boulezian is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, boulezian is a qualified source of soclassiq, like Lucid Culture or Alex Ross - Unquiet Thoughts and many others. The oldest article indexed by soclassiq is dated 2017-07-11. Since then, a total of 426 articles have been written and published by boulezian.
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With 8 articles published in the last 90 days, boulezian is currently a not very active news source. "Not very active" does not mean that boulezian is less interesting than another more prolific source. Each blog follows a specific editorial line, publishing according to its own rhythm.
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The last article in boulezian, "Friend/Maxwell Quartet - Haydn, Scottish folk music, and Mozart, 13 December 2020", is dated 2021-01-21. By 2020, this source had published 107 articles.
boulezian in the last 36 months
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St John’s, WaterlooHaydn: String Quartet in C major, op.74 no.1Scottish folk music Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major, KV 581 Anthony Friend (clarinet)Colin Scobie, George Smith (violins) Elliot Perks (viola) Duncan Strachan (cello) A highlight of my (late) summer was a visit to the Bandstand Chamber Festival in Battersea Park. For the dark nights, in every sense, of December, artistic director Anthony Friend has had the festival decamp a little further down the Thames to St John’s, Waterloo under the new guise of ‘Spotlight Chamber Concerts’. Very apt, too, the church in darkness, musicians spotlit in front of the altar steps. The Maxwell Quartet’s concert (later joined by Friend on the clarinet) opened in arresting fashion, thanks to Haydn’s grand gesture—a simple perfect cadence, and yet…—to open his op.74 no.1. It is very much a ‘London’ quartet, written for the same public as those astonishing final dozen symphonies, and there […]
The British Library has launched its online exhibition to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with a new Discovering Music space on the nineteenth century. I am delighted to have contributed, alongside such excellent scholars as John Irving, Laura Tunbridge, Barry Cooper, David Wyn Jones, Leanne Langley, and Wiebke Thormählen. My own contribution, drawing on a sketchbook and other of the Library’s holdings, is on the Pastoral Symphony and Beethoven’s relationship to Nature. Please click here.
Donald McIntyre in Patrice Chéreau's Bayreuth Centenary Ring “In the cloudy heights / live the gods,” Wotan, in earthly disguise as the Wanderer, tells Mime; “their hall is called Valhalla.” So it is, but such has not always been the case; indeed, it is a recent development. Wotan, at any rate, “reigns over” this Schar: a word that may be understood militarily or angelically (host), socially (company), or in a pastoral, religious sense (flock). That is part of the point. Wotan’s, more broadly the gods’, dominion is priestly. The priesthood, as actually existing priesthoods tend to be, is both religious and political; it relies upon tradition, custom, belief, and ultimately – although Wotan is cagey about this – upon force. “Not through force,” he tells his fellow god Donner, with his hammer; if only to sustain the illusion (Wahn), there should usually be another way. […]
St Martin-in-the-FieldsSibelius: Belshazzar’s Feast: ‘Nocturne’Nielsen, arr. Hans Abrahamsen: Three Piano Pieces, op.59, recomposed for ten instrumentsWagner: Siegfried-IdyllMozart: Symphony no.34 in C major, KV 338 Academy of St Martin in the FieldsRyan Wigglesworth (conductor) ‘Awakening’, aptly enough, was the theme of this post-lockdown concert from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in the church where, for this orchestra, it all began. I only noticed that after the event and confess to having been thinking in different, if far from opposed, terms, related to the theatre. Music means many things at different times, to different people—and surely all the more so in times such as these. At any rate, a sign of musical light in London at the close of the first week of Advent was welcome indeed, not least given the typical accomplishment of the Academy’s playing, this time under Ryan Wigglesworth. As a heretic who has always […]
