Monthly Archives: January 1999

Dream Boat

The Dutchman of legend must fly through tempestuous seas for seven years before he can seek redemption; for a while it has looked as if operatic ambitions hereabouts were similarly doomed. Salvation, however — or a pretty good likeness thereof — came last week, not on the Music Center’s burning deck, whence all hope hath […]

An Even Poorer Butterfly

Over the past few years I have occasionally been moved to deliver unhappy words about this or that production by our local opera company. Following these occasions, I have often been summoned to lunch by Peter Hemmings, the company’s general director, and invited to eat my words (along with more palatable fare). This season, however, […]

Conduct Becoming

Between the solemn ritual of Kurt Masur’s Beethoven, with his visiting New York Philharmonic at Royce Hall, and the giddy flamboyance of Junichi Hirokami’s Rachmaninoff, with the local gang at the Music Center, the choice is easy as to which event honored the greater achievement of Western civilization. As to which one afforded me the […]

Music at the Turn

Artwork by Peter Bennett A year begins, a century ends. The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s last 1998 concert included music by Olivier Messiaen, a significant creator and inspirational force of recent decades; it starts this year with music by Toru Takemitsu, another. Last month, the Los Angeles Opera premiered a new American score; later this month, […]

The Century, A Primer

One hundred entries is actually a paltry list to represent the achievements of this or any other musical century. Even so, let’s boil it down even further to an indispensable 10-plus-10, which you will accept only with the promise to move further afield on your own. List No. 1: The Absolutes 1. MAHLER: Symphony No. […]