Monthly Archives: April 1990


Even before Francesca Zambello arrived at the appointed hour, expectations had been shaped by memories of another hugely talented, innovative, ferociously energetic operatic stage director of our time. You can’t help it. It was Boston’s Sarah Caldwell, after all, who did the first American staging of Serge Prokofiev’s titanic “War and Peace” (which Zambello staged […]


Every visitor, and even a few residents, recognize Manhattan as a paradise for the sightseer. But there needs to be a comparable word — “soundhearer,” perhaps? — for the music critic, with a few hours off from official duties, who decides to cruise the island specifically to sample its indigenous noises. Herewith, an account of […]


It seems to be a Long Beach Opera axiom that the more challenging the work at hand the more brilliant the results. The results this season bear this out: an indifferent stab at a couple of sure-fire romantic melodramas to start, and now a torrent of enlightened imagination applied to Debussy’s “Pelleas and Melisande.” The […]


As expected, Luciano Pavarotti filled the Hollywood Bowl on Monday night, both with his voice and with his fans. The one was received by the others — 17.979 strong, the full Bowl capacity — with clear and obvious delight. It was a night that the true believers could take home, relive and cherish. Pavarotti was, […]


There are certain advantages to being old. I can collect the awe of the multitude for having seen Rachmaninoff play the piano, and for having shaken hands with Bela Bartok. Still there are drawbacks. I have made the terrible blunder, for example, of letting myself, at this advanced age, become interested in the whole complex […]


With three books already out on its collective lives and musicianship, and now a full-length documentary movie, the Guarneri Quartet must be doing something right. One of the things it does right, obviously, is to sign on with the right management and public-relations personnel; chamber-music ensembles don’t automatically become documentary subjects without a push here […]