Monthly Archives: March 2000

Bach and Forth

In another 75 years I might — just might — run out of things to say about Johann Sebastian Bach. Then again, I might not. The evidence is at hand that the Bach of 75 years ago — the Bach, say, of the footloose orchestral transcriptions by Leopold Stokowski and, for that matter, Arnold Schoenberg; […]

On My Mind, In My Face

It is quite possible that I was the only unhappy soul, among 3,000 or so ecstatic well-wishers, who failed to recognize the San Francisco Symphony’s recent appearance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – a.k.a. The MTT Homecoming – as a conflation of the Apocalypse, the Return of the Prodigal and a ninth-inning unassisted triple play […]

Faceless Defacement

The greatest of the romantic operas — the panoramas of lovehate, deceptionredemption, hearts broken and hearts aflame that drew the sellout crowds in Verdi’s time and sent them home singing the tunes — gleaned their life force from one basic plotline, the ages-old struggle between love and conscience. The slavey Aida casts goo-goo eyes at […]

The Uncle of Us All

I smoked my first joint to the Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper, and my second to George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children. The year was 1970 or thereabouts, and I was already pushing 50; I had been slow to ripen. These two works — the Beatles‘ urgency to inject their exuberant art into every cranny of the […]