La Scena Musicale

Monday, 30 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 30 (Salonen)

1958 - Esa-Pekka Salonen, Helsinki, Finland, conductor and composer

Wiki entry
Biography & work list

The composer conducts the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in his Foreign Bodies (composed 2001)

Interview (2008)

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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 29 (Mutter, Kubelik)

1963 - Anne-Sophie Mutter, Rheinfelden, Germany; violinist

Wiki entry
Official website

Anne-Sophie Mutter plays the Sarabande from J.S. Bach's Partita in D minor

1914 - Rafael Kubelik, Býchory, Bohemia (Czech Republic), conductor

Wiki entry
Obituary (N.Y. Times, 1996)

Rafael Kubelik leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in "The Moldau" from Smetana's Má vlast (Munich, 1984)

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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 28 (Hampson, Joachim)

1955 - Thomas Hampson, Elkhart, Indiana; opera and recital baritone

Wiki entry
Biography & pictures
Interview (1998)

Thomas Hampson sings "Die zwei blauen Augen" from Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)

1831 - Joseph Joachim, Kittsee, Hungary; violinist, conductor, composer

Wiki entry

Joseph Joachim plays his Romance in C major

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Friday, 27 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 27 (Moffo, dal Monte)

1932 - Anna Moffo, Wayne, U.S.A.; opera and recital soprano

Wiki entry
Obituary (The Independent, London, March 2006)

Anna Moffo sings "Un bel di" from Puccini's Madama Butterfly

1893 - Toti dal Monte, Mogliano Veneto, Italy; opera soprano

Wiki entry

Toti dal Monte sings "Caro Nome" from Verdi's Rigoletto (1924)

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Thursday, 26 June 2008

Candide camera

The most striking feature of English National opera's new production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide is the drop-curtain.

It has been made up to look like a 1950s television test-card and it takes us instantly back to that era.

The card melts, as the music strikes up, into newsreel clips of Middle America, McCarthyism, gas guzzlers and the rise of the Kennedys. I won't review the show - Fiona Maddocks gets it bang to rights in the Evening Standard - except to say that Robert Carsen's co-pro with Paris and La Scala seemed to appeal more to under-30s in the audience than to over-40s.

Carsen's supposedly controversial caricature of Bush, Blair, Putin & Co in flag-design swim pants was silly rather than provocative and the Eurotrash anti-American tone of the show grew tedious after the first ten gags.

What bothered me most, though, was what I had liked best.

When the test card became an active screen for moving images, it completely distracted attention from the Overture which, in my view, is the most concentrated and exciting piece of music that Bernstein ever wrote. I missed the Overture and it may have blighted my evening.

There is a growing tendency for directors to use Overture time to do clever things beneath the proscenium. Some have actors wandering the footlights, others project movie clips. They miss the point.

There is a reason composers write overtures, and it's not just to allow latecomers to find their seats. The Overture sets the mood of a show. Overlay it with visual peripheria and you risk going into the performance without the courtesy of foreplay.

I'm setting up an Overture Protection Society. Sign up in Comments, below.

Source: Artsjournal


Today's Birthdays in Music: June 26 (Abbado, Taddei)

1933 - Claudio Abbado, Milan, Italy; conductor

Wiki entry
Biography & photos

Claudio Abbado conducts an excerpt from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet (Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg)

1916 - Giuseppe Taddei, Genoa, Italy; opera baritone

Wiki entry

Giuseppe Taddei sings "Udite, udite o rustici" from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore"

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Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Canadian Opera Company announces new Director

A long awaited announcement of the directorship of the Canadian Opera Company will take place at 10:30 am this morning, from the stage of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. I will be attending the press conference. You can be there also since the event will be webcast!

Go to the COC website at and follow the instructions on the homepage.

Update: Unanimous choice - casting director at the Paris opera under Mortier for the past four years. It is 34 year old Alexander Neef, a native of Ebersbach an der Fils near Stuttgart, Germany. He did his internship at Salzburg Festival. He has worked with many Canadians - Robert Lepage, Robert Carsen, Michael Levine, Russell Braun, Ben Heppner, Adrianne Pieczonka. He forsees more coproductions with other companies in North America. His English is impeccable. In response to questions about repertoire, he mentions looking at producing operas that has not been produced before, like Parsifal. Measha Brueggergosman was in attendance, as were a few other singers. Neef mentions he has a project with Measha and Mortier at NYCO - he did not elaborate. Could it be Measha singing her first Valentine in Les Huguenots?

