John Williams: Vienna vs. Berlin

These two live recordings of John Williams conducting the Vienna and Berlin philharmonics were hotly anticipated, and for good reason. Not only were these concerts the débuts of the world’s most famous film composer in the two musical metropolises respectively (and in Europe generally), the recordings were also documents of the rare forays of these two august orchestras into film music. Continue readingJohn Williams: Vienna vs. Berlin

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


Schmidt’s Eschatological Vision: Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln

Classical composers have never shied away from dealing with epic subject matter (Haydn’s The Creation, for example, or the numerous Requiems written by various composers). So it’s perhaps interesting to note how few works exclusively deal with the topic of the apocalypse — the destruction of the world and the…Continue readingSchmidt’s Eschatological Vision: Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln