king ubu

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About king ubu

  • Rank
    just sayin'
  • Birthday 04/18/1979

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  • Website URL http://ubu-space.blogspot.com/
  • Skype king-ubu

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Zurich, Switzerland
  • Interests http://ubu-space.blogspot.com/
    subliminal meanderings
    sic transit gloria mundi
    caveat emptor
    die schuld ist immer zweifellos
  1. No loose cardboard in mine. But as often in Europe, it wasn't sealed when I got it.
  2. Clyde Stubblefield, RIP

    Well, it's a variant on a Dolphy tune, after all I think the combination of John "Jabo" Starks and Clyde Stubblefield was magic. Would be hard pressed to name one favourite JB drummer, there's Melvyn Parker, too, and a few others, but Jabo and Stubblefield would top the list together, I guess.
  3. Ellington Treasury Shows

    Rainbow Grill = De Doelen in yankee speak? Anyway, cool news if it's indeed new material!
  4. Ellington Treasury Shows

    Separate release of disc 4 of "Duke Box 2", maybe?
  5. Concerts: previews / reviews

    Usually writing about my concert experiences in German and don't find the time to always duplicate (translation is not the way, I feel too much at home in English than just to re-do the same write-up in a different language - which btw is pretty darn difficult, too, if that was the goal). Anyway, I went to see William Christie conduct Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Médée" at Zurich opera last night, and as I promised someone else in another forum to report, here's my English write-up again - it was outstanding almost beyond belief! Zurich Opera, 18 February 2017 MÉDÉE Marc-Antoine Charpentier Conductor: William Christie Producer: Andreas Homoki Stage design: Hartmut Meyer Costumes: Mechthild Seipel Light design: Franck Evin Choreographische Beratung: Katrin Kolo Chorus master: Jürg Hämmerli Dramaturgy: Werner Hintze, Fabio Dietsche Médée: Stéphanie D’Oustrac Jason: Reinoud Van Mechelen Créon: Nahuel Di Pierro Créuse: Mélissa Petit Oronte: Ivan Thirion L’Amour, Captif de l’Amour, Premier Fantôme: Florie Valiquette Nérine: Carmen Seibel Arcas, Second Corinthien, La Jalousie: Spencer Lang Un Argien, La Vengeance: Roberto Lorenzi Une Italienne: Sandrine Droin Premier Corinthien, Un Argien, Un Démon: Nicholas Scott Cleone: Gemma Ni Bhriain Deuxième Fantôme: Francisca Montiel Harpsichord: Paolo Zanzu Lute: Brian Feehan, Juan Sebastian Lima Cello: Claudius Herrmann Gamba: Martin Zeller Violone: Dieter Lange Orchestra La Scintilla Chor der Oper Zürich Members of Les Arts Florissants Phenomenal in every respect, one of the best opera nights ever, and quite likely to be the highlight of this still young year. How amazing to witness a cast that is really at home in the language in question - not that I actually understood it word by word, but none of the minor to major diction and pronounciation and accent problems that we usually just have to accept when watching opera (and in that respect: what a huge difference to the Milan "Don Carlo"). I've become tolerant long ago about this, but what a huge different to have a fully idiomatic cast! William Christie strictly insists on this, as he mentioned during the matinee in presentation of this new production a few weeks back - the show last night was actually the final one again already - and I fully endorse this, now that I have been able to witness the wonderful results. So many great things, it's really hard to find words. Let's start with the play itself. What a wonderful opera, finding a perfect balance between words and music. There's no fat to it, it's just perfect. No vocal girlands, no show-offery, no nothing, just a perfect synchronisation between what is sung and how it is sung (and played). This is not a sequence of numbers with star arias and all that, but really a play. And Homoki's production and stage direction actually made it work in a way that even the Divertissements were quite perfectly integrated into the whole, sort of echo chambers of the main plot. The choir, enlarged by an haute-contre section from Les Arts florissants, did a wonderful job (as I've come to expect by now - Zurich opera can be really proud of such a fine choir). So did La Scintilla, the HIP orchestra of Zurich opera. They were enlarged by several guests as well, mainly in the winds section, which had a lot of work to do and did just fine. Christie had a harpsichord to play and conduct from, but to his right there was another harpsichord, as well as a small organ. As I could not see much of the orchestra during the play (I could see the recorders and that was pretty cool, too), I don't know how much of the harpsichord continuo was played by Christie himself. The continuo section was really good anyway, bleding into a wonderful and varied sound, using different combinations of the instruments at hand (including the organ I mentioned). The stage itself was set up very simple, using a second floor that could be lifted to disappear and was often lowered so it was merely a step up from the ground level. On top you would have different colours than downstairs, the lower area was also opened up to the back a few times, but mostly just to let people (or devils) appear and disappear - very effective, and very nice to look at, too. There was hardly any furniture or other stuff on the stage, which fit the unfolding tragedy perfectly well, I found. And as the tragedy has been mentioned, it really sempt to be the tragedy of Stéphanie d'Oustrac. She was outstanding in the title role, both as a singer as well as an actress - she really became Medea. Yet at the same time it got pretty clear how much love Charpentier must have had for that character, so far beyond any moral categories mankind is used to - not to say a monster. The melodies Chapentier wrote for his Médée are truly beguiling, again and again. Van Mechelen did an outstanding job as well. Most beautiful where the - quite many - moments when they sang at a very low volume. Those pianissimo moments, a few soft harpsichord tones added ... what tension, what vibrancy! At some moments I felt as if I were watching a forbidden scene - the intimacy generated by those very quiet moments was amazing. Of course this again was made possible by the fact that d'Oustrac really filled that role perfectly well, vibrant and intense. The other roles, both larger and smaller, were all cast very well, too. What I found interesting, and it was certainly determined only in part by my own preferences, is how much this is about Medea, the monster, and how relatively little sympathy came up for Créuse (Mélissa Petit was excellent, not her fault at all!) by comparison. Créuse, at least as far as the play seems to tell us, is not the one to blame really for the events that are to unfold - yet it's Medea, the independent and strong character that captures the attention, that is front and center, albeit her doings are horrible beyond belief. This of course creates tension as well, which again is held back or counterbalanced ingeniously by Charpentier's music. So yeah, great night at the opera!
  6. Maurice Vander

