Stéphane Topakian: « Furtwängler’s recording legacy is essential to know his art »

Interviews

Stéphane Topakian: « Furtwängler’s recording legacy is essential to know his art »

  • 06/03/2022
Stéphane Topakian: « Furtwängler’s recording legacy is essential to know his art »

Stéphane Topakian

The Warner boxed set of the complete official recordings of the legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler has won an International Classical Music Award in the Historical category. This award was the occasion for Pierre-Jean Tribot (Crescendo/Belgium, member of the jury) to make the following interview with Stéphane Topakian, the main editor of this set and a great connoisseur of the maestro’s art.

For many years now, many live recordings of Furtwängler have been released. As a result, we have lost sight of the importance of his official legacy, which seemed to have been forgotten by the regular re-releases of Universal and Warner? So how can we consider these official recordings in their contribution to our knowledge of his art? Moreover, one has the impression that Furtwängler, the epitome of the conductor, gave his all in concert. Listening to the recordings, isn’t this impression wrong?
Furtwängler considered the live experience of the concert as irreplaceable. The live recordings that can result from it are of course unique moments, but do they alone represent Furtwängler’s vision of this or that work? Certainly not. Read More →

Adam Fischer: “The future! That excites me much more »

  • 01/03/2022
Adam Fischer: “The future! That excites me much more »

Adam Fischer
(c) Csibi Szilvia

Adam Fischer doesn’t spend much time at the sound engineer’s desk, he’s not interested in working at the editing table, but in being on the podium with the orchestras he works with, because they know each other very well. Being the Lifetime Achievement Award winner of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA), he sat down to talk with Csabai Máté from the Hungarian Jury member Papageno about recording and his favorite composers.

Congratulations on your Lifetime Achievement Award! The oeuvre is not small even if you only look at the recordings you made.
Now comes the question as to how I feel about the award, right? It would be nice, but I prefer to look to the future rather than the past. I’m over the past. I don’t like listening back to my recordings again either because all I keep hearing is what I didn’t do right. It’s better not to hear them. Read More →

Laurent Brunner, director of Château de Versailles Spectacles, ICMA Label of the Year: « For us, this award is a mark of quality »

  • 22/02/2022
Laurent Brunner, director of Château de Versailles Spectacles, ICMA Label of the Year: « For us, this award is a mark of quality »

Laurent Brunner
(c) François Berthier

Appointed in 2007 as director of Château de Versailles Spectacles, Laurent Brunner created their own record label in 2018. This Lorrain revives in Versailles with the success he had with a festival in Verdun, then with Le Carreau in Forbach, with, always, the search for excellence. In 2022, four years after its launch, Château de Versailles Spectacles became Label of the Year of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA). Remy Franck met Laurent Brunner for an interview.

 Your record label was launched in 2018, so about ten years after the creation of Château de Versailles Spectacles, a private subsidiary of the public institution. How would you assess the situation?
The result is very particular because our activity comprises two years of pandemic. On the one hand, there was a slowdown in sales and on the other hand, the transition to digital, which was reinforced by the absence of concerts with an audience almost everywhere. Read More →

ICMA Award Winner Frank Dupree: « I enjoy and need variety »

  • 03/02/2022
ICMA Award Winner Frank Dupree: « I enjoy and need variety »

Frank Dupree
(c) Marco Borggreve

German pianist and conductor Frank Dupree has won the ICMA (International Classical Music Awards) prize in the Assorted Programs category with a CD of concertos and a Chamber Symphony by Nikolai Kapustin. Remy Franck talked with the musician.

Kapustin’s music combines jazz and classical music. The interpreter has to be able to reproduce this mélange. Is that actually difficult?
I grew up as a classical pianist and enjoyed a really classical piano education. Through my drum teacher, whom I had since I was a little boy, I got to know jazz and also African and Latin American music. As a teenager, I combined both and played a lot of jazz in addition to classical music, including Gershwin and Kapustin. Read More →

ICMA winner Michael Korstick: « Music is an uncompromising art »

  • 29/01/2022
ICMA  winner Michael Korstick: « Music is an uncompromising art »

Michael Korstick
(c) Henle Verlag

His fellow students at New York’s Juilliard School called Michael Korstick « Dr. Beethoven. » But it was only at the age of 43, after 20 successful concert seasons, that his first CDs appeared – and promptly caused a sensation. Since then, he has released some sixty productions, for which he is receiving a Special Achievement Award from the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) this year. ICMA Jury member Remy Franck (Pizzicato/Luxembourg) talked to the pianist.

In the music world, there are the so-called stars and there are a myriad of artists that not everyone necessarily knows. You belong to the latter, as someone who works quite seriously, gives a lot of concerts and makes a lot of records, and I suppose you don’t like the media hype either?
I once read in an article that I was the antistar of the scene, and I actually liked that quite a bit, because I can live with that attribute better than anything else. For me, the first question is: for whom do I make music and for whom do I want to make music? Read More →

« My freedom is on the stage » – Ermonela Jaho confesses herself

  • 01/07/2021
« My freedom is on the stage » – Ermonela Jaho confesses herself

Ermonela Jaho
(c) Albert Mennel

Ermonela Jaho is the winner of the ICMA 2021 award in the « Vocal Music » category with the album « Anima rara », published by Opera Rara and dedicated to the repertoire of Rosina Storchio, with particular emphasis on that commonly defined as verista-naturalista. The great Albanian singer, who has lived in Italy for 18 years, now resides in New York, but did not think twice about getting on a plane and coming to Vaduz expressly to receive the award and to sing, at the gala with the Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein, a simply memorable ‘Addio del passato’, which earned her a standing ovation from the audience present. The day before the concert, ICMA Jury member Nicola Cattò (Musica, Italy) met her for a long conversation, in which Jaho spoke about many topics, starting from her arrival in Italy in 1993.

How was the world of music back in 1993?
I came from Albania, which had been under Communism for 50 years: everything was closed, what happened outside was unknown to us. And the world of opera was for us the one that passed through the Italian films in black and white, with the biographies of Bellini and Verdi. Read More →

« We expect the greatest classical artists to perform with the Liechtenstein Symphony »

  • 20/06/2021
« We expect the greatest  classical artists to perform with the Liechtenstein Symphony »

Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein

The Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein (SOL) is hosting this year’s International Classical Music Awards Gala on 27 June in Vaduz. In an interview with René Brinkmann, the president of the orchestra’s foundation board, Dr. Ernst Walch, and the head of the SOL’s artistic operations office, Florian Thierbach, talk about the past, present and future of the orchestra, which has been appearing more and more frequently on the « classical music map » in recent times.

 When you look at the history of the Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein, the first thing that strikes you is that the orchestra, with its founding date in the 1980s, is quite a young orchestra compared to the orchestras in the surrounding countries of Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Could you perhaps first give our readers a brief summary of the orchestral tradition in Liechtenstein: Was there no professional symphony orchestra in Liechtenstein at all before the foundation of the Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein?
EW: That’s right, the Liechtenstein Chamber Orchestra was founded on 10 September 1988 with the pragmatic aim of providing the music teachers of the Liechtenstein Music School with their own orchestra. Otherwise, the Vereinskultur has always been very strong in this country, so that in a broader sense there are many ensembles, but until 1988 there was no professional (national) orchestra. Read More →

ICMA-winner Johannes Pramsohler: « The trio sonata is our laboratory for all other projects »

  • 03/05/2021
ICMA-winner Johannes Pramsohler: « The trio sonata is our laboratory for all other projects »

Johannes Pramsohler
(c) P. Foster-Williams

Currently based in Paris, Italian violinist, conductor and record producer Johannes Pramsohler and his Ensemble Diderot won an award in ICMA’s category of Baroque Music with The Berlin Album, works by Benda, Graun, Janitsch, Kirnberger, von Preußen and Schulz (Audax ADX13726).
Born in 1980 in Sterzing in the autonomous Italian province of South Tyrol he studied in Bolzano, in Paris, at the Mozarteum Salzburg, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Read More →

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