Good news for Philadelphia

Yannick renews

In a sign of his long-term dedication to the Orchestra and Philadelphia, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has extended his tenure as music director [of the Philadelphia Orchestra] for another five years, through the 2021-22 season. Heralded for inspiring and revitalizing the Orchestra, Yannick has developed a deep connection with the musicians of the ensemble that has resulted in thrilling performances. He has brought fresh inspiration to the repertoire, created new access points for community members of all backgrounds, and built audiences by transforming the concert experience. Yannick said, “The warm embrace of The Philadelphia Orchestra and its audiences has been humbling and exhilarating since I made my debut in 2008. Knowing that this love affair with the Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia will continue is an immense joy.”

That’s from the official press release, but it sums up the news quite neatly. Certainly, Yannick is among the current crop of exciting young conductors. Like the Skibereen Echo, I’ve had my eye on him for some time.

Carl Nielsen Anniversary Website

We all know that the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Carl Nielsen is one of the highlights of 2015’s musical year. We will be doing our bit to mark the occasion with our Nielsen Day on 6th June, and that’s by no means to be sneezed at.

But there are other people out there who are also doing their bit to do something special. Chief among these is this site which is a wonder to behold.

Carl Nielsen Anniversary Website

This quote from one of the contributors to the Friends of Radio Three forum sums it up nicely:

This is a model of how the internet can enhance one’s knowledge and understanding – especially if you scroll down and click on ‘Works’ when you can select, hear and follow the score of a host of his pieces.

Clicking on the Menu button reveals this extensive list of content, which gives some idea of the vast amount of information available. This site deserves a bookmark in anyone’s browser.

Screenshot 2015-01-13 12.54.35

Ian Bostridge the writer

There’s been quite a bit of chatter about Ian Bostridge’s new book. He’s been singing Die Winterreise for thirty years now, so I guess he’s entitled to put down some insights. The blurb on the book’s Amazon page has this to say:

Schubert’s Winterreise is at the same time one of the most powerful and one of the most enigmatic masterpieces in Western culture. In his new book, Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession, Ian Bostridge — one of the work’s finest interpreters — focusses on the context, resonance and personal significance of a work which is possibly the greatest landmark in the history of Lieder. Drawing equally on his vast experience of performing this work (he has performed it more than a hundred times), on his musical knowledge and on his training as a scholar, Bostridge unpicks the enigmas and subtle meaning of each of the 24 songs to explore for us the world Schubert inhabited, bringing the work and its world alive for connoisseurs and new listeners alike. Originally intended to be sung to an intimate gathering, performances of Winterreise now pack the greatest concert halls around the world.

Schubert's Winter Journey

First BSO recording from Andris Nelsons

Nelsons BSO

A bit of a milestone, this. Andris Nelsons began his tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in September, and this is the first recording (available lon the orchestra’s own label) to be released featuring the new partnership. This is the blurb on the BSO’s site:

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons are very pleased to announce their first compact disc recording, a BSO Classics release pairing the overture to Wagner’s Tannhäuser and the Symphony No. 2 of Jean Sibelius. Both works are taken from concert performances earlier this season at Symphony Hall-the Wagner from Maestro Nelsons’ inaugural concert as music director on September 27, 2014, the Sibelius from his BSO program of November 6-11. The selections are particularly meaningful. It was hearing Wagner’s opera when he was just five years old that made Andris Nelsons want to be a conductor; the Sibelius reflects his strong interest in music of the Scandinavian and Slavic countries, and also builds upon the BSO’s distinguished history of past Sibelius recordings.