schoenberg. He was very happy and proud about a recent trip to Vienna where he played and recorded Mozart Double Concerto with his daughter Elena and the Vienna Phiharmonic under Kerl Böhm. He said there was nothing better in life.
The evening of the concert Gilels and I were supposed to meet at a certain time in the hotel lobby to be driven to the concert-hall together. I came down at the appointed time and Gilels was not there. I waited and waited and then tried to call his room but the phone was constantly busy. Finally he came down. He looked pale and extremely shaken, trembling all over he said "They are killing me. Look, my hands are shaking. How do they want me to play a concert now". It was the KGB harrassing him. It was pretty awful.
Tomasi: Concerto pour saxophone et orchestra - II Giration: Finale. Allegro
To download Matthews: String Quartet No. 10, Op. 84 - I. Lontano click the link below:
Brahms/Schoenberg: 7 Fantasien op.116/6 kleine Klavierstücke op.19 (elision)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jill McIntyre retains independence
with TGA scooter despite divorcing celebrated operatic bass-baritone Sir Donald McIntyre OBE
Jill McIntyre is a remarkable lady who has managed to battle through severe
trauma following a high profile accident and subsequent disability, however is
now to divorce her husband of 48 years and will only remain independent thanks
to a mobility scooter from
Now living on the family 107-acre farm in Kent, Lady Jill McIntyre has experienced a life filled with both celebrity status and dramatic trauma. Lady Jill's husband, New Zealand born Sir Donald McIntyre OBE is renowned worldwide for his operatic talent and debuted as Zaccaria in Nabucco, at the Welsh National Opera, in 1959. His career went from strength-to-strength with appearances across the globe performing alongside stars such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Dame Gwyneth Jones whilst always accompanied by his beloved wife backstage.
However their youngest daughter became seriously ill with meningitis in the early nineties and with the combination of this and Jill's Mother dying suddenly, Jill became deeply depressed. This depression led to a horrendous tragedy when in New Zealand, under heavy medication, she fell 65ft off a 6th floor window and landed on a car park below. This left Jill in a coma for five weeks, with severe life threatening injuries and a bleak prognosis. Covered in the National Press, she was flown back to the UK and over the coming months managed to pull through this ordeal even though undergoing amputation of her shattered right leg 10 months after the accident. 18 months passed before Jill was well enough to return home permanently and ever since has fought to regain her speech and improve her well-being. This was made easier by the support of Sir Donald who took a whole year off from performances to help his wife's recovery however with Jill's recent decision to divorce her celebrity husband, she will now no longer have assistance with daily living.
Soon to be living with considerably less daily support, Jill will be even more dependent on her Supersport mobility scooter from TGA. The extensive McIntyre family farm is based in the rolling Kent countryside which could have posed a challenge to remain mobile outdoors, however the rugged Supersport will continue to allow Jill to negotiate farm tracks and off-road terrain. She has to regularly travel up a one-mile steep hill to the village and often assists at the local nursery school having been a qualified teacher. Being house bound would have been a distinct possibility without the ownership of a mobility scooter from TGA; especially now she is divorcing Sir Donald.
Jill explains, 'I read once that 90% of marriages break up when one person becomes disabled and I can understand why - it puts a lot of strain on a relationship. Over the past 15 years since my accident my husband has supported me closely for which I am eternally grateful, however I feel the time has come for us to go our separate ways. Obviously the prospect of more time alone makes me a little apprehensive, however I intend to remain independent and continue my outdoor activities such as swimming in the lake, gardening, teaching at Keston County Primary School and tending the farm, all thanks to my robust TGA Supersport. Before I purchased it, I thoroughly investigated the marketplace to ensure I obtained a mobility scooter that had the power, performance and manoeuvrability to cope in a rural environment. I can independently and with peace of mind, travel into my local woods up to a range of 20 miles whilst appreciating the surroundings I am lucky enough to live within. Only the popular TGA Supersport met all my needs and without this marvellous machine I would be lost I'm sure.'
Jill continues to remain positive even though the next few months promise to be a testing time for her and the McIntyre family. Her inspirational attitude to life has recently been given a boost by her grandson, Luke Jackson-Clark. With her connections in the world of theatre and the arts, Jill is currently supporting him as he performs in Billy Elliot at The Palace Theatre Victoria, London, following a recent role in Oliver Twist.
* ENDS *
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Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor op.64 - III Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace
He is accompanied by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra; the companion piece on the Onyx disc is Mendelssohn's marvellous Octet.
