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 Interview in a Russian newspaper.

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*JaRoWi1647*
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PostSubject: Interview in a Russian newspaper.   3rd October 2013, 19:38

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This  amazing  interview  is worth to translate! ! ( As well as I can reverence )


" Now, there are no borders  for countertenors ! "
By Ilia Owchinnikow.


Question:- You´re coming  to  Moscow with  Venice  Baroque Orchestra, though  you  worked  with a lot of  different ensembles, almost  each  new  CD  you recorded  with one  another  group  - Concerto Köln, Les Arts Florissants, Ensemble Matheus, Ensemble Artaserse , Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Le Concert d'Astrée etc.  How  depends   the choice  of  the ensemble  on  the program ?

Philippe:- That´s  not  only  many of them,  with the time  there  are  more and more  ensembles! You know, last year I began to look for  an Italian ensemble to make the program, having realized that  95%  of my repertoire — Italian.  Direct contact  to Italians was necessary to me, their orchestra really sounds in a different way! They react to any  of  your  instructions immediately, at physical level. A lot of things depend  also on the conductor: I worked with Concerto Köln with Diego Fasolis and Emmanuelle Haim — the  result  were absolutely different.  With Emmanuelle  it  was a  typical French-German ensemble, with Diego — typical Italian collective, a difference is  audible  for an unaided ear.  Andrea Markon is  absolutely  different. He  is excited  very much by the concept,  structure, he is  a story-teller,  each piece is  by him an  separate  story.  Diego is  much  more emotional, in his  performing  the body  is much more  important than  the head. With each conductor and ensemble you can learn something new.

Q:- What did you learn  by Christina Pluhar and  her  ensemble  L'Arpeggiata  ?   The CD  "Teatro d´Amore " with Monteverdi's  music  as well as recordings of  your  concerts with this program  are overwhelming, but  some people  were  scandalized by  the  incredible  freedom of  the  performing.

Philippe:- As you know, Christina has many projects in the most different styles.  In each of them she introduces   something  unexpected, and under her leading  I sing also  much  more differently,
than with any other conductor.  Our new project will be absolutely mad— I  myself  couldn't believe  in our craziness  before I listened to  this recording. We were criticized a lot  for the "swinging " Monteverdi , but this  piece - "Ohimè ch'io cado" — we usually do at the end of the program. However, on the CD it goes right at the beginning —  this provocation  Christina  made  quite consciously.  And behind  of  it there is  a  much deeper  idea  as  it´s  possible to imagine. Throughout tens  of  years  we´re searching  how  to perform the   baroque music  correctly . I am sure, that Monteverdi, as well as  Bach and Händel, playing  own music, dared to  sing  adn to play the lowered notes,  like in the blues. Our performances  provoke  a question: are  we sure,  whether  we know how this  music  sounded  like? The  part   of a bass  seems  today  so jazzy  by  the nature,  that it´s difficult to play  in a classical manner.


Q:- That means, you  don´t  search for your „ only one“ ensemble  to work  with and you ´re  still interested  in  different  ones  at  the same time?

Philippe:- Yes.  In few months, for example, I´ll   perform  the first time  with  Nathalie Stutzmann and her  ensemble „Orfeo 55 „— their creativity  seems  to be interesting  for me ! She´ll conduct and  we´ll sing together some duets. Nathalie  took  lessons by  Seiji Ozawa , Simon Rattle, and  it´s  not  only a whim — she really  learns to conduct.  And not only  the  baroque music!  She dreams to  perform Mahler's symphony and many other things,  though she is known  the most as a singer. She  already performed   Strauss's "Metamorphoses", recently debuted as the symphonic conductor with Brahms´ and Schumann's compositions. In her plans  is  Tchaikovsky,  Schönberg , Mozart's  Requiem,  Mahler's Fourth symphony  and even  " L'elisir d'amore "  by  Donizetti!

Q:- Do you have  similar  plans?


Philippe:- Not yet, but  if  I  lose my voice, I´ll have something to do. At least I still  have    something  to sing  for about ten years. For example, in January    we´ll  perform  "Stabat Mater" by Pergolesi with Julia Lezhneva  - three times in different cities. We already  made this recording , though we didn't work together before . And this  piece was really  great  choice for a start, we felt like two big children. We met the first time here, in Moscow,  when I sang in the  Small Hall of C onservatory. Now she is  23, and then  she was even younger. But her freedom  to sing  was already  amazing .  And the director of Virgin Classics suggested  us  to  sing together. He  wanted  to release  Julia's recording  by our label before she will decide to go to Universal, they have a continuous  competition.

