Musical Opinion

Musical Opinion is a bimonthly magazine that covers classical music, opera and ballet. Founded on Oct. 8, 1877, Musical Opinion Ltd. publishes this periodical. Article subjects include music, musical instruments, drama and theatre. Denby Richards is the Editor, Christopher Monk is the Art Director and Production Editor, and Judith Monk is the Department Editor.

Articles from Vol. 124, No. 1425, June

Aaron Copland
AARON COPLAND By Howard Pollack University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-- 06900-5 $24.95 The recent dismissal of Aaron Copland as a "composer of folksy American jazz" in Time's Issue 24 of July 2000 might seem an ignorant response to the musician who...
Andrew Zolinsky at the Purcell Room
Entitled The French Connection, the programme put together by Andrew Zolinsky for his piano recital at the Purcell Room on 3 February was refreshingly innovative, and though eclectic in the range of compositions, revealed some interesting cross-links....
Arnold Shoenberg
John Warnaby considers the 50th Anniversary of the composer's death When Arnold Schoenberg died, 50 years ago, on 13 July 1951, Pierre Boulez' celebrated article, Schoenberg is Dead also implied that his legacy had lost its significance. One of the most...
Aulis Sallinen's Kullervo at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
The admirably enterprising University College Opera marked its 50th Anniversary on 19 March with the UK Premiere of Aulis Saltimen's three-act Kullervo at London's Bloomsbury Theatre in the composer's presence. The name Kullervo is not unknown to music-lovers....
BBC Scottish SO in Inverness
The orchestral concert season at the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness this year is entitled Timeless Greats, Despite a bitterly cold Highland wind and lashing rain, almost every seat in the 800-seat Theatre was taken for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's...
Biber Day in the Purcell Room
No wonder one rarely hears Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber's Rosary Sonatas performed in the concert hall. Not only do these 12 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo plus pendant Passacaglia for Solo Violin represent more than two hours of technique-testing...
Bohemian Spring at the Barbican
Between them, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican have created the Capital's most stimulating music venue and their Bohemian Spring Festival project reinforced that achievement, focusing on the effusion of late Romantic and post-Romantic works....
Carey Blyton: Vale, Diana! / Nigel Benson: Cyprus Quarted for String Quartet / Peter Thompson: At the Window for Four-Part Choir
CAREY BLYTON: Vale, Diana! Opus 105 for String Orchestra Fand Music Press Score and Parts L9.95 NIGEL BENSON: Cyprus Quartet for String Quartet Fand Music Press Score and Parts L20.00 PETER THOMPSON: At the Window for Four-part Choir Fand Music Press...
Celebrating Tortelier at the Wigmore Hall
There was a strong sense of the presence of the great cellist at this celebration of his life and work held at the Wigmore Hall on 2 February. Devoted exclusively to Paul Tortelier's own music and some of his writings, it reflected his philosophy: "Composing...
Charles Camilleri: Paganiana; Astralis; Cosmologies; Celestial Harmonies; Chemins; Noospheres
Charles Camilleri: Paganiana*; Astralis; Cosmologies; Celestial Harmonies; Chemins; Noospheres Murray McLachlan: Piano, with Kathryn Page: Piano The Divine Art Record Company 2-5012 71' 22" the prolific output of the Maltese-- born composer Charles Camilleri...
Cherubini's Anacreon in Venice
The Venetians have prompt reactions. Within months of the burning of their Teatro Fenice; arguably Europe's most beautiful opera house, they had erected another serviceable auditorium with excellent acoustics. Sadly, however, the new structure was a...
Comedy in Stratford
Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors has a tendency to bring out the best or worst in directors and happily the new production by Lynne Parker for the RSC is firmly among the former. It opened at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratfordupon-Avon on 20...
English National Ballet's Giselle in Manchester
English National Ballet's Giselle in Manchester Lighting up Manchester's Palace Theatre in fine style on 6 March, English National Ballet brought Derek Deane's invigorating production of Giselle to brighten up a damp Manchester night. In a First Act...
Evelyn Glennie: Shadow Behind the Iron Sun
Evelyn Glennie: Shadow Behind the Iron Sun Improvised and performed by Evelyn Glennie RCA-BMG 09025 63406-2 69' 00" I trust that, at this stage in her career, it is unnecessary to expand on Evelyn Glennie's great gifts. She is, quite simply, the most...
Genoveva in the QEH
London's dearth of theatres for visiting opera companies is an embarrassment. Schumann's only opera, Genoveva, has evoked diverse reactions in Opera North's production but Londoners have not been given a chance to see it, although a concert performance...
Gerald Finzi
A Centenary Note by Robert Matthew Walker At the time of Gerald Finzi's sudden and premature death, on 27 September 1956 at the age of 55, his reputation as a composer was barely established. To those who knew this cultured and charming man, and those...
Henry IV at the Swan
The RSC have launched a new series of productions of Shakespeare's history plays under the title This England, the Histories but unusually the individual plays are being given in different venues under different directors. Richard II opened in March...
Henze's Boulevard Solitude at the Royal Opera House
It is humbling to have to eat one's thoughts and words and this is what I had to do after seeing the magnificent production of Hans Werner Henze's Boulevard Solitude at the Royal Opera House on 20 March. I had seen the opera in 1962 at Sadler's Wells...
Highnotes
Compiled by Judith Monk General Royal Ballet Director Anthony Dowell has promoted Alina Cojocaru to Principal after her recent performance of Giselle. At only 19 years old she is one of the youngest Principal dancers in the Royal Ballet's history. The...
Jan Ignacy Paderewski: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor Opus 17; Fantasie Polonaise Opus 19
Jan Ignacy Paderewski: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor Opus 17; Fantasie Polonaise Opus 19 Ewa Kupiec: Piano Radio Sinfonia Orchestra of Frankfurt Conducted by Hugh Wolff Koch Schwann CD 3-65520-2 DDDQ 571 1411 I have never before heard a...
Lauritz Melchior: The Complete MGM Recordings 1946-1947
Lauritz Melchior: The Complete MGM Recordings 1946-1947 Romophone 82019-2 78' 35" I owe my first attraction to Wagner to the 78rpm records I heard during the Second World War, in which the Tristan and Siegfried were sung by a Danish tenor named Lauritz...
Louise Diptych at Dortmund
During the past few years the Westphalian City of Dortmund has enterprisingly revived a series of neglected French operas; La Juive, Le Roi Arthus, Padmdvati, Les Troyens and Dinorah. The 2001 Season brought the most ambitious venture of all when Gustave...
Magnard's Berenice at Marseilles
The French composer Alberic Magnard was a man with iron principles and a substantial private income, a combination which rendered him impervious to pleasing the public in his art. As a consequence his austere, accomplished compositions made little headway...
Mendelssohn: Adagio and Presto Agitato in B Flat Minor
MENDELSSOHN: Adagio and Presto agitato in B flat minor Weinberger ISMN: M-57005-0369 L9.50 On Saturday 18 April 1829 the twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy embarked from his native city of Hamburg on a ship called The Attwood for his first visit...
My Fair Lady at the Lyttleton
I was fortunate to see the original production of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's My Fair Lady at the Drury Lane Theatre on some twelve occasions and bought and played the record of that cast, with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, whom I had watched...
Northern Ballet Theatre's Jekyll & Hyde in Eastbourne
Northern Ballet Theatre's Jekyll & Hyde in Eastbourne Halifax plc has renewed its sponsorship of the Northern Ballet Theatre and is supporting the company until 2003. Thank God for far-sighted sponsorship, for without it, by providing freedom, time...
Obituaries: Iannis Xenakis
It has become fashionable, when writing a composer's obituary, to stress his or her originality, but in the case of Iannis Xenakis, who died on 4 February, such emphasis is superfluous. The unique character of his music stemmed from the fact that it...
Obituaries: Leslie Edwards
I cannot remember when I first saw Leslie Edwards dance. He seemed to have been a member of Ninette de Valois' company forever. First rate character dancers are the core of great productions, invariably inspiring daring choreography for their brief but...
Obituaries: Ninette De Valois
I have been fortunate to meet some truly great personalities over some six decades one of the first of whom was Ninette de Valois, who made an immediate impact on me when David Paltenghi took me backstage at the New Theatre in St Martin's Lane in 1943....
Opera North at the Lowry
There may have been snow on the ground as we came out of Opera North's concert performance of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde on 24 February but the earlier part of the week had brought clear blue skies, ideal conditions for a first visit to this prestige...
Otello in Berlin's Staatsoper
Not since the days of Beecham in Buenos Aires in 1958 do I recall a performance of Verdi's Otello where the orchestra and conductor took precedence over everything else than in the Berlin Staatsoper on 9 February when Daniel Barenboim, in his first Otello,...
