Friday, February 10, 2012

Rediscovering His Roots

With his athletic presence, shoulder-length hair and black Nehru jacket, the Russian-born conductor Vladimir Jurowski radiates hipness. He has told interviewers that videos of the late Leonard Bernstein helped him rediscover his Jewish roots, after an entirely secular upbringing in Russia before the fall of Communism in 1990.

Here he is conducting Strauss.  What else!!

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Op. 60, is an orchestral suite written by Richard Strauss between 1911 and 1917. The original idea of Hugo von Hofmannsthal was to revive Molière's 1670 play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, simplify the plot and introduce a commedia dell'arte troupe, add some incidental music and conclude matters with a one-act opera Ariadne auf Naxos.

The combination of play and opera was premiered in Stuttgart on 25 October 1912, but it was immediately apparent that it was too long and too expensive to mount, and that also much of the potential audience for the play was uninterested in the opera, and vice-versa. Strauss and Hoffmannsthal set to work on separating the two works. A prologue was written for the opera to explain the presence of the comedians and the opera was premiered in its revised form independent of the play in 1916. The play was also revised, Hoffmansthal replacing the opera with an ending closer to Molière's original and Strauss providing additional incidental music in 1917. Strauss created an orchestral suite from most of the music which was published in 1917. The premiere of the orchestral suite took place in Vienna on 31 January 1920, under the baton of the composer.