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December 2017 Hot News





19 December 2017


VIP Guy Yehuda and Tasha Warren Master Classes and Concert at the Academy of Music


Tel Aviv, Israel




18 December 2017


Wenzel Fuchs Mozarteum Clarinet Studio Christmas Recital


Salzburg, Austria



16 December 2017


“Wa” Concert Series
“The Originality of Greatness: Celebrating Elliott Carter’s 109th Birthday”
Tenri Cultural Institute




New York City USA


“Wa” Concert Series
“The Originality of Greatness: Celebrating Elliott Carter’s 109th Birthday”
Tenri Cultural Institute
Charles Neidich, clarinet
Alexi Kenney, violin
Fred Sherry, cello
Ayako Oshima, clarinet
Lucy Shelton, soprano
Amber Evans, soprano
Mohamed Shams, piano
John Link, musicologist
Music of Elliott Carter
 for clarinet and piano (1940/45, rev. 1982. orig. for English horn)
            Hiyoku (two clarinets, 2001)
Two Thoughts About the Piano
    Intermittences (2005)
Caténaires (2006)
 (violin, cello, 2008)
Poems of Louis Zukofsky (soprano, clarinet, 2008)
Con leggerezza pensosa-Omaggio a Italo Calvino (clarinet, violin, cello, 1990)
Gra (clarinet, 1993)
 Musings (violin, 2000) -
Sonata for violoncello and piano (1948)

              Only a musician with unforced naturalness of phrasing, total command of his instrument, and a puckish humor such as is possessed by Charles Neidich, could make an entire evening of Elliott Carter’s thorny chamber music approachable. He also assembled a team of superlative collaborators—four of the evening’s seven musicians had major experience working with Carter, including close personal friendships. This kind of advocacy is crucial if his music is to stay in the repertoire. Carter died just five years ago, a couple of weeks shy of his 104th birthday, and he was composing virtually up to the end of his long, productive life.

             In illuminating remarks by John Link, it became clear that Carter viewed the lion’s share of his music as representing vivid characters. Each note had to be played with the fierce delineation that he had in mind, whether that represented one character with conflicting emotions, or interplay between several characters. Carter did not compose unless he was truly emotionally motivated to do so, even though the popular perception of his output is one of atonality and layers of rhythmic complexity (which are certainly there!). Most of Carter’s works have what I call an “arch” shape, with a satisfying sense of rightness to their endings; although some just end abruptly, like a candle flame being blown out. Carter’s curiosity was relentless, exploring literature, languages, and food with intensity and humor.

            Neidich opened the evening, partnered by the evening’s excellent pianist Mohamed Shams, with the easy-to-take Pastorale, it was the earliest work on the program, showing some of the late-romantic traditions Carter would leave behind definitively.

          Hiyoku (Two Wings) for two clarinets had Neidich in duo with his wife, also a phenomenal clarinetist, as well as the chef behind the prodigious feasts laid out for all the audiences at these “Wa” concerts. Their ensemble was understandably perfect.

          Shams shone in the “Two Thoughts” piano solos, the second of which, Caténaires, was a blistering perpetual motion toccata that seemed powered by nuclear energy.

         Duettino brought together violinist Alexi Kenney and veteran Carter specialist, cellist Fred Sherry (former artistic advisor of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, founder of Speculum Musicae and Tashi), sharing violent alternations of bowed and plucked notes with equal ferocity.

          Another lifelong devotee of the contemporary music world, Lucy Shelton, shared duties with a younger soprano, Amber Evans, in the Poems of Louis Zukofsky. Here, Shelton’s years of commanding performance showed her total mastery not only of the difficult music, but intelligibility of every word; her attentiveness to the clarinet showed her fabulous attention to detail, while never removing emotion from her often witty presentation. Evans’ songs had more difficult tessiturae, perhaps that impeded some of the words, but her voice was true and powerful. I’m sure Carter was, as mentioned before, moved by this poetry, but I find that his settings often do “get in the way” of the words, my limitation I’m sure.

          After the intermission of this long evening, Kenney, Neidich, and Sherry combined to present the Omaggio a Italo Calvino, as Con leggerezza pensosa was known. These players exude the Carter style with utter naturalness.

          Then Neidich played the brief solo Gra, which led me to wonder if the title was the Gaelic word for love.

          Alexi Kenney was brilliant in his solo violin work: Rhapsodic Musings. I regard this as Carter’s answer to Ravel’s Tzigane, and Kenney’s intonation and style were perfection itself, with every double stop interval of a seventh (and they are cruel!) as pure as one can imagine.

          Finally came the staple of Carter’s chamber offerings, the great Sonata for Cello and Piano from 1948 (revised in 1966). This four movement behemoth was dispatched with firm command and a wide variety of colors by Sherry and Shams. It doesn’t sound nearly as forbidding as it looks on the page, and even makes sly nods to tonality (heavily disguised) and the old Dies Irae that had so fascinated composers from Berlioz to Liszt and Rachmaninoff. Forgive me, Elliott, for noticing! The work is also cyclic, that is themes from the first movement reappear at the end, adding to the work’s comprehensibility, as did this perfect performance. The enthusiastic audience really hollered its approval after it was over.


15 - 18 December 2017


ClarMeet Porto


Porto, Portugal





10 December 2017


Memorial Tribute for Senior VIP Donald Montanaro


Boston, Massachusetts USA





 9 - 10 December 2017

A “Late Night” concert with French chamber music and Simon Rattle at the piano  performing Debussy Sonata for Violin and Piano and the Messiean Quartet for the End of Time with VIP Wenzel Fuchs     - Digital Concert Hall excerpt from this concert


Berlin, Germany


            The two French chamber music works of this Late Night concert show evidence of existential crises – but without sacrificing elegance. Olivier Messiaen wrote his Quatuor pour la fin du temps in 1940/41 in a German prisoner-of-war camp, surrounded by death. Claude Debussy composed his violin sonata in 1917, while he was seriously ill. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker including Daishin Kashimoto violin, Ludwig Quandt cello, Wenzel Fuchs clarinet perform with Sir Simon Rattle at the piano.


Claude Debussy

Sonata for Violin and Piano

Olivier Messiaen

Quatuor pour la fin du temps


              After being conscripted by the French army in 1939, Olivier Messiaen became a German prisoner of war a year later and was deported to Görlitz prison camp STALAG VIII A. It was there that the composer, with death before his eyes every day, wrote his Quatuor pour la fin du temps around the turn of the year 1940/1941. Messiaen’s inspiration for this work came “straight from [...] the Apocalypse”, as it is portrayed in the Book of Revelation. With the approval of the camp commander, Messiaen and three other inmates performed the premiere of the Quatuor pour la fin du temps before more than 400 Belgian and French prisoners of war on 15 January 1941. “The audience was an extremely diverse mixture from all walks of life – agricultural workers, labourers, intellectuals, professional soldiers, doctors and clergy,” as the composer later recalled. “Never again have I been listened to with such attention and understanding as then.”


           According to Messiaen, the musical language of the eight-movement composition for clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano is “disembodied, spiritual, and catholic. The thematic motifs, which melodically and harmoniously form a kind of tonal omnipresence, bring the listener closer to eternity in space and infinity. Particular rhythms, free from any measure, strongly contribute to moving the temporal into the distance.” The performance of Messiaen’s singular and – despite the circumstances of its composition – timeless work is the main work in this late night concert with Sir Simon Rattle on the piano, the orchestra’s principal clarinet Wenzel Fuchs, 1st concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker Daishin Kashimoto and the orchestra’s 1st principal cello Ludwig Quandt forming the ensemble. To open this late night event, Sir Simon and Daishin Kashimoto also perform the Sonata for Violin and Piano by Messiaen’s fellow countryman, Claude Debussy.






8 - 10 December 2017

VII Congre


VII Congreso National de la Clarinete


Madrid, Spain




8 December 2017


VIP Mark Nuccio (Solo Clarinetist in Houston, Texas Symphony Master Class at the Buffet New York Showroom


New York City USA






 4 December 2017


VIP Seunghee Lee Recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall with World Premiere


New York City USA





2 December 2017


Rowan University Clarinet Day - Dr Rie Suzuki, Director, with SSgt. Parker Gaims - Clarinetist in the 'Presidents Own' United States Marine Band in Washington, DC


Rowen, New Jersey USA




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Revised: January 02, 2018