It is revealed that a crisis faces those caring for Bach's original manscripts
at the German State Library in Berlin. The ink Bach used contains elements
that are eating away the paper, so about 25% of the 300 or so MSS in Berlin
are decaying. The library does not have a level of funding necessary for
preventing further damage. It is possible to deal with this urgent matter,
but only if a sum approaching DM 30 million is found very soon. It appears
necessary for this sum to be found in the private sector, or for a worldwide
appeal to be launched.
Changes in Stockholm
As Åse Hedström settles into her six-year appointment as General
Manager of Sweden's Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the orchestra also greets
a new Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor - 32 year-old American conductor
The orchestra, led by Magnus Ericsson of Oslo Philharmonic fame, continues
its celebrations with a festival honouring Bach, with links to modern composers
such as Schönberg, Kurtág and Gubajdulina.
The British composer Michael Finnissy has been appointed the Senior Fellow
of the KBC-Chair in New Music at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. This Chair in the
Department of Musicology was created in 1992 and has previously been held
by Karel Goeyvaerts and Henri Pousseur. Finnissy's appointment lasts to
2002, and will also include a commission for a new work for the Beethoven
Academie Chamber Orchestra.
This month sees the release of Ian Pace's complete recording of Finnissy's
Gershwin Arrangements for piano on the Metier label as the fourth CD in
a cycle of Finnissy's music.
Bach to Zappa
A new CD from Port Royal offers a selection of recordings by pianists
Louis Lortie (Liszt), Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Beethoven), Marc-André
Hamelin (Mozart and Schulz-Evler) and Ricardo Peres (Bach and Gismonti).
Also featured are the Lapsus and Claudel String Quartets. Styles are many
and varied, encompassing Dvorák, Frank Zappa, The Dangerous Kitchen,
Mimi Blais and Djelem.
Distributed by JEM Music in the USA (catalogue no. PR-2212-2), there's
more information at the Orange Music / Port Royal website.
Fretwork signs with harmonia mundi
The British viol group Fretwork has signed an exclusive contract to record
for harmonia mundi usa.
Two initial projects to be recorded this spring:
Harmonice Musices Odhecaton volume 1 begins a three part series
forming the first complete recording of one of the early 16th century's
most important collections of music, published in Venice in 1501 by Ottaviano
Petrucci. Nearly 100 pieces of polyphony include works by Busnois, Compere,
Josquin and Ockeghem. Fretwork will be playing a specially commissioned
set of Italian Renaissance viols for this project.
Two world première recordings of music by John Tavener will also
be produced. Nipson (written for Fretwork with countertenor Michael
Chance) and The Hidden Face for countertenor and viols.
Fretwork (Richard Campbell, Julia Hodgson, Wendy Gillespie, William Hunt,
Susanna Pell and Richard Boothby) made its London début in 1986,
and has since set new standards in the performance of music for viol consorts.
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