October 24, 2010 |
BERLIN - The music was finished. Many bows had been taken. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra had left the stage Thursday night, except for a few straggling double bassists. But listeners were still there and still clapping. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin obligingly scooted back onto the Berlin Philharmonie stage with characteristic energy, and was greeted with yet another approving roar. The orchestra had played not just well, but interestingly, with a spontaneity that sometimes teetered on the edge of chaos in ways that suited the music and were encouraged by the guest conductor.
September 2, 2010 |
PHILLIES RYAN Howard and Chase Utley have secured spots in the "Guinness World Records 2011" book, due out Sept. 15. Howard, whose picture appears in the book, has the record for "Fewest Games to Reach 200 Career Home Runs. " (He did so July 17, 2009, in his 658th game.) Utley captured the "Most Home Runs in a Single World Series" by hitting five against the Yankees. Fishtown's Doogie Horner took the $1,000 prize and the title of Philly's Phunniest Tuesday night at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom)
August 12, 2010 |
James A. McGuinness, 88, of Woodbury, founder and longtime manager of McGuinness Funeral Home in Woodbury, died of congestive heart failure Monday, Aug. 9, at his home. Mr. McGuinness, known for his patience and listening skills, was cut out for the job of dealing with the loss of a loved one, his son Bill said. However, he also could have made a good politician. When Mr. McGuinness opened his funeral home in 1950 with just his wife as a business partner, he would go to four or five diners each morning to meet people and promote his business.
July 24, 2010 |
Hats, ejections, slippery fan, and no Guinness After a badly blown call, the hats and ejections flew furiously at Camden Yards, and now Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton is looking at a three-game suspension. Among the lowlights from Thursday night: Wigginton screaming himself red in the face, appearing to chest-bump (he denied it) first-base umpire Gary Darling, who later admitted he should have called a pickoff on the Twins' J.J. Hardy, then throwing down his hat. Baltimore pitching coach Rick Kranitz ejected - from the dugout, no less - for "sarcastic" (his term)
July 24, 2010
MARGATE, N.J. - An attempt to break the Guinness world record for the most people simultaneously blowing bubbles in multiple locations has burst. The effort raised more than $18,000 for autism research, its organizer said. Isabelle Mosca, the Ventnor woman who organized the attempt in April, said thousands of claims from participants did not follow strict documentation guidelines and would be rejected by the London-based Guinness organization. She said she did not submit the documentation to the group.
June 20, 2010 |
Though Yannick Nézet-Séguin's recording career coincides closely with the death and partial resurrection of the classical recording industry, his discography sprawls over an impressive 17 discs with repertoire from Bruckner symphonies to Kurt Weill songs. Because the results are unusually site-specific, his recordings are best classified not by composer or label, but by the cities where they were made. Montreal. The last three symphonies of Anton Bruckner dominate Nézet-Séguin's recordings with Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain - a repertoire choice that may seem a little foolhardy with so much Bruckner available elsewhere, often by grand-old-man conductors.
June 18, 2010 |
OTTAWA - Since he's neither tall nor old, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin jokes that he sometimes feels like a kid trying to tame 100 lions onstage. On Wednesday at the National Arts Centre here, the Philadelphia Orchestra's new music director-designate had nearly 500 such musical beasts for Mahler's Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand") positioned in balconies, in boxes, and onstage, with an adoring audience that included Canada's governor-general (the surrogate for the queen of England)
June 14, 2010 |
Some conductors believe, above all, in the Rehearsal. They balance and tune chords, bring out some voices and subdue others. They charm and educate players with spoken poetry and imagery to achieve various effects. They even make adjustments in response to the acoustics of a particular hall. Others do plenty of preparation in rehearsal, but the main thing they bring to the party is a performance pumped with energy. Conductors on the highest level are a substantive amalgamation of the two: They did their homework before curtain time, and they have the skillful gestures to write new ideas in performance and the sensitivity to react spontaneously to events (good and bad)
February 20, 2010 |
Age-appropriate repertoire is a nagging question for young conductors: Should they conduct nothing deeper than Carmina Burana until age 40? Yannick N?zet-S?guin, 34, shows no caution in this regard: He's a "ninth symphony" kind of guy, embracing late-period Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler with unexpected success. What of the flashier, youthful stuff that figures into everyday concerts? At his Lincoln Center tour stop with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday, he faced a program of potboiler Liszt and Richard Strauss as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra search committee in the audience, eager to hear what he's like in calling-card repertoire and with the near-world-class orchestra he has headed for almost two years.
December 5, 2009 |
Of all the paradoxes: Conductor Yannick N?zet-S?guin became the hero of his own concert by ceding the spotlight to all around him, making them look terrific - or better than they normally might. In this 34-year-old French Canadian conductor's reengagement Thursday with the Philadelphia Orchestra (as the music-director search goes into high gear), nothing was safe or certain, from his slightly strange concert attire (a long dark tie) to the ultra-slow tempos he allowed pianist Nicholas Angelich to take in Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1. In a way, N?zet-S?guin showed what life would be like in a typical week with the conductor serving multiple agendas: the soloist's repertoire and established interpretation, plus the cause of modern music, in this case the 1980 Orion by the late Claude Vivier.