This Week’s 8 Best YouTube

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This Week’s 8 Best YouTube

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:10 am

I've included the time of each clip the NYTimes critics recommended for this week 8. Regards, Len

A Beatific Gesture: This Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments on YouTube
JULY 14, 2017

A Beatific Gesture

With National Sawdust in Brooklyn currently offering a bold production of a Handel rarity, “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo,” I thought back to one of the greatest Handel singers, though her range was vast: the mezzo soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Here she is in a sublime recitative and aria from the director Peter Sellars’s landmark staging of Handel’s dramatic oratorio “Theodora” for the 1996 Glyndebourne Festival. As she begins the aria, “As with rosy steps the morn,” an expression of complete faith in the Savior, this incomparable artist, whose face was as expressive as her voice, covers her eyes with her hands, a beatific gesture that matches her tender singing. (Lieberson died of cancer at just 52 in 2006.) ANTHONY TOMMASINI

Read our review of “Aci, Galatea e Polifema” at National Sawdust.

Plop, Plop, Plop

“Symphonie Fantastique,” Berlioz’s early masterpiece, regularly runs the risk of overexposure and irresponsible interpretation. (It comes to Tanglewood this weekend, under the baton of Andris Nelsons with the Boston Symphony.) But the score — which tells the story of a young artist’s obsessive crush, opium trip and hellfire hallucination — warrants hearing multiple times. I listen with an open ear, though there is one measure I’ve looked forward to ever since I first played it as a teenager: In the fourth movement, “March to the Scaffold,” the hallucinating protagonist witnesses his own execution. His final thought is of the woman he loves (listen for her leitmotif delivered by a solo clarinet), then suddenly comes the fatal blow, followed by three descending pizzicato notes — a morbid, if cartoonish, evocation of a head falling from the guillotine. JOSHUA BARONE

A Play of Shifting Shadows

Elgar’s cantata “King Olaf” is rarely performed in its entirety, but the a cappella finale, “As Torrents in Summer,” is a gem of choral writing in which the mood switches from pastoral to mystical with the swiftness of a summer shower. This weightless performance by singers from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama shows how skillfully Elgar creates a play of shifting shadows, like when the tenors darken the sunny harmony on the words “for rain…” with a smooth, opaque sound that casts a momentary chill over the music. CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM

Finding Peace in Mahler

It has been my annual privilege to delve behind the scenes as the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, created by Carnegie Hall in 2013, renews itself, a privilege increasingly available to the public as well, via YouTube. The players, aged 16 to 19, will perform Mahler’s First Symphony at Carnegie on Friday, conducted by Marin Alsop. But it was James Ross, the orchestra director, who oversaw the first rehearsals at Purchase College last week. One of them is now on YouTube. It begins with one of Mahler’s great moments, the transition from the weird, funereal minor-mode version of “Frère Jacques” in the third movement to the sublime melody drawn from his “Songs of a Wayfarer,” where it depicts the wanderer finding peace and rest under a linden tree. JAMES R. OESTREICH

Making the Livin’ Look Easy

The countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo is a magnet for critical praise, but you would be hard-pressed to find his voice on recordings. (Spotify has one album, and he appears on only a handful of tracks.) While preparing to see Mr. Costanzo in a production of Handel’s rarity “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo” at National Sawdust, I found that the easiest way to get acquainted with him — until his record with Decca Gold is released next year — is through YouTube. In “Aci” he plays a female water nymph. If you want to hear whether he is capable of singing in a soprano range with both power and nuance, just hear his take on the aria “Summertime” from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” Listen to Mr. Costanzo’s masterly control of dynamics in the lyric “Oh, your daddy’s rich”: cool and soft, then so powerful he blows out the camera’s microphone. JOSHUA BARONE

Mozart, Downright Cute

The Mostly Mozart Festival is about to start again. And where is the pianist David Greilsammer? Actually, this brilliant, probing pianist has been so busy leading and conducting the adventurous Geneva Camerata orchestra that he doesn’t get to New York very often these days. Though his repertory as a pianist is extensive, he is especially known for Mozart, having performed all the sonatas and concertos in various marathons. Here he is in 2014, playing (and conducting) his Geneva ensemble in the Allegro from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G. At one point, his breezy way with a playful phrase is downright cute, not to mention elegant. ANTHONY TOMMASINI

Virtuosity, Strangeness and Humor

Moving house this summer has pulled into focus the sonic properties of cardboard flat-pack furniture box for me. This put me in mind of Thierry de Mey’s ingenious chamber music “game” “Musique de Table,” in which three players tap, caress and slap a smooth surface. In this captivating video Tomasz Kowalczyk, Kei Maeda and Georgi Videnov perfectly render the work’s virtuosity and strangeness — and occasional comic moments, such as the carefully staggered “page turn.” CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM

Whacked-Out Strauss

In addition to the massed activities of the National Youth Orchestra, the players receive individual instruction in various ways. Here Michael Stevens plays in a master class taught by William VerMeulen, the principal horn player of the Houston Symphony. The music at hand (and lips) is Strauss’s “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks,” with its treacherous horn solo. Things become amusing early on, when Mr. VerMeulen explains why the rhythm of the solo horn theme representing the scamp of the title is so “whacked out”: Strauss “writes a 7/8 melody in a 6/8 time frame starting on the second beat of the bar.” And the amusement holds as matters become only wackier and more and more complex. JAMES R. OESTREICH ... ction&_r=0

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Re: This Week’s 8 Best YouTube

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:13 pm

Peter Sellars's trash production of Theodora, most of which is or was available in pieces on YouTube, is only a landmark in the sense that the Sahara Desert is a landmark if one wants to traverse North Africa.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: This Week’s 8 Best YouTube

Post by barney » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:05 am

Now that is a classy put-down, Jbuck.

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