Author Archives: Kenneth Woods

AV2231

Feature article on KW in The Tablet- “Rock to Redneck Mahler” by Rick Jones

  There’s a nice feature piece in the October 18th issue of The Tablet by journalist and critic Rick Jones. Click here to subscribe. You can read his reviews of selected Bobby and Hans CD’s on his blog Robert Schumann Symphony no. 1- KW/OOTS and Yannick Nezet Seugin/COE “Two Springs” Schumann Symphony no. 2 and […]

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Sawyers CD cover

CD Review- Gramophone Magazine on Sawyers Symphony no. 2, Cello Concerto and Concertante for Violin, Piano and Strings

“…uncommon skill in handling instrumental forces…performed here with thrilling conviction and formidable assurance by soloist Maja Bogdanovic… and the Orchestra of the Swan…Sawyers’s excitingly integrated music marries a generous lyrical impulse to a genuine thematic substance and marvellously invigorating contrapuntal flair… dashingly eloquent advocacy by the Steinberg Duo… Boasting admirable sound and judicious balance, this rewarding collection earns the strongest recommendation”

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Thoughts on the Saint Louis Requiem Protest

Via the Saint Louis Dispatch “Michael Brown protesters interrupted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday night, causing a brief delay in the performance at Powell Symphony Hall. The orchestra and chorus were preparing to perform Johannes Brahms’ Requiem just after intermission when two audience members in the middle aisle on the main floor […]

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“Hey buddy! Does that there sarrusophone have a volume knob on it?” or “Can wind players do dynamics?”

This Friday I’m conducting the winds of the English Symphony Orchestra in a program of wind ensemble masterpieces by Hans Gál, Mozart and Dvorák. You should come- it’s going to be fantastic! It’s no secret I’m a cellist, so I have grown up outside the wind ensemble tradition (although the wonderful Dvorák Wind Serenade actually […]

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Somm 0139 Cover

Explore the Score- Brahms, Serenade No. 1 in D major (reconstruction of original version for nonet)

[Click here to Explore the Score of the companion work on this CD, Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht] The Brahms-Wagner rivalry was largely an affair of the press, whipped up by critics like the Brahmsian Eduard Hanslick and his pro-Wagnerian rivals. Brahms actually professed great admiration for Wagner’s music on many occasions. Nonetheless, there was a time […]

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Facebook ate my blog

We’ve been hearing for a few years about the death of blogs. Certainly, blogs are not dead. When I started Vftp I could find no other active conductor blogs- none.  A number of wise heads warned me that conductors should keep quiet- the more you go on record with your beliefs, the more people will […]

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Somm 0139 Cover

CD Review- Fiona Maddocks, The Observer on Brahms and Schoenberg with Epomeo and Swan

“Few, though, will have heard this nonet version of the Serenade, reconstructed by Alan Boustead in the 1980s, for strings, flute, two clarinets, bassoon and horn. In this live recording a slightly chubby ugly duckling in its orchestral format suddenly achieves lightness and clarity. Thanks to this aptly named Stratford-based ensemble, it has turned into […]

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Karajan Mozart

Karajan 25th Anniversary Perspectives part 2- Music of Mozart, Brahms, Strauss, Strauss and Wagner

In part 2 of my look back at the work of the still-controversial Herbert von Karajan, who died 25 years ago this week, I share an essay from Warner Classic’s new box set of music by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, J and R Strauss and Wagner recorded for EMI. A fascinating collection- some surprises, one complete […]

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Karajan Bartok

Karajan 25th Anniversary Special- Music of Ravel, Debussy and Bartok

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Herbert von Karajan- one of the most influential, accomplished, controversial and contradictory musicians who ever lived. Not too long ago, I was asked to provide introductory essays for two volumes the Warner’s news collection of EMI-era Karajan recordings. It was a fascinating challenge, but one I […]

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Somm 0139 Cover

CD Review- Classical CD Reviews on Verklarte Nacht and Brahms Serenade no. 1

The textures are appropriately bass heavy, and the two cellos dominate, but every line comes through with exceptional clarity. This gives the piece a new profile, with the complex but now clear counterpoint driving the music and leading the ear through the harmonic web. There is atmosphere here too, and much warmth in the ensemble’s sound, but that is never at the expense of the individual lines..

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