ELENA LANGER com­poser

BBC Music Magazine - - THE FULL SCORE -

I thought Simon Rat­tle’s ‘Haydn: An Imag­i­nary Orches­tral Jour­ney’ with the LSO might just be a pot pourri, but it was fan­tas­tic. Rat­tle had se­lected in­no­va­tive and in­ter­est­ing ex­cerpts from Haydn’s sym­phonies, The Cre­ation, The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross and other works. He also in­cluded some of the mu­si­cal clock tunes that Haydn com­posed when he was at the Ester­házy court, which were played be­fore go­ing to bed to cre­ate a sun­set at­mos­phere. Haydn needs a re­nais­sance, and Rat­tle is the per­son to do that.

I’m grow­ing to love Han­del more. I think after you hear a three-hour Han­del opera, you might be a bet­ter per­son. I saw a pro­duc­tion of Ari­o­dante on Youtube, con­ducted by Harry Bicket, and with wonderful singers – Ves­selina Kasarova, Sara Min­gardo and oth­ers. But what blew me away was the stag­ing: the singers were made to look like pup­pets. You saw the torso of the singer and then there was a lit­tle seat at­tached with pup­pet legs.

I’m writ­ing a cabaret/vaude­ville/mu­sic hall show for Welsh Na­tional Opera at the mo­ment, called Rhonda Rips It Up, so I’ve been pay­ing at­ten­tion to op­eretta,

Gil­bert and Sul­li­van and more pop­u­lar mu­sic. I was in­vited to an open dress re­hearsal of The Mikado put on by Charles Court Opera. The pro­duc­tion was by singer-direc­tor John Savournin. It was done with such wit and imag­i­na­tion, with very good per­form­ers.

Q Kurt Weill is a com­poser who writes pop­u­lar things but we im­me­di­ately know that it’s him. If you’re a well-ed­u­cated com­poser you can do pas­tiche; it’s not that hard. But to find your own voice while do­ing some­thing pop­u­lar is hard. I’m try­ing to achieve that when I’m writ­ing my cabaret show. I was lis­ten­ing to the One Touch of Venus CD with the wonderful singer Mary Martin. It’s just fun, some­thing you lis­ten to in the evening for plea­sure.

Elena Langer’s Red­mare is pre­miered by Charles Owen and Katya Apek­i­sheva at the Lon­don Pi­ano Fes­ti­val at Kings Place, 7 Oc­to­ber

‘rhyth­mic crisp­ness’: Sergei Babayan’s Mozart im­presses Ro­man Rabinovich

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