Monthly Archives: December 1999

Passion and Probity

Something in the air at holiday time impels me to write about Bach, and why not? Any one of his choruses shames the fraudulent warblings of the carolers on Muzak at the Mall. Any single fugue from his reams of keyboard music proclaims respect for the hearer’s brain that violates the primeval pap of the […]

Grimm and Ghastly

BY RIGHTS, HANSEL UND GRETEL SHOULD have been cast onto the discard pile generations ago. The opera simply doesn’t work. Some of the tunes by Engelbert Humperdinck (the First) are pretty enough to blend into shopping-mall Muzak; on the opera stage, however, they clash with the characters themselves, and clash more fatally with the fetid, […]

The Big Bang at the Bing

THE FIRST THING TO KNOW ABOUT SOLO percussion concerts is that they are fascinating to watch, in ways that piano-virtuoso displays or trained-dog acts couldn’t begin to approach. The stage for Steven Schick’s three-concert “minifestival” in the County Museum’s Leo S. Bing Theater last week was a glorious display of noisemaking hardware, from the lordly […]

That's Entertainment

A MILELONG TOY SHOP, A SELF-REFILLING box of Godiva chocolates, an entertainment both profound and giddy: Each of the above can pass as an accurate metaphor for any one of the half-dozen orchestral concertos by J.S. Bach generally but inaccurately known as the “Brandenburgs.” Compound that estimate by six, and you’ll come close to the […]