1985

1985 (2018) – A film by Yen Tan – Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Jamie Chung

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Lionel Bringuier (HD 1080p)













Hector Berlioz's wondrous Symphonie fantastique like you've never heard it – with huge bells specially made for the work.

French conductor Lionel Bringuier conducts one of the most magnificent pieces in the repertoire: Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique from 1830. A revolutionary work which blends inventive orchestral sounds with the expressions of a desperate, emotional artist. The huge bells that can be seen and heard in this recording were especially made for the Gothenburg Symphony a few years ago and give the reading a unique, authoritative sound picture. Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall on September 7, 2017.



Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

♪ Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste, H.48 / Op.14 (1830)

i. Rêveries – Passions (Daydreams – Passions)
ii. Un bal (A ball)
iii. Scène aux champs (Scene in the Country)
iv. Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)
v. Songe d'une nuit de sabbat (Dream of a Witches' Sabbath)

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Lionel Bringuier

Gothenburg Concert Hall, September 7, 2017

(HD 1080p)














Symphonie fantastique, H.48 / Op.14, in full "Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste", English "Fantastic Symphony: Episode in the Life of an Artist", orchestral work by French composer Hector Berlioz, widely recognized as an early example of program music, that attempts to portray a sequence of opium dreams inspired by a failed love affair. The composition is also notable for its expanded orchestration, grander than usual for the early 19th century, and for its innovative use of a recurring theme – the so-called ideé fixe ("fixed idea" or "obsession") – throughout all movements. The Symphony premiered in Paris on December 5, 1830, and won for Berlioz a reputation as one of the most progressive composers of the era.

After completing medical studies at the behest of his father, who was a doctor, Berlioz rebelliously pursued music and literature, for which he had harboured passions since childhood. In the fall of 1827, at age 24, he attended the opening night of Shakespeare's Hamlet, performed in Paris by an English theatre company. Because his formal education had exposed him only to Latin and Greek, Berlioz understood little of the language. Nevertheless, he was transformed by the experience and recalled it in his memoirs: "Shakespeare, coming upon me unaware, struck me like a thunderbolt".

On that night, however, Berlioz was fascinated by more than the work of the revered English poet: he was enchanted by Harriet Smithson, the young Irishwoman who played Ophelia. That enchantment soon turned to obsession as Berlioz haunted the stage door and inundated Smithson with love letters only to have his advances ignored. Motivated by the pain of unilateral love, Berlioz began after three years to compose an elaborate quasi-autobiographical piece of program music, a symphony that would depict a disconsolate lover driven to the brink of suicide by his lady's indifference. That work became Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste, or simply Symphonie fantastique.

Berlioz declared in his memoirs that the music portrays the dreams of a young man who, in the aftermath of a failed love affair, has taken an overdose of opium. The first movement, which begins gently but increases in intensity, is intended to depict the delights and despairs of love. The second movement, an elegant waltz, evokes a ball where the lover again encounters the woman he can never possess, now in another man's arms. The idyllic strains of the third movement portray his attempt to escape his passions by traveling to the countryside, but, as memories of the unattainable woman return to his thoughts, the tone grows sombre. The composition takes a highly dramatic turn in the ponderous fourth movement, when the young man imagines that he has murdered his beloved and is about to be executed for the crime. The music depicts his march to the guillotine, where his last thought is of the woman he loves. In the final movement, he is in hell at a witches' sabbath over which his beloved herself presides, surrounded by echoes of the ancient hymn Dies irae ("Day of Wrath"), from the Catholic requiem mass.

Aside from its pioneering role as a symphony with a program – that is, with a story to tell – Symphonie fantastique is remarkable for its use of the idée fixe, which surfaces in every movement and unites the entire work. The recurring theme is essentially the tune of the beloved, representing in its varying moods the woman's ever-changing image in her lover's eye. Berlioz's idée fixe paved the way for the development of similar compositional devices in the mid-19th century, including the thematic transformations associated with the works of Franz Liszt and the leitmotifs of Richard Wagner's operas. Symphonie fantastique also constituted the largest-scale symphony composed by anyone to that time, with its five movements spanning nearly an hour and a dauntingly large orchestra that employed new wind instruments – such as the ophicleide (predecessor of the tuba) and the valve trumpet – as well as doubling on the harp and timpani parts.

Although the lover and the beloved are nowhere united in Symphonie fantastique, Berlioz, against all odds, eventually achieved the union in life. Two years after the piece's premiere, when the composer was planning another Paris performance of the massive symphony together with its new choral sequel entitled Lélio, or Le Retour à la vie (1832; "The Return to Life"), he arranged for an English newspaper correspondent to attend the concert with Smithson as his guest. The unsuspecting actress was not warned about what music was on the program, nor was she aware that Berlioz himself would be there. She took the shock reasonably well and was observed to be reading the composer's descriptive program notes closely and paying keen attention to the music. The performance was well received, and soon afterward Smithson consented at last to meet Berlioz. The following year, on October 3, 1833, the two were married. Their marriage, however, was not a happy one, and the couple separated less than a decade later.

Betsy Schwarm (britannica.com)


Interview Lionel Bringuier




More photos


See also


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor "Pathétique" – hr-Sinfonieorchester, Lionel Bringuier

George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue – Yuja Wang, Camerata Salzburg, Lionel Bringuier

Maurice Ravel: Piano Concertos – Yuja Wang, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Lionel Bringuier (Audio video)

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts

Friday, October 27, 2017

Ukraine - Journey to Freedom: A Century of Classical Music for Violin and Piano – Solomiya Ivakhiv, Angelina Gadeliya (Audio video)






















The title of this CD, "Ukraine - Journey to Freedom", may read as a political slogan suggesting its content is patriotic music, but that would be a serious misreading. It is an artistic endeavor by the brilliant violin and piano duo of Solomiya Ivakhiv and Angelina Gadeliya to bring to audiences a program of major works for violin and piano music composed by Ukrainian composers over the course of a century. So why choose such a provocative title? Because until August 24, 1991, when Ukraine officially restored itself as an independent state encompassing most of its traditional lands with internationally recognized borders, a fully independent state of Ukraine simply did not exist. Only at that watershed moment did the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic become simply Ukraine. Culturally, 1991 brought Ukrainian artists and organizations of all kinds the ability to interact directly across national borders. Before then, Moscow had crippled the culture's ability to communicate directly with the rest of the world by bestowing or withholding its approval.

