Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Same zeitgeist, other revelations
Afterthoughts à propos "Das Buch Mit Sieben Siegeln"

November 21, 2022

Post-Schmidt, a novel musical Apocalypse

As noted in my recent review of last month's performances of Das Buch Mit Sieben Siegeln (The Book With Seven Seals) in Vienna, Franz Schmidt was the first composer to seek a musical form for the Book of Revelations. Was he also the last?

Readers of Thomas Mann's novel Doktor Faustus, embarked on in 1943 and published in 1947, may remember reading of the demonic composer-hero's oratorio Apocalipsis Cum Figuris, inspired by and named for Albrecht Dürer's iconic woodcut series "Apocalypse With Pictures." Mann was a genius at making a reader hear music in the mind's ear, even music that exists nowhere else.

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Ingo Metzmacher leads Franz Schmidt's "Buch Mit Sieben Siegeln"
A report from Vienna, where this otherwise rarely heard oratorio is a fixture

November 19, 2022  •  Classical Voice North America

Ten days ago, I pointed readers to the website Classical Voice North America for two reports of mine on recent operatic events in Vienna, Basel, and Paris. Now I'm back to point you to another, this one on Franz Schmidt's oratorio Das Buch Mit Sieben Siegeln (The Book With Seven Seals), based on the Book of Revelation. It a fascinating work Americans seldom encounter. I hope you'll enjoy reading about it.

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Salome twice over, Mahler and Verdi in Vienna
My latest reports in Classical Voice North America

November 10, 2022  •  Classical Voice North America

I spent several weeks in September and October on the road, mostly in Europe. My reports on some of the musical highlights are posted now on Classical Voice North America, the online Journal of the Music Critics Association of North America. Please click on the links to read about new productions of Salome in Basel and Paris, one Art for Arts Sake, the other proudly feminist; and two nights at the Vienna State Opera, a morose tribute to Mahler and a repertory performance of Rigoletto supercharged by Simon Keenlyside's riveting turn in the title role.

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A Manhattan memorial for Juraj Filas
November 13, 4:00 pm, at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola

November 10, 2022

Readers of these posts will remember the name of the distinguished Czech composer Juraj Filas, who died on December 31, 2021. Friends, family, champions of his music, and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York have organized a memorial mass and musical tribute to Juraj for 4:00 pm this coming Sunday at the landmarked Church of St. Ignatius Loyola at Park Ave. and 84th Street in Manhattan. I'll be there in spirit; Juraj was my honored and beloved friend. I wish I could attend in person to his spirit and to be buoyed up by his art where his towering requiem Oratio Spei, dedicated to victims of terrorism everywhere, received its New York premiere on September 14, 2011. Please attend if you possibly can. Further details below.

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Celebrating Beethoven, late but gloriously, In the Norwegian countryside
With Leif Ove Andsnes at the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival

August 10, 2022  •  Classical Voice North America

Aloha, friends near and far! My report on the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, founded and directed by Leif Ove Andsnes, has just posted on Classical Voice North America. The teaser appears above. To read the entire article, please follow this link.

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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