Monthly Archives: March 1999

Pushing the Right Buttons

THE ART FOR A RECENT ECM DISC SHOWS a solitary figure on a shadowy, fog-swept landscape, his worldly possessions, including a drum and a trumpet, beside him in loose bundles. The photograph — as is usual with this exceptionally arts-aware record label — is black-and-white, handsomely presented. In another photograph the performers — the Argentinean […]

Bass Instincts

STRANGE, THESE CONFLUENCES. LAST week was the time of the double bass: Italy’s Stefano Scodanibbio, with Terry Riley, in an off-the-wall Monday Evening Concert at the County Museum; the multiphased Edgar Meyer in a new concerto of his own fashioning with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra a few days later. Add to this the hilarious, […]

A Liberal Helping of Conservatism

TARRED WITH THE BRUSH OF “CONSERVAtive,” politicians turn into bogeyman figures suitable for frightening small children. Composers are not so drastically afflicted. Their world may not be mine, but I feel safe there on occasional visits. At Pasadena City College, a small chorus beguiled me most pleasantly with the lavender-and-cream of the bygone Randall Thompson […]

Change of Heart, Loss of Heart

MY NORMAL REACTION TO THE VIOLIN Concerto of Johannes Brahms is one of resigned tolerance. People whose friendship I cherish pretend to like it, therefore I must. In the past year, however, I have had two epiphanies about the work, which have induced the hallucination that the Brahms Violin Concerto is some kind of masterpiece. […]