This musical journey began in the last quarter of the 19th century with the emergence of the composer, pedagogue, organizer, and acknowledged founder of the national movement in Ukrainian music, Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912). Lysenko stood in contrast to such eighteenth-century representatives of the Ukrainian Baroque and Classical styles as Artemiy Vedel, Maksym Berezovsky, Mykola Dyletsky, and Dmytro Bortniansky.

Trained in Leipzig, Lysenko chose to return to Ukraine and develop schools and music organizations. An indefatigable and nurturing teacher, he produced and influenced the first wave of professional Ukrainian composers of exceptional quality, which made possible the full bloom of the next generation in the 1920s and 1930s (the twentieth-century renaissance of Ukrainian cultural development). Thus, the chronological program of this CD begins in the epochal year of 1919.

Two works on the CD, Kosenko's Two Pieces, Op.4 and Lyatoshynsky's Sonata Op.19, represent that important decade in the history of Ukrainian music, 1919-1929, when release from cultural bondage created artistic fervor and optimism – albeit short lived. Viktor Kosenko (1896-1938) and Borys Lyatoshynsky (1895-1968), together with Levko Revutsky (1889-1977), are arguably the three most renowned composers of Ukrainian instrumental tradition of that period. This was the period when much of the traditional Ukrainian territories, except for Western Ukraine, became integrated into the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Until the end of the 1920s, this new state retained a degree of cultural autonomy, including direct international contacts that were lost in the 1930s and finally regained in 1991.

The Gina Bachauer Steinway piano used for the recording sessions was provided by Klavierhaus in NYC (Sujatri Reisinger, President).

Source: CD Booklet



Ukraine - Journey to Freedom: A Century of Classical Music for Violin and Piano


Viktor Kosenko (1896-1938)

♪ Two Pieces Op.4 (1919)

i. Dreams
ii. Impromptu


Myroslav Skoryk (b. 1938)

♪ Hutsul Triptych (1964-1965)

i. Allegretto
ii. Dance


Ivan Karabits (1945-2002)

♪ Muzýka – Musician (1974)

(For solo violin, first recording)


Borys Lyatoshynsky (1895-1968)

♪ Sonata, Op.19 (1926)

i. Allegro impetuoso
ii. Tempo precedente
iii. Allegro molto risoluto


Alexander (Oleksandr) Shchetynsky (b. 1960)

♪ An Episode in the Life of a Poet (2014)

(Fantasy based on the opera Interrupted Letter, first recording)


Valentyn Silvestrov (b. 1937)

♪ Post scriptum Sonata (1990)

i. Largo – Allegro
ii. Andantino
iii. Allegro vivace con moto


Yevhen Stankovych (b. 1942)

♪ Angel's Touch (2013)

(First recording)


Bohdan Kryvopust (b. 1975)

♪ Capriccio (2014)

(For Solomiya, first recording)


Solomiya Ivakhiv, violin
Angelina Gadeliya, piano

Recorded July 2015 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City

Labor Records 2016

(HD 1080p – Audio video)



















The dynamic Ivakhiv-Gadeliya Duo was founded in 2006 and has performed to high critical acclaim in venues and festivals across the United States, including the MATI Series at the Ukrainian Institute of America and Merkin Concert Hall, both in New York City; the Institute of Modern Art in Chicago; and the Bach Festival of Philadelphia. Comprised of violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv and pianist Angelina Gadeliya, the duo has been hailed for its "contemplative and sophisticated" playing (America, Philadelphia).

Both natives of Ukraine, Ivakhiv and Gadeliya met and formed their duo at Stony Brook University while working on their doctorates in performance. The duo has collaborated with such artists as members of the Emerson Quartet, members of the New York Philharmonic, pianist Gilbert Kalish, and violinists Ani Kavafian and Pamela Frank. In December of 2014, the duo gave the world premiere of Oleksandr Shchetynsky's "An Episode in the Life of a Poet", which was written for them, at Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko's bicentennial celebration in New York. The Ivakhiv-Gadeliya Duo always strives to create innovative programming, has a passion for promoting new music, and brings their individual artistry and similarity of backgrounds into a unity of style and spirit.


Ukrainian violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv performs with "distinctive charm and subtle profundity" (Daily Freeman, New York) and "crystal clear and noble sound" (Culture and Life, Ukraine) in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and the CBC Glenn Gould Studio. In addition to making solo appearances with the Charleston Symphony, the Bach Festival Orchestra in Philadelphia, the National Symphony of Ukraine, and China's Hunan Symphony, she has been featured at many prestigious chamber music festivals, including Tanglewood, Ottawa Chamberfest, Newport Music Festival, and Prussia Cove. Since 2010, she has been the Artistic Director of the "Music at the Institute" (MATI) Concert Series in New York City, where she also regularly appears as a performer. An avid proponent of new music, Ms. Ivakhiv has premiered works by Eli Marshall, David Ludwig, John B. Hedges, Bohdan Kryvopust, Yevhen Stankovych, and Oleksandr Shchetynsky. As an educator, Ms. Ivakhiv has conducted master classes at Yale, Columbia, Boston Conservatory, and Curtis SummerFest. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at the University of Connecticut, and on the violin faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Born in Lviv, she holds degrees from the Curtis Institute, M. Lysenko Music Academy in Lviv (Ukraine), and a Doctorate from Stony Brook University.


Pianist Angelina Gadeliya was born in Sukhumi, Georgia where she began her musical studies at the age of 5, continuing afterwards in Ukraine before moving to the US in 1990. She subsequently studied at the Oberlin Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Mannes College, and holds a Doctorate from Stony Brook University. Her work with Ensemble ACJW and the Decoda ensemble brought her to the stages of Carnegie Hall, Germany, Abu Dhabi, Princeton University, and the Trinity Wall Street series. She has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, and at festivals including Tanglewood, Fontainebleau, Aspen, Banff, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Emerson String Quartet's 2007 Beethoven Project. Ms. Gadeliya's debut solo album, Music of Tribute: Schnittke and His Ghosts, was released in 2015 with Labor Records. She has given many premieres of new works and has worked closely with composers John Adams, Thomas Adès, Steve Reich, Steven Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, John Harbison, and others. Angelina currently serves as piano faculty at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, where she resides with her husband Misha, her son Felix, and her daughter Anastasia.














