karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
lennygoran
Posts: 13112
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by lennygoran » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:24 am

I was reading that in London they--see the link-- had done this work and it got a very high review-I'm not familiar with this composer-any thoughts? Regards, Len

http://www.independentopera.com/

Five stars for this from Richard Morrison:

Composed in 1930s Germany, using a 17th-century story about the Thirty Years’ War to reflect obliquely on the Nazi regime, Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s opera Simplicius Simplicissimus has waited long for its UK premiere. At least Polly Graham’s production for Independent Opera, using a sharp new translation by David Pountney, is worthy of the task. And it’s a lot more too: 100 minutes of thrilling and sometimes shocking physical theatre, marred only by an unnecessary interval.

The “simple” boy protagonist, perfectly depicted as a wide-eyed, bookish innocent by Stephanie Corley, is witness to, and sometimes victim of, a series of brutalities by a band of lawless soldiers led by a despotic Governor (Mark Le Brocq, marvellously villainous in preposterous pink). Among their misdeeds is the prolonged sexual abuse of a girl: a nasty sequence redeemed by being superbly choreographed for a lithe singer-dancer, Chiara Vinci, thrown round like a rag doll. All the baddies die, however, while the boy — taught humility and stoicism by a dying hermit (Adrian Thompson) — survives.

Resisting the temptation to set the whole thing in the Nazi era, Graham goes for an eclectic period mix spiced by black-comedy stylisation, with hearty Hitler Youth-style scouts morphing easily into 17th-century marauders. What’s most impressive, however, is the resourceful way she utilises every inch of a restricted space, with performers athletically leaping around and below Nate Gibson’s derelict-gantry set.

The music? Hartmann mixes rhythmic speech with singing, uses militaristic percussion with thumping satirical glee, and favours a harmonic astringency reminiscent of Prokofiev, Hindemith and Weill — though the most touching moment, evoking a nobler Germany, is when the whole cast sings a Bach chorale. Timothy Redmond conducts securely, and the Britten Sinfonia delivers Hartmann’s fiendishly angular lines mostly with panache.

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9797
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by karlhenning » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:22 am

lennygoran wrote:I was reading that in London they--see the link-- had done this work and it got a very high review-I'm not familiar with this composer-any thoughts? Regards, Len
I have yet to check out this piece, Len, but I have heard all the Hartmann symphonies more than once, and he is "the most major 20th-c. symphonist you never heard of."

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

lennygoran
Posts: 13112
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by lennygoran » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:08 am

karlhenning wrote: I have yet to check out this piece, Len, but I have heard all the Hartmann symphonies more than once, and he is "the most major 20th-c. symphonist you never heard of."
Karl thanks-is there one or two of his symphonies you'd consider his best? Regards, Len

jserraglio
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by jserraglio » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:03 am

Strange. A week ago, a friend handed me a cd set of all his symphonies which he highly recommends. Haven't listened yet. Anyway I found the entire opera in a modern perf on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm7ylB ... HjA/videos

lennygoran
Posts: 13112
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by lennygoran » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:14 am

jserraglio wrote:Strange. A week ago, a friend handed me a cd set of all his symphonies which he highly recommends. Haven't listened yet. Anyway I found the entire opera in a modern perf on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm7ylB ... HjA/videos
Thanks, don't quite know where to begin so I'll start with 7 and 8 where I found this although it doesn't mean they'll be his actual best. Regards, Len

"The new set from the Netherlands Radio Orchestra is by no means dwarfed by the competition. For all Kubelík’s authority, his recordings sound a little elderly these days––not to mention Fricsay’s––and some of Metzmacher’s versions (notably symphonies Nos. 1, 2 and 5) strike me as clinical and over-analytical, not helped by sound that is rather one-dimensional. (His Seventh and Eighth are the best recorded of his set.) "

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... id=1146461

jserraglio
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by jserraglio » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:30 am

The syms I have are Metzmacher. I am now not sure that the complete SS opera is on YT. But a lot of it is. I have to sort out the separate files.

lennygoran
Posts: 13112
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by lennygoran » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:14 am

jserraglio wrote:The syms I have are Metzmacher. I am now not sure that the complete SS opera is on YT. But a lot of it is. I have to sort out the separate files.
Yes I see there are a lot of short clips over there at youtube-I'm glad most if not all the symphonies are available. Regards, Len

Found this:
"HARTMANN Symphonies Nos.1–8 1-8 • 1,4 Markus Stenz, 2,3 James Gaffigan, 5 Michael Schønwandt, 6 Christoph Poppen, 7 Osmo Vänskä, 8 Ingo Metzmacher, cond; 1 Kismara Pessati (alt); Read more 5 Netherlands RCP • CHALLENGE 72583 (3 SACDs: 199:04 Text and Translation) Live: 1,2,3,6,7,8 Amsterdam 2012–13


It is good to have a new edition of the complete symphonies of Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905–1963), especially one as well played and committed as this. Most of these performances were recorded live in concert, with the extra frisson that brings, especially to such emotionally searing music. They were taped over an intensive period of seven months with the same orchestra directed by six different conductors.


The received wisdom about Hartmann is that he began in the late 1920s and 30s as a cocky young Neoclassicist, influenced by Dada and jazz, went to ground as a vehement anti-Nazi during the war until, shattered by the events he had witnessed, he emerged entirely transformed as a composer of symphonic weight and depth, the greatest writer of adagio s since Bruckner. While all that is basically true, it is an oversimplification. Five of his first six symphonies are revisions of music he composed in “internal exile” in the 1940s and some even predate the War. His Fifth Symphony of 1950 is a reworking of a Concertino for Trumpet and Wind Instruments from as far back as 1932–33. His First Symphony of 1947–48, “Versuch eines Requiems” (Attempt at a Requiem), seems to be an Expressionist cry of despair at the still fresh memories of the Holocaust––yet this powerful setting of anti-war verses by Walt Whitman first appeared under the titles Symphonic Fragment and Lament in 1936. (It underwent further revision in 1950.) Even Hartmann’s best-known work, the elegiac Concerto funebre for violin and string orchestra, dates from 1939. So, while the canon of symphonies from 1947 to 1962 represents the composer at his most emotionally affecting and technically accomplished, the musical material covers a wider chronological and stylistic ground.


Commentators remain coy about the existence of the earlier works that Hartmann so comprehensively revised. Presumably these are still extant, and if he were a bigger name in the pantheon no doubt we would have had recordings of them by now. I would certainly like to hear the 1938 work on which the Fourth Symphony was based: a Symphony for Solo Soprano and Strings, with a setting of Epitaph for a Warrior instead of the instrumental Adagio that replaced it. I wonder whether Hartmann removed the vocal section because in hindsight it seemed too close to Mahler––one of his early musical heroes––particularly if the poem was a translation from the Chinese. (Confucius wrote a poem of that title, but I don’t know whether it is the one Hartmann set.) In any case, Hartmann’s revisions strike me less as an attempt to position himself as the voice of post-War German music than a pragmatic decision to improve his earlier work by bringing it into focus with a more highly developed technique. And why not? None of the music he sketched during the war had been played. One such piece, the Sinfonia Tragica of 1940–43, finally received its premiere in 1989 and has been recorded twice, although I have not heard it. In the numbered canon only the Second, Seventh and Eighth symphonies were entirely new works.


It was very unfortunate that the composer died at the comparatively early age of 58 before he could produce a Ninth Symphony (if we don’t include the early Sinfonia Tragica ). His final, uncompleted composition might well have been the basis for a “Ninth”: it is a single-movement setting of a poem by Jean Giraudoux for baritone and orchestra, Gesangaszene , written for and subsequently performed by Fischer-Dieskau. Ironically, the opening lines of the poem are: “This is an end of the world. The saddest of them all.”


Recordings of the eight numbered symphonies have been released twice in complete editions. In 1980, a vinyl set was released on the Wergo label (the label associated with Hartmann’s publisher Schott) and transferred to CD in the early 1990s. It also includes Gesangaszene . No details are given of when the Wergo recordings were originally set down; probably during the 1970s but possibly even earlier. The composer’s friend and champion Rafael Kubelík conducts them all except the First (Fritz Rieger), Third (Ferdinand Leitner), and Seventh (Zden?k Mácal). Kubelík recorded the Fourth and Eighth symphonies with the Bavarian RSO for DG in 1967 (available in a marvelous DG box of his “Rare Recordings”); these may be the same performances as those in the Wergo set. Between 1993 and 1997, the German 20th-century music specialist Ingo Metzmacher recorded the symphonies for EMI with the Bamberg SO. These performances were reissued recently in the company’s cheap double-pack line, but the initial releases were more imaginatively coupled with works by other composers. For instance, the Fourth Symphony for strings was paired with Messiaen’s Et Exspecto Ressurectionem Mortuorum for winds and percussion; the First Symphony tellingly came with Martin??s Memorial to Lidice and Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw , and the Second and Fifth symphonies were coupled with Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Symphony (1951–53) and Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements. Since then, among others, we have had highly praised recordings of Hartmann’s Fourth Symphony from Christoph Poppen (ECM), the Second and Fourth from James Conlon (Capriccio), and the First and Sixth from Leon Botstein conducting the London Philharmonic (Telarc). Last but by no means least, back in 1955, when the Sixth Symphony was brand new, a gripping performance of the work was recorded by Ferenc Fricsay and the RIAS Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin for DG, in clear mono sound. (This was reissued in 2005.)


The new set from the Netherlands Radio Orchestra is by no means dwarfed by the competition. For all Kubelík’s authority, his recordings sound a little elderly these days––not to mention Fricsay’s––and some of Metzmacher’s versions (notably symphonies Nos. 1, 2 and 5) strike me as clinical and over-analytical, not helped by sound that is rather one-dimensional. (His Seventh and Eighth are the best recorded of his set.) The Netherlands orchestra is well balanced and closely miked as in a superior radio broadcast, and the performances gain in dramatic heft from being recorded live.


Symphony No. 1 under Stenz has great immediacy, as it must, with alto Pessati bringing fervor to her pointed singing of Whitman’s lines––although she is not as formidably stentorian in the lower register as Doris Soffel was for Rieger. The poetry includes extracts from “When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d”––also set by Hindemith, Sessions, and others––but they are sung in German translation, and annoyingly no English text is provided.


Symphony No. 2, “Adagio,” was the first all-new post-war work Hartmann produced. It is soulful in the opening and closing sections, particularly in the extended lament of a solo saxophone (touchingly played here). The symphony is not simply one long adagio : It gradually speeds up and then decelerates in the main central section, which is notable for intricate textures and contrapuntal vigor. The Third covers an even greater stylistic range: in two movements, and similarly conceived in arch form, it incorporates a quirky little march dominated by tuned percussion and a passage of busy fugal activity before turning into a leisurely Bruckerian adagio . Both symphonies are played with sensitivity and tight ensemble under the capable American conductor James Gaffigan.


Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5 are studio recordings, but for Stenz the orchestra brings the same “live” level of commitment to the Fourth. The violins are driven rather than polished in their high, exposed lines. At the end of the first movement, a solo violin holds a stratospherically high harmonic as the lower strings play their quiet coda. Stenz stretches this out so much that the violinist has difficulty maintaining the note, but it’s a risk worth taking. Kubelík in his DG recording does not underline the moment––it is, after all, the end of the movement, not the end of the symphony––and Kubelík’s ideally poised soloist is more distantly balanced. Schønwandt takes over for the Fifth, with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra (which presumably contains the same personnel as the main orchestra). They play this “Sinfonia concertante” with enjoyable gusto, but here I prefer Metzmacher: He understands that this symphony is the odd one out. At just under 16 minutes it reveals little if any of Hartmann’s angst, but revisits a discarded pre-War soundscape of sharp textures and rhythmic momentum. The composer even quotes Stravinsky, another of his early influences: we hear a close variant of the opening bassoon solo of Le sacre du printemps played evocatively on a muted trumpet. Metzmacher’s band zips through the piece with a punchy, light touch. In this case, Metzmacher’s clinical approach is an asset.


The Sixth, in two lengthy movements, returns us to the adagio form in what is arguably the most representative example in the composer’s output. With its searching string lines, restless tonality, and massive climaxes, the first movement resembles the music of Allan Pettersson, although Hartmann’s percussion-tipped textures are less cluttered. The second movement is a savage Toccata, allowing the composer to stretch his contrapuntal wings. Compared to its predecessors, the Sixth makes a bigger statement in every way. The performance under Poppen is tremendous: energetic, searing, and full of menace (though Fricsay is not to be missed either).


By the time of his Seventh Symphony (1959), the various influences and aspects of Hartmann’s previous work had coalesced to produce music of substance and individuality: with contrapuntal energy, searching lyricism, command of orchestral color, plus a sure sense of formal balance. The first part (of two) is a vigorous allegro that could accurately have been titled Concerto for Orchestra. A probing solo cello opens the second part, Adagio mesto , which then leads to a riotous scherzo-finale that even incorporates a piano obbligato. In this particular adagio , Hartmann comes closer to Mahler than to Bruckner: There is a tangible feeling of farewell about it. Vänskä, no stranger to symphonic masterpieces, directs a disciplined and moving performance. No. 8 covers similar territory in a more detached way––Hartmann finally feeling the influence of the anti-emotional new guard? (Their influence is clear in the expanded range demanded of the clarinet.) In some respects the composer deconstructs materials that have served him well for a decade, and it needs a smart conductor to keep the Eighth Symphony cohesive. Metzmacher is just that. This performance is as tightly shaped as his earlier one on EMI. (Good as they are, Kubelík’s Bavarian musicians of 1967 do not sound entirely comfortable with the idiom.)


I have nothing but praise for the Netherland Radio PO. Their response to these great conductors is immediate and thorough, and they bring a richness of tone to bear whenever it is required. The warmth of the brass is a notable feature in sections of the First, Third, and Eighth Symphonies.


Hartmann revitalized the Austro-German symphonic tradition in the mid-20th century, at a time when the symphony was famously “dead.” Boulez and Stockhausen had no time for his vast canvasses, but he knew what he was doing. From the vantage point of 2014 we can see that the revoutionaries of half a century ago were writing in a stylistic cul de sac . Their music is not to be dismissed, but too often they and their imitators discarded all the historical bathwater––and we know what is liable to happen in that scenario. Conversely, Hartmann’s output has gained in stature with time. The fact that it is now far removed from the events that colored it does not diminish its power to speak to us, which is all the more reason to celebrate this excellent release.


FANFARE: Phillip Scott

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... id=1146461

jserraglio
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by jserraglio » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:21 pm

The opera IS complete on youtube. I sequenced the files and burned them to CDR — the TT matches the Challenge Classics site's timing. 192 kbps Apple lossy files. Sound quality is pretty good. Amazon offers the opera for under $15 new. I will buy it if I like hearing the YT lossy version.

Challenge Classics freely offers a nice booklet with detailed German/English synopsis and notes but a German-only libretto:
https://dsd-files.s3.amazonaws.com/chal ... C72637.pdf
K. A, HARTMANN
SIMPLICIUS SIMPLICISSIMUS (2014)

NETHERLANDS RADIO PHILHARMONIC
MARKUS STENZ
THE NETHERLANDS RADIO CHOIR
Challenge Classics
Catalog Number: CC72637
Tracklisting

CD 1

1 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act I Overture - l’hommage de Serge Prokofieff 09:56
2 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act I Introduction - Anno Domini 03:13
3 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act I Erster Teil - Du sehr verachter Bauernstand0 06:13
4 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act I Der Baum 04:24
5 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act I Finale - O lauf, Bub! 03:09
6 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act I Zwischenspiel - Tränen des Vaterlandes, anno 1636 08:01
7 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act II Wald, hinten ein Kreuz’ - Komm, Trost der Nacht 03:47
8 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act II Bäume, lauter Bäume 03:13
9 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act II Unser lieber Vater 03:05
10 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act II Mein treuester Vater 03:39
11 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act II Nun Simplici, liebes Kind 06:19
12 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act II Mein lieber und wahrer, einziger Sohn 04:13

CD 2

1 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III ‘Bankett beim Gouverneur’ 00:55
2 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Drei Tänze der Dame, No. 1 Schnell 01:30
3 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Drei Tänze der Dame, No. 2 Lustig0 01:05
4 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Drei Tänze der Dame, No. 3 Furioso 01:15
5 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Als Männer sind wir durchaus ehrlich 02:49
6 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Lebhaft - Hochedler Herr Gubernator 02:08
7 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Hauptmann tanzt mit der Dame 00:34
8 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Mein Gott 01:44
9 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Schlag mich der Donner 01:13
10 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Herr, jetzt seh’ ich wohl 01:26
11 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Bravo, Simplici, bravissimo! 01:54
12 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Finale - Dank Herr! 03:12
13 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Marsch - Es dröhnt die Stadt 02:10
14 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Gepriesen sei der Richter der Wahrheit! 01:54
15 Simplicius Simplicissimus Act III Apotheose 01:44

lennygoran
Posts: 13112
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by lennygoran » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:34 pm

jserraglio wrote:The opera IS complete on youtube. I sequenced the files and burned them to CDR
Amazing-are there subtitles? Regards, Len

jserraglio
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by jserraglio » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:30 am

lennygoran wrote:
jserraglio wrote:The opera IS complete on youtube. I sequenced the files and burned them to CDR
Amazing-are there subtitles? Regards, Len
Audio only but good sound. I cannot find a YT video or an English/German libretto. There are DVDs available. The CC booklet linked above is very helpful and gives the full German text. This is an opera made to order for the here and now in Amerika.

lennygoran
Posts: 13112
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: karl amadeus hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus

Post by lennygoran » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:27 am

Now the NY Times has reviewed this:

Review: An Anti-Nazi Protest in the Guise of Opera

By MICHAEL WHITE NOV. 17, 2016


LONDON — Unless you happened to be Aryan and write music deemed to promote Nazi ideals, Germany in the 1930s was no place for composers. It certainly wasn’t for Karl Amadeus Hartmann, whose opera “Simplicius Simplicissimus” was begun just after Hitler came to power, had no chance of performance in the Third Reich and, despite occasional postwar productions, languished at the margins of the repertoire. Hence its very belated British premiere last week at Sadler’s Wells, in a staging by the young director Polly Graham, designed by Nate Gibson, and conducted by the new-music specialist Timothy Redmond.

Hartmann’s opera has been on the radar of researchers, dramaturges and cultural historians for years as something like a “lost” work — though it was not actually lost, but just biding time and looking like the kind of period-piece that is fascinating but not easy to dust off. (Still less, to pronounce its title.)

Stark, didactic in the way of Brechtian epic theater and open to the charge of being “preachy,” it adapts the classic German story of a simple, witless boy adrift amid the nightmare of the 30 Years’ War that devastated Central Europe in the 17th century. Surrounded by atrocities and thuggery (our modern world tends to forget how terrible those times were) he survives and ends up a court jester, speaking truth to power with dreadful prescience.

If that were all, “Simplicius” might not seem especially subversive. But when Hartmann wrote it in 1934-5, with a demagogue elected to high office in his country, it had wider resonances.

Hartmann’s politics were anti-Nazi. In the war years he retreated into what was subsequently called “internal exile,” seeking no performance of his work in Germany and avoiding contact with the cultural authorities. “Simplicius” predates that “exile” but it is still a work of protest — against war, brutality and abuse of power. You can appreciate why it wasn’t staged until the Third Reich toppled.
Photo
In Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s opera, Stephanie Corley plays Simplicius, a 1940s schoolboy lost in fantasies about the past. Credit Max Lacome

The new Sadler’s Wells production, running in the theater’s smaller, black-box space, leaves no doubt about the parallels between the 17th and 20th centuries in Hartmann’s mind. Played on a two-tier set that looks initially like a bombed-out 1940s house but is abstract enough to assume the timelessness of any wrecked environment, it casts Simplicius (a trouser role, sung with impressive diction, stamina and credibility by Stephanie Corley) as a 1940s schoolboy lost in fantasies about the past. His classmates — needless to say, Hitler Youth — morph into 17th-century mercenaries. And with disturbing scenes of carnage and brutality, the message is hammered home: unsubtle but effective.

Some of this is necessarily Ms. Graham’s own invention, because Hartmann’s score includes long episodes of purely instrumental music with no clear instructions about what the audience is meant to see. There is also some degree of license in the text: a new English translation by David Pountney, whose words were spicier than Hartmann dared but viable.

One interesting detail that he took from the original libretto but expanded was the way the innocent, rustic Simplicius equates the terror of the soldiers with a wolf that kills his sheep. It’s questionable whether Hartmann knew in 1934 that Hitler’s intimates referred to him as “Wolf.” But with the benefit of hindsight this production did, projecting scary lupine silhouettes onto the set to make the point.

Much of the music of “Simplicius” also benefits from the passage of time. An example of “extended tonality” that sounds like something Schönberg might have written had he not been so seduced by serialism, it reflects what Hartmann would have absorbed as a young composer in the last days of Weimar Germany — from the staid Neo-Classicism of Hindemith to the abrasion of Kurt Weill.

Buried among all this are abundant references — some coded, some more obvious — to the kinds of music Nazi Germany forbade, Jewish to Bolshevik. And there are parodies of music that the Nazis favored: martial, aggressively percussive, alongside rhythmically notated speech (a technique popular among “approved” composers).

All this was handsomely realized by the Britten Sinfonia, moonlighting as the pit-band at Sadler’s Wells, and by the mostly youthful cast — who had been drawn together under the banner of Independent Opera, a fund to help emerging stage directors that has grown into a full production company with a nose for innovative projects.

Last year it put on the British premiere of Simon Vosecek’s “Biedermann and the Arsonists” in a brilliantly alive staging by Max Hoehn. This year’s “Simplicius” followed suit. As opera it may not be first-rate, but it is still important as the work of a composer who is arguably a missing link between the prewar Austro-German serialists (Schönberg, Berg) and postwar modernists (Henze to Stockhausen). We need to know his music. And its message.


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/arts/ ... ic-reviews

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests