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George Frideric Handel

Thursday, January 19, 2017


My Classical Notes

January 5

Music for Harpsichord Lovers

My Classical NotesIf you love the music of the Harpsichord, perhaps this might be of interest? Title of the CD is “The Ord-Tempered Harpsichord” The selections on this CD are as follows: Bach, J C: Minuet in B flat major, played by Kenneth Mobbs Cimarosa: Keyboard Sonata in G Minor, C.61 Keyboard Sonata in B Flat Major, C.27 Keyboard Sonata in A major, R.29 Farnaby, G: Giles Farnaby’s Dreame His Rest His Humour Handel: Voluntary No. 1 in C major Voluntary No. 4 in G minor Voluntary No. 8 in C major Scarlatti, D: Keyboard Sonata K274 in F major Keyboard Sonata K254 in C minor Stanley, J: Voluntary Op. 5 No. 1 in C major Voluntary Op. 5 No. 4 in E minor Voluntary Op. 5 No. 9 in G minor Tisdale: Pavana Chromatica (Mrs. Katherin Tregians Paven) Performed by Mark Swinton, on a Longman & Broderip Harpsichord, 1978) Here is music from this CD:

Royal Opera House

January 11

Girls being boys being girls: a short history of opera’s trouser roles

Matthew Rose as Baron Ochs and Alice Coote as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, The Royal Opera © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Catherine Ashmore The trouser (or breeches) role – a young male character sung by a woman – has been part of opera since its early days. And the role type has flourished since, in a variety of contexts. In the 18th century, the bulk of heroic male roles were written for soprano or alto castratos – but the trouser role was never just a ‘castrato substitute’: Handel ’s Radamisto and his heroic adolescent Sesto in Giulio Cesare are the most famous examples. Towards the end of the century, Mozart became probably the first composer to recognize the trouser role’s erotic potential, with Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro . His adolescent passion for Countess Almaviva is made all the more risqué by the fact that the lovesick page is sung by a woman, and Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte have additional fun when Cherubino dresses up as a serving maid. As castratos became a dying breed in the early 19th century, mezzo-sopranos increasingly took on Italian opera’s heroic lead male roles. Rossini wrote several principal breeches roles, including the title role of Tancredi and the soldier Arsace in Semiramide . Donizetti also created a few, although he tended to demote his trouser roles from heroes to sidekicks – as with Maffeo Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia , or Smeton in Anna Bolena . The tradition reached its culmination in 1830 with Bellini ’s Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi ; the virtuoso writing for mezzo-soprano perfectly expresses the hero’s youthful ardour and impetuosity. Over in France, 19th-century grand and comic opera alike saw an explosion of trouser roles: chiefly pages and lovesick adolescents. Although they were rarely in the first rank of dramatic importance, they were usually given beautiful arias, such as Ascanio’s ‘Mais qu’ai-je donc?’ in Berlioz ’s Benvenuto Cellini or Siébel’s ‘Faites-lui mes aveux’ in Gounod ’s Faust . The page-boy became such a popular character type that composers even added them to scenarios, as with the invented Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette , with his lovely aria ‘Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle?’. In French comic opera, a girl could even play the hero on occasion, as with the title role of Massenet ’s Chérubin , or Prince Charmant in Massenet’s Cendrillon (a nod to pantomime’s Principal Boy tradition ). In 19th-century German opera, trouser roles were usually limited to children and supernatural beings, such as Puck in Weber ’s Oberon . Two notable exceptions were the young warrior Adriano in Wagner ’s Rienzi , a virtuoso role modelled on Bellini’s Romeo, and the flamboyant Prince Orlofsky in Johann Strauss ’s Die Fledermaus . But the the trouser role really came into his own in Germany from 1890 to 1930, with a number of feisty boy characters including Humperdinck ’s Hänsel and the Schoolboy in Berg ’s Lulu . Meanwhile in the former Czechoslovakia Janáček created one of the most poignant breeches roles in his 1930 opera From the House of the Dead: the boy prisoner Aljeja, described by the composer as ‘such a tender, dear person’. But before this, in 1911, came Octavian in Richard Strauss ’s Der Rosenkavalier , perhaps the greatest trouser role of all. With this young nobleman, in love with an older woman, Strauss fully exploits the breeches role’s capacity to convey youth through the high female voice, and also its slightly risqué sensuality, particularly in the opening scene with Octavian and the Marschallin in bed. He playfully draws attention to the trouser role’s inherent artificiality by having Octavian dress up as a girl. And he provides one of the most satisfying portrayals of late-adolescent love through Octavian’s stunning duets with the Marschallin and Sophie, and the sublime trio for all three characters in Act III. Small wonder that in his next opera Strauss insisted on writing the ardent male Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos for mezzo-soprano. His breeches roles are a crowning glory of a distinguished tradition. Der Rosenkavalier runs until 24 January 2017. Tickets are still available. The production is a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York , Teatro Regio, Turin , and Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires , and is given with generous philanthropic support from the Monument Trust, Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Simon and Virginia Robertson, Susan and John Singer, the Friends of Covent Garden and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund .




Royal Opera House

January 9

Max Richter on how he composed the score for Woolf Works

Max Richter © Wolfgang Borrs The work of Virginia Woolf , in common with that of many great artists, is not easy to summarize. It is profound, visionary, daring and experimental, but equally at times playful, personal and intimate – and it is always deeply humane. Her subject matter is a kind of pure research into the nature of language, personality, voice, and the question of being itself. She seems constantly to ask us: ‘how can we live?’ It’s this that drew me obsessively to her writing in my early twenties. And so, having worked together previously on Infra and Future Self, I was excited when Wayne McGregor invited me to collaborate again on Woolf Works , his new ballet based on three of the novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. The process of finding the musical languages for the three sections of Woolf Works was two years of theorizing, planning, research and experiment. Clearly the three novels are distinct universes, each needing their own coherent musical grammar, and yet the ballet needed to hold together, to have an overall musical fingerprint, embodying the voice of the author in her manifold guises. Finding a way to reconcile these demands was the fundamental question, and led me to a hybrid language: the score for Woolf Works uses the traditional orchestra, soloists, real-time and prerecorded electronic music, live digital signal processing and spatialization . The music for the Mrs Dalloway section of the ballet, entitled ‘I now, I then’, opens with an extraordinary recording of Virginia Woolf herself , reading the essay ‘On Craftsmanship’ in a BBC recording of 1937. How incredible to hear her voice. It’s actually Virginia Woolf! Next comes a multi-layered and elusive web of musics that prefigures all that is to come: disparate rhythmic and melodic strands, pulsations, electronic atmospheres, found sounds and field recordings populate the aural space as our focus is shifted by the continuously unstable metrical scheme. The music shimmers as Clarissa Dalloway hurries through it. After the opening material, the act focusses on three central characters in this remarkable novel: namely, those of Peter, Sally and Septimus. The 'Peter' music and the 'Sally' music are related, since both characters are, for Clarissa Dalloway, people with whom she had a strong connection in the past – roads not taken on her journey through life. For this reason, the music, while deliberately simple, hides a number of asymmetries and trapdoors in the harmonic and rhythmical language; I wanted it to feel subliminally as though the material is misremembered after a long absence. The music for Septimus, the shell-shocked war veteran, is a mini de profundis, built around the typically English device of a ground bass, over which the cello solo unfolds, starting at the bottom of the instrument, and ascending to a space beyond our sight. Throughout the act we hear the city of London, represented by a field recording of Big Ben, a sound Virginia Woolf would have heard every day. I always felt that the city itself is an important voice in the novel – much as Dublin is the canvas for the the wanderings of Joyce’s Mr Bloom in the near-contemporaneous Ulysses, so the streets of London accommodate the trajectories of Clarissa Dalloway and her friends. ‘Becomings’, which forms the second part of the ballet, is based on Woolf’s Orlando, a novel of transformations, stretching across many locations and historical episodes. I immediately started to think about the similarities with variation form – the musical process where a recognizable theme is transformed and re-ordered to reveal new aspects of its character – so I chose this process of variation as the basis of the Orlando music. The theme I chose for these variations is the well-known fragment La Folia, which has been used by numerous composers since the middle of the 17th century, among them Corelli, Marais, Lully, Vivaldi, Bach , Scarlatti, Handel and Geminiani. However, I wanted the palette to be one which could only exist today; so in addition to variations for the whole orchestra, for solo instruments and for chamber groupings, there are also variations which are wholly electronic, incorporating analogue modular synthesis, sequencing, digital signal processing and computer-generated synthesis. Of the 17 variations in the ballet, about half use this extended palette – for me these reflect the shifts in personal and chronological perspective in the narrative. ‘Tuesday’, the third act of the ballet, is a journey through Woolf’s dream-like novel The Waves, and is prefaced by a reading by Gillian Anderson of her last piece of writing, her profoundly moving suicide note. This ‘theme’ of suicide connects to the Septimus episode in Act I, and so I wrote music that relates to that material, in that it is once again structured around a ground bass. The wave-like melodic contours in the music build over 20 minutes and incorporate a solo soprano, as if she were a solitary submerged figure in the oceanic orchestral texture. What a brilliant, creative human being Virginia Woolf was. It’s been extraordinary once again to have the chance to be engaged in the matters that troubled her, the questions she wrestled with and the visionary quality of the answers she discovered. Woolf Works runs 21 January–14 February 2017. Tickets are still available. Max Richter's new album, Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works , is out on 27 January 2017 on Deutsche Grammophon.

ArtsJournal: music

January 7

Handel + Haydn Society, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

You Reporting to the President and CEO, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications (VP) will be responsible for all earned revenue, audience development, branding, and institutional positioning of H+H performances, education, and community engagement programs.The Handel and Haydn Society (H+H), the oldest continuously-performing arts organization in the United States, is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and Classical music. Founded in Boston in 1815, H+H began as a choral society created by middle-class Bostonians who aspired to improve the quality of singing in their growing American city. The organization was named after composers George Frederic Handel and Joseph Haydn to represent both the old music of the 18th century and what was then the new music of the 19th century. In the first decades of its existence, H+H gave the United States premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Since its founding, H+H has presented more than 2,000 performances before a total audience exceeding 2.8 million. Between 2014 and 2016, the organization celebrated its Bicentennial with two seasons of special concerts and initiatives to mark two centuries of music making.Unique among American ensembles for its longevity, capacity for reinvention, and distinguished history of premieres, H+H’s Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners each year. A nine-concert subscription series at Symphony Hall and other leading venues is complemented by a robust program of intimate events in museums, schools, and community centers, as well as tours and runouts to New York City, Tanglewood, and elsewhere in the United States and Canada. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, the ensemble embraces historically informed performances, bringing classical music to life with the same immediacy it had the day it was written. The Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program allows H+H to also provide engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education to more than 10,000 children each year through in-school music instruction and a Vocal Arts Program that includes six youth choruses. In addition to its subscription series, tours, education, and broadcast performances, H+H reaches a worldwide audience through ambitious recordings, including Haydn’s critically acclaimed The Creation, the best-selling Joy to the World: An American Christmas, and Handel’s Messiah, recorded live at Symphony Hall under Christophers’ direction.H+H is governed by a 35-member board of governors led by Chairman W. Carl Kester and the management team is led by President and CEO David Snead. The organization is on a dramatic growth trajectory, having recently completed a $13.5 million capital campaign to grow the endowment and support a number of strategic initiatives targeting growth in artistic quality, community service, and education programs. In its most recent season, new subscription revenue increased by 75 percent and the renewal rate was up by 7 percent due to revamped branding and direct marketing strategies. Over the past four years, the number of education and community concerts has more than doubled, as has the audience for these concerts. H+H’s annual budget has grown from $3 million to more than $5 million in the past four years, all while operating consistently in the black.CommunityAs New England’s largest city, Boston has long been the region’s economic and cultural hub. Boston is home to a variety of world-renowned performing and visual arts organizations, including Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Embedded in the performing arts community are numerous Baroque, period instrument, choral, and early music organizations, performers, and educational institutions.With an estimated population of 667,000, Boston is one of the 25 largest cities in the country, while the communities making up Greater Boston are comprised of nearly 4.6 million residents. With strong professional sectors in technology, healthcare, and education, Greater Boston is youthful, culturally diverse, and socially active. Approximately 36 percent of the residents are ages 24 or younger, 33 percent are ages 25 to 44, 20 percent are ages 45 to 64, and 10 percent are 65 or older. Boston is a thriving city, with a population that includes 24 percent African American, 17 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent Asian residents.H+H is based in Back Bay, a popular and vibrant Boston neighborhood that offers numerous parks, a thriving arts community, and amazing restaurants. This area is well-known for its Victorian brownstones and several historic and architecturally significant buildings, including the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, Prudential Tower, and 200 Clarendon (previously the John Hancock Tower). Back Bay boasts several high-end shopping districts such as Newbury Street, the Prudential Center, and Copley Place. With numerous public transportation options, this region is easily accessible by train, bus, or commuter rail. Located nearby are some of the top colleges and conservatories in the country, including New England Conservatory of Music, Berklee College of Music, and The Boston Conservatory.As Boston looks ahead to 2017 and beyond, the development of One Seaport Square and the Innovation District in South Boston will continue to bring new industries of life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and consumer technology to the bustling district. In 2017, General Electric will relocate its headquarters to Boston’s popular Seaport District. Alongside the Seaport District, Kendall Square in Cambridge makes Greater Boston one of the world’s foremost innovation destinations.Sources: bostonusa.com ; census.gov PositionReporting to the President and CEO, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications (VP) will be responsible for all earned revenue, audience development, branding, and institutional positioning of H+H performances, education, and community engagement programs. This position will develop and implement a comprehensive marketing plan to support the strategic mission and will position H+H locally, nationally, and internationally while building and developing audiences. Roles & Responsibilities Marketing and Sales Establish earned revenue goals and marketing expense budgets with the President and CEO and senior management team. Design strategy and execute campaigns in support of earned revenue goals and maximizing audience development and box office results, including ticket pricing and packaging for subscription and single ticket sales, direct mail, digital marketing, telemarketing, e-mail marketing, group sales, social media, and community partnerships. Create and execute promotion and sales plans, including advertising campaigns, events, group sales, program book advertising sales, and business partnership development. Conduct market research and data analysis, monitor trends, and implement marketing strategies that support the institutional brand. Proactively lead website and social media strategies for the entire organization. Develop inbound strategy to create high-traffic content and lead-converting resources, increasing website traffic and social media followers to drive sales. Collaborate with marketing consultants and vendors, as needed. Team Leadership and Administration Lead a department of seven full-time employees. Directly supervise the Marketing Manager, PR and Communications Manager, Designer, Audience Services Manager, and contract employees. Develop and manage department budget to deliver results on-time and on-budget. Support and collaborate with all H+H departments. Generate weekly department activity and summary reports. Manage and report on sales velocity and trends. Institutional Branding, Public Relations, and Communication Lead the branding efforts for the entire institution beyond the subscription concerts, including community and education programs, tours, and other similar activities that are vital to H+H’s mission. Create a collaborative, integrated strategy with development staff that builds lifetime value of H+H patrons. Oversee institutional communication strategies with the support of the PR and Communications Manager. Develop, implement, and manage communication plans to build awareness of H+H and its performances, educational programs, and community engagement programs. Coordinate internal and external communication to support the strategic plan. Oversee program book writing, planning, and production. Community and Promotional Partnerships Identify and cultivate collaborative community and promotional partnerships with community engagement staff in support of the strategic plan, earned income, and audience development goals. Ensure public visibility for outreach activities with the Vice President of Education and Community Engagement. Traits & CharacteristicsThe VP will be a seasoned professional and highly collaborative team player with the ability and desire to manage people and projects simultaneously. Experienced in data-driven and market research decision making, planning, and budgeting, this individual will have the ability to think strategically and demonstrate skill in managing and coaching an audience development team and other creative talent. The VP will have a passion for creating the best possible patron experience and developing and maintaining a patron-centered culture. Motivated by knowledge, research, and the aesthetic nature of the art form and visual identify, this resilient and detail-oriented individual should possess strong interpersonal skills, integrity, tenacity, and a drive to achieve goals.Other key competencies include the following: Customer Focus – The capacity to maintain a commitment to the satisfaction of all stakeholders by anticipating customer needs and developing appropriate solutions in a highly service-oriented environment. Fact-Based and Data-Driven – A commitment to marketing strategies grounded in customer knowledge gained through market research and data analytics that are executed in memorable communications. The evaluation of these programs should be similarly fact-based, establishing a culture of constant learning and driving future decision making. Problem Solving Ability – The capability to identify and analyze the root of current obstacles and then create several alternative solutions for a favorable outcome. Goal Achievement – The dexterity to set clear, results-oriented goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and time sensitive (SMART) and ability to identify milestones and implement plans to achieve specific organizational objectives. Presenting and Written Communication – The mastery of verbal and written communication with the aptitude to tailor messaging appropriately in accordance to any given audience and media outlet. QualificationsA bachelor’s degree in marketing or related field from an accredited university or college, at least five years of senior-level marketing and communication experience, and a proven track record of achieving earned income goals through the successful execution of sales campaigns are required. The demonstrated ability to work and manage a team effectively in a fast-paced environment, meet multiple deadlines, organize time and priorities, and work well as a member of the team are necessary. A demonstrable record of success in developing opportunities for promotional partnerships and collaborations with sponsors, media, and community organizations is required, as well as marketing skills in the area of patron loyalty and retention, strategic branding, market research, direct marketing, and digital marketing, including web and social media. Strong written communication and public presentation skills, a passion for Baroque and classical music, and a commitment to working occasional nights and weekends are essential. Tessitura experience strongly preferred.Compensation & BenefitsCompetitive compensation, commensurate with experience, and benefits include vacation; health, dental, and life insurances; 403(b) retirement plan; long- and short-term disability; flexible spending account; and the quality of life that Greater Boston provides. Applications & InquiriesPlease submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:Ms. Ronda HeltonVice President, Arts Consulting Group 292 Newbury Street, Suite 315Boston, MA 02115-2801Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 218Fax (888) 284.6651 Email handelandhaydn@ArtsConsulting.comHandel and Haydn Society is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace by maintaining a staff that represents the traditions and voices of contemporary Boston.



George Frideric Handel
(1685 – 1759)

George Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 - 14 April 1759) was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Handel was born in Germany in the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. Handel received critical musical training in Italy before settling in London and becoming a naturalised British subject. His works include Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. He was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition. Handel's music was well-known to composers including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.



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