Q:- Are you satisfied by your  recent concert in Moscow?

Philippe:- I didn´t like  how  sounded  the  first  aria, but it  wasn´t  a  big  problem – I  had  to sing nine  more. Opera  is quite  a different thing— there  you can  leave after the first aria  for a  half an hour,  and it  just ´s impossible to sing it luckewarm .  And even when you have five arias,  you can need two months of rehearsals. It´s interesting  that  directors often are afraid to work with famous singers — they  refuse to follow their  instructions. Cecilia Bartoli is   one of  rare exceptions: I don't know the artist of more flexibilty,  who is on stage  not afraid of everything.  About my plans -  I can  tell you about the opera "Polifemo" by Porpora - there  I have five big  arias! However, it isn't quantity, it depends of  what  do you have to do on stage : for example in Salzburg -  preformance of  "Giulio  Cesare in Egitto"  by Händel  I  had  in the role of  Sesto  to run, hop, rush somewhere, not to mention the aria with a snake in my hands!

Q:- This performance was criticized a lot for  bad taste  - oil derricks, shahids, winged missiles, drugs, the tank... didn't  all this  disturb  your  singing ?


Philippe:- In my opinion, Moshe Leiser Patrice Caurier´s  staging   was excellent. Each situation and each aria were worked out  to subtleties; they perfectly studied the libretto  what happens  not  to all directors. Yes, some   visual effects  could  be  not so pleasant, but it was  the  intention of directors — to shock . Though,  with some decisions  I´m  also not  agree —at  the first  - this scene with a  crocodile,  in whose  mouth  were  putting  their heads  Cleopatra (Cecilia Bartoli) and  Cornelia (Anne Sofie von Otter), who  resolutely did  not want to do it. They  fought two months because of it. But  I liked the idea with a bag on the head  of  Bartoli . When she sings and you don't see her face, only imagined  it for  yourself... very touching . Not to mention  the excellent casting where men's roles were performed by men-  that happens in this opera not always. And another thing I didn´t like there— my suit with knee- socks and short trousers. I think,  I look young enough,  why they  made me to a school- boy? I didn't sing this  long-awaited opera before, except  as  a concert –performance .  My dream also was to sing  one day  together with Cecilia and Anne Sofie von Otter, I didn't hope that all this will be happen at once. It is  really strange that  this performance wasn't  released on DVD though the payment for it  was even  entered  into my fee.



Q:- When at the last moment there appeared a tank, many shouted " buhhhhh" though it was at least very unexpected.

Philippe:- Oh yea!  It was very  expensive, several hundred thousands euro... the  tank was real, carried from Germany.


Q:- Why CDs are important for you? The audience downloads rather the recordings from the Internet than buys CD´s, and they continue to be released .  Is it needful ?

Philippe:- My CD´s  are still  good  on sell , but how long it will last? You know,  for a long time there is  in France an award "Golden  disk". Ten years ago it awarded when the CD was sold with the circulation of 100 000 copies. Five years ago — 75 000. Now — 50 000, but even almost nobody manages it. However,  the recording  of CD´s  is for me still important. The first of all , for concert tours:  you go on stage, you share with audience  the  important  for you  story, and after a concert it´s  possible to buy CD.  It is interesting  that  parallel with my CD dedicated  to Farinelli, there was  released an album of  countertenor Franco Fagioli  dedicated  to Caffarelli, who was contemporary and rival of Farinelli, — literally in the same days! I think, today  starts the new era for  countertenors. They were former associated with the church music, with Bach, now  we can see that their repertoire and abilities where  much wider.For example, Franco has the same range, as  Cecilia Bartoli, and they use approximately  the same technique.There are no borders  for countertenors ! It refers to  a development of  our school  ; now  we use  for a education of a countertenor almost same techniques  as for a mezzo-soprano, as  result we can sing almost the same as they are used. It is tremendous, isn't it?

