Thursday, August 20, 2009

When John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles premiered at the Metropolitan opera in 1991, audiences and critics alike were delighted with the final installment of the Beaumarchais Figaro trilogy. Andrew Porter of The Times wrote, "A triumph with the public, a success with the New York press, and a sell-out at the box office ... It is heartening to find a new opera greeted with a standing ovation." Hear Teresa Stratas (as Marie Antoinette) sing the moving aria They Are Always With Me ... one of this week's FEATURED NEW MUSIC VIDEOS.

Behzad Ranjbaran's music has variously been described as having "qualities of inherent beauty and strong musical structure that make it a satisfying musical entity" (Henry Arnold, Nashville Scene) and "radiant luminescence" (Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post). Allen Gimbel (American Record Guide) said about the Persian Trilogy that "Ranjbaran has composed a noble and brilliantly conceived score, spectacularly orchestrated and filled with memorable tunes, meticulous development, and impressive craftsmanship." Accolades continue for Songs of Eternity, which was described in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Philippa Kiraly) as "beautiful ... with exquisite melismas"; and Joe Riley commented in the Liverpool Echo that the Violin Concerto is "high class, cohesive" and "when the concerto ... just sings out a fine melodic line, the effect is ravishing." Hear the composer himself talk about his life and music - Pytheas' current COMPOSER PORTRAIT.

Bob McQuiston (Classical Lost and Found) writes, "George Tsontakis is fast becoming recognized as one of America's greatest living composers. Yes, his music is quite contemporary ... but also quite approachable, and anyone willing to do some serious listening will be amply rewarded!" Check out the Koch International recording of Tsontakis' Violin Concerto and other works ... this week's FEATURED RECORDING.

And lastly, loose yourself in a performance of Jean Langlais' brooding Plainte from the Suite Brève (1947) ... this week's FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVE.

Explore, Listen and Enjoy!
Vinny Fuerst
Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music

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