The performers, renowned mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig and accomplished pianist Charles Spencer (who is also professor of Lied Interpretation for singers and pianists at the Hochschule fr Musik in Frankfurt), are of one mind-in perfect accord-as they bring forth Schubert's great song cycle to life. The liner notes that are included with this recording include a transcript (in English and French as well as the original German) of an interview with Ludwig conducted in December 2007 during which the singer discusses (1) approaching the performance of Winterreise, describing the issues of the "female perspective," transposition, and contemporary significance of the poems; and (2) her own musical background and pedagogical philosophy.
634 Notes, March 2010 is intentionally genre-defying (Bang on a of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, where Eno Can All Stars, “About,” http://bangonacan openly appreciates the work Bang on a Can .org/all_stars/about [accessed 18 Novem- brought to his music. He believed that ber 2009] ). Bang on a Can brought emotion to the mu- The ﬁrst part of this ﬁlm frames the mu- sic that he originally did not put there. sical landscape from which Bang on a Can The ﬁlm follows a logical progression in emerged. The ﬁlm almost exclusively fo- presenting all the elements surrounding cuses on New York City, with music of the Bang on a Can’s formation. The interviews various composers set against the backdrop with composers inﬂuential to Bang on a of city scenes interspersed with interview Can do well in explaining musical and cul- footage. Interviews with Steve Reich, Philip tural circumstances from which the group Glass, and others who inﬂuenced Bang on emerged. Additionally, the excerpts from a Can, as well as Bang on a Can musicians each of these composers’ works, set against are included throughout. Reich and Glass the backdrop of New York City scenes, en- discuss how their minimalist music was hance these explanations both aurally and originally ostracized by the American aca- visually. As a result, viewers will emerge demic establishment, which is in part why from this ﬁlm better able to contextualize Bang on a Can musicians were originally at- Bang on a Can’s role within the current tracted to their music. Founders Michael American musical landscape, as well as Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe also achieving a heightened awareness of some discuss how the forming of their group was of the issues currently surrounding Ameri- a means of bridging “uptown” music (asso- can music as a whole. ciated with the “academy” and high art) The program notes accompanying this and “downtown” music (associated with DVD, in both English and French, do well minimalism, inspired in part by popular to frame the context of both ﬁlms, and also music). The ﬁlm eventually transitions to a serve as a means of tying both together. It is focus on Bang on a Can itself, with mem- useful to read these prior to viewing the bers Gordon, Lang and Wolfe acknowledg- ﬁlms. ing the inﬂuence of Reich and Glass on their music, as well as Dutch composers Louis Andriessen and Martijn Padding. Towards the end of the ﬁlm, the focus Peter H. Lisius goes back to Bang on a Can’s arrangement Kent State University Christa Ludwig, Die Winterreise. DVD. Produced and directed by Eugene Sánchez Lansch. [Halle, Germany]: Arthaus Musik, 2009. 102 147. $24.99. The performance of Die Winterreise pre- “Christa Ludwig: Lieder Recital,” which was served on this disc took place in Athens in not received for review here. 1994 and
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