Gil Shaham

Gil Shaham
Gil Shaham, violinist

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Kurt Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins | William Walton: Façade Orchestral Suite No.1, & Symphony No.1 in B flat minor – Storm Large, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin – Sunday, December 4, 2016, 3:00 AM – Live on Livestream

Called "sensational" by The New York Times in her 2013 Carnegie Hall debut with the DSO, larger-than-life personality and vocalist Storm Large reprises her starring role as "Anna" (and her multiple personalities!) in Kurt Weill's thrilling, satirical Seven Deadly Sins. Leonard Slatkin leads this theatrical masterpiece, framed by acclaimed works of avant-garde English composer William Walton.

Detroit: Saturday, December 3, 2016, 8:00 PM

Υπό τη διεύθυνση του διάσημου Αμερικανού μαέστρου Λέοναρντ Σλάτκιν, η Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα του Ντιτρόιτ παρουσιάζει το έργο των Κουρτ Βάιλ και Μπέρτολτ Μπρεχτ, «Τα επτά θανάσιμα αμαρτήματα», με ερμηνεύτρια την Αμερικανίδα τραγουδίστρια Στορμ Λάρτζ, καθώς επίσης και δύο έργα ενός από τους σημαντικότερους Άγγλους συνθέτες, του Γουίλιαμ Γουόλτον: τη Σουίτα αρ. 1 (Façade), και τη Συμφωνία αρ. 1 σε Σι ύφεση ελάσσονα.

Η συναυλία, διάρκειας δύο ωρών, θα λάβει χώρα στην αίθουσα συναυλιών Orchestra Hall στο Max M. Fisher Music Center στο Ντιτρόιτ των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, την Κυριακή 4 Δεκεμβρίου 2016, στις 3:00 πμ (ώρα Ντιτρόιτ: Σάββατο 3 Δεκεμβρίου, 8:00 μμ), και θα μεταδοθεί ζωντανά από το Livestream.

William Walton (1902-1983)

♪ Façade, Suite No.1, for orchestra (1926)

i. Polka
ii. Valse
iii. Swiss Yodeling Song
iv. Tango – Pasodoblé
v. Tarantella. Sevillana

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)

♪ The Seven Deadly Sins (1933)

Storm Large, vocalist
Hudson Shad, vocal quartet

William Walton

♪ Symphony No.1 in B flat minor (1935)

i. Allegro assai
ii. Scherzo: Presto con malizia
iii. Andante con malinconia
iv. Maestoso – Allegro, brioso ed ardentemente – Vivacissimo – Maestoso

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin

(HD 720p)

Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit

Sunday, December 4, 2016, 3:00 AM (EET, UTC+02:00)
(Detroit: Saturday, December 3, 2016, 8:00 PM)

Live on Livestream

Photo by Laura Domela
Storm Large was born in 1969, and raised in suburban Southborough, Massachusetts. Since around age five, she started singing and writing songs. She graduated in 1987 from St Mark's School, a prestigious private school whose alumni include Ben Bradlee, Prince Hashim of Jordan, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt III. Her father Henry Large was a history teacher there, as well as the football team coach before he retired.

After high school, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where she earned an associate degree in 1989.

In the early 1990s Large moved to California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Large moved to Portland, Oregon in 2002, originally planning to quit music and attend the Western Culinary Institute, but at the urging of friends and in particular Frank Faillace, owner of the Portland rock club Dante's, she began singing again with a band she called "The Balls".

Large is bisexual, though she dislikes the term and instead calls herself "sexually omnivorous".

While in San Francisco Storm formed the bands Flower SF, Storm and Her Dirty Mouth, and Storm, Inc. Storm also performed with Michael Cavaseno as the duo Storm and Michael or Storm and Friends.

Storm, Inc. featured Shaunna Hall of 4 Non Blondes and P-Funk fame as a rhythm guitarist. Shaunna was featured on The Calm Years LP and toured with the band for a few months after the album's release.

On January 12, 2012, Storm published a memoir titled Crazy Enough. It is an expansion on her cabaret show produced by Portland Center Stage. The book, published by Free Press, is an account of her growing up with a mother with psychological issues, her stint as a competitive rower, and her eventual successes.


Storm Large: musician, actor, playwright, author, awesome. She shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where despite having been eliminated in the week before the finale, Storm built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day.

