Monthly Archives: January 1991


To the list of once-renowned composers currently and undeservedly in limbo, the name of Bohuslav Martinu surely belongs. During his time in America as a refugee from Hitler’s holocaust, Martinu was much performed; it seemed as if orchestras waited in line to commission new scores from him. Now his devotees, though ardent, are more widely […]


When did any of us last hear William Walton’s Viola Concerto in live performance? Probably a lifetime or two ago; concertos for viola are rare birds indeed. That made Yuri Bashmet’s supremely beautiful performance of the work, with Andrew Davis conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Music Center on Thursday night, all the more […]


Last season Peter Serkin, most intrepid and interesting of all American pianists, embarked on a truly brave mission. He commissioned short new works from a dozen major composers around the world, and toured the country with a program consisting of these works and nothing more. He gave the program at Royce Hall in December, 1989, […]


Among the many good reasons for looking in on the latest chapter in the ongoing family picnic known as “The Godfather,” musical matters rank high. Even in the two previous episodes the surge and onrush of events always seem to foreshadow some as-yet-unwritten violent musical melodrama from the hand of a Puccini or Mascagni. In […]


Listening to new music is, to a large extent, a process of redefinition. The composer presents you with an array of unfamiliar sounds, and asks you to expand your personal musical vocabulary to embrace his innovative idwas. It sometimes works. LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), a lively downtown art gallery that also includes a large […]


An old friend has been in town these last few days, and has made himself welcome. Bernard Rands, former professor of composition at U.C.-San Diego, Pulitzer winner (for his “Canti di Sole”), currently Boston based, brought a glowing new orchestral work to this weekend’s Los Angeles Philharmonic concert. The Thursday night audience, which isn’t easily […]


Outside, the world showed signs of coming apart; inside — in UCLA’s Royce Hall on Wednesday night, to be specific — all was well. Itzhak Perlman is more than just our best player of the violin; he is also a musician. Violin recitals do not always count as serious musical events; at least half of […]


Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings, out of which eight members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic played the living daylights at the University of Judaism’s Gindi Auditorium on Monday night, stirs the listener’s spirit in two quite different ways. First there is its own store of beauty and exquisite workmanship, to hold us spellbound over its […]


Any lingering doubts as to the high place of Witold Lutoslawski among today’s progressive composers can now be set aside. Thursday night the great Polish composer led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a program of his own music, and drew the kind of cheers from a Music Center Philharmonicaudience unheard in those precincts for a […]