Tár

Directed by Todd Field (2022) To err is human; to forgive, Divine; to cancel, de rigueur. Lydia Tár (not her real name?) is a pianist, ethnomusicologist, composer, and the first female chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. She’s as busy as a bee: at a festschrift, she plugs her new book to Adam Gopnik of the ‘New Yorker’ (they wouldn’t invite Steve Bannon, but this luvvie? No problem!) and she is preparing the forthcoming live recording of Mahler’s 5th. She’s teaching (and bullying) at Juilliard; lunching with a moneyman who wants to pick her brains; she’s hiring and firing; she’s…

Continue Reading →

Bridge of Dreams

October 28, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

OzAsia Festival, Adelaide, 27 October 2022 It may be time to revisit Kipling’s dictum: “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” “Bridge of Dreams” is an unlikely but pretty impressive combination of Hindustani music and big band progressive jazz. At Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide, Saxophonist, composer, and improviser Sandy Evans collaborated with tabla (a pair of twin hand drums from the Indian subcontinent, since the 18th century the principal percussion instrument in Hindustani classical music) players Aneesh Pradhan and Bobby Singh, singer Shubha Mudgal, harmonium player Sudhir Nayak, and the Sirens Big Band,…

Continue Reading →

An Unfamiliar Ring

August 3, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |

Spellbound: “The Ring Without Words” (inter alia) Adelaide Town Hall, Friday night, 29 July 2022 We had previously had a taste of this courtesy of the ASO and Richard Wagner Society of SA.  And we had been somewhat skeptical about the idea of synthesizing Wagner’s immense cycle, sans the singing: would it be, as some have said of the piece, akin to setting your car radio on ‘scan’ and listening to grabs of melody as they hurtled past? But before this, we had to endure several rather mediocre (in my view) Richard Strauss songs, even though they were expertly presented…

Continue Reading →

The Ring Without Words

July 12, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, OPERA, WAGNER |

(Der Ring ohne worte) (Richard Wagner Society SA @ the Grainger Studio, ASO, 10 July 2022) And we thought trying to present Every Musical Ever in an 80 minute show was audacious: in 1987, conductor/composer Lorin Maazel, one of the few Ukrainians we’ve heard of, created a “symphonic synthesis” with the Berlin Philharmonic of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (the tetralogy taking about 16 hours in full), reduced to a 77 minute recording. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor Laureate Nicholas Braithwaite, a great friend of the RW Society, gave a very informative and entertaining talk (with musical and visual demonstrations) deconstructing how…

Continue Reading →

Haydn’s Solar Poetics

March 7, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Australian Haydn Ensemble, Adelaide Town Hall, Saturday 5 March 2022) Haydn’s 30 year gig with the company-store-bound Esterházy players, players fed and watered by a family a bit like the Rockefellers of another age and place, was productive. His very first hits were symphonies 6, 7 & 8, the so-called Morning, Noon and Night symphonies, the first of some 80 that were written for the Esterházy clan. The programme notes put it well, albeit well-baked: “The top minds of Europe were abuzz in 1761. Venus was transiting the sun for the first time since science had twigged that it could pinpoint our…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.