Tuesday, August 22, 2017
We reported exclusively that Anna Netrebko has skipped her last Eugene Onegin in Paris to attend the inauguration of Valery Gergiev’s private concert hall on the outskirts of St Petersburg. A Russian website, dp.ru, has a picture of Netrebko toasting her mentor at the opening. Among other celebrities in attendance were the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the former russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin (he’s chair of the Mariinsky board) and the conductor Mariss Jansons.
As of today, you can watch concert videos on the Concertgebouw site after the orchestra decided there was no point in charging for them. The RCO has also abandoned all further releases on RCO editions, according to its press release. You can watch the free videos here. They include concerts by Jansons, Gatti, Fischer, Nelsons and Blomstedt.
The Italian Ferruccio Furlanetto has decided that Boris Ismailov in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is not for him. The Salzburg festival has called in a Bolshoi bass, Dmitry Ulyanov . And the Russian tenor Maxim Aksenov has been replaced as Sergei in the Shostakovih opera by the American Brandon Jovanovich. Nina Stemme sings the title role. Mariss Jansons conducts.
Remember the British pianist whose highly-praised recordings turned out to be husband-made home copies of releases by major artists? It appears she may have an Italian fan. The pianist Marc Pantillon, professor at the Conservatoire of Lausanne, Switzerland, has drawn attention to a CD of solo Brahms by Maurizio Moretti, professor at Calgiari and at the Schola Cantorum, Paris. Pantillon alleges that Moretti’s new recording is identical to his 2005 release. An Italian pianist, Luca Ciammarughi, supports his contention with comparisons here: Moretti’s release was withdrawn last week by the label, Inviolata, and the label’s owner issued an apology to Pantillon. Moretti has also deleted all of his own postings about the recording. But there’s more. A sound engineer, Alexander Kalashnikov, now claims that Moretti’s release of Tchaikovsky’s Seasons is identical to a 2002 recording that he produced with the pianist Victor Ryabchikov. Moretti’s version appeared on Decca. UPDATE: A third concern relates to his recording of the Rachmaninov 2nd concerto and Paganini Variations with ‘the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, conductor Alexander Petrov’. Ciammarughi finds alarming affinities with the EMI recording by Mikhail Rudy and Mariss Jansons. Professor Moretti is a respected pianist with an international career. He makes frequent appearances on competition juries. We have asked him to respond to these mysterious coincidences. It is possible he is the unwitting victim of some third party fraud, as was the unfortunate Hatto herself. In any event, we await Moretti’s explanation.
The Bavarian Radio music director does not play the horses or the lottery, so far as we know. His windfall comes today in the form of the 2018 Léonie Sonning Music Prize, awarded each year to an outstanding international performer. All Jansons has to do to collect the money is to turn up in Copenhagen and conduct the Royal Danish Orchestra on March 9, 2018, according to Danish Radio. photo: Chris Christodoulou/Lebrecht
Barbican Hall, London Like a sleekly upholstered car, the Munich orchestra toured an all-Russian programme with exquisite ease, but only their reading of Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances was truly authoritativeLondon’s own top orchestras are on a high at the moment. So the old implicit idea that visiting orchestras, especially from Germany, provide an opportunity to hear how the core repertoire really ought to be done no longer washes. Mariss Jansons’ Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra concert at the Barbican underlined the point. Don’t get me wrong. The Munich-based orchestra is a band of fabulous quality. The weight of their sound, the sheen of the strings and the technical ability of their principals are all beyond question, as is Jansons’s famous control and touch. But this all-Russian programme, with one wonderful exception, was not revelatory, let alone definitive. The Bavarians gave us one way of doing these pieces – a very good way and always exceptionally well played – but it’s not the only way. Continue reading...