Sunday, August 20, 2017
Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the 2015 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, has abruptly switched US agencies from factory agency Opus 3 to sole trader Charlotte Lee at Primo Artists. No reason has been given – none ever is – but Cho is one of the more thoughtful artists on the piano stool and he won’t have taken the decision lightly. Charlotte Lee looks after just five other artists: Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell and Nicola Benedetti; pianist Beatrice Rana and conductor Cristian Măcelaru. Cho said: ‘I am very excited to join the roster of Primo Artists who represent many of the most distinguished artists in classical music. I’m really looking forward to working closely with Charlotte Lee and to our new collaboration!’
"The Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin was no doubt regarded as a one-of-a-kind virtuoso. Which is peculiar, in a way, since he also stole freely and transparently from other artists. [Sara Fishko traces] the various influences that went into Chopin's signature style." (audio)
Harassed by the Nazis in Warsaw, Maryla Jonas escaped in 1940 to Rio de Janeiro by pretending to be married to the son of the Brazilian ambassador. Soon after arrival she suffered a nervous breakdown and spent time in a sanatorium. News arrived of the death of her first husband and her brother and she gave up her career. A post-War visit by Artur Rubinstein persuaded her to return to the stage. On an icy Monday night in February 1946, she faced a near-empty Carnegie Hall and was acclaimed by a junior critic as ‘the finest woman pianist since Teresa Carreno’. Her second recital, a month later, was a sell-out. Jonas was signed by Columbia Artists, the New York Philharmonic engaged her to open its next season, Columbia gave her a record contract and she married a noted endocrinologist Ernest G. Abraham – all in a matter of weeks. It was all too much. She began to cancel concerts and the dates dropped off. In January 1951 she fainted on stage at Carnegie Hall midway through Schumann’s Carnaval. Critics began to note memory lapses and she became too anxious to accept further engagements. Diagnosed with a rare blood condition in 1952, Maryla Jonas died seven years later at the age of 48. Sony have just remastered her complete piano recordings. The piano sound is constricted and brittle, but the Chopin playing is fresh and powerful, a genuine artist with a voice all her own and a profound introspection. She seems to be playing entirely for herself.
Jeremy Denk: "His whole achievement depended on a catlike understanding of which notes hold on and which let go; on delicate traceries between chords, suspending dangerously on a single note or pair of notes, and then, once a foothold is established, leaping to a new harmony as if it were nothing."
Opera: America’s War Without End Anthony Haden Guest calls “The Plain of Jars” — a chamber opera by Keith Patchel about America’s secret war in Laos — “the lineal descendant of Stravinsky’s ‘Nightingale’ and Alban Berg’s ‘Lulu’ and ‘Wozzeck.'” Click ... read more AJBlog: Straight|Up Published 2017-07-21 From Montreal to Massachusetts Compagnie Marie Chouinard performs at Jacob’s Pillow, July 19 through 23 Marie Chouinard’s 24 Preludes by Chopin (an earlier cast). Photo: Marie Chouinard The immaculately groomed women in the above photograph don’t look much like ... read more AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-07-22 From Dreams to Reality Did you ever dream of being in a certain profession when you were little? Of traveling to a distant land, or gaining the skills of heroes who you admired? Kia Moore dreamed of wowing ... read more AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2017-07-22 The Mess We’re In: Politics, Economy and Journalism OVER the last few weeks, I’ve been asked on several occasions if I can explain what the hell happened to this country. (I’ve been in London and Ireland for some of that time.) The ... read more AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-07-21 What a Swell Party. Wonder Why we Were There? Penelope leaving the party What a swell party it was, to be sure. Our taxi driver asked the armed policeman whether he could drive through the front gate of Buckingham Palace? He was told no, ... read more AJBlog: Plain English Published 2017-07-21 “Public Trust” Bust: Berkshire Museum to Jettison 40 Works (including 2 artist-donated Rockwells) Why should it matter if the Berkshires lose two major paintings by Norman Rockwell, when there are already so many in the vicinity ? That mindless mindset seems to be driving the deplorable decision by the ... read more AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-07-21
Frédéric François Chopin (22 February 1810 / 1 March - 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher, of French-Polish parentage. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music. Chopin is also known as "The poet of the Piano". Chopin was born in ?elazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his musical education there. Following the Russian suppression of the Polish November 1830 Uprising, Chopin settled in Paris as part of the Polish Great Emigration. He supported himself as a composer and piano teacher, giving few public performances. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39. Most of Chopin's works involve the piano. They are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the musical form known as the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.
Great composers of classical music