Heras-Casado’s Soporific Schumann

This is probably the dullest Schumann cycle I have encountered in recent years – quite a feat in the face of similarly uninspiring traversals by Ticciati, MTT, and Gardiner (LSO) but to name a few. Not having been previously acquainted with conductor Pablo Heras-Casado’s work before, I have no idea where his repertoire affinities lie, but it’s clear that Schumann isn’t one of them.Continue readingHeras-Casado’s Soporific Schumann

Under the Spotlight

Giuseppe Sinopoli: Maestro Psychologist

It was the evening of 20th April, 2001. A bespectacled figure with a bushy beard mounted the podium of the Deutsche Oper Berlin to rapturous applause. The conductor was the controversial Venetian, Giuseppe Sinopoli; the opera, Verdi’s Aida. Sinopoli had quit as chief conductor of this very opera house in 1990 due to a rift with its artistic director, Götz Friedrich. They had since made peace, however, and Friedrich’s death in 2000 was the catalyst for Sinopoli’s return to the Opera’s podium. Sinopoli dedicated that night’s performance of Aida to Friedrich’s memory.Continue readingGiuseppe Sinopoli: Maestro Psychologist