See also

Hidden Music of the Russian Church: Sacred Chants after the Revolution 1917 – Moscow Patriarch Choir of Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Ilya Tolkachev (Audio video)

Mihkel Kerem: Symphony No.3 "For the Victims of Communism" – Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Mikk Murdvee (Audio video)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dmitry Masleev plays Joseph Haydn, Camille Saint-Saëns, Sergei Rachmaninov, Felix Mendelssohn & Franz Liszt – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Piano / Round 2, First stage
















The International Tchaikovsky Competition, first held more than 50 years ago, is not only a valuable asset of Russian musical culture but is also one of the major events in the international music community. The International Tchaikovsky Competition is held once every four years.

The first, in 1958, included two disciplines – piano and violin. Beginning with the second competition, in 1962, a cello category was added, and the vocal division was introduced during the third competition in 1966. In 1990, a fifth discipline was announced for the IX International Tchaikovsky Competition – a contest for violin makers which was held before the main competition.


The XV International Tchaikovsky Competition was held in Moscow and St Petersburg from June 15 to July 3, 2015, and was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the great Russian composer.


In the competition participated more than 600 artists from 45 countries.


On the jury for piano was the distinguished pianists Dmitri Bashkirov, Boris Berezovsky, Michel Béroff, Peter Donohoe, Sergei Dorensky, Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexander Toradze, Vladimir Feltsman, Klaus Hellwig, and the founder and director of the Verbier International Festival and Academy, Martin Engström.











Ο 15ος Διεθνής Διαγωνισμός Τσαϊκόφσκι, ο οποίος ήταν αφιερωμένος στην 175η επέτειο από τη γέννηση του μεγάλου Ρώσου συνθέτη, πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Μόσχα και στην Αγία Πετρούπολη από τις 15 Ιουνίου έως τις 3 Ιουλίου 2015.

Στο πλαίσιο του δεύτερου γύρου – στο πρώτο από τα δύο στάδια – του διαγωνισμού στην κατηγορία του πιάνου, ο Ρώσος πιανίστας Dmitry Masleev (γενν. 1988), ο οποίος έλαβε την πρώτη θέση, ερμήνευσε τη Σονάτα σε Ντο μείζονα, Hob. XVI:48, του Γιόζεφ Χάυντν, το συμφωνικό ποίημα Danse macabre (Μακάβριος Χορός), έργο 40, του Καμίγ Σαιν-Σανς, σε μεταγραφή για σόλο πιάνο από τον Φραντς Λιστ (S.555), τις Παραλλαγές σ' ένα θέμα του Κορέλι, έργο 42, του Σεργκέι Ραχμάνινοφ, το Scherzo από το Όνειρο Καλοκαιρινής Νύχτας, έργο 61, του Φέλιξ Μέντελσον, σε μεταγραφή για πιάνο από τον Σεργκέι Ραχμάνινοφ (TN iii-7), και το έργο Totentanz (Χορός των Νεκρών) του Φραντς Λιστ, στην εκδοχή για σόλο πιάνο (S.525).

Το ρεσιτάλ έλαβε χώρα στη Μεγάλη Αίθουσα του Ωδείου της Μόσχας, στις 22 Ιουνίου 2015.

Ο Διεθνής Διαγωνισμός Τσαϊκόφσκι, ο οποίος πραγματοποιείται κάθε τέσσερα χρόνια, είναι ίσως ο σημαντικότερος διαγωνισμός στο χώρο της κλασικής μουσικής. Ο διαγωνισμός διοργανώθηκε για πρώτη φορά το 1958, περιλαμβάνοντας μόνο δύο κατηγορίες: του βιολιού και του πιάνου. Το 1962, στη δεύτερη διοργάνωση, προστέθηκε η κατηγορία του βιολοντσέλου, ενώ στην τρίτη διοργάνωση του διαγωνισμού, το 1966, προστέθηκε ακόμη η κατηγορία της φωνής.

Στον 15ο Διαγωνισμό, το 2015, συμμετείχαν περισσότεροι από εξακόσιοι καλλιτέχνες από 45 χώρες, οι οποίοι διαγωνίστηκαν και στις τέσσερεις κατηγορίες: πιάνο, βιολί, βιολοντσέλο και φωνή.

Την κριτική επιτροπή για την κατηγορία του πιάνου αποτελούσαν οι διακεκριμένοι πιανίστες Dmitri Bashkirov, Boris Berezovsky, Michel Béroff, Peter Donohoe, Sergei Dorensky, Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexander Toradze, Vladimir Feltsman, Klaus Hellwig, καθώς επίσης και ο Martin Engström, ιδρυτής και διευθυντής του Διεθνούς Φεστιβάλ και της Ακαδημίας του Βερμπιέρ.

[At present, this video is unavailable]

XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Piano / Round 2, First stage


Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

♪ Piano Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:48 (1789) [00:37]*

i. Andante con espressione
ii. Rondo: Presto


Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) / Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

♪ Danse macabre, Op.40 / S.555 (1874), arr. by Vladimir Horowitz [12:30]


Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)

♪ Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op.42 (1931) [22:28]

i. Theme. Andante
ii. Variation 1. Poco piu mosso
iii. Variation 2. L'istesso tempo
iv. Variation 3. Tempo di Minuetto
v. Variation 4. Andante
vi. Variation 5. Allegro (ma non tanto)
vii. Variation 6. L'istesso tempo
viii. Variation 7. Vivace
ix. Variation 8. Adagio misterioso
x. Variation 9. Un poco piu mosso
xi. Variation 10. Allegro scherzando
xii. Variation 11. Allegro vivace
xiii. Variation 12. L'istesso tempo
xiv. Variation 13. Agitato
xv. Intermezzo
xvi. Variation 14. Andante (come prima)
xvii. Variation 15. L'istesso tempo
xviii. Variation 16. Allegro vivace
xix. Variation 17. Meno mosso
xx. Variation 18. Allegro con brio
xxi. Variation 19. Piu mosso. Agitato
xxii.Variation 20. Piu mosso
xxiii. Coda. Andante


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) / Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)

♪ Scherzo from the Incidental music to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61 (1843) / Transcription of Mendelssohn's Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream for piano, TN iii-7 (1933) [40:28]


Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

♪ Totentanz, version for solo piano, S.525 (1865) [45:55]


Dmitry Masleev, piano – First Prize

Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, June 22, 2015

(HD 720p)

Start time of each work

















The triumphant winner of the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015), Dmitry Masleev took the First Prize and the international spotlight with wholehearted support from the audience, the jury, and the media. In his first touring season Mr. Masleev made a series of successful debuts, establishing his world-wide audience and developing his profile as a "future great pianist" (La Croix) of "virtuoso brilliance" (The Financial Times) and "musicality of metaphysical proportions" (Neue Musikzeitung ). Amongst the most notable performances are those at the Klavierfestival Ruhr, the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, la Roque d'Anthéron and Bergamo & Brescia piano festivals, two tours of Japan with Valery Gergiev and Yury Bashmet, the French debut with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the opening gala of the Istanbul Festival, as well as the last-minute replacement for the indisposed Maurizio Pollini in Basel.

