Robert Ryker

For Robert Ryker's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Music Jan 7, 2001

Beyond technical perfection: the best from 2000

It is time once again to look back over some of the most significant musical events of the year 2000. To choose the best of the year is not easy. Performances here are excellent by international standards. Technical ability may be taken for granted. The ...

Music Dec 31, 2000

One mighty orchestra, two mighty conductors

Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester Nov. 26, Mariss Jansens conducting in Suntory Hall -- "Oberon" Overture (Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber, 1786-1812), Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 99 (Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich, 1906-75) featuring Hilary Hahn; Symphony No. 8 in G ...

Music Dec 24, 2000

Chamber orchestras prove light but not flighty

Die Freitagsakademie and l'Ensemble Vocale de Lausanne Nov. 30, Michel Corboz conducting in Suntory Hall -- High Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 (Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750) featuring Valerie Gabail, Margriet van Reisen, Topi Lehtipuu and Marcos Fink Michel Corboz realized the mass as a ...

Music Dec 17, 2000

A true match made in heaven

Wiener Philharmoniker Nov. 16, Seiji Ozawa conducting in Suntory Hall -- Symphony No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 90; Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 (Johannes Brahms, 1833-97) The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa returned to Tokyo recently for its annual week ...

Music Dec 10, 2000

A feast of orchestral sound to take the chill off winter

Concertgoers could hardly escape noticing that the past month or so has been the season for hearing big symphony and opera orchestras from abroad. The Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Phil- harmonic, for example, were both here for weeks at the same time, and ...

Music Dec 3, 2000

Maazel wears multiple hats, but looks best in conductor's

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Nov. 2, Wolfgang Gieron conducting in Suntory Hall -- "The Ideal," from Two Portraits for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 5/1 (Bela Bartok, 1881- 1945), Music for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 12 (Lorin Maazel, b. 1930), Gypsy Caprice (Friedrich Kreisler, 1875-1962), ...

Music Nov 26, 2000

From delicacy to passion: inspiration from the spoken word

Books of drama, literature and poetry have often served as the basis for musical compositions. The Bible and Shakespeare's plays are prominent in the list of works by great authors writing in many languages to portray the human condition. The rhythmic prose dramas of 1911 ...

Music Nov 19, 2000

Chaotic, comedic 'Ariadne' shows lighter side of Strauss

Wiener Staatsoper Oct. 22, Filippo Sanjust directing, Giuseppe Sinopoli conducting in Kanagawa Kenmin Hall -- "Ariadne auf Naxos" (libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, 1874-1929; music by Richard Georg Strauss, 1864-1949) featuring Waldemar Kmentt, Peter Weber, Agnes Baltsa, Jon Villars, Geert Smits, Heinz Zednik, Johann Reinprecht, ...

Music Nov 12, 2000

Orchestras demonstrate small can be beautiful

The attention of the concertgoing public was drawn recently to two compact but cultured cities away from the well-trodden pathways of Europe. The cities of Bamberg and Ostrava are not well-known tourist destinations for foreigners, and many non-Europeans would have difficulty in locating them. For ...

Music Nov 5, 2000

Germany's radio orchestras bring music to the millions

The NHK Symphony Orchestra is known to millions for its regular nationwide radio and television broadcasts, and to thousands for its concerts in NHK Hall, Suntory Hall and elsewhere around the country. Germany offers an interesting comparison. The land of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms does ...