Storm spent the 90s singing in clubs throughout San Francisco. Tired of the club scene, she moved to Portland to pursue a new career as a chef, but a last minute cancellation in 2002 at the Portland club "Dante's" turned into a standing Wednesday night engagement for Storm and her new band, The Balls. It wasn't long before Storm had a cult-like following in Portland, and a renewed singing career that was about to be launched onto the international stage.

Storm made her debut as guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally, and she was featured on their CD, Get Happy. Storm has also sung with Grammy winner k.d. lang, pianist Kirill Gerstein, punk rocker John Doe, singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton.

She debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 2010, and has returned for sold out performances each year thereafter. Storm made her Carnegie Hall debut in May 2013, singing Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony as part of the Spring for Music festival. The NY Times called her "sensational", and the classical music world instantly had a new star.

In 2007, she took a career departure and starred in Portland Center Stage's production of Cabaret with Wade McCollum. The show was a smash hit, earning Large glowing reviews. Her next endeavor, the autobiographical musical memoir, Crazy Enough, played to packed houses in 2009 during its unprecedented 21-week sold out run in Portland. Storm went on to perform a cabaret version of the show to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival in Australia, and Joe's Pub in New York. Her memoir, Crazy Enough, was released by Simon and Schuster in 2012, named Oprah's Book of the Week, and awarded the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Storm is featured in Rid of Me, a film by Portlander James Westby, starring Katie O'Grady and Theresa Russell. In November and December of 2010, she starred at the Mark Taper Forum with Katey Sagal and Michael McKean in Jerry Zak's production of Harps and Angels, a musical featuring the work of Randy Newman.

In the 2013-2014 season Storm and her band, Le Bonheur performed in many new cities around the country, including Las Vegas, Boston, Minneapolis in a evening called "Taken By Storm" In June 2014, she appeared at the Ojai Festival with the exciting new orchestra, The Knights and the vocal ensemble Hudson Shad. Later in the summer she debuts at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.

In the Fall of 2014, Storm & Le Bonheur released a record designed to capture their sublime and subversive interpretations of the American Songbook. Entitled simply, "Le Bonheur" and released on Pink Martini's, Heinz Records, the recording will be a collection of tortured and titillating love songs; beautiful, familiar, yet twisted... much like the lady herself. Storm and her band will hit the road in support of this new release. Storm also makes her debut with The New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, The Cincinnati Symphony, The Houston Symphony and The RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin amongst others. Storm is also busy creating a new musical with The Public Theater in New York City.


Storm Large, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin

Kurt Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins

Elizabeth West and Peter Darrell co-founded Western Theatre Ballet in 1957. They aimed to find new audiences for ballet, performing in theatres that large companies did not visit. It was their ambition to commission ballets reflecting the spirit of the day and, crucially, to revitalise ballet's theatrical dimension (hence the word "theatre" in the company's name). Lord Harewood's invitation to perform at the Edinburgh Festival in 1961 was an important recognition of what Western Theatre Ballet had achieved. The programme they chose was daunting for a small company: Kenneth MacMillan's version of Brecht/Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, along with Salade choreographed by Peter Darrell and Le Renard choreographed by Alfred Rodrigues. A particular strength of the evening was the designs, which for all three ballets were overseen by Barry Kay. Ian Spurling was MacMillan's designer, his set constructed, rather than consisting of painted cloths and flats, the seven locales of Anna's sins announced on large lettered cubes moved around the stage by the cast.

The Seven Deadly Sins, which Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill wrote after they fled Nazi Germany (it was their final collaboration), is an excoriating assault on capitalist morality. It was conceived as a satirical ballet chanté and first commissioned by Boris Kochno and George Balanchine in 1933. The work had been largely forgotten until Balanchine revived it in 1958.

Its heroine, Anna is a split personality, presented in MacMillan's ballet as two sisters. The singing Anna is all rational calculation. Her counterpart, the dancing Anna, is instinctive, natural, unguarded and generous. Anna is despatched into the world to "make good". The deadly sins from which her sister has to save her are the instincts that stand in the way of success. The two sisters, really one, journey around the America of Brecht's imagination encountering a different sin in each city. Each humane impulse of the dancing Anna (Anya Linden) is stigmatised as a deadly sin by the singing Anna's voice of reason (Cleo Laine). Virtue subsists only in acquiring money, symbolised by the home in Louisiana to which they eventually return.

Lotte Lenya was to have been MacMillan's Singing Anna, as she had been both in the 1933 and in the 1958 revivals. She had not understood that the choreography would be new and withdrew from the production to be replaced by Cleo Laine. For The Times the ballet made the strongest impression of the evening. "Whether or not we agree with Brecht", the review (unsigned) continued, "that there is anything specifically bourgeois about this immorality, the piece should make us profoundly uncomfortable. That it did not tonight was partly due to Mr Kenneth MacMillan's and Mr Ian Spurling's all too brilliant evocation of the world of Pabst's films, which now seem safely quaint, and partly to the invincible warmth of Miss Cleo Laine's singing. The final horror should lie in the fact that Anna I thinks of herself not as hard-bitten but as a pillar of morality: no room here for a heart of gold, or even a heart at all".

A music critic, Peter Heyworth reviewed the premiere for The Observer. "What was conceived in rage is swaddled in pity and savage satire is reduced to piquant paradox." However, Andrew Porter of The Financial Times came to MacMillan's defence. "It is not The Seven Deadly Sins, one feels, that Brecht and Weill intended. On its own terms, however, if not on theirs, MacMillan's choreography is filled with brilliance and invention and the whole presentation, in Ian Spurling's extremely clever set, is exciting."


Κουρτ Βάιλ: Τα Επτά Θανάσιμα Αμαρτήματα

Το μονόπρακτο «τραγουδισμένο μπαλέτο» (ballet chant) «Τα επτά θανάσιμα αμαρτήματα» είναι «καρπός» της συνεργασίας του Κουρτ Βάιλ με τον Μπέρτολτ Μπρεχτ. Το έργο, το οποίο βασίζεται σε σενάριο που επεξεργάστηκαν ο Έντουαρντ Τζέιμς με τον Μπορίς Κοκνό, πρωτοπαρουσιάστηκε στο Θέατρο των Ηλυσίων Πεδίων το 1933. Η χορογραφία ήταν του Ζορζ Μπαλανσίν και η μουσική διεύθυνση του Μορίς Αμπραβανέλ. Πρωταγωνιστούσαν η Λότε Λένια και η χορεύτρια Τίλι Λος. Την ίδια χρονιά παρουσιάστηκε στο Λονδίνο, στο Savoy Theatre, υπό τον τίτλο Anna - Anna. Η Λότε Λένια, χήρα πλέον του Κουρτ Βάιλ, τραγούδησε το ρόλο της Αννα και τη δεκαετία του '50. Τον ίδιο ρόλο έχουν τραγουδήσει και οι Marianne Faithfull, Elise Ross, Anne Sofie von Otter, Teresa Stratas και Anja Silja.

Πρόκειται για ένα πολύ δυνατό πολιτικό έργο, που καυτηριάζει την εκμετάλλευση του ανθρώπου – στην προκειμένη περίπτωση με πρόσχημα την αμαρτία. Η υπόθεση αφορά δύο αδελφές, την Άννα I και την Άννα II, που ταξιδεύουν σε επτά πόλεις των ΗΠΑ, προκειμένου να συγκεντρώσουν χρήματα, ώστε η οικογένειά τους να χτίσει ένα σπίτι στις όχθες του Μισισιπή. Σε κάθε μία από τις πόλεις, οι δύο αδελφές έρχονται αντιμέτωπες με ένα θανάσιμο αμάρτημα.

To ποιητικό κείμενο είναι σατιρικό: το σημαντικό ηθικό ζήτημα τίθεται καθώς η Άννα II φέρεται ενάντια σε αυτό που θεωρείται «ηθικό», μόνον όταν δε διαπράττει ένα από τα θανάσιμα αμαρτήματα. Έτσι, για την άρνησή της να δουλέψει σε καμπαρέ, της καταλογίζουν «υπερηφάνεια», ενώ η επιθυμία της να παντρευτεί εκείνον που αγαπά και όχι εκείνον που της επιβάλουν, ερμηνεύεται ως «λαγνεία».

William Walton: Symphony No.1 in B flat minor

Walton began to compose his Symphony No.1 in B flat minor in the early part of 1932 at the request of Sir Hamilton Harty, conductor of the Hallé Orchestra. Conveying this news to his friend Siegfried Sassoon, Walton wrote: "I may be able to knock Bax off the map". Having written two concertos and a big choral work (Belshazzar's Feast), he wanted to compose a large-scale piece of "absolute" music, with the Beethovenian symphony as his ideal. Work on it progressed slowly, chiefly at Ascona, Switzerland, where he was living with a young widow, Baroness Imma von Doernberg, and in October 1932 he told Dora Foss, wife of his publisher Hubert Foss, that "it shows definite signs of being on the move, a little spasmodic perhaps, but I have managed to get down about forty bars which for me is really saying something". The symphony originally began with an Allegro version of what is now the first subject of the slow movement. In its place Walton began the work with the haunting rhythmic figure we now know so well. But by December he was "stuck" at "an octave on A". It was at this point that he told Harty there was no chance of the symphony being ready by April, the date for which the conductor had planned the premiere. Harty had just left the Hallé to become conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and was especially anxious for the publicity and prestige associated with giving the first performance of a major work by a young composer regarded as foremost in his generation.

Another year passed during which three movements were completed. Walton told Christabel Aberconway, one of his close friends, that he thought he had "brought off something a bit A1 extra". But the last movement gave him immense trouble, not least because he had spent much of the summer of 1934 writing his first film score (Escape Me Never) for an irresistible fee. Harty, whose plans for the premiere had again been disrupted, announced in November 1934 that the Symphony would be performed on 3 December without a finale. He wrote to Foss: "Why don't you go over to Switzerland and wrest poor W.W.'s Baroness away from him so that he can stop making overtures to her and do a symphony for me instead!" The three-movement version was a success but it was only a stop-gap. Walton wrote to his friend Patrick Hadley that he was determined that the finale should be up to the standard of the rest. "I've burnt about three finales... and it is only comparatively lately that I've managed to get going on what I hope is the last attempt."

Unfortunately the impression persisted at the time of the three-movement performance that Walton could not think of a finale, a misconception he inadvertently fostered by admitting that he "had to wait for the right mood and could not think of the right thing to do". In fact while working on the slow movement he had already begun the finale. Its beginning and magnificent coda were composed by December 1934. He was dissatisfied with the middle section until Constant Lambert suggested a fugal episode. The symphony was finished by 31 August. It was played in full on 6 November 1935 when Harty conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the Queen's Hall, London. None of the above would matter much if it had not led to a critical litany that the finale was "tacked on" and did not fit the rest of the work. On the contrary, it seems to be the only right and proper end to the Symphony, the inevitable resolution of all that has gone before and Walton himself thought it was the best movement.

The opening of the Symphony, with the drum roll on B flat, the harmony on the horns, the rhythmic and throbbing crescendo in the strings and the oboe's repeated-note melody, is among the most exciting starts to a symphony ever written. It precipitates a passionate, frenzied drama, in which there is little lyrical respite and in which strings and brass tear the heart out of the themes, worrying at them as if they had caused some harm. One could analyse this movement in terms of intervals, pedal points and ostinati, but a personal drama was clearly at the root of this score. A friend remarked: "The trouble was that William changed girlfriends between movements". Some time in 1934 Imma left him for another man and he fell in love with Alice, Viscountess Wimborne, with whom he lived happily until her death in 1948. In spite of the break-up, Walton retained the dedication of the Symphony to Imma.

In the scherzo, marked Presto con malizia, the "malicious" designation is no illusion. Walton's sharply accented rhythms convey good humour in Portsmouth Point and Façade. Here there is spite, stinging and lashing. It gives way, in the slow movement, to the solo flute's desolate melancholy which, in an Allegro version, was the first part of the work to be composed. A second important theme is played by solo clarinet over pizzicato strings. The climax of the movement is a passage of full orchestral fury which dies down to leave the flute alone with its lament in C sharp minor. The finale's B flat wrenches us back to reality and confidence. The majestic introduction is succeeded by a busy Allegro, but phrases from the "crown imperial" opening recur and it comes as no surprise, after the fugue, when the majestic music returns. A distant poignant trumpet call is but a momentary interruption in the salvoes of strings, brass and drums which bring the symphony to its dramatic close.

The Symphony enjoyed an ecstatic reception from musicians, critics and public. It was recorded a month after the first performance. Walton was now established as the "white hope" of English music and he was an obvious choice to be asked to compose a march for the Coronation of King George VI in 1937. But he was under no illusions and said prophetically in 1939: "Today's white hope is tomorrow's black sheep". Six years later, when the Second World War was over, he found himself out of favour with the new generation of critics, for whom Schoenberg's atonality was the flavour of the decade, and superseded by Benjamin Britten, eleven years his junior, whose opera Peter Grimes had swept all before it in 1945.

Source: Michael Kennedy, 2011 (

Storm Large sings Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins

Photo by Laura Domela

See also

Live on Livestream: All Past Events

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