These performances have inspired an ever-growing demand for Mr. Masleev's artistry. In January 2017, Carnegie Hall will present Mr. Masleev's highly anticipated debut at the Isaac Stern Auditorium with a recital programme featuring works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev. The 2016-2017 season will also see him perform in Paris twice: at the Paris Philharmonie and the Fondation Louis Vuitton. He is honoured to return to the Philharmonie am Gasteig at Valery Gergiev's invitation to play the first three of Prokofiev's piano sonatas; later in the season he will perform in Munich once again, this time with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1. Mr. Masleev's orchestral collaborations also include a German tour with the National Philharmonic of Russia under Maestro Spivakov, an Asian tour with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Mikko Franck, and a performance of Rachmaninov Variations on a Theme of Paganini with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Robert Trevino. He will continue his tour of Germany's most prestigious festivals with recitals at Rheingau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Bad Kissingen.

"A discovery and a brilliant pianist", is how his senior colleague Boris Berezovsky describes Dmitry Masleev, who will be performing a solo recital at the greatly acclaimed Pianoscope Festival in France, directed by Mr. Berezovsky. The two pianists will give a pair of duo recitals in Moscow later in the season, playing the music of Bartok and Liszt.

Born and raised in Ulan-Ude (a Siberian town between Lake Baikal and the Mongolian border), Dmitry Masleev was educated at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Mikhail Petukhov, and at the International Music Academy at Lake Como. Prior to his triumph at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow, where the jury awarded him First Prize as well as a special award for the performance of the Mozart D minor Concerto, Mr. Masleev has won many competitions including the 7th Adilia Alieva Piano Competition in Gaillard (2010), the 21st Premio Chopin Piano Competition in Rome (2011), and the Antonio Napolitano Competition in Salerno (2013).

Source: dmitry-masleev.com

















More photos


See also


Dmitry Masleev – All the posts

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015










Monday, October 23, 2017

Dmitry Masleev plays Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Liszt & Rachmaninov – XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Piano / Round 1
















The International Tchaikovsky Competition, first held more than 50 years ago, is not only a valuable asset of Russian musical culture but is also one of the major events in the international music community. The International Tchaikovsky Competition is held once every four years.

The first, in 1958, included two disciplines – piano and violin. Beginning with the second competition, in 1962, a cello category was added, and the vocal division was introduced during the third competition in 1966. In 1990, a fifth discipline was announced for the IX International Tchaikovsky Competition – a contest for violin makers which was held before the main competition.


The XV International Tchaikovsky Competition was held in Moscow and St Petersburg from June 15 to July 3, 2015, and was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the great Russian composer.


In the competition participated more than 600 artists from 45 countries.


On the jury for piano was the distinguished pianists Dmitri Bashkirov, Boris Berezovsky, Michel Béroff, Peter Donohoe, Sergei Dorensky, Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexander Toradze, Vladimir Feltsman, Klaus Hellwig, and the founder and director of the Verbier International Festival and Academy, Martin Engström.











Ο 15ος Διεθνής Διαγωνισμός Τσαϊκόφσκι, ο οποίος ήταν αφιερωμένος στην 175η επέτειο από τη γέννηση του μεγάλου Ρώσου συνθέτη, πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Μόσχα και στην Αγία Πετρούπολη από τις 15 Ιουνίου έως τις 3 Ιουλίου 2015.

Στο πλαίσιο του πρώτου γύρου του διαγωνισμού στην κατηγορία του πιάνου, ο Ρώσος πιανίστας Dmitry Masleev (γενν. 1988), ο οποίος έλαβε την πρώτη θέση, ερμήνευσε το Πρελούδιο και Φούγκα αρ. 3 σε Ντο δίεση μείζονα, από το πρώτο βιβλίο του «Καλοσυγκερασμένου Κλειδοκύμβαλου», BWV 848, του Γιόχαν Σεμπάστιαν Μπαχ, τη Σονάτα για πιάνο αρ. 26 σε Μι ύφεση μείζονα, έργο 81a, του Λούντβιχ βαν Μπετόβεν, το 14ο ("Chant elegiaque") σε Ρε ύφεση μείζονα και το 18ο ("Scene dansante: Invitation au trépak") σε Ντο μείζονα, από τα 18 Κομμάτια, έργο 72, του Πιότρ Ιλίτς Τσαϊκόφσκι, τη Σπουδή αρ. 10 σε Σι ελάσσονα, του έργου 25, του Φρεντερίκ Σοπέν, την όγδοη Σπουδή σε Ντο ελάσσονα ("Wilde Jagd") από τις δώδεκα Transcendental Études, S.139, του Φραντς Λιστ, και τη Σπουδή αρ. 9 σε Ρε μείζονα, από τις Études-tableaux, έργο 39, του Σεργκέι Ραχμάνινοφ.

Το ρεσιτάλ έλαβε χώρα στη Μεγάλη Αίθουσα του Ωδείου της Μόσχας, στις 20 Ιουνίου 2015.

Ο Διεθνής Διαγωνισμός Τσαϊκόφσκι, ο οποίος πραγματοποιείται κάθε τέσσερα χρόνια, είναι ίσως ο σημαντικότερος διαγωνισμός στο χώρο της κλασικής μουσικής. Ο διαγωνισμός διοργανώθηκε για πρώτη φορά το 1958, περιλαμβάνοντας μόνο δύο κατηγορίες: του βιολιού και του πιάνου. Το 1962, στη δεύτερη διοργάνωση, προστέθηκε η κατηγορία του βιολοντσέλου, ενώ στην τρίτη διοργάνωση του διαγωνισμού, το 1966, προστέθηκε ακόμη η κατηγορία της φωνής.

Στον 15ο Διαγωνισμό, το 2015, συμμετείχαν περισσότεροι από εξακόσιοι καλλιτέχνες από 45 χώρες, οι οποίοι διαγωνίστηκαν και στις τέσσερεις κατηγορίες: πιάνο, βιολί, βιολοντσέλο και φωνή.

Την κριτική επιτροπή για την κατηγορία του πιάνου αποτελούσαν οι διακεκριμένοι πιανίστες Dmitri Bashkirov, Boris Berezovsky, Michel Béroff, Peter Donohoe, Sergei Dorensky, Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Alexander Toradze, Vladimir Feltsman, Klaus Hellwig, καθώς επίσης και ο Martin Engström, ιδρυτής και διευθυντής του Διεθνούς Φεστιβάλ και της Ακαδημίας του Βερμπιέρ.

