Seiji OzawaCredit Toshifumi Kitamura/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Mr. Landau became friendly with some of the choristers during the group’s stay in Los Angeles, and as a composer, was intent on writing for the group – something that would also suit wild Up’s stated mission of creating an international community of musicians and music lovers.
Soon wild Up and Graduale Nobili were discussing possibilities, and from those talks, a collaborative project took shape. Six Los Angeles composers – Mr. Landau, Christopher Rountree (wild Up’s artistic director), Andrew Tholl, Ellen Reid, Jonathan Beard and Marc Lowenstein – would write new works for choir and chamber ensemble, to be performed at a concert by the two ensembles in Reykjavik on Aug. 30. The works will then be recorded by Valgeir Sigurdsson, the Icelandic producer and composer who founded the indie Bedroom Community label. The concert will be wild Up’s first outside Los Angeles.
The hitch? Money, of course. Although wild Up’s budget was pretty tight, the group plans to bring the entire project in for about $37, 000. It decided to raise $26, 000 of that on a crowdfunding site, Indiegogo. The group’s campaign started on July 18, and by Monday it had exceeded the goal. As of Friday, wild Up had raised $35, 000, and though the giving has slowed since the goal was met, the group is hoping contributions will continue. A note on its Indiegogo page says that money raised beyond the full cost of its Reykjavik adventure will be used for future wild Up projects.
Herbert von Karajan, left, with the film director Henri-Georges Clouzot in 1967.Credit Film Society of Lincoln Center
HERBERT VON KARAJAN: Choral Music 1947-1958
Works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms
(Warner Classics; five discs)
Warner Classics has issued a series of 13 box sets of the recordings Herbert von Karajan made for EMI between 1946 and 1984, all newly remastered. This five-CD album of choral works offers Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” from the mid-1950s with the Philharmonia Orchestra and a 1947 Brahms “German Requiem” with the Vienna Philharmonic. Of special interest for me is the 1952 account of Bach’s Mass in B minor, with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Singers of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde and quite a quartet of vocal soloists: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Marga Höffgen, Nicolai Gedda and Heinz Rehfuss. This recording, the one I grew up with, harkens to an earlier time of weighty, thick-textured Bach performances. Contrast Karajan’s opening “Kyrie, ” which lasts 12:17 minutes, with Philippe Herreweghe’s 1996 account on period instruments, an undulant 9:29! Still, Karajan draws solemnity, depth and character from the score. A fascinating recording. (Anthony Tommasini)
BRAHMS/ROZSA: Clarinet Sonatas
Jean Johnson, clarinetist; Steven Osborne, pianist
A “double life” is what the Hungarian-born Miklos Rozsa called his career after his immigration to the United States and his rise to the ranks of Hollywood’s foremost film composers. Alongside iconic scores such as the one for Hitchcock’s “Spellbound, ” he continued to craft elegant concert pieces like the Sonatina for solo clarinet and Sonata for solo clarinet featured on this fine recording by the poised clarinetist Jean Johnson. Beautiful renditions of Brahms’s Clarinet Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 round out this lovely album. (Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim)
A Classical Music Playlist
The post below spurred me into contemplating whether I thought there ever was, or even could be a "greatest musical piece" ever composed or played. In my mind at least, there are only good and better music. In any case, for those of us who may have not heard of some of the below mentioned compositions, I put some of them into a playlist so that the rest of us could listen to some of them with a fresh ear. Click the location you wish the player to appear. Enjoy!
"Greatest Music" playlist◀Left Frame◢New Window◣Right Frame▶GrooveShark