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Topics - Jim Penn

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16
Proms / Proms 2013
« on: December 31, 2012, 12:56:01 pm »
Haven't seen this anywhere else, so apologies if this isn't news to anyone, but just spotted this little tidbit at Grauniad Towers...

The centrepiece of the celebration of the Wagner bicentenary at next summer's Proms is a Ring in concert. Daniel Barenboim brings the Berlin Staatsoper and its superb orchestra, the Staatskapelle, to London. Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (bbc.co.uk/proms), 22, 23, 25 and 28 Jul

 :o Will be booking that week off work, then!

17
News and Current Affairs / Dave Brubeck
« on: December 05, 2012, 05:48:10 pm »
As if the news of Jonathan Harvey's death wasn't quite enough for one day, the Guardian is reporting Dave Brubeck has died...

18
Cinema / The Master
« on: November 19, 2012, 02:02:12 pm »
I went to see Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film "The Master" at the weekend. Ostensibly a thinly-veiled portrait of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, it's all about power, coercion, dominance... It's a tough watch, challenging, asks a lot of questions without providing all the answers, chooses not to wrap everything up in neat packages, and uses all the expressive capabilities of cinema to produce something remarkable. Amazing photography, editing, script, design, and, above all, some really rather astonishing acting. Philip Seymour Hoffmann can do no wrong in my eyes, but he's as good in this as he's ever been, balancing one of the most complex performances I've seen on screen in a long time - he's a towering combination of avuncular nicety, megalomaniac control freak, charismatic figurehead, and so many other things. And Joaquin Phoenix's method-performance makes some of Robert de Niro's 1970s work look rather ordinary (he's actually rather uncomfortable to watch, in an extraordinary way). The scene in which Hoffmann first "assesses" Phoenix is just phenomenal.

Should also mention Amy Adams - a nicely detailed performance, subtly suggesting that she might be the real driving force behind The Master and "the Cause".

Heartily recommended (though if you saw Anderson's previous film "There Will Be Blood" and didn't like it, I can't imagine you'd find anything to like in this one either).

I think Anderson might be the best director working today - I haven't seen his first film "Hard 8" (as it's called in the UK, can't recall its US title), but what a run of consecutive films he's had since then; "Boogie Nights", "Magnolia", "Punch Drunk Love", "There Will Be Blood" and now "The Master"... If he never makes another film, that's still a GREAT body of work, but he's still pretty young, so what riches might he yet come out with?

19
News and Current Affairs / Entwistle resigns!
« on: November 10, 2012, 09:47:40 pm »
Less than two months into the job, George Entwistle has resigned as DG of the BBC. Hard to see how he could have stayed after a dismal couple of weeks, capped by his mauling at the hands of Humphrys this morning...

20
Making Music / A question for the composers here...
« on: September 25, 2012, 08:22:21 pm »
Do you listen to your own music for "enjoyment"?

Not sure why I want to know, just interested, I guess. But does e.g. ahinton or martle ever look at their CD shelf and think, "you know what, I really fancy listening to something of mine tonight"?

22
News and Current Affairs / Carlo Curley
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:31:56 am »
Can't say his work does a great deal for me emotionally, but quite sad to read this morning of the death of Carlo Curley at the all too young age of 59. Saw him once in my teens (or possibly very early 20s) at Birmingham Town Hall, and while it didn't stir the emotions particularly, it was a hugely entertaining hour of "organ fireworks" stuff...

23
News and Current Affairs / Ruggiero Ricci
« on: August 06, 2012, 08:23:20 pm »

24
News and Current Affairs / Lila Kaye
« on: July 11, 2012, 10:33:40 am »
Channel hopping on tv last night, I chanced on an episode of "Murder She Wrote" (  ::) ) featuring that great character actress Lila Kaye - some people may remember her as the landlady of The Slaughtered Lamb in "An American Werewolf in London", or Mrs Squeers in the televised version of the RSC's epic adaptation of "Nicholas Nickleby". I've always enjoyed what I've seen of her work, not least because in my childhood I met her as she played my brother's grandmother in a not-great ITV sitcom with Michael Elphick (when my brother was a child actor). Anyway, seeing her on the telly last night, I thought I'd have a quick look for her online, and found out she died in January this year...

I wonder if Stanley has any recollections?

25
The Coffee Bar / Well, I never knew THAT!
« on: July 09, 2012, 01:10:10 am »
Wasn't sure this was right for the Waffle thread, or off-topic thread, or wherever, so I thought a sort of "you learn something new every day" thread might not go amiss...

Just read that French film/tv actress Eva Green (who played Vesper Lynd in the Daniel Craig "Casino Royale") is the great-granddaughter of composer Paul Le Flem.

26
Cinema / Colonel Blimp
« on: May 27, 2012, 10:06:56 am »
Went to see Powell & Pressburger's "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" at the NFT yesterday - GLORIOUS new restored print, and such a wonderful film (haven't seen it for a few years, and never previously on film). It's on til May 31st, so well worth a trip for anyone within shouting distance of the South Bank...

27
News and Current Affairs / Petroc behind bars...
« on: May 26, 2012, 08:06:36 pm »
No joke, and one hopes that this all gets resolved as quickly as possible - story here.

28
21st Century / The Guardian's guide to contemporary music
« on: May 01, 2012, 09:38:17 am »
Tom Service has launched a new not-planning-a-book-like-The-Rest-is-Noise-work-in-progress-honest-guv series looking at the major figures in contemporary classical music - starting with Elliott Carter.

He's planning to do weekly blogs covering 100 major figures. It'll be intriguing to see who the other 99 will be, and while I don't normally enjoy Service's work that much, it's good to see a fairly prominent series looking at the field. If you look around the Grauniad site, there's also an introductory piece from a few days ago attempting to explode the five biggest myths about contemporary classical music (it's all squeaky gate, you need to have a beard to listen to it, that sort of nonsense  ;)).

29
Broadcast and Recorded Music / Sorabji - Organ Symphony No. 2
« on: April 19, 2012, 01:24:20 pm »
Sorabji's monumental 2nd organ symphony was mentioned on here a couple of years ago on the occasion of its first complete performance, and it's been announced this morning over at the Sorabji Forum that the work is going to be given a broadcast premiere on a Dutch internet radio station next month...  :o

The station is http://www.concertzender.nl/, and they'll be broadcasting a composite performance in two parts made from three different performances (all by Kevin Bowyer), with details as follows:

Part 1: May 11th (repeated May 18th):

Movement 1 (c. 80 minutes) - performed live at York Minster, 31/07/2010
Movement 2 - theme and variations (c. 270 minutes [sic]) - performed lived at Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, 06/06/2010 (the work's complete premiere)

Part 2: May 25th (repeated June 1st):

Movement 3 (c. 190 minutes) -
          Prelude - performed live at Glasgow Memorial Chapel, 06/06/2010
          Adagio - performed live at Glasgow Memorial Chapel, 06/06/2010
          Toccata - performed live at Berlin Cathedral, 10/07/2010
          Fugue - performed live at Glasgow Memorial Chapel, 06/06/2010

The broadcasts start at midnight and run through the night to 7 a.m., and will be filled out with extracts from Kevin Bowyer's commercial recordings of Alkan's organ music and Sorabji's first organ symphony. It's probably not going to be broadcast (or performed) too many times in the future, one fears, so if you're remotely interested, don't miss this opportunity! Set your recorders...  :)

[edited to correct approx duration of 3rd movement!]

30
21st Century / Total Immersion 2013
« on: March 26, 2012, 09:43:46 pm »
Got a brochure through the post today for the BBCSO's 2012-13 season, including the line-up for the three Total Immersion days in 2013.

First up, Oliver Knussen. So far so acceptable.

Next up, erm, Sounds From Japan. So, not content with the ridiculous notion that a few hours of a single composer's work might be considered "totally immersive", the notion that we might get a similar experience for a whole country is being wheeled out (when there are plenty of composers who, as we've said on this forum, would be really valuable additions to this series!) seems really strange. So, we're getting Takemitsu (he'll have been dead almost exactly 17 years by the time of the concert, interesting definition of "contemporary"!), Jo Kondo, Dai Fujikura ( :facepalm:), Akira Nishimura, Misato Mochizuki, Toshio Hosakawa and Akira Miyoshi (and a little bit of traditional Japanese music).

Then, finally, as if the notion of getting an immersive view of a whole country's contemporary music weren't strange enough, the third Total Immersion will be New From the North (given the subtitle Per Norgard and music from Denmark & Finland). So, that's Per Norgard, Hans Abrahamsen, Jouni Kaipainen, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Bo Holten, Olli Kortekangas, Jussi Chydenius, Sunleif Rasmussen, Sebastian Fagerlund and Magnus Lindberg.

On the other hand, the 2012-13 BBCSO season does at least include a rare Tippett symphony cycle (and his piano concerto!).

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