> Official Press Release

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Today's Birthday in Music: June 25 (Charpentier)

1860 - Gustave Charpentier, Dieuze, France; composer (Louise)

Wiki entry

Renee Fleming sings "Depuis le jour" from Louise (Thèatre du Chàtelet Paris, 2002)

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 24 (Fournier)

1906 - Pierre Fournier, Paris, France; cellist

Wiki entry
Brief biography

Pierre Fournier plays Schumann's Cello Concerto Op. 129 (ORTF National Orchestra, conducted by Jean Martinon)

Pierre Fournier and Jean Fonda play Chopin's Introduction and Polonaise Brillante for cello and piano, Op. 3 (Paris, 1965)

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Monday, 23 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 23 (Levine)

1943 - James Levine, Cincinnati, U.S.A.; conductor and pianist

Wiki entry
Biography & photos
Boston Globe profile, 2004

James Levine conducts the overture to Mozart's Don Giovanni

James Levine rehearsing Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera (with Jessye Norman and others)

Luciano Pavarotti and James Levine perform Tosti's "Marechiare" (Lincoln Center recital, 1988)

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Sunday, 22 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 22 (Pears, Tourel)

1910 - Peter Pears, Farnham, England; opera and recital tenor

Wiki entry

Peter Pears (as Grimes) sings "To hell with all your mercy" from the final act of Britten's Peter Grimes; Heather Harper as Ellen Orford (1969 TV production, London Symphony Orchestra and Ambrosian Chorus, conducted by Benjamin Britten)

1900 - Jennie Tourel, Vitebskt, Russia; opera and recital mezzo-soprano

Biography & photos

Jennie Tourel sings "O sleep why dost thou leave me" from Handel's Semele

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 21 (J.C.F. Bach)

1732 - Johanne Christoph Friedrich Bach, Leipzig, Germany; composer and keyboard player

Wiki entry

Solfeggio, by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (pianist Philippe Lernould)

Trio, by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (pianist Philippe Lernould)

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Friday, 20 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 20 (Offenbach, Pelletier)

1819 - Jacques Offenbach, Cologne, Germany; composer

Wiki entry

Dorothy Bond sings and Moira Shearer dances "Les Oiseaux dans la Charmille" (The Doll Song) from Les Contes d'Hoffmann

1896 - Wilfrid Pelletier, Montreal, Canada; conductor and pianist


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Thursday, 19 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 19 (Rothenberger, J. Stamitz)

1926 - Anneliese Rothenberger, Mannheim, Germany; opera soprano

Wiki entry

Anneliese Rothenberger (Sophie) and Kerstin Meyer (Octavian) sing the final duet from Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier (1969)

1717 - Johann Stamitz, Deutschbrod, Bohemia; composer and violinist

Wiki entry

Sinfonia "La melodia germanica" Nº 3, 1st mvt. (Joven Camerata Filarmónica)

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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 18 (Marton, Pleyel)

1943 - Éva Marton, Budapest, Hungary; opera soprano

Wiki entry
Biography & pictures

Éva Marton sings "In questa reggia" from Puccini's Turandot (Vienna, 1983; José Carreras as Calaf)

1757 - Ignaz Pleyel, Ruppersthal, Austria; pianist, composer, music publisher, piano manufacturer

Wiki entry
Pleyel pianos

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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Lorraine and the gentlemen's clubs

A wonderful release of Bach and Handel arias by the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson has just appeared on the self-publish community label, Avie, and is reviewed as my CD of the week.

No need to say more about the Bach, but Handel's Hercules was completely unknown to me and I revelled both in the musical invention and in Lorraine's fine articulation. The track that leaped out at me from the headphones was an aria titled 'Resign thy club' and I kept having to rub my ears to make sure I was hearing right.

Handel paid great attention to the words he set. 'Resign thy club' is supposed to tell Hercules give up the fighting and come home to mummy. But I couldn't help wondering if Handel here wasn't signalling an in-joke to his patrons who spent their evenings in the London gentlemen's clubs tht run along Pall Mall. If they happened to take a little snooze in act two, a call to resign from the Atheneum would be sure to stir them in the stalls.

Anyone know more about this aria?

Source: Artsjournal


Berlin cover-up

The BBC are running a bought-in film tonight in Alan Yentob's Imagine series on Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. It offers 'intimate' insights into the workings of the crack band and its fabulous maestro as they are cheered to the rafters on a Far East tour.

Well, believe that if you like. Rattle was recently re-elected chief conductor by a political manoeuvre and a narrow margin that some of his opponents in the orchestra are continuing to question. As for the Far East raves, did anyone look at the ticket prices? They were ten times above the means of ordinary Japanese, Korean and Chinese working people, even more expensive than in Berlin.

A tour by the Berlin Phil in the Far East is an occasion for Asian corporate society to congratulate itself on cultural refinment, and for the orchestra to augment its copper-bottomed salaries and expense account.

These issues will understandably not be raised in Alan Yentob's egregious series, a corner of television that is notorious for soft-focus, cuddly profiles of 'Al's Pals' and is the BBC's only documentary insight into the arts.

Notwithstanding all these reservations, the inclusion of Rattle and Berlin at this stage seems strangely off the pace, given that their progress has stagnated while a new conducting generation is striking sparks in London, Liverpool, L.A., Birmingham, Toulouse and Paris. That's where the current action is. The BBC has lost its nose for cultural reporting.

Source: Artsjournal

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Today's Birthdays in Music: June 17 (Gounod, Stravinsky)

1818 - Charles Gounod, Paris, France; composer

Wiki entry

"Le veau d'or" from Gounod's Faust, sung by Bryn Terfel (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 2004)

1882 - Igor Stravinsky, Oranienbaum, Russia; composer

Wiki entry
Musical Times commentary

Petrushka, Scene I (Bolshoi Ballet)

Gil Shaham plays Stravinsky's Violin Concerto, 4th mvt.

Dawn Upshaw, as Anne Truelove, sings "No Word From Tom" from The Rake's Progress

Stravinsky conducts the Lullaby and Final Hymn from the Firebird Ballet Suite (New Philharmonia Orchestra, London, 1965)

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Monday, 16 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 16 (Hadley, Boskovsky)

1952 - Jerry Hadley, Princeton, Illinois, U.S.A.; opera and concert tenor

Wiki entry

Jerry Hadley sings "Che Gelida Manina" from Puccini's La Bohème

1909 - Willi Boskovsky,Vienna, Austria; conductor, violinist

Wiki entry

Vienna New Year's Concert 1974: Boskovsky and the Vienna Philharmonic play Ohne Sorgen (Carefree), Polka by Josef Strauss

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Sunday, 15 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 15 (Grieg)

1843 - Edvard Grieg, Bergen, Norway; composer


Leif Ove Andsnes plays Grieg's Piano Concerto, 1st mvt. (2002 Promenade Concert, London, Leonard Slatkin conducting)

"Prelude" from the Holberg Suite (Kristiansand Symfoniorkester from Lindesnes Lighthouse, Norway)

Edvard Grieg plays "To Spring" Lyric Piece op.43 no.6 (1903 recording)

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Saturday, 14 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 14 (Lang Lang, McCormack)

1982 - Lang Lang, Shenyang, China; pianist

Wiki entry
Official website

Lang Lang plays Chopin's Grande Waltz brillante Op. 34, No. 1

1884 - John McCormack, Athlone, Ireland; opera and concert tenor

Wiki entry
Biography & pictures

John McCormack sings:

"Il Mio Tesoro" from Mozart's Don Giovanni (1916)

"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" (1916)

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Friday, 13 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 13 (E. Schumann, Trudel)

1888 - Elisabeth Schumann, Merseburg, Germany; opera, oratorio and lieder soprano

Elisabeth Schumann website
Short biography

Elisabeth Schumann sings (in German) "Voi che sapete" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (1920 recording)

1966 - Alain Trudel, Montreal, Canada; conductor and trombonist

Alain Trudel Homepage

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Thursday, 12 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 12 (Knussen, Marcoux)

1952 - Oliver Knussen, Glasgow, Scotland; composer and conductor

Wiki entry
Biography & interview

1877 - Vanni Marcoux, Turin, Italy; opera bass-baritone

Wiki entry
Biography & pictures

Vanni Marcoux sings "Vous êtes si jolie" (1932)

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Lead from L. A.

I left the door a foot open in my previous submission for others to nominate the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a pioneer of orchestral courage and adventure - and up she pops in the first three responses.

I couldn't be more enthusiastic about LA's choice of young, fairly inexperienced conductors - Salonen, and now Dudamel - in preference to the greying Europeans of the East Coast. But one might argue that L.A. is an exception that proves the rule. In a city where movies are dominant, symphonic music has to fight for every crumb of attention. Youth - Hollywood's elixir - is one way to catch the eye.

I once asked Ernest Fleischmann while he managed the LA Phil if there was any interface between his company and the dream factories. He thought for a long while before replying, 'well, Walter Matthau's a subscriber...'

As for Jason's suggestion that 'it doesn't pay to ignore internal and external dissension when assessing the merits of music directors', if that were the case Mahler would never have been boss in Vienna, nor Solti at Covent Garden, nor Boulez at the NY Phil, and the musical horizon would be coloured a uniform shade of grey.

Source: Artsjournal

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Today's Birthdays in Music: June 11 (R. Strauss, Floyd)

1864 - Richard Strauss, Munich, Germany; composer and conductor

Wiki entry

Anne Howells (Octavian) and Barbara Bonney (Sophie) sing 'Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren' (The Presentation of the Rose scene) from Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, 1985)

Alessio Allegrini plays Strauss's Horn Concerto #2 (Filarmonica della Scala, conductor Riccardo Muti, February 1999)

1926 - Carlisle Floyd, Latta, U.S.A.; composer (Susannah)

Wiki entry
Profile (L.A. Times, 2008)

Renée Fleming sings "Ain't it a pretty night" from Susannah (Richard Tucker Gala, 1995)

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 10 (Herzogenberg)

1843 - Heinrich von Herzogenberg, Graz, Austria; composer and conductor

Wiki entry

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Monday, 9 June 2008

Who dares, wins

No blogs from me for the past six weeks - I've been immersed in a new book.

But the word from Cleveland this weekend deserves a cheer or three, if only for its courage and foresight in an industry noted for its timidity. The Cleveland Orchestra has renewed contracts with music director Franz Welser-Möst for another six years, taking them up to 2019, by which time they will have been together for two full decades.

FW-M is also due to become music director of the Vienna State Opera in two years' time and is in high demand with orchestras on both continents.

So what's so brave about the rehire? It is no secret that Cleveland's chief music critic, Donald Rosenberg, struggles to find a kind word to say about Franz and that several of his colleagues on the NY Times take a comparably sceptical line when the orchestra comes to Carnegie Hall. Such dissent can affect public perceptions, as well as box office sales.

I have known musical organisations to turn chicken when critical opinion went sour on a maestro - check the recent Philadelphia Story (though that's only half the story), or the way English National Opera treated its last two music directors. So all praise to Cleveland for sailing straight ahead and showing two fingers to the malcontents.

FW-M is never going to be to everyone's taste. He has strong ideas about music and likes to get his own way. But there has never been a doubt of his ability to achieve exactly the performance he envisaged, or to maintain and improve the playing wherever he waves a wand. Cleveland, after ten years of Franz, is still by some margin America's finest ensemble - and among its most adventurous, with a stream of new commissions and, in the near future, a season of fully-staged opera .

Which other US orchestra is showing such enterprise and determination?

Go on, name me one.
Source: Artsjournal

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Today's Birthdays in Music: June 9 (Cotrubas, Nielsen)

1939 - Ileana Cotrubas, Galati, Romania; opera soprano

Wiki entry

Ileana Cotrubas sings "Addio del passato" from Verdi's La Traviata (1983)

1865 - Carl Nielsen, Odense, Denmark; composer, violinist, conductor

Wiki entry

Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable" 4th mvt. (BBC Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vanska conducting)

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Sunday, 8 June 2008

Todays Birthdays in Music: June 8 (Schumann, Ax)

1810 - Robert Schumann, Zwickau, Germany; composer and music critic

Wiki entry

Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44, 1st mvt., played by Sviatoslav Richter and the Borodin Quartet

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, accompanied by Gerald Moore, sings "Der Nussbaum"

Horowitz plays "Träumerei" (Moscow, 1986)

1949 - Emanuel Ax, Lvov, Ukraine; pianist

Wiki entry
Official website

Emanuel Ax plays an excerpt from Chopin's Sonata No. 2, Op. 25 ("Marche funèbre")

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Saturday, 7 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 7 (Alagna)

1963 - Roberto Alagna, Clichy-sous-Bois, France; opera tenor

Wiki entry
Voce di tenore

Roberto Alagna sings "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" from Bizet's Carmen (recorded at the Chorégies d'Orange, 2004)

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Friday, 6 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 6 (Khachaturian)

1906 - Aram Khachaturian, Tiflis, Georgia; composer

Wiki entry
Virtual Museum

Sabre Dance (Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Valery Gergiev; open-air concert, Vienna, 2007)

