Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Classical music news roundup

Here are some interesting news from around the world.

Compleat Mozart For Pennies On The Disk A new set of 170 CDs contains the complete music of Mozart. It costs about 70 cents per disk. "The complete recorded works of composers are nothing new, but this issue is rare for its low cost and popularity, at least in Europe. And there is something compelling about its compactness: your fingers can walk through Mozart�s entire output in a few minutes." The New York Times 09/04/06

The UK's Top 10 Orchestras - A List Richard Morrison makes a list, ranking Britain's major orchestras. At the top? Halle... The Times (UK) 08/31/06

Two Bach Manuscripts Discovered The earliest-known manuscripts to be written by JS Bach have been discovered in a fire-damaged library. "The two manuscripts date from around 1700 and contain copies Bach made of organ music composed by Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Adam Reinken. Researchers found the documents in the archives of the Duchess Anna Amalia library in Weimar, where a previously unknown aria by Bach was discovered last year." Yahoo! (AP) 08/31/06

Can The World Get Excited About A Haydn Birthday? The world has been awash in Mozart this year. Three years from now it's a major Haydn birthday. "While just about everyone alive has been exposed to Mozart if only on a ring-tone or a lonely bus station, you could play Haydn seek all day long on Oxford Street without finding a single shopper who can name one of his works or whistle a theme. In the Classic FM Hall of Fame, that rough guide to middlebrow taste, Haydn does not rank at all in the top 100 and even at the BBC Proms he gets just three nods in eight long weeks. How, demand the marketing men, do we sell something so resolutely obscure?" La Scena Musicale 08/30/06

Why Seattle's Musicians Are Leaving "Over the past couple of years, significant members of Seattle's music community have been drifting south, drawn by Portland's inexpensive cost of living and vibrant creative community. Scott McCaughey, Michael Maker, Chris Walla, Tucker Martine, and Laura Veirs are my neighbors. That you might not have noticed can be partially attributed to our somewhat nomadic lifestyles, but it also speaks volumes about how disconnected the once-cohesive Seattle music scene has felt lately. In a lot of respects, Portland has become Seattle's hot new neighborhood." The Stranger 08/31/06

Early Music Heaven The Utrecht Early Music Festival offers 100 concerts in a week. "About 55,000 people will attend. More than half of the concerts are free; most of the rest have ticket prices around 15 euros, or a little under $20. About 25 concerts are broadcast live. Seen from the United States, where classical radio is courting extinction, you wonder whether this is utopia." Philadelphia Inquirer 08/31/06

Orchestra On The Move (Literally) How do you move a large symphony orchestra around Europe? It's a ballet of trunks and containers. "The payload has its own itinerary, flying from Toronto to Rome to Athens to begin the tour, while the musicians flew through Frankfurt. The cargo has its own seating arrangement, with each case holding multiple instruments stacked like a Tetris game on pallets loaded into the plane. It also has its own strict program -- an important customs document called the carnet that is as strictly adhered to as any concert personnel chart." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 08/30/06

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