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Drivetime - 4th May, 2012

Friday, 4 May 2012 , ora 9.54
Magdalena Kožená's New Album at Deutsche Grammophon

The Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená's CD, recorded together with the members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are among Deutsche Grammophon's releases this month. The album, dedicated to lieder creation by composers Maurice Ravel, Antonín Dvořák and Gustav Mahler, was officially launched on 2ndMay, following the major collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic and conductor Sir Simon Rattle. The romantic sentiment and the richness of the orchestral colours bind together in a homogenous artistic vision the three song cycles included on this disc, titled 'Love and Longing: Biblické písně (Biblical Songs) op.99' by Dvořák, 'Shéhérazade'by Ravel and the famous 'Rückert-Lieder'series by Mahler, composed on the verses of the poet Friedrich Rückert.

Magdalena Kožená is known as 'one of the most sensitive voices of the international opera scenes of the moment'. Although, initially she wanted to become a successful pianist, the artist later headed towards vocal music. She studied at the Conservatory in Brno, her home town, and at the Arts College in Bratislava until 1995, when she entered the Mozart International Competition in Salzburg. Her first recordings were arias of Bach, mezzo-soprano tackling throughout the years diverse works, from composers Georg Friedrich Handel, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Leoš Janáček or Bohuslav Martinů. In 2001 she received the Gramophone Award for best solo vocal act, and was appointed three years later Artist of the Year, also by the representatives of the London publication, Gramophone Magazine. One of the most significant achievements of the singer is that in 2003 she received the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettresby the French Government. With such a calling card, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená is one of the first rank artists of Europe, and her new album - on the recommended list of Deutsche Grammophon.

Mezzo-soprano Anna Stephany in Concert at Manchester

Still in the area of vocal-symphonic music, this time talking about a concert that was held on 28thApril at the Royal Northern Music College in Manchester. Mezzo-soprano Anna Stephany - who represented Great Britain at the 2009 edition of the BBC Cardiff Canto International Competition - was invited to perform together with the Manchester Camerata and the conductor of the ensemble, Gábor Takács-Nagy, in a programme that aimed to be a musical description of love.Anton Webern's 'Langsamer Satz', Johannes Brahms' 'Op. 52, Liebeslieder-Walzer', Antonín Dvořák's 'Písně milostné' (Love Songs)and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's'Op. 70 Souvenir de Florence'could be heard during the event where the young musician - winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award and of the Guildhall Gold Medal, up until this point in her career - was the soloist. Mezzo-soprano Anna Stephany also has scheduled for 18thMay the performance of Bruckner's 'Requiem'at Sage Centre, in the English town, Gateshead.

A New Tim Burton Production

Straight out of Tim Burton's production world, the fantastic comedy Dark Shadowswill arrive in Romania, on 18thMay - production that will bring before its audience, in a vampire tale, the famous actors: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Michelle Pheiffer. The movie tackles the same subject as the gothic series from 1966-1971 by the same name. The soundtrack is again composed by Danny Elfman, Tim Burton's dependable collaborator, who created for this occasion an original score which is already seen by the critics as one of the most successful works of the composer - who is surprising even in his most eccentric stances. Dark Shadowsis Tim Burton's first creation in 2012, but two more movies by this active producer are scheduled to appear before October.


Alexandra Cebuc
Translated by Florina Sămulescu
MTTLC, Bucharest University