John Mansfield Thomson
The distinguished New Zealand musical and cultural historian John M Thomson
died on September 11 in Wellington. John was founding Editor of the Early
Music quarterly. Read Eric Van Tassel's appreciation
Arts Centre for Beijing
We hear of an ambitious Chinese scheme to build an Arts Centre in Beijing.
A French design appears to have been selected which places a glass dome
in a lake. At an estimated $314 million we assume it to be a large dome
in a large lake. No official announcement has yet been made.
New releases from ASC
The following new releases are now available from ASC, a new record label
specialising in British classical music:
ASC CS CD 3 Contemporary British Piano Music Vol 2. John
McCabe performs Alan Rawsthorne's Theme and Variations, and music
by Thomas Pitfield.
ASC CS CD 4 Contemporary British Violin Music. Andrew Long,
violin and Stewart Death, piano perform music from Walton to Pitfield.
ASC CS CD 5 New Perspectives on Autumn. Camerada perform
the music of Gordon Jacob and E.J Moeran.
ASC CS CD 6 An image of truth - The music of composer/producer
David Ellis, featuring The Coull Quartet and the William Byrd singers.
ASC CS CD 10 The Vocal and piano music of Richard Stoker.
ASC CS CD 11 Fast Forward - Quartets for the 21st century
by Anthony Gilbert, John Casken and Geoffrey Poole.
ASC CS CD 13 Twentieth Century Piano Duets played by The Davies
Duo. Includes Alan Rawsthorne's The Creel and the premier recording
of Kenneth Leighton's Sonata for Four Hands.
To order any of these CDs at GBP 10.95 each (inclusive of postage), please
send your name and address to Gareth Thatcher at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by fax to +44 (0)1625 435802. When you receive the CD(s), please send
a cheque by return.
A privileged voice - Alfredo Kraus
One of opera's most famous lyric tenors, Alfredo Kraus, died of cancer
on September 10 in Madrid, aged 71. Kraus was born on 24 September 1927
in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, the son of a Spanish-naturalised Austrian.
Following his 1956 debut in Cairo as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto,
he sang and acted around the world's stages and screens for more than 40
years. Montserrat Caballé said that Kraus had a 'privileged voice',
and that his death leaves a huge void in the opera world.
Elder at the Hallé
Mark Elder is to take over as the principal conductor of the Hallé
Orchestra in Manchester.
Bernstein Center aquired by NARAS
Leonard Bernstein believed that the experiencing and creation of art
could be a model for learning, and his belief was used as the basis for
the founding of the Leonard Bernstein Center for Learning. Since its creation
in 1992, the Center has produced a teacher-training course - 'the Bernstein
Artful Learning Approach'. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
(NARAS) has recently announced its acquisition of the Bernstein Center,
and NARAS president Michael Green considers that the Center's aims are in-line
with those of NARAS.
Scriabin in the Himalayas
An unusual new CD from pianist John Bell Young offers recording premières
of music by Scriabin, by his lecture-recital partner Hugh Downs, by Leo
Tolstoy (!) and by concert pianist Michel Block. Young arranged for Scriabin's
dying wish - that his uncompleted final work, the ceremonial Mysterium
be performed in the Himalayas - to be satisfied. Alpine climber Carlos Buhler scaled Himalayan Mount Melungtse in August 1999, with a copy of Young's
new CD, and played both Scriabin's 7th sonata and a recording of a 'completion'
of Mysterium by Russian composer Alexander Nemtin from the summit.
Further information from Americus
Records or from John
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