    Just took that off the shelf to play later. Sad news.
  7. Clyde Stubblefield, RIP

    Very sad news. "Funky Drummer" btw is not a solo, in fact it's the pure opposite, and Stubblefield in interviews was most ambiguous about it ... JB ushered them into a studio to record, as was his wont, after a gig, everybody was exhausted, so Stubblefield just played that barest of beats and kinda refused to do more ... I guess that's the secret behind it and why it was sampled so often. Anyway, terrific drummer!
  8. ECM New Series

    Same here, and it indeed is!
  9. ECM New Series

    @JSngry assuming your're aware this is the second two-disc set of Kremer's dedicated to Weinberg, right?
  10. ECM New Series

    Actually I think in terms of recent (i.e. 2000 and later) releases, I'm a much bigger fan generally speaking of New Series than ECM's jazz releases. All those Keller, Kurtág, Holliger, Zehetmair discs, Kremer doing Weinberg, Kopatchinskaja ... The listing here actually shows that the catalogue numbers are on-going, "New Series" being added where applicable/called for (including the Reich albums of course): https://ecmreviews.com/catalogue/
  11. Jazz In Paris

    ... and the rest of the "Hard Bop" disc was on "Bebop in Paris Vol. 2" from the "Original Vogue Masters" series (including an alternate take of one of the four tracks and some other related tracks), admittedly not easy to find. Will definitely get the Arvanitas, probably the Barclay, not sure about any others. Very odd batch. Anyone has checked what's on the Bechet and on the Django?
  12. how does this compare to this nice Hip-O-Select release?
  13. Oh no! That is sad ... I'll be in Novara anyway, but I dont quite feel like going then. Hope Bradford is doing okay! This is from the Lille link above: Bobby Bradford ne pourra malheureusement venir en Europe pour des raisons de santé mais ses 3 partenaires maintiennent la tournée. Le concert aura donc bien lieu en trio avec Vinny Golia (sax), Bernard Santacruz (bass), Cristiano Calcagnile (drums).
  14. Oh, 2017 > 1967 ... slow to pick up. But then ROVA has been running Coltrane programmes for a while. Roscoe plays Coltrane in Milan was more a marketing angle ... the fun part was actually that the (big) crowd really thinks he's one of jazz big stars ... would be cool if that were so, and he IS in my house ...
  15. Quite similar here ... the "Countdown" opening had me go "huh? seriously now?" for a moment but what followed was very convincing, though sound (in Silvio Berlustrumpy's Teatro Manzoni in Milan) wasn't great and I had a hard time telling the three ladies apart often, while Paul (wearing as trousers what looked like ladies winter stockings, and a cool hat - a great sight for sure!) was mostly plucking away wihh tons of power. Swift sang the last tune (a catchy little ditty), and I think in the tune before, Paul and Bolognesi ended up playing forceful pizzicato simultaneously, which had a great effect indeed. How the music - and Roscoe in his solos - built up was amazing! The posh audience pretended to like being blown into the chairs, though moreso than a year ago when I heard the quintet of Muhal Richard Abrams in the same venue (which runs a series of Sunday matinée concerts) the atmosphere didn't feel right at all. Roscoe and his kin (they could all be his kids! - some even his grandchildren I assume?) didn't let that bother them for a second. They did their one hour set and then (after the tune with vocals) returned for a take-no-prisoners-encore. Here's a couple of bad smartphone snapshots: