Dutch composers from the beginning of the Baroque period are introduced by modern Dutch classical musicians: Trio de l'Oustal & Lucia Swarts.
Some of Janacek's most characteristic invention is to be found in the many choruses he wrote for local choirs who were moved by both a love of singing together and a demonstration of their national identity. There is a good selection here. Even the earliest, a touching little lament for a duck, has a quirkiness which saves it from sentimentality; the latest, the Nursery Rhymes, are marvellous little inventions from the dazzling evening of Janacek's life. One must resist any temptation to say that they take Stravinsky on at his own game: Janacek is his own man. In between comes a varied diet here. Schoolmaster Halfar (or Cantor Halfar) is set with a dazzling range of little musical ironies as the story unfolds of the teacher who ruined his life by insisting on speaking Czech. The Elegy on the death of his daughter Olga goes some way toward dignifying a conventional text with some heartfelt music, but the pressure of grief has not drawn the greatest of his music from him: perhaps more time was needed, and indeed the piano pieces he entitled Along an Overgrown Path re-enter ancient griefs more expressively.
For his first opera production, Dario Fo, the theatre director known for his brilliant wit, chose to stage Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Netherlands Opera. First mounted in 1987, it was a huge success and a live recording of its revival in May 1992, the 200th anniversary of Rossini's birth, has been made. Fo has said that 'Rossini is the musician of eating and love. He composes music rich in herbs and aromas, in which you find olives, tomatoes, fish, grapes, roses and rosemary, sheets and tablecloths, dry wine and the laughter of girls.' His 'Barbiere' is a joyful carnival. During the overture he fills the stage with carnival revellers and immediately the commedia dell'arte origins of opera buffa are restored. Visual theatrics abound, never at the expense of the music, but highlighting it, engaging the eye as well as the ear. Fo addresses the heart more than the intellect and Rossini's comedy comes up dazzling and vital.
The Japanese lutenist Toyohiko Satoh (佐藤豊彦) is one of the most influential lute players of the last century. Born in 1943, he is now looking back on a career of over 40 years of lute playing, including 35 years teaching as a professor for lute at the Royal Conservatory of Den Haag, the Netherlands. Besides being a performer, he is also composing music for chamber ensembles and solo lute, as well as researching and writing about music.
This album collects instrumental, vocal, and chamber music by "six women composers from The Netherlands", to quote its subtitle directly. These works cover a span of about 160 years, and are presented in the chronological order of the composers' birth years. This CD is yet another example of how the now-sadly-defunct NM Classics label served the music of its country so well. This album comes recommended to those interested in Dutch music, and music by female composers.
As early as the 17th century in the days of Fleet Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, one of the initiators of the Netherlands Marine Corps, music has played an important role in the navy.Transforming from ships’ bands and ensembles into a land-based full sized orchestra ashore, the Marine Band turned into the all-round musical ambassador of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
In Vincenzo Bellini’s last opera, Elvira’s love for Arturo overcomes the power games in Puritan England, staged with darkly dramatic flair by Francisco Negrin as a world of blind dogma. Mariola Cantarero is compelling as the heroine on the verge of insanity in one of the greatest mad scenes in the history of opera. One of the leading lyric tenors today, John Osborn sings Arturo with fearless commitment and some spectacular top notes. In the pit is the bel canto specialist Giuliano Carella.