Piano Concerto, 1st mvt. (pianist Arus Adjemian)

Waltz from Masquerade Suite (Acapulco Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Davit Terzyan)

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Thursday, 5 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 5 (Argerich)

1941 - Martha Argerich, Buenos Aires, Argentina; pianist

Wiki entry
Biography & photos

Martha Argerich plays:

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, 3rd mvt. (Charles Dutoit conducting the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1973)

Scarlatti Sonata K. 141

Martha Argerich and Gabriele Baldocci play Shostakovich's Concertino for 2 pianos (Livorno, Italy, February 2008)

"All that energy" - brief interview with Martha Argerich (July 2007)

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Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Comparison of Arguments: CBC vs Save Classical Music on CBC

The following is a table comparing the arguments on both sides of the changes at CBC Radio 2.

Part of this was published in the Summer 2008 issue of La SCENA / June 2008 issue of La Scena Musicale.


Today's Birthdays in Music: June 4 (Bartoli, Merrill)

1966 - Cecilia Bartoli, Rome, Italy; opera and concert soprano and mezzo-soprano

Wiki entry

Cecilia Bartoli sings "Siam navi all 'onde algenti" from Vivaldi's Ottone in Villa (Il Giardino Armonico, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris)

1917 - Robert Merrill, New York, U.S.A.; opera baritone

Wiki entry

Robert Merrill sings "Il balen" from Verdi's Il Trovatore (1957)

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Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Today's Birthday in Music: June 3 (Peerce)

1904 - Jan Peerce, New York, U.S.A.; opera and concert tenor

Wiki entry
Short bio & pictures

Jan Peerce sings "E La Solita Storia Del Pastore" ("Lamento di Federico") from Cilea's L'Arlesiana (1965)

Jan Peerce (with Joe Reisman and his Orchestra) sings "Bluebird of Happiness" (1958)