[At present, this video is unavailable]

XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015, Piano / Round 1


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

♪ Prélude and Fugue No.3 
in C sharp major, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, BWV 848 (1722-1724)* [00:00]**


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

♪ Piano Sonata No.26 in E flat major "Les Adieux", Op.81a (1809-1810) [04:32]

i. Das Lebewohl (Les Adieux). Adagio — Allegro
ii. Abwesenheit (L'Absence). Andante espresoivo
iii. Das Wiedersehen (Le Retour). Vivacissimamente


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

♪ 18 Pieces, Op.72  (1892-1893) [21:00]

No.14 in D flat major, "Chant elegiaque"
No.18 in C major "Scene dansante: Invitation au trépak"


Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

♪ Études, Op.25 No.10 in B minor (1832-1836) [31:35]


Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

♪ The Transcendental Études for Piano, S.139 No.8 in C minor "Wilde Jagd" (1851) [36:20]


Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)

♪ Études-tableaux, Op.39 No.9 in D Major (1917) [41:58]


Dmitry Masleev, piano – First Prize

Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, June 20, 2015

(480p)


The Well-Tempered Clavier, by Johann Sebastian Bach, consists of two books of twenty-four Preludes and Fugues each, in all twenty-four major and minor keys. The first book (BWV 846-869) dates back to 1722, although Bach revised his manuscript thereafter. The second book (BWV 870-893) was composed in 1744.

The pianists competing at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition must perform, during the first round of the Competition, one Prelude and one Fugue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.


* «Το Καλοσυγκερασμένο Κλειδοκύμβαλο» (γερμανικά: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier) είναι μία συλλογή δύο βιβλίων του Γιόχαν Σεμπάστιαν Μπαχ για πληκτροφόρο όργανο. Κάθε βιβλίο περιλαμβάνει 24 δυάδες ενός Πρελούδιου και μιας Φούγκας γραμμένων σε κάθε μία από τις 24 τονικότητες. Το πρώτο βιβλίο (BWV 846-869) χρονολογείται στο 1722, αν και στη συνέχεια ο Μπαχ αναθεωρήθηκε το χειρόγραφό του, και το δεύτερο (BWV 870-893) στο 1742.

Οι πιανίστες οι οποίοι διαγωνίστηκαν στον 15ο Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Τσαϊκόφσκι έπρεπε στη διάρκεια του πρώτου γύρου να ερμηνεύσουν μία δυάδα ενός Πρελούδιου και μιας Φούγκας από «Το Καλοσυγκερασμένο Κλειδοκύμβαλο» του Μπαχ.


** Start time of each work

















The triumphant winner of the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015), Dmitry Masleev took the First Prize and the international spotlight with wholehearted support from the audience, the jury, and the media. In his first touring season Mr. Masleev made a series of successful debuts, establishing his world-wide audience and developing his profile as a "future great pianist" (La Croix) of "virtuoso brilliance" (The Financial Times) and "musicality of metaphysical proportions" (Neue Musikzeitung ). Amongst the most notable performances are those at the Klavierfestival Ruhr, the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, la Roque d'Anthéron and Bergamo & Brescia piano festivals, two tours of Japan with Valery Gergiev and Yury Bashmet, the French debut with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the opening gala of the Istanbul Festival, as well as the last-minute replacement for the indisposed Maurizio Pollini in Basel.

These performances have inspired an ever-growing demand for Mr. Masleev's artistry. In January 2017, Carnegie Hall will present Mr. Masleev's highly anticipated debut at the Isaac Stern Auditorium with a recital programme featuring works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev. The 2016-2017 season will also see him perform in Paris twice: at the Paris Philharmonie and the Fondation Louis Vuitton. He is honoured to return to the Philharmonie am Gasteig at Valery Gergiev's invitation to play the first three of Prokofiev's piano sonatas; later in the season he will perform in Munich once again, this time with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1. Mr. Masleev's orchestral collaborations also include a German tour with the National Philharmonic of Russia under Maestro Spivakov, an Asian tour with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Mikko Franck, and a performance of Rachmaninov Variations on a Theme of Paganini with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Robert Trevino. He will continue his tour of Germany's most prestigious festivals with recitals at Rheingau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Bad Kissingen.

"A discovery and a brilliant pianist", is how his senior colleague Boris Berezovsky describes Dmitry Masleev, who will be performing a solo recital at the greatly acclaimed Pianoscope Festival in France, directed by Mr. Berezovsky. The two pianists will give a pair of duo recitals in Moscow later in the season, playing the music of Bartok and Liszt.

Born and raised in Ulan-Ude (a Siberian town between Lake Baikal and the Mongolian border), Dmitry Masleev was educated at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Mikhail Petukhov, and at the International Music Academy at Lake Como. Prior to his triumph at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow, where the jury awarded him First Prize as well as a special award for the performance of the Mozart D minor Concerto, Mr. Masleev has won many competitions including the 7th Adilia Alieva Piano Competition in Gaillard (2010), the 21st Premio Chopin Piano Competition in Rome (2011), and the Antonio Napolitano Competition in Salerno (2013).

Source: dmitry-masleev.com

















More photos


See also


Dmitry Masleev – All the posts

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015









Sunday, October 22, 2017

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2017 – Part II. Special Awards 2017













At a glittering and star-studded ceremony in central London, the 2017 Gramophone Classical Music Awards – this year presented in association with the Pan-Armenian Symphony Orchestra, Qobuz, Naim Audio and the BPI – unveiled the special awards and presented the 12 recording category Awards that were revealed a fortnight ago.

Isabelle Faust's Harmonia Mundi recording of the Mozart violin concertos with Il Giardino Armonico directed by Giovanni Antonini was named Gramophone's Recording of the Year (sponsored by Qobuz). Isabelle Faust was in São Paulo but sent a video message of thanks.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Presto Classical) for her glorious career as one of the best-loved sopranos of our time. The actor and singer Julian Ovenden made the presentation.

The conductor Vasily Petrenko received the Artist of the Year Award, the result of a public vote by over 8000 Gramophone readers and visitors to Gramophone's website.

The Young Artist of the Year Award, supported by Help Musicians UK, went to the Italian pianist Beatrice Rana whose Warner Classics recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations made it to the final round of the awards this year.

Label of the Year (sponsored by Classical:Next) went to Signum Classics and its MD Steve Long received for award for a consistently imaginative approach to A&R.

The composer, producer and founder of NMC, Colin Matthews, received a Special Achievement Award from Sir Mark Elder for his services to contemporary British music and Classic FM received a Special Anniversary Award, marking the 40th anniversary of the Awards, for the station's championing of classical music.

Other artists receiving their Awards – which were presented by Gramophone's James Jolly and the violinist Jennifer Pike – included the pianist Murray Perahia (Instrumental), singers Iestyn Davies (Baroque Vocal sponsored by Mrs Joan Jones) and Carolyn Sampson (Choral, sponsored by IDAGIO), the violinist and director of La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler (Baroque Instrumental), composer and conductor George Benjamin (Contemporary, sponsored by Naim Audio), Phantasm (Early Music), the Silesian Quartet (Chamber, sponsored by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute), the tenor Mauro Peter (Opera).Video acceptances came from Giovanni Antonini (Orchestral, sponsored by the European Foundation for Support of Culture, and Concerto), Joyce DiDonato (Recital, sponsored by Primephonic) and Matthias Goerne (Solo Vocal).

Live music came from the Pan-Armenian Symphony and their founder and conductor Sergey Smbatyan, The Tallis Scholars and Peter Philips (recipients of the 1987 Recording of the Year who returned to mark the Awards' anniversary), Beatrice Rana, Carolyn Sampson and Iestyn Davies with the pianist Joseph Middleton and last year's Young Artist of the Year, Benjamin Appl, who joined the orchestra for Carl Millöcker's heart-stopping operetta aria "Dunkelrote Rosen" from Gasparone.

The awards were streamed live on the Gramophone website, medici.tv and via Classic FM's Facebook page.

Source: gramophone.co.uk, September 13, 2017


Part II. Special Awards 2017




Anniversary Award

Classic FM

When Classic FM's Managing Editor, Sam Jackson, receives Gramophone's special Anniversary Award (given to mark the 40th anniversary of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards) at the ceremony on September 13, the station will have just marked a special anniversary of its own: 25 years of national broadcasting in the UK (as one of only three independent national radio stations). It launched on September 7, 1992, and has become, in that quarter century, one of the most significant broadcasters in this country, with a weekly reach of 5.8 million listeners, 1.2 million of whom are under 35. Classic FM has become the world's biggest classical music brand on Facebook, with videos there watched by around 17 million people every month. Two thirds of those who "like" Classic FM on Facebook are also under 35 and it shares more of its audience with Radio 1 than Radio 3, again showing its significant role in developing younger audiences for classical music. Whatever their age, though, more people listen to classical music on Classic FM than via any other broadcast medium.

It would be foolish to argue that Classic FM and Gramophone are a natural fit – our broadcast "mirror image" is clearly BBC Radio 3 – but it would be equally foolish to underestimate Classic FM's role in the musical life of this country. Supporting live music-making is not a requirement of a national radio station but Classic FM backs up its role as a national broadcaster by engaging with live music up and down the country. It maintains strong partnerships with orchestras across the nation and regularly promotes concerts, a powerful way of developing closer ties with its audiences. It works tirelessly with all of its partners to make classical music accessible to as broad an audience as possible.

Where Classic FM comes closest to "our world" is in its championing of recordings and its unwavering support for the classical record industry (at a time when classical music is finding it harder and harder to secure those column inches from arts editors with no interest in the genre). Giving new releases the oxygen of publicity is vital to ensure that recorded music maintains visibility in an increasingly information-packed world. While it would be easy to portray Classic FM and Radio 3 as being separated by a yawning gulf, there are numerous artists and recordings that fit quite comfortably into the outputs of both networks. Classic FM plays an important role in promoting today's artists in an increasingly indifferent world.

Add in 24 hour-a-day broadcasting, seven days a week, and you have the destination of choice for a substantial number of people. And the station's cleverly chosen line-up of presenters has added to one of the broadcasting success stories of recent times. We wish Classic FM well for its next 25 years.

Source: gramophone.co.uk














Artist of the Year

Vasily Petrenko

Still a boyish 41, Vasily Petrenko makes a return to the Gramophone Classical Music Awards this year having been our Young Artist of the Year back in 2007 (a year when, unusually, our Artist of the Year, Hilary Hahn, was younger!). His work with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the ensemble he has led first as Principal Conductor and then as Chief Conductor since 2006, continues to impress, and no more so than in the set of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 3, 4 and 6, released by Onyx earlier this year, and which was received with universal acclaim, clinching Gramophone's Recording of the Month in March. Mark Pullinger remarked that "Petrenko's fast and furious approach once again pays off with invigorating performances which dispel Russian gloom. The RLPO play their socks off and must rank as one of the finest ‘Russian orchestras’ in the UK today". For a St Petersburg-trained conductor, it must have been with some satisfaction that MP drew comparisons (in the Fourth Symphony) with Yevgeny Mravinsky. The Pathétique, a crowning performance here in every respect, is characterised by vivid dynamics and a wonderful control of intensity.

If Petrenko drew on his Russian roots in the Tchaikovsky, he drew on the orchestra's in another of this year's recording projects (and another Onyx release): a disc of Edward Elgar's Second Symphony and some shorter works. Jeremy Dibble (who reviewed the companion recording of the First Symphony two years ago) wrote that "I am even more impressed by the Russian's reading of the Second Symphony, which has a clarity of sound to match the luxuriance of Elgar's orchestration. Indeed, the RLPO, on great form, provide a sumptuous array of textures with an ensemble that is crisp and incisive. It is so good to hear every note of the athletic brass counterpoint in the horns and trumpets and the lithe filigree of Elgar's careful doublings between wind and strings... Petrenko is, for the most part, spot-on with his tempos".

Since the start of the 2013/2014 season, Petrenko has been Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic (one of those ensembles that seems to launch meteoric careers – just look at Mariss Jansons, with whom Petrenko studied). They've already set down an impressive little discography and this last year saw a version of Prokofiev's complete Romeo and Juliet ballet. While not totally sold on Petrenko's approach, David Gutman noted (12/16) that "In place of Soviet-style weight, Petrenko wields a new broom... Sections within numbers are refreshed unpredictably, sometimes slowed, more often swift, voicings tweaked to expose long-buried lines or surprising points of colour". And one shouldn't forget his charismatic work with the European Union Youth Orchestra, whose Chief Conductor he also is. His ability to connect with young musicians is impresive and the results speak for themselves.