Q:- Many of your albums became for audience the real repertoire - discovery!

Philippe:- My model here is also Cecilia Bartoli. She is so famous that she can allow herself do not to look for easy ways... well , why to record Agostino Steffani's album - why do not choose something more popular? But she means it exactly so — and she is right. It is strange, that there are people whom irritate her popularity— say, classical music has to remain the narrow area for the elite. I think , that even the part of fans of Cecilia was disappointed by her Steffani' CD— though enough virtuosities there, but the music nevertheless is not the highest level. I want to depart gradually from the only virtuosity, I ´m a little tired. Yes, I can sing well the program of masterly arias like this one in Moscow. But it seems to me that in the best way I can show myself in Cantatas and Bach´s "Passions", in Motetts by Vivaldi, in Purcell´s, Dowland's music... Händel, but for this purpose it´s necessary to improve my English. The most difficult language for singing, even worse than German. And the Russian on which I, however, yet didn't sing. The sound seems to me one of the most natural. Though ,of the Russian music I most love Shostakovich's Tenth symphony and I would like to get acquainted with his widow. I was never at Valery Gergiev's concert – he should be one of Shostakovich's best performers. Is he really the most popular performer of classical music in Russia?


Q:- Yes, together with Vladimir Spivakov, Denis Matsuyev, Yury Bashmet. And Anna Netrebko if to speak about the vocalists.

Philippe:- In France you can be very famous, you can have a huge audience, but nevertheless , being a classical musician, you have no chance to become the national hero as it is possible in Russia. ( What about „ Our Philippe national“? - JaRoWi )))) In my youth , when I was going to become a violinist, I happened to play some Shostakovich's quartets. However, all violinists play sonatas and Bach´s partitas — so I also began to be interested in music of that era. And then I heard three operas by Monteverdi... It is interesting that he was born exactly one year after the death of Louise Labé — the poetess, on whose verses Marc-André Dalbavie composed for me his vocal cycle for a countertenor and orchestra. I sang the premiere of his "Sonnets" five years ago, now Yury Minenko, with whom we together worked in the opera "Artaserse" by Leonardo Vinci , records this piece. I would like to make this recording myself, but my schedule doesn't allow it.


Q:- You mentioned Cecilia Bartoli several times, she was singing here one week before you. She was very surprised, having learned that sometimes it is easier to fly to Salzburg for her performance, than to get the ticket in Moscow.

Philippe:- Oh yes. However, I was horrified, having learned about prices for tickets in Salzburg: the most expensive for "Giulio Cesare " cost some hundreds euro. Trouble, of course — not all can afford it.That is the particular reason , why CDs and DVDs are still useful.

________________________________
" J’essaye de contrôler mon image et je ne vois pas pourquoi je parlerais de ma vie privée ou pourquoi je devrais faire connaître publiquement mes choix politiques ou autres." ©


Last edited by *JaRoWi1647* on 3rd October 2013, 20:54; edited 3 times in total
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Artemis



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PostSubject: Re: Interview in a Russian newspaper.   3rd October 2013, 22:57

Many thanks for this, Jana. flowers  I already found this article but as I don't speak Russian, I ran it past Google Translate with the usual hilarious results; rofl  I really should have known better ...

A.
(Enemy of Google Translate)
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*JaRoWi1647*
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PostSubject: Re: Interview in a Russian newspaper.   4th October 2013, 10:33

You´re very welcome, Artemis!

I tried to do it properly, but some words and phrases I need to translate first to German, it is easier to me and then - to English, to get something understandable .blush 

Btw - I guess, they wanted to "make him to a school- boy" even because he looks "young enough", otherwise it would be even daft. horseman 

I never tried Google Translate- is it really so silly?

________________________________
" J’essaye de contrôler mon image et je ne vois pas pourquoi je parlerais de ma vie privée ou pourquoi je devrais faire connaître publiquement mes choix politiques ou autres." ©
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Artemis



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PostSubject: Re: Interview in a Russian newspaper.   4th October 2013, 12:01

"I never tried Google Translate - is it really so silly?" Yes!

I agree with everything Philippe says about the socks and sandals outfit (and the plastic crocodile)! I've often wondered why directors would frequently cast one of the most gorgeous men on the planet and then try to make him look a complete nerd ...

A.
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