Alexander Baillie, cello, recalls his first time hearing the Lutosławski Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in an interview where he also touches on his relationship with Benjamin Zander and some feelings about the piece.
Peninsula Daily News reporter Jeff Chew writes that authorities in Sequim, WA plan to use classical music to drive away teens loitering in one of their public parking lots. The theory is that this old fogey music might annoy them enough to scare them off. In that case, they might also try littering the lot with used dentures and colostomy bags. Which composers do they have in their arsenal of torturous music? Oh, you know, just some guys named Mozart, Brahms, and Bach. That ought to do the trick.
It should be curious to see whether this effort drives kids away, inspires vandalism, or if a crowd forms in this parking lot for what might very well serve as the live music event of the year in Sequim (Low blow. I know. Sorry. I can get carried away sometimes). If the project is successful, and what a sad day that would be, the officials intend to use the music in other “problematic” locations. Basically, now that the schools don’t have funding for music programs, the intention of the works will be distorted to even further polarize the audience for classical music programs in Washington state. How can I worry about culture when there are teens rampant in our parking lots, you ask? Oh, the horror! (Peninsula Daily News)
Film scores, for those of us who weren’t raised in households where classical music was ever listened to or celebrated, served as our only experiences with the classical music genre. Perhaps the most celebrated film score composer, John Williams, turned 80 yesterday. At 80, he has scored two recent films, War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, with his longtime friend and collaborator Steven Spielberg, both of which are nominated for Oscars. They are his 45th and 46th nominations, with 5 career wins. Congratulations and Happy Birthday to our sometimes neighbor at Symphony Hall. Cheers!
Concert 3 will take place on February 23, 25, and 26 at Sanders Theatre and Jordan Hall
Composer Witold Lutoslawski said of his Concerto for Cello and Orchestra that the solo should be played with a sense of “Just you wait and see!” It’s an appropriate motto for the third concert of Boston Philharmonic’s 2011-2012 season, an evening of stirring and inspirational music celebrating heroic passion and defiance. Conducted by Maestro Benjamin Zander, the program features Alexander Baillie, acclaimed cellist and star of the 2006 documentary Dvorak…Who?, as “hero”soloist for Lutoslawski’s striking concerto. Baillie’s cello fights valiantly against nasty interjections from the brass and waves of sound from the strings and winds in this evocative instrumental face-off.
The program concludes with Richard Strauss’s semi-autobiographical Ein Heldenleben, a tone poem also composed around a rousing melody that represents a courageous figure. This sweeping and powerful piece features several recognizable characters, from the hero’s nagging critics (the winds) to his true love (the violin), as well as borrowed phrases from Strauss’s many well-known compositions.