Gramophone's Artist of the Year is voted for by the public – readers of Gramophone and visitors to our various social media outlets. Vasily Petrenko is making waves, and we're happy to endorse this impressive lead, from over 8000 votes cast, for an artist who has clearly made the step up to a new level of musicianship and has the ability to take audiences with him on his musical journey.

Source: James Jolly (gramophone.co.uk)














Label of the Year

Signum Classics

For an avid record collector, opening the morning's post at Gramophone remains one of life's great joys; and opening the post when a package arrives from Signum induces particular pleasure since it unleashes the spirit of serendipity. In an age awash with information, the simple act of opening a parcel without knowing quite what's inside is an unusual surprise. What you can always be sure of with Signum's monthly releases is that they will invariably be splendidly recorded and never predictable. And that recipe has set the company in good stead for the first two decades of its existence.

It's always good to mark significant anniversaries in the life of a record company, but when that anniversary is supported by a stream of first-rate recordings, recognition is less dutiful and rather more the result of inspiration. The 2016-2017 vintage has seen some truly superb releases and many Editor's Choices – Haydn's The Seasons conducted by Paul McCreesh, a terrific recording of chamber and vocal works by Jonathan Dove, Sophie Bevan and Ian Page's The Mozartists in scenas and concert arias, further instalments in Malcolm Martineau's Fauré song series, JS Bach organ works from David Goode, Peter Donohoe's Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, Nielsen's Flute and Clarinet Concertos with the Philharmonia conducted by Paavo Järvi, choral works from St John's College, Cambridge, and Wells Cathedral Choir, Roy Harris and John Adams violin concertos from Tamsin Waley-Cohen... the list goes on.

It's been a long journey from the mid-1990s, when Floating Earth (Signum's sister company) would make recordings in an executive production capacity – which it financed, owned and licensed to both independents and majors – to today's position as one of the most productive companies (in quantity, quality and range) on the UK classical music scene. As Steve Long, Signum's MD, recalls, an approach from an artist to record nine discs of Tallis got things under way. "Having pressed the first three albums and been to [the industry trade fair] Midem to get distribution, the first discs went on sale in November 1997. We were quickly approached by other early music groups who wanted to be on this new early music label so rather than be a niche of a niche I decided to broaden the scope of the label to be a multi-artist but still early music label. We continued in that vein until about 2001, by which time we had over 40 albums released but copious requests from non-early-music groups to join the party." Soon artists like Tenebrae and The King's Singers had a new home.

"We have a number of different ways of making recordings happen", Long continues. "The most common is that an artist comes to us with an idea and we make it happen in that we take care of technical and production elements and they put in the musical and artistic elements. We always like the artists to be ‘invested’ in the recording and have the making of the recording the start of the journey, not the end, as far as they are concerned. We view each release as a co-production with the artists. We also like each artist to undertake a series of recordings rather than stand-alone projects so we can develop a following for them."

With over 500 recordings in the catalogue and 50 releases emerging each year, Signum is very much a part of our world – and, always mindful of the way its audience listens, ensures that it is visible on all available platforms and on formats from the traditional CD to the massively popular stream.

Source: James Jolly (gramophone.co.uk)




Lifetime Achievement

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

"Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding", sings the Marschallin in Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier – "Time is a strange thing". Time for Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of the most admired Marschallins of our age, is not about looking back. It's for looking forwards. "I get bored talking about the past", she says, a line Hofmannsthal might easily have dropped into one of his librettos.

Dame Kiri may have stopped singing publicly ("No, I don't miss it"), but she certainly doesn't consider herself retired. She maintains a busy schedule overseeing her Foundation, an organisation to help future generations of singers. "Some of my students say to me, ‘How can I repay you for what you've done for me?’. I reply, ‘Just be successful!’". And if anyone has experienced success it is this possessor of one of the loveliest voices of modern times. That great connoisseur of the voice (and one of Gramophone's best-loved contributors) John Steane commented of Te Kanawa's "Dove sono" (Le nozze di Figaro) that "the legato is perfect, the style aristocratic, the tone at its loveliest", and drew comparisons with Meta Seinemeyer (and from JBS that was high praise indeed).

It's exactly 25 years since Gramophone bestowed its Artist of the Year Award on Dame Kiri. That year, 1992, had been an extraordinary one for her when it came to recordings: we'd had Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier from EMI, conducted by Haitink, a second recording of the Four Last Songs from Decca, conducted by Solti, Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus from Philips, conducted by André Previn, as well as an album of songs by Michel Legrand (to add to a sizeable lighter catalogue that included Gershwin, Bernstein, Kern and Rodgers and Hammerstein).

As we celebrate Kiri Te Kanawa's career with the Lifetime Achievement Award, we must be thankful that she lived through one of the richest periods for recordings and had the fortune to record for companies with great operatic heritages: Decca, EMI, Philips and CBS/Sony Classical. She enjoyed recording because, she says, "I liked the idea of getting things down while my voice was still in good shape. I always felt that while it was still there and still with a sweet quality to it, the more we could capture the better. Getting it perfect wasn't my idea; having long takes was. It had to be a performance; not spliced together". And she got the chance to record all her major roles (sometimes more than once: especially with the increased interest in DVD).

"I always said as I went along, throughout my career, that I never got it perfect", she revealed. "I never got it totally as I wanted it. I suppose that was quite an achievement, never getting it to the point of perfection. I never did. But I got as close as I could. Sometimes your colleagues were good, sometimes not so good. Sometimes the conducting wasn't so good. I always had a sort of octopus view of things, tentacles everywhere, to see if it was going right or wrong. I suppose the Met went very right on a lot of occasions. But when you've got 4000 people in the audience and they have 4000 different ideas, you don't know if you're singing to a friendly group or an unfriendly group, so you have to hope!"

Dame Kiri's voice might have been made for the music of Mozart and Strauss, and her recordings of operas (and choral works and songs) by those two composers remain particularly cherishable: her Capriccio Countess was a glorious characterisation, as was her Arabella; and in Mozart we have her Pamina, Countess Almaviva, Donna Elvira (particularly fine both under Sir Colin Davis and in the classic Joseph Losey film with Ruggiero Raimondi as Giovanni) and Fiordiligi, not to mention a glorious C minor Mass and some of the concert arias.

Dame Kiri has achieved what few classical singers manage, to attract a huge international audience with everything from musical theatre to grand opera, and she approached it all with the same spirit. She worked hard, she played the game (chat shows, Morecambe and Wise, constant interviews) and she gave generously of her time. Now, she has the time to devote to her extensive garden, and live the life she missed during her career. As Frederica von Stade once said to her, "We're on a freight train, and from time to time we stop!". And, Dame Kiri continues, "that's what it was like. It was like buzzing through almost 50 years of not stopping. It was an incredible life and when I look back on it, I keep thinking, ‘How did I have any time for anything?’. It was just the music – getting ready and then doing it. I don't think I could do it today".

Source: James Jolly (gramophone.co.uk)














Special Achievement

Colin Matthews

Composer, arranger, administrator, mentor and cultural advocate: it can be difficult to decide where the emphasis lies when considering Colin Matthews (b. 1946), his contribution to British music across more than 40 years putting composers, musicians and listeners alike in his debt.

Matthews's own music is notable for its diversity of content. Two of his earliest acknowledged works, the Fourth and Fifth Sonatas for Orchestra, meet the respective challenge of American minimalism and Mahlerian chromaticism head-on, their concern for evolving and integrating large-scale expressive contrast pursued in such impressive later pieces as Cortège, Memorial, Reflected Images and Traces Remain. A productive relationship with the classical heritage is no less evident in his concertos for violin, cello and horn, along with a cycle of string quartets (five to date) spanning the greater part of his output. Vocal works include the dramatic cantata The Great Journey, orchestral song-cycle Continuum and No Man's Land, an arresting fusion of cantata and cabaret commemorating the First World War in provocative yet affecting terms.

This latter piece emerged out of Matthews's decade as Associate Composer with the Hallé – most significant of several such posts that have also included the Philharmonia and London Symphony orchestras, and that also gave rise to acclaimed orchestrations of the 24 Préludes for piano by Debussy. These transcriptions and arrangements are no less central to his work: back in the early 1960s he orchestrated several Mahler songs in collaboration with his older brother David (himself a distinguished composer), and he has since arranged song-cycles by Debussy, Holst and Britten. Matthews worked as amanuensis to Britten during his last years, and those editorial activities have continued with realisations of several early or unfinished pieces, in the process making new orchestral and chamber works available for performance.

Mention should also be made of his involvement (alongside David) with Deryck Cooke on the latter's performing edition of Mahler's Tenth Symphony, which has now received more than a dozen recordings and established itself as an integral part of the orchestral repertoire.

Matthews has long been active as administrator of the Holst Foundation. He is also chairman of the Britten Estate, as well as a trustee and Music Director of the Britten-Pears Foundation.

He served as a council member of the Aldeburgh Foundation for 11 years and has retained close links with the Aldeburgh Festival and the Britten-Pears School, not least as co-director (with Oliver Knussen) of the Contemporary Composition and Performance Course. He was a member of the council of the Society for the Promotion of New Music for over two decades, and director of the Performing Rights Society for three years. Since 1985 he has been a member of the music panel of the Radcliffe Trust and, since 2005, he has served as a council member of the Royal Philharmonic Society and Composition Director of the LSO's Panufnik Scheme.

Matthews has often worked as a recording producer, not the least significant being Górecki's Third Symphony with the London Sinfonietta, which topped classical charts on both sides of the Atlantic and has sold more than one million copies during the 25 years since it was issued.

It is as founder and executive producer of NMC Records that Matthews has made arguably his greatest contribution to the UK contemporary scene, and which has secured him this Special Achievement Award. From its modest beginnings in 1989 (the actual title is an acronym for New Music Cassettes), the label has built up a catalogue that currently amounts to 236 titles and which takes in a broad spectrum of British post-war music from senior composers such as Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Hugh Wood to rising stars such as Mark Simpson and Kate Whitley. Notable "firsts" have included Anthony Payne's realisation of the sketches for Elgar's Third Symphony, an Archive series which comprises reissues of long-unavailable recordings of British music, an Ancora series featuring reissues from other labels and a Debut series that focuses on composers from the younger generation. The NMC label has also been involved with download and online formats with such projects as New Music 20x12, for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and New Music Biennial. Nine of its releases have won the Contemporary category of the Gramophone Awards over the past quarter-century.

Colin Matthews received an honorary doctorate from Nottingham University in 1998, was given the Royal Philharmonic Society/Performing Rights Society Leslie Boosey Award in 2005 and made an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music. It is fitting he is being recognised with a Special Achievement Award at this year's Gramophone Awards.

Source: Richard Whitehouse (gramophone.co.uk)














Young Artist of the Year

Beatrice Rana

Young musicians usually impress in one of two different ways. One is to dazzle with the exuberance of youth, the sheer joy of their own talent and personality. It's a hard thing to resist, but one would be wise to wonder if it will still be serving them so well a decade or so down the line. The other is to show technique, yes, but also the poise and wisdom often lazily assumed to be beyond the attainment of youth, but which, if you've got it, will surely never go away. A few minutes with the playing of Beatrice Rana leaves you in no doubt which category she is in.

At 24, she has a refreshingly short competition history, though it includes first prize in the 2011 Montreal and Silver Medal at the 2013 Van Cliburn. Her days with such things are presumably over now, however, thanks to a contract from Warner Classics that has already yielded the Tchaikovsky First and Prokofiev Second Concertos (the Prokofiev "shapely, subtle, nuanced, musical in every detail", according to our own Patrick Rucker) and, as a first solo disc, an exquisitely drawn Bach Goldberg Variations that scored highly in this year's Instrumental category, only a year after Igor Levit's winning recording of it seemed to have given us enough to think about for the time being.

Born to pianist parents, she herself started on the instrument at the age of three, so that, as she claims, "playing the piano was among the most natural things I could do". Watch her play now – a luxury I had for a whole day while producing one of her BBC New Generation Artist studio sessions for Radio 3 – and it is evident that this deep grounding lends her a calm stillness that betokens perfectly relaxed technique and allows her to bring out the innate intelligence of her musical personality. Read Harriet Smith's review of the Goldbergs (4/17) and you will learn of a mouth-watering succession of original and beautifully realised ideas. Better still, listen to the recording itself to encounter a profound musician who also happens to be a pianist through and through.

Indeed, everything about Beatrice Rana speaks of maturity, from the playing itself to her modest reflections on it, and from her thoughtful approach to the music (see her Goldberg booklet note for that) to an attitude towards her career that essentially says "not too much at once". We must be patient, then; it would surely be both impolite and impolitic to hurry her. There will be plenty more to savour in years to come.

Source: Lindsay Kemp (gramophone.co.uk)











See also

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2017 – Part I. Disc Awards

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part I. All of the news from an inspiring and moving awards ceremony