Thursday, June 8, 2017

Next Year, In Salzburg?

One thing I tend to do, just after a trip, is think about the next place I would like to go. After last year's brief trip to Madrid, I decided that what I wanted to do was return for longer, which I did this year. After this year's trip I am starting to realize that the main motivation and enjoyment of this year's excursion was not Madrid or Spain so much as the opportunity to hear some great concerts. Plus, I'm a bit tired of jamón Iberico!

Quite a while ago, when I was working very hard on my career as a performer, I spent a month at the Mozarteum's Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. This may be the most prestigious music school in the world and I had a wonderful experience. The guitar maestro was Pepe Romero and I spent most of the time studying the Concierto de Aranjuez, on which he is an authority. At the same time as the Summer Academy, is the Salzburg Festival, one of the most distinguished music festivals in the world. When I was there, decades ago, the Alban Berg Quartet were performing the whole cycle of the Beethoven string quartets (I attended both a concert and a rehearsal), Alfred Brendel was playing the whole cycle of the Schubert piano sonatas, Karlheinz Stockhausen was there with his ensemble from Cologne giving seven concerts of his chamber music (and I met him after a concert and had a very interesting conversation), Witold Lutosławski was there conducting the premiere of his violin concerto, Jessye Norman gave a solo recital and on and on. There were at least five orchestras in attendance. Salzburg is a city devoted to music with one (1) cinema, but at least a dozen concert halls! At the end of the course, I gave a short recital in the Wiener Saal, the smaller of the Mozarteum's two concert halls:

Click to enlarge

Now that's a beautiful concert hall!

What I would really like to do next summer is spend a couple of weeks attending concerts at the Salzburg Festival. There are some five or ten every day! I don't think next year's schedule is out yet, you have to apply for tickets in January, but here is a little glimpse of what will be on this year. The festival runs from July 21 to August 30.

In opera:

  • Mozart, Clemenza de Tito
  • Shostakovich, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
  • Verdi, Aida
  • Berg, Wozzeck
  • Handel, Ariodante
  • Monteverdi, Orfeo, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and L'Incoronazione di Poppea
  • and a bunch of others
Orchestra Concerts:
  • Vienna Philharmonic giving ten concerts under five different conductors
  • Berlin Philharmonic, two concerts with Simon Rattle
  • Pittsburg Symphony
  • Mahler Youth Orchestra
  • West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Barenboim
  • Vienna Radio Symphony with Meister
  • Bavarian Radio with Nagano
Theme concerts:
  • Nine concerts with focus on Shostakovich
  • Eight concerts with focus on Grisey
  • Six lieder recitals
Solo recitals:
  • Three by András Schiff
  • One by Grigory Sokolov
  • One by Evgeny Kissin
  • Two by Igor Levit (one entirely of Shostakovich)
  • One by Mitsuko Uchida
  • One by Maurizio Pollini
  • One by Ilya Gringolts
  • and duo recitals by Argerich/Barenboim and Mutter/Orkis
There is also a host of chamber music and an entire festival of drama.

Hard to resist...

For our envoi, let's listen to Mitsuko Uchida playing a little Mozart.  Here she is with the Camerata Salzburg and the Concerto in C major, K. 415:


Marc Puckett said...

Glad I enlarged the photograph because at first glance it appeared that you were wearing denim jeans.

'Wozzeck for Children', ha. That is starting them out right, isn't it.

Just got Biber's Arminio yesterday and haven't read much this morning but did read Dr Wolfgang Brunner's praenotanda [director of the Salzburger Hofmusik], and since you're dreaming of Salzburg:

Our Salzburg performance is complete except for Giulia's five measure recitative at the end... after the concluding sextet with the opera motto ['che chi la dura la vince alfine', the other name that the opera's known by-- who endures to the end will triumph], she invites all those present to dance. In the 18th c this would have meant the audience, but today this would mean offering a crash course in historical dance or tolerating the gyrations of rock 'n' roll. We repeat the sextet in instrumental and tutti form.

They're not barbarians in Salzburg.

Bryan Townsend said...

Pas de tout, pas de tout! Nice dark grey slacks.

So you have an audio recording? DVD? Score? or libretto of the Biber?

Yes, very civilized place, Salzburg. But they have slugs the size of bananas!

Marc Puckett said...

CDs, 3 of 'em, with a 200 page booklet including the libretto. The recording was made over four days in April 1994 in the Aula Academica of the Salzburg University.

Noticed this morning that there were performances in the Netherlands in 2006/2007, a couple of video clips from which are at YouTube; the one left me smiling because of the Dutch 21st c imagining/staging of a scene in Roman baths (although there are some comic elements, characters in the thing). There is the score of that particular aria (All'armi) at IMSLP but not of the entire opera. If I'm reading aright, there is a reconstruction of the score available since 2004. Brunner describes in his notes what choices were made for the score used in the Salzburger Hofmusik recording; the MS is there in Salzburg.

Bryan Townsend said...

I was just listening to some clips on YouTube--sounds quite interesting!