Richard Strauss: The Piano Concertos for the Left Hand
Richard Strauss: The Piano Concertos for the Left Hand Panathenaea: symphonic studies in the form of a passacaglia opus 73 Parergon to the Symphonic Domestics opus 74 Anna Gourari, piano Bamberg Symphony Orchestra Karl Anton Rickenbacher, conductor KOCH-Schwann...
Royal Ballet's Coppelia
A warm glow of nostalgia filled the Loyal Opera House on 8 February when the Royal Ballet presented a restaging of Delibes' enchanting ballet Coppelia, which, incredible to believe, had not been seen in the house for almost thirty years. This new production...
Royal Ballet's Gala Tribute to Sir Anthony Dowell
Some Galas can be a little disappointing. Perhaps a star performer cancels; perhaps the extracts don't quite work out of context; or perhaps the absence of scenery, chorus or corps de ballet lessen the impact. Not one of these potential defects marred...
Royal Ballet's Giselle
The Royal Ballet and especially its Corps is doing Sir Anthony Dowell proud in his final year as Director of the Company. This was amply demonstrated at the Royal Opera House on 6 April when they presented a well nigh perfect staging of Giselle. Sadly...
Royal Ballet's la Fille Mal Gardee
It has long been recognised that Jean Georges Noverre's radical ideas inspired Jean Dauberval to create ballets which left the stolid fashions of the past and brought dance to the world of ordinary people, the first of which was his Le Ballet de la Paille,...
Sadie Harrison: Taking Flight / George Nicholson: Letters to the World / Geoffrey Poole: Septembral / Anthony Powers: Fast Colors / George Schwartz: Bellagio Variations
Sadie Harrison: Taking Flight: Chamber Music The Kreutzer Quartet Peter Sheppard Skaeved: Violin Aaron Short: Piano Lesley Jane Rogers: Soprano Nancy Ruffer. Flautist Gordon MacKay: Violin Bridget Carey: Viola Neil Hayde: Cello Metier MSV CD 2053 71'...
The Art of Piano
Great Pianists Of The 20th Century A film written by Christian Labrande and Donald Sturrock Directed by Donald Sturrock Narrated by John Tusca Pianists: Claudio Arrau, Wilhelm Backhaus, Alfred Cortot, Gyorgy Cziffra, Annie Fischer, Edwin Fischer, Glenn...
The Electric Guitar
THE ELECTRIC GUITAR By Nick Freeth & Charles Alexander Salamander Books ISBN. 184065 214 4 120 In less than seventy years, the electric guitar has evolved from primitive beginnings into one of the key instruments of popular music. Before the advent...
The Music of Lutoslawski
THE MUSIC OF LUTOSLAWSKI By Charles Rodman Rae Omnibus Press ISBN 0-7119-6910-8 L14.99 This is the third edition of a book which, in some respects, scarcely deserves one. Whatever one may think of Lutoslawski's music, in our genius-free musical society,...
The Organ in Holy Trinity Church, Coventry
The parish Church of The Holy Trinity, parts of which date from the 13th and 14th Centuries, is a large mediaeval building situated in the centre of the City. Coventry's modern cathedral stands on a few yards away. Holy Trinity is in complete contrast...
The Red Violin
THE RED VIOLIN A Film Co-written and Directed by Francois Girard Certificate: 15 FILMFOUR: VCDO102 RRP: L19.99 125' The Press Release accompanying the DVD of The Red Violin speaks of, "an absorbing mystery that traces the imaginary journey of a unique...
Welsh National Opera's le Nozze Di Figaro
Any production of Le Nozze di Figaro which is blessed with Nuccia Focile as Susanna cannot really fail. In Welsh National Operas new Spring season production, which opened at Cardiff's New Theatre on 10 February, her vitality, musical acuity and eminently...
Wexford
The best news to emerge from the 2000 Wexford Festival was that plans are in motion to build a comfortable modern opera theatre. Details remain vague but long-term omens seem good. Meanwhile the Millennium Festival, which I attended on 22, 23 and 24...
What Is DVD?
DVD REVIEWS DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc, although some call it the Digital Video Disc. It can be used to store computer data, which can be interpreted by a DVD-ROM player, as well as video. DVD is a format based on the compact disc. It is 5...