Beethoven – Hits

February 25, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Capri Theatre, Adelaide, 23 February 2021) Beethoven was a real grind: loads of chamber pieces, choral works, incidental music and variations, songs, 17 sets for string quartets. At the Capri Cinema on Tuesday night TVC enjoyed 7 short pieces by a young but accomplished string quartet* (2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello) of his works, in a theatre lit only by numerous candles (see main image).  The event is part of a series of such offerings around the country, and well worth attending, as they are accessible, enjoyable, and inexpensive. ‘Beethoven’s Best Works performed by a String Quartet’ included: Quartet…

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Wagner in Russia

February 19, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, WAGNER |

13 February 2021: The Wake for Wagner The Richard Wagner Society of South Australia hosted Konstantin Shamray, an expert pianist and musicologist, for a stimulating and enjoyable lecture on Russian Wagnerism (see main image, Konstantin in conversation with Society President Geoffrey Seidel).  Wagner gave six concerts in St Petersburg in 1863, conducting excerpts from Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger, Die Walküre and Siegfried. His ‘rock star’ presence ensured a wild commercial success, but as Mr. Shamray explained, critical reaction was mixed, particularly among the Russian composers, whose initial adulation morphed into a local set against “disgusting chromaticism,” a surfeit…

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Requiem

Adelaide Festival Theatre, Friday 28 February 2020 (Directed and designed by Romeo Castellucci) Mozart thought he was being poisoned by instalments, so that his death would adjoin completion of the Requiem in D minor (K.626). In other words, he was commissioned by the Next World to write his own funerary music. He was obviously paranoid by then, but the ‘anonymous’ commissioning of the work (by an agent of Count Walsegg, who knocked on Wolfgang’s door), and his own serious illnesses, may have informed the beauty and brilliance of the piece: a hotchpotch to be sure, and an incomplete one, but…

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Sturm und Drang vs Screaming Jets

March 1, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, WAGNER |

Richard Wagner Society of South Australia, Wake for Wagner, 23 February 2020 A slightly delayed soiree was held for the Master’s Death in Venice (13 February 1883) where we were entertained by helden-baritone Ian Vayne, veteran of many operas here and overseas (his repertoire is set out below).  He spoke of previous productions (including the unnerving experience of German directorial flourishes which forced him at one stage to wear alarmingly raised boots as the Dutchman, high as stilts but far less steady) and how the local ones only got off the ground due to determined and smart folks like Bill…

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The Miracle of Beethoven

February 16, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC |

Painting by Josef Danhauser (1840) of Liszt playing to an audience of Dumas, Victor Hugo, George Sand, Paganini, Rossini and Marie d'Agoult. They are almost all regarding the bust of Beethoven beyond the piano

(December 1770 to 26 March 1827) There are 4 true giants of the classical canon, in whose shadow all remain. Bach, the master of complex form, is miraculous (though sometimes mercilessly boring). Mozart followed the rules (except, according to some, when he put in “too many notes”) but his dazzling musical talent, emotional intensity, daring and deep humanity brought classical music to the wider world.  Wagner conceived of a new world of musical drama, and so created a new book of rules. But before the new rules, the old ones had to be broken. And work done that gloried in…

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