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Monday, 2 June 2008

Tedi Papavrami : portrait discographique

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Né à Tirana en Albanie, Tedi Papavrami commence l'étude du violon à quatre ans avec son père, Robert Papavrami, professeur réputé dont l'influence sera déterminante pour toute la suite de son développement technique et artistique. À l'âge de 8 ans, il interprète en public avec l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Tirana les Airs Bohémiens de Sarasate, puis à onze ans le premier Concerto de Paganini.
En septembre 1982, à l'initiative du flûtiste Alain Marion, il est invité en France en qualité de boursier du gouvernement français. Il y suit l'enseignement de P. Amoyal au C.N.S.M. de Paris. Tedi Papavrami remporte en 1985 le Prix du Concours International Rodolfo Lipitzer et en 1986 le Premier Prix de violon, premier nommé à l'unanimité du jury du C.N.S.M. de Paris. En 1987 il obtient la Licence de Concert au Conservatoire de Lausanne, dans la classe de P. Amoyal. Il poursuit sa formation avec Z. Francescatti et V. Mullova. En juin 1992, la SACEM lui décerne le Prix Georges-Enesco, et en septembre 1993, il remporte le Premier Prix du Concours International Sarasate à Pampelune ainsi que le Prix Spécial du Public.
Tedi Papavrami a donné de nombreux concerts en récital et en soliste, tant en Europe, qu'en Turquie, au Japon, en Israël, en Afrique du Sud, etc.. Remarqué lors de son passage dans l'émission "Double Je" que lui consacrait Bernard Pivot, il est engagé par la réalisatrice J. Dayan, pour interpréter Danceny, dans l'adaptation des Liaisons Dangereuses réalisée pour TF1, aux côtés de Catherine Deneuve ou Rupert Everett.
Parallèlement à ses activités de musicien, Tedi Papavrami est, depuis 2000, le traducteur d’Ismail Kadaré pour les éditions Fayard, qui travaillent à la parution des œuvres complètes de l’écrivain albanais.
La saison prochaine de Tedi est chargée : signalons ainsi, en septembre, le Concerto de Magnus Lindberg, avec l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France ; des concerts avec l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice en avril 2009, ainsi que plusieurs prestations avec le Quatuor Schumann ou en formation chambriste avec des musiciens tels que Ilya Gringolts, Frank Braley, Dame Felicity Lott, Philippe Bianconi…
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
The Six Sonatas and Partitas
AEON 2005 / Harmonia Mundi Distribution
Un enregistrement remarquable à tous points de vue ! Il faut ici parler aussi bien du courage, de l’inspiration, que des qualités techniques et interprétatives de Tedi Papavrami.
Tout ceci est réuni dans ce qui représente pour beaucoup une sorte de quintessence de l’art du violon… Dans ces Six Sonates et Partitas, le violoniste franco-albanais ne perd à aucun moment la maîtrise de la ligne mélodique, des bases harmoniques, mais il sait surtout proposer une interprétation claire mais dynamique, colorée mais harmonieuse, inspirée mais respectueuse du texte. Loin de versions voulant se démarquer par des choix interprétatifs (trop) éloignés de la vision du violon de Bach, celle de Tedi Papavrami propose, sans jamais se trahir ou trahir le compositeur, et magnifiquement servie par un jeu d’archet très précis, une sorte de « simplicité originelle » qui mérite tout le respect et l’admiration possible. Usant peut être plus de nuances et d’effets de tempi que Nathan Milstein, dont la version reste pour nombre de mélomanes, et à juste titre, indétrônable, Tedi Papavrami s’impose comme un artiste noble, à l’élégance inspirée, au respect passionné.
Citons une magnifique Partita N°1, avec une Sarabande magnifique où l’émotion se mêle a la respiration émue du soliste ; comment ne pas évoquer cette superbe Ciaccona où Tedi Papavrami fait le choix d’une interprétation des plus simples, mesurées, mais des plus émouvantes également. Avec un son plein, chaleureux, doux mais fort à la fois, son violon murmure, récite, clame la musique de Bach…
Un très grand bravo à Tedi Papavrami pour cet enregistrement exceptionnel !
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
The Violin Sonatas (N°1 en sol majeur, op. 78 ; N°2 en la majeur, op. 100 ; N°3 en ré mineur, op. 108)
Tedi Papavrami, violon
Philippe Bianconi, piano
AEON 2007 / Harmonia Mundi Distribution
Jeux nuancés, maîtrisés, domptés, virant soudainement aux envolées les plus folles, les plus violentes, les plus exaltées : Tedi Papavrami, brillamment accompagné par le pianiste Philippe Bianconi, propose une interprétation tout en mesure et en passion des Sonates de Brahms. Jeu d’archet soigné, vibrato souple et expressif, mais sans excès, le violoniste fait surtout preuve d’une merveilleuse lecture mélodique de ces pièces et d’une interprétation d’un romantisme certain, mais sans langueur et pathos excessifs. A l’inverse, les passages les plus rythmées et rythmiques, les plus animés et souvent les plus tragiques, ne manquent en aucun cas d’énergie, de sérénité et de volonté. Encore une fois, ce sont la mesure et l’aspect réfléchi, posé, serein, qui ressortent de cet enregistrement de Tedi Papavrami. Interprétées sur un violon contemporain fait par Christian Bayon en 2005, les Sonates expriment sous son jeu, suivi dans sa conception élégante et inspirée, par le jeu précis, concis, opportun, de Philippe Bianconi, toute leur force dramatique : tantôt menées par la tristesse, la douleur, tantôt par la sérénité joyeuse, l’allégresse frénétique, ces pièces soulignent également la volonté remarquable de Tedi Papavrami de ne pas se cantonner à un répertoire de soliste virtuose, et à aborder avec passion et conviction le style chambriste, en le servant parfaitement. Un album pleinement recommandé !
Crédit photographique : © Jérôme Prébois
Audrey Roncigli

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Today's Birthdays in Music: June 2 (Elgar, Shicoff)

1857 - Edward Elgar, Broadheath, England; composer

Wiki entry
Short biography

Jacqueline du Pré performs Elgar's Cello Concerto, 1st mvt. (Daniel Barenboim conductor)

Yo-Yo Ma performs Elgar's Cello Concerto, 4th mvt. (Daniel Barenboim conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1997)

1949 - Neil Shicoff, Brooklyn, U.S.A.; opera tenor

Wiki entry
Official website

Neil Shicoff sings, "Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach" (Kleinzach aria) from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann

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Sunday, 1 June 2008

Today's Birthdays in Music: June 1 (von Stade, de Waart)

1945 - Frederica von Stade, Somerville, U.S.A.; opera, concert and recital mezzo-soprano

Wiki entry

Frederica von Stade sings "Voi che sapete" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Paris Opera Garnier, 1980)

1941 - Edo de Waart, Amsterdam, Netherlands; conductor

Wiki entry

Edo de Waart conducts the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland in "The Ride of the Valkyries" from Wagner's Die Walküre

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