Zemlinsky and Schoenberg, Prague, 1917Image: Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna ‘I have always thought and still believe that he was a great composer. Maybe his time will come earlier than we think.’ Arnold Schoenberg was far from given to exaggerated claims for ‘greatness’, yet he could hardly have been more emphatic in the case of his friend, brother-in-law, mentor, advocate, interpreter, and, of course, fellow composer, Alexander Zemlinsky. Ten years later, in 1959, another, still more exacting modernist critic, Theodor Adorno, wrote in surprisingly glowing terms. Zemlinsky had ‘made more of the compromises characteristic of an eclectic than any other first-rate composer of his generation. Yet his eclecticism demonstrated genius in its truly seismographic sensitivity to the stimuli by which he allowed himself to be overwhelmed.’ We perhaps look more warily than Adorno or Schoenberg upon Romantic notions of genius, even as our concert halls, opera houses, and […]
An odder year than ever before and, let us hope, than ever again. I heard no composer of opera more than once; there was no Fidelio, even in Beethoven's anniversary year. Beethoven would surely have emerged considerably further ahead had that year truly got going. As it was, he squeaked past Mozart in the concert tally, while the two composers both received eleven in the final reckoning. (As ever, this is scored per concert/event rather than per piece; i.e. Igor Levit playing four Beethoven sonatas in the same recital counts as one, not four.) Looked at another way, though, I still managed to hear music by a range of composers, from Abrahmsen to Zimmermann, a good number of contemporary composers amongst them. Concert Beethoven 11 Mozart 10 Bach 5 Haydn, Ravel, Stravinsky 3 Berg, Schumann, Bernd Alois Zimmermann 2 Hans Abrahamsen, Georges Aperghis, George Benjamin, Boulez, Brahms, Busoni, Isaac Cooper, […]
Maya (Mimi Doulton), Vigo (Jonathan Brown), Bella (Camilla Seale)Image: Claire Shovelton Maya – Mimi Doulton Bella – Camilla Seale Vigo – Jonathan Brown Sarah – Helen Charlston Samuel Beckett – Christopher Bowen Barbara – Emily Wenman Orpha Phelan (director) Eloise Philpot (designs) Peter Vocka (lighting) Madeleine Boyd (creative consultant) Gabrielle Teychenné (conductor)One step forward, one step back? Who knows any more, given the catastrophic chaos of ‘tiers’? Operatic life we snatch where we can—and are all the more grateful for it. Since my final full-scale, staged opera, Carmen in Berlin on 7 March, I have now been to three opera performances: Holst’s half-hour Savītri (outdoors); Tristan und Isolde (in concert performances, with piano trio); and now Blue Electric from composer Tom Snail and librettist Alba Arikha, drawing on her memoir Major/Minor. This was staged, with soloists and a small chorus, at the Playground Theatre in North Kensington, but with electronic orchestral sound: […]
St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, 24.10.2020 (MB) Rebel: Les Élémens: ‘Le Chaos’Samantha Fernando: Lost Things, for solo flute Mozart: Flute Concerto in D major, KV 314/285d Copland: Appalachian Spring Let us not kid ourselves: there is absolutely nothing to recommend our historical moment. That is still more the case when it comes to music, for reasons no reader will need to see repeated. Yes, in some ways we may feel we appreciate it all the more, yet scarcity is no way to show appreciation, nor is throwing musicians’ lives on the scrapheap in order to funnel more cash to Dido Harding, Serco, and the horse racing ‘industry’. People are rightly angry, depressed, in despair—and dying. That is not something to celebrate with naïve, neo-Panglossian hopes for a better future. What music, when we can find it, when we can make it, can do is give us a little more hope for the […]
The Warehouse, WaterlooTristan – Brian Smith Walters Isolde – Cara McHardy Brangäne – Harriet Williams Kurwenal – Louis Hurst King Marke – Richard Wiegold Young Sailor – Ben Thapa Melot – Jonathan Cooke Shepherd, Steersman – Bo Wang Jonathan Musgrave (piano)James Widden (violin) Alison Holford (cello) Michael Thrift (conductor) Almost a year to the day (5 October 2019) since I had last seen Tristan und Isolde and considerably sooner, given the world’s catastrophic state, than I had anticipated, Wagner and Tristan returned to my life and to the lives of the performers of the London Opera Company, here giving its inaugural performance. For any company to open proceedings with Tristan is a declaration of intent, not least in London, so starved of Wagner compared to any city of its stature. Yet, this group of musicians determined not so much to keep the flame burning as, in contradistinction to its […]