Showing posts from January 20, 2019

Divine Intervention – Leipzig and the Ring of Bach Cantatas, 8 – 10 June 2018

The grave of Johann Sebastian Bach in the Thomaskirche, Leipzig,  at the time of the Kantaten-Ring June 2018 Although not strictly about Chopin, you may like to read in depth about the extraordinary cycle of Bach Cantatas I attended last summer. Johann Sebastian Bach was the composer above all others, except Mozart, whom Chopin adored and who influenced the polyphony and structure of many of his compositions

Ryszard Peryt (1947-2019) - A fond recollection of an immense opera directorial talent

Ryszard Peryt  (1947-2019) The Director of the Polish Royal Opera, Ryszard Peryt  (1985 - 2005) , has died. For twenty years  he was the Director of the Warsaw Chamber Opera.  His magnum opus was the production of all the stage works of Mozart. In 1991 t wenty-five of these works were created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the composer's death, at the time a unique European project. Annual Mozart festivals and cycles followed. Not only operas by Mozart but also   Baroque operas by Peri, Caccini and Landi through an unforgettable Monteverdi cycle, a Handel festival and rarely performed work by John Blow, Henry Purcell and numerous others. His international  directorial reputation was outstanding. Here was a truly Renaissance man in many outstanding disciplines - director, actor, doctor and professor of theatre arts, lecturer at the Theatre Academy of Warsaw. He had been presented with many prestigious Polish cultural awards including the Polonia Restituta in 20

London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle - Wrocław - 16 January 2019

Narodowe Forum Muzyki (NFM)   Wrocław, Poland Not surprisingly, Polish concert audiences after years of musical drought continue to yearn for and hugely anticipate performances by great international orchestras and conductors. Such visits to the country are still not common although increasing as time passes and Poland slowly takes its place once more in the European musical firmament.   Understandably then, the acoustically magnificent and architecturally striking NFM ( Narodowy Forum Muzyki ) in Wrocław was sold out for the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by their new musical director Sir Simon Rattle. The programme was an imaginative pairing of works by Béla Bartók and Anton Bruckner. The commissioning of the   Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta by Bartók reflects a change in   society. No longer the nobility and aristocracy enabling the composition of a great musical work. On this occasion corporate wealth was the facilitator. In 1934, the Swiss conductor Paul