A new English National Opera production of Wozzeck opens in London tomorrow. Directed by critically-acclaimed Carrie Cracknell and conducted by Edward Gardner, it will be the first ENO production of Alban Berg’s opera in 25 years. Lebrecht is delighted to have received these preview images from our photographer, Laurie Lewis.
Two Major Polish musical anniversaries coming up on the classical music calendar are Witold Lutoslawski this year and Andrezej Panufnik next year.
Musical commentator Norman Lebrecht writes: ‘Poland is defined by musical statements. The liberation cry was articulated by Frédéric Chopin, mostly in Paris. It misled many successors onto a trail of false nostalgia for a prelapsarian paradise that never was.
At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, newly independent Poland was represented by its first prime minister, the pre-eminent pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
“Vous-êtes Paderewski, le grand pianiste, n’est-ce pas?” cried Georges Clemenceau.
“Oui, Monsieur le President.”
“Alors, quelle chute!”
Paderewski may not have seen politics as a comedown, but he lived to see his dream soured by Polish strife and crushed by a second German invasion. His music, like Chopin’s, clung to 19th-century conventions of romantic nationalism. In the next generation, Karel Szymanowski’s complex individualised idiom was condemned for its lack of patriotic zeal. Music in Poland was supposed to conform to political expectations.
Read the full article in Standpoint by Norman Lebrecht.
Janos Starker, one of the greatest cellists of all time, died in Bloomington, Indiana, USA where he had been a professor at the Indiana University Jacobs Memorial School of Music since 1958. He was a distinguished teacher and prolific recording artist, who played principal cello in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for five seasons during the 1950s.
5 July 1924 – 28 April 2013
Richie Havens – American folk singer and guitarist died 22 April 2013 aged 72. He is best remembered for his intense and rhythmic guitar style and for his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. He was the festival’s first performer and as many of the other artists were held up in traffic jams on the roads approaching the festival site he had to entertain the crowd for nearly three hours and was called back again and again for encores. When he finally ran out of tunes he improvised a song based on the spiritual Motherless Child that became Freedom. The release of the Woodstock movie after this performance helped him reach a wider audience.
Born 21 January 1941- 22 April 2013
Our photographer will be covering all concerts at the 2013 season of BBC Proms. Contact us in advance for specific Proms and visit www.lebrecht.co.uk for photographs of musicians and conductors. Please see attached some sample images of this year’s key performers.
Lebrecht Music & Arts will be giving away a signed copy of Musical Portraits: Photographs and Reflections by Jan Persson to one lucky winner at Fotofringe London on 24th April 2013.
The book celebrates Jan Persson’s unique and high quality jazz and rock photographs from American jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis to rock icons Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. The photographer tells the stories behind the pictures that captured the music of the young rebellion of the 1960s which included both jazz and beat music. Images from the book can be licensed for reproduction through Lebrecht Music & Arts. Visit us at table number 13 in the Battlebridge Room and enter the draw.
Pulitzer Prize Winners announced 15 April 2013
American writer Tom Reiss was awarded the prize for Biography for his book The Black Count on the life of Generale Alexandre Dumas, French-Caribbean military hero and father of novelist Alexandre Dumas père.
Adam Johnson was awarded the prize for Fiction for his North Korean-set novel The Orphan Master’s Son.
Photographs by Miriam Berkley (from National Book Critics Circles Readings and Awards, February 2013)