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC MUSIC DIRECTOR
GUSTAVO DUDAMEL TO APPEAR ON NBC'S
"THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO"
TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2011, AT 11:35 PM
WHAT: LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel guests on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Tuesday, January 4, 2011, at 11:35 p.m. In his first appearance on the national late-night program, Dudamel discusses, among other topics, LA Phil LIVE, which sends full-concert performances of him leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall to more than 450 movie theaters across the U.S. and Canada.
Dudamel is currently in the middle of his second season leading the LA Phil. The LA Phil's 2010/11 season presents a vast spectrum of imaginative concerts - welcoming back old friends, while continuing the tradition of introducing rising artists and composers - a European tour and expansion of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), Dudamel's signature music education program.
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" is from Big Dog Productions in association with Universal Media Studios. Debbie Vickers is the executive producer.
For artwork from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," please visit the NBC press website at www.nbcumv.com or contact email@example.com. For embed codes from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" please visit http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/.
Please visit www.LAPhil.com for complete programming information.
Respighi: Belkis, Queen of Sheba - I The Dream of Solomon
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Sascha Goetzel
Korngold violin concerto
Like London buses, you can wait years for a Korngold concerto and then four turn up in a row. Nikolai Znaider (RCA) was sulky and Philippe Quint (Naxos) I haven't heard, but both Renaud Capucon on Virgin and Matthew Trusler on Orchid bring fresh qualities to the work and good reason to reconsider its virtues. Capucon pitches the opening sweetness to perfection and underplays the finale's recycled movie themes. Trusler takes a more nostalgic route, finding exquisite love and pain in Korngold's yearnings for a vanished Vienna.
Both are thoughtful, distinctive and engagingly personal. Capucon is disadvantaged by his paring - a solid account of the Beethoven concerto, conducted in Rotterdam by Yannick Nezet-Seguin - while Trusler in Dusseldorf (cond. Yasuo Shinozaki) offers the stunning and apt concerto by another film composer, Miklos Rozsa, as well two prime Heifetz encores. In Korngold, though, I cannot choose one over the other: I'm keeping them both.
And here's Jessica Duchen's lyrical biography of the composer:
Between us, we know what's what. We have colleagues who hit the bar before, during and after a concert, others whose nerves are so shot their bathroom cabinet looks like a medieval apothecary's and their nostrils are in need of relining. The intonation goes and the family disintegrates. We stand by as children suffer. And we say nothing. We deny that drink and drugs are every bit as prevalent in classical music as they are in recovering members of the Rolling Stones. We live a flagrant lie.
Why is that? Why does our particular form of music maintain a pretence of Victorian rectitude under Sicilian vows of omerta while others let it all hang out. Why does classical music gasp in shock-horror when there's a drugs bust in Nigel Kennedy's Bavarian hotel room and a few innocent players are disturbed at their alleged spliffs.
Face the facts. American orchestras had their fastest growth spurt during Prohibition because they were the best place to get a drink. The Berlin Philharmonic served beer during concerts when they started out. Music is culturally inseparable from light refreshment. We play, we listen, we drink, sometimes to excess. No big deal.
I maintain we need more openness. Your views, please?
Cheltenham Music Festival, one of the UK's most established and well-loved music festivals, announces its programme for 2011. The programme features top-notch performers, mainstage classics and cutting-edge contemporary music - all in a variety of stunning locations in and around this beautiful Cotswolds town.
Highlights of this year's festival include:
- Evelyn Glennie gives the world premiere of a new percussion concerto by Joseph Phibbs that celebrates cocktails from around the world - a cocktail shaker will inevitably be part of the proceedings!
- From Pythagoras to the avant-garde, the Festival delves into the connections between music and maths, building on the success of the Science Festival tie-up, Sound Mind, in 2010.
- A special percussion weekend features not just Evelyn Glennie, but Graham Fitkin's new band Fitkin and Steve Reich's minimalist masterpiece from 1971, Drumming, played by the Colin Currie Ensemble.
- Other premieres include a new saxophone quartet by Gavin Higgins, Martin Butler's Nonet, Edward Rushton's new twist on the popular mythical story of Pandora, and a piano quartet by RPS Composition Prizewinner Charlotte Bray
- Performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage's controversial debut opera Greek by Music Theatre Wales. A startling yuppy era retelling of the Oedipus story, in its first production in the UK for ten years.
- A taste of renaissance Spain in Gloucester Cathedral with award-winning Stile Antico. Music by Victoria, Morales, Guerrero and Palestrina will mark the 400th anniversary of thedeath of composer Tomás Luis de Victoria.
- Performances by exciting young artists including pianist James Rhodes in his concerto debut, a Dvořák chamber music double-bill featuring cellist Natalie Clein, and a performance from one of classical music's hottest new properties, guitarist Milos Karadaglic.
- Wagner, Brahms and Strauss' Four Last Songs from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski and Amanda Roocroft, and an all-Russian programme from theBournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits and pianist Boris Giltburg.
The full programme will be announced in the spring. More information can be found at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/music/
Schumann: Violin Sonata no.2 in D minor op.121 - II Sehr lebhaft
Check the www.scena.org review:
Violin sonatas 1-3
Ilya Gringolts and pianist Peter Laul take a sunny approach to the sonatas, a welcome change from the usual gloom and doom. The first two are mid-romantic meditations, the third a posthumous reconstruction. Gringolts is velvety and seductive in the softer passages, avoiding the pursuit of speed and showmanship, a natural storyteller.
The recording was issued on the Onyx label, a really interesting enterprise started five years ago by a pair of executive drop-outs from the crumbling corporate biz. Here is what I wrote about them at the time. I'm glad to see that many of their expectations (and mine) have been fulfilled. Enjoy Gringolts in Schumann. More to come in the festive days ahead.
... In reality only 15,716 people actually paid for the track compared to the audience for the Official Chart Show which is at least 1.4 million. We decided that while most of them would like to know where the single charted they would be significantly less interested in hearing 4 minutes and 33 seconds of near silence. I completely understand your frustration, but in this case the decision was about pleasing the majority of BBC Radio 1's listeners rather than a minority"
The Violin Player sold 3.5 million copies and made Vanessa-Mae a household name, at least for the Warholian 15 minutes of fame. Then music hit back. Her follow-ups flopped. She signed with Sony and was apparently dropped. Every year since 2006, she has promised an opera-themed album, still awaited. The best that can be said of Vanessa-Mae is that she played the best she could.
The rest you'll have to read in the magazine. By way of a further taster, though, you might enjoy the contender below in the Mendelssohn concerto on youtube.
Do not hesitate to post your reactions.
The commemoration was the idea of Mr. Hamilton Armstrong, who is from the Syracuse suburb of Fayetteville. Mr. Armstrong loves the music of Mahler, and he brought it to the attention of our program director, Peter McElvein, that Gustav Mahler did a concert in Syracuse while touring with the New York Philharmonic on 9 December 1910. It was in the Wieting Opera House, which stood from 1897 to 1932. In its day, the Wieting featured famous performers from all parts of the world, including many classical musicians. An office building called the Atrium is now on the site, on the south edge of Clinton Square, in the center of downtown Syracuse. Mr Armstrong commissioned the creation of a permanent memorial bench in stone to be made by the Karl Lutz Monument Company of Syracuse and placed on the site of the Wieting Opera House.
To mark this important anniversary, WCNY-FM is doing a broadcast on Thursday, 9 December 2010. It will start with Norman Lebrecht's interview about his book Why Mahler?, which is hosted by Bill Baker. We were originally going to start airing the interview at 12:15 P.M. Eastern time (1715 GMT). However, the complete interview ran to around 25 minutes, and frankly, we cannot bring ourselves to cut it down.
Thus, it will probably start airing at either 12:04 or 12:06 P.M., since there are two points where we can cut out of NPR top-of-the-hour news. The interview will run until just before 12:30 P.M., when we will cut to live coverage of the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony in Clinton Square. At 1:00 P.M. (1800 GMT), we will broadcast a re-creation of the program from the original Mahler concert. Henry Fogel will be the host. Mr. Fogel has a Syracuse connection as the owner and manager for many years of the former WONO-FM, a commercial classical station that was the predecessor of WCNY-FM. Mr. Fogel has chosen recordings of the pieces that were played back in 1910. They were:
1) Suite arranged by Gustav Mahler from J.S. Bach's Second Suite in B minor and Third Suite in D Major
2) Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F Major
3) Wagner: Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan und Isolde"
4) Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
5) Wagner: Prelude to Act I of "Die Meistersinger"
I believe Mr. Fogel will use the Los Angeles Philharmonic recording of the Bach-Mahler suite, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. I don't yet know which recording of the Beethoven 6th he plans to use. However, for the Wagner pieces, he plans recordings with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Willem Mengelberg, who was a director of the New York Philharmonic in the 1920s and, thus, would have worked with many of the same musicians who toured with Mahler in 1910. Also, according to Mr. Fogel, Mengelberg and Mahler had some similarities in conducting style, and so the Mengelberg recordings might give listeners some idea how those pieces actually sounded on that night in Syracuse in 1910.
For people in Central New York State, our broadcast may be heard in the Syracuse area on WCNY 91.3 FM; in the Utica/Rome area on WUNY 89.5 FM; and in Watertown, New York and the Kingston, ON/1000 Islands region of Canada on WJNY 90.9 FM. The program is also available in Windows Media streaming audio at this URL:
People who are not WCNY members may listen by scrolling down to the link that says "Lawn Seating."