Miscellany

Bayreuth Festspielhaus

Plácido Domingo, 77, has sung his 150th role. …

Architect Frank Gehry has designed a new concert hall for L.A. Phil’s youth orchestra. …

The music director of the Long Beach Symphony adds the Portland Symphony (Maine) to his resume. …

The Philadelphia Orchestra is going to test drive new works by six young women composers. …

The Concertgebouw Orchestra has fired its celebrated chief conductor. …

George Walker, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize, has died at 96. …

At the Bayreuth Festival, Wagner gets a timely update. …

None other than Yo-Yo Ma offers a sampling of Bach for his Tiny Desk Concert. …

–TM

Weissenberg plays ‘Petrushka’

Here’s one of my favorite concert videos. It features pianist Alexis Weissenberg playing Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka. The director is Ake Falck, and while he didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, the lighting and the camerawork here are superb. Notice how they actually focus your listening rather than distract, as visuals often do. Weissenberg reportedly recorded the piano part in the studio and synced to the recording for the film. –TM

Lukas Foss: Piano Concerto No. 1

The neoclassical Piano Concerto No. 1 by Lukas Foss (1922-2009), recorded by Pacific Symphony, Carl St.Clair, conductor and Jon Nakamatsu, piano. Released 2001. The piece was first written as a clarinet concerto when Foss was 17. He made this version of it four years later.

–TM

What’s that tune in ‘Outlaw King’?

We noticed the new trailer (kind of violent) for “Outlaw King” on Netflix uses a famous classical tune as underscoring.

The tune? Albinoni’s Adagio, of course, which probably wasn’t actually composed by Albinoni, but by 20th-century musicologist Remo Giazotto. Here’s how it normally sounds.

The piece has been heard in many films before, including “Gallipoli” in 1981.

Shostakovich’s ‘Festive Overture,’ for ocarina septet

Shostakovich composed his Festive Overture for full symphony orchestra, of course, and that’s the version that conductor Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony will perform at the annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular on Sept. 8. Meanwhile, here’s another version, amusing but impressive all the same, performed entirely on ocarinas by Jordan Moore, a student at the Eastman School of Music. –TM

The ocarinas used are:

Focalink Double Soprano G
Rotter 12-hole Soprano C
Rotter 10-hole Soprano G
Rotter 12-hole “Fairy” Alto C
Claudio Colombo Alto G
Claudio Colombo Bass C
Claudio Colombo Bass G
Claudio Colombo Contrabass C