Messiaen’s puzzle shrouded in a cloud of sound

The mountains have inspired composers as much as the sea. © Charles Thibo
The mountains have inspired composers as much as the sea. © Charles Thibo

Shocked, No. Amused? Definitely. Yesterday evening the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst performed Olivier Messiaen’s piece “Chronochromie” in Luxembourg. Those 25 minutes were an interesting sound experiment and an excellent prelude to Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem op. 64 “Alpensinfonie” that was to follow after the pause.
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Flying and dying with the white swan in Vienna

The swan - majestic, elegant, fragile. © Charles Thibo
The swan – majestic, elegant, fragile. © Charles Thibo

Swan lake – If I were to pick a moment of extraordinary magic while enjoying classical music, it would certainly be Tchaikovsky’s ballet (Op. 20) being performed in Vienna in the Staatsoper. What an experience! What a masterpiece! What a production! Words fail me when I try to describe the intense sensations I had during those three hours.  Perfection all over the place, Kiyoka Hashimoto as Odette/Odile, Denys Cherevychko as Siegfried, the orchestra, the little swans, Luisa Spinatelli’s stage design…
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Scarlatti and the question of faith

To believe or not to believe... © Charles Thibo
To believe or not to believe… © Charles Thibo

Today, the center stage will be taken not by a composer, but by a singer. Cecilia Bartoli, a fantastic Italian mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist. Born in Rome in 1966, she has been first taught by her parents and later studied at the Santa Cecilia Conservatorium, the very same that Ottorino Respighi directed for a short time at the beginning of the 20th century. Continue reading!

Staying up late with Janacek

The light of a candle hasn't lost its magic and mirrors the magic of Janacek's music. © Charles Thibo
The light of a candle hasn’t lost its magic and mirrors the magic of Janacek’s music. © Charles Thibo

Cherchez la femme! A woman is leading again our way on this journey through the world of classical music. Today, it is the Luxembourg pianist Cathy Krier. She has recorded in 2013 a wonderful album with the piano cycle “On an Overgrown Path”, composed between 1902 and 1908 by the Czech composer Leos Janacek. Continue reading!