Category Archives: review

CD ‘Fantasy’ Laura Kaminsky: scintillating music featuring star pianist Ursula Oppens

In the United States she is a celebrity, but in the Netherlands Laura Kaminsky (1956) is fairly unknown. Undeservedly so, because her music is both powerful and poetic and has an effervescent energy. The recently released CD Fantasy contains four … Continue reading

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Italian pianist strikes Ukrainian stillness at heart

An Italian label promoting piano music of a Ukrainian composer, it does not seem the most likely combination. Yet earlier this year, the CD Handsome Skies featuring piano works by Valentin Silvestrov (1937) arrived on my doorstep, sent from Rome … Continue reading

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Medea, Circe & Penelope get a voice of their own

Euripides immortalized Medea in his eponymous play, Homer recounted Circe and Penelope in his Odyssey. Throughout the centuries, their labelling of the threesome became ever more solidified. We regard Medea as a hysterical child murderer, Circe as a malicious witch … Continue reading

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The dark night has vanished: songs by Josephine Lang taste for more

Already at the age of 16, the German composer Josephine Lang (1815-1880) published two collections of songs; eventually she would write over 300. Although she was very successful in her own time, rivalling such established song composers as Schubert and … Continue reading

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Chaya Czernowin: smoldering emotions under chill surface in opera Heart Chamber

A woman and a man seated at considerable distance from each other stare into space, silent and blank. The image immediately brings to mind the absurdist plays of Samuel Beckett, but Heart Chamber deals with the very recognizable uncertainties of … Continue reading

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Here are all the black female composers!

If you want to change the world, start with the young and malleable. This must have been the thought of Nathan Holder when he decided to write a book about black female composers. Instead of adding yet another exposé to … Continue reading

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Lisa Neher & Kendra Leonard present strong women in micro-opera festival

For over a year, theatres and opera houses have been closed. The American singer and composer Lisa Neher and librettist Kendra Leonard therefore organized the One Voice Project Virtual Micro Opera Festival. With few resources they realized a varied series … Continue reading

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Ritratto Willem Jeths: a luscious soundworld that vies with Puccini

On 11 March 2020 the Dutch government decreed a lockdown to curb the spreading of the Covid-19 virus: all theatres were to be closed as of the next day. Tough luck for Willem Jeths, the premiere of whose opera Ritratto … Continue reading

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Alma Mahler: Memories of Gustav Mahler in the preamble of World War II

With the publication of Briefwechsel Alma Mahler – Allert de Lange Verlag (Correspondence Alma Mahler – Allert de Lange Publishers) the Gustav Mahler Foundation shows true spunk. The full correspondence concerning the process of writing a book does not bring … Continue reading

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Aida goes Black Lives Matter

It is night. Behind the windows of an immense hall, some scanty cars and cyclists pass by. The deserted space is filled with what seem to be rows of beds waiting for patients. An improvised covid-19 hospital? Then the camera … Continue reading

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