Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New Saariaho and Salonen pieces in LA

L.A. Phil plans to play politics

The Los Angeles Philharmonic will tackle issues of art versus politics in its 2006-07 season, announced Tuesday

By Chris Pasles - February 8, 2006
From calendarlive.com (LATimes)

With the U.S. premiere of a new oratorio and a series of concerts devoted to music composed under Josef Stalin, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will tackle issues of art versus politics in its 2006-07 season, announced Tuesday.

Music director Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct the U.S. premiere of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho's oratorio "La Passion de Simone," based on the life of 20th century French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil, who starved herself to death in solidarity with Jews incarcerated in Nazi death camps. The work, co-commissioned by the Philharmonic, was written for soprano Dawn Upshaw, who will sing the Los Angeles performances Jan. 12-14. It will be directed by Peter Sellars.
The "Shadow of Stalin" series — five concerts from May 15 through June 3, 2007 — will focus on music written by Shostakovich and Prokofiev before and after an infamous 1936 Pravda review denouncing Shostakovich's opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk." "There are good reviews and there are bad reviews — and there are reviews that threaten you with decapitation," Salonen said Tuesday, referring to the Pravda review. "That was that fateful moment when music changed."
Less central to what Salonen called "the hot spot of political and ideological debate" will be a cycle of the four Brahms symphonies led by London Philharmonia principal conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, Feb. 15-24, 2007.
The season will open Sept. 28 with Salonen leading a gala concert featuring Falla's "Master Peter's Puppet Show" with puppet theater and works by Ravel.
Other highlights of the season, which runs through June 3, 2007, include four separate residencies — double the number this season — by Upshaw, violinist Joshua Bell, composer-pianist Thomas Adès (completing a two-year commitment) and pianist Emanuel Ax.
As previously announced, the "Tristan Project," an experimental collaboration on Wagner's opera "Tristan and Isolde" by Salonen, Sellars and video artist Bill Viola, will return to Disney Hall in April 2007 before its East Coast premiere in New York.
The Philharmonic's New York tour will also include two performances at Lincoln Center and one at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
In addition to Saariaho's "Passion," U.S. premieres will include Salonen's "Helix," which was postponed from this season, Brett Dean's Viola Concerto and works by Liza Lim, Anthony Pateras and Gerald Barry.
Conductors making their Philharmonic debuts will include Jirí Belohlávek and Carlos Kalmar.
Gustavo Dudamel, Neville Marriner and Bramwell Tovey will make their Disney Hall debuts. Among the artists appearing with the Philharmonic for the first time will be pianists Piotr Anderszewski and Yundi Li, organist Simon Preston and violist Dean.
Visiting groups will include the NHK Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Venice Baroque Orchestra and Il Giardino Armonico.

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