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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: July 12, 2012 Archive

Sellar Stages Bach

Posted at 9:31 AM on July 12, 2012 by Daniel Gilliam (0 Comments)
Filed under: Johann Sebastian Bach

I don't know how I missed this back in April, but thanks to Fresh Air for their feature on Tuesday reviewing the latest production of Peter Sellars.

A new DVD has been released of The Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle, Mark Padmore, Camilla Tilling and Thomas Quasthoff along with several choirs, performing a semi-staged production of Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

Sellars is known for staging operas in unusual venues, from Handel's Orlando in space to Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro in a luxury New York apartment. He's collaborated with John Adams and Kaija Saariaho. And who could forget his role as Dr. Ohara in the TV series Miami Vice.

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In the Georgia mountains to judge a harp competition, day 2

Posted at 4:36 PM on July 12, 2012 by Alison Young (0 Comments)

(Beautiful Raburn Gap, Georgia)
Raburn Gap, Georgia.jpg

We heard eight young harpists today and the level was amazingly high. My favorite piece was Spiders by British composer Paul Patterson. Exciting and thrillingly played by the first place winner in today's division.

(The Judge's Table)

harp judges.jpg

What was curious to me was how a musician needs to weigh out attaining flawless technique, not having a single memory slip and remaining poised and focused all while taking the risks needed to be an artist. This is not just about playing perfectly - and as a judge the performance that grabs me is one that is clean but is committed with the musician saying somethinf to me through their music.

It was a grueling day and we have more tomorrow. I am becoming a better listener and have a bunch of harp CD's to share with you on-air when I return!

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