main: November 2007 Archives
Two eminent violinists have been in touch concerning my recent assertion that the Mieczyslaw Karlowicz concerto has 'not been played outside Poland in living memory'.
Tasmin Little, who made a lovely recording for Hyperion with the BBC Scottish four years ago, tells me she did her best to secure a public performance in several countries and actually got it into a BBC concert, only for some chicken-heart to change the programme for reasons that were never satisfactorily explained. Tasmin's recording, by the way, is mysteriously omitted from the 2008 edition of the compendious Penguin Guide to classical records.
Meanwhile, from her home in Australia, up pops the much-loved Wanda Wilkomirska, whose recordings have become notably scarce. After a mid-night shuffle through her old concert diaries she informs me (via David Schoenbaum in Iowa) that she played Karlowicz 'in Prague in 1953, in Basel in 1961, in Minneapolis in 1962, toured the US and Canada for five weeks with it in 1964, and repeated it in Frankfurt in 1970.'
Still within living memory, for sure, but I guess the fact that she was a Polish artist, touring mostly with a Polish orchestra, may have led lazy-minded violinists and artistic administrators to assume that Karlowicz was a national specialty, like pierogi, and not one of the most affecting concertos written for the instrument since the ineluctable Bruch.
Let's hope that Nigel Kennedy's ardent advocacy will open a few more minds.
Running my eye down the list of players, as I do when I haven't heard a band in a year or so, I noticed that the principal horn in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is a woman (Elspeth Dutch) and the principal harp a man (Robert Johnson).
Not much to raise an eyebrow over these days but as little as a decade ago either placement would have been almost inconceivable. In the 20th century, blowing was for guys, plucking for gals. Today, gender equality rules and long may it do so.
There are two bastions of resistance - the antediluvian Vienna Philharmonic, and the concertmaster's seat which remains overwhelmingly male in major symphony orchestras.
Apart from the impressive Clio Gould at the Royal Philharmonic, I see few lady leaders in the whole of western Europe. Why is that?
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog