Monthly Archives: July 2000

Second Wind, First String

Well, that was more like it. Two nights of Paul Daniel‘s conducting at the Hollywood Bowl last week were enough to bring the Philharmonic out of its opening-week funk, back to the major orchestra it can be under the right breezes. Orchestras are tricky beasts. Gatherings as they are of highly skilled and well-paid professionals, […]

Dust Bowl

The week began with Madama Butterfly, not my favorite opera. Four days later came Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which I had successfully avoided for several years. In between, on the Tuesday-night concert that, two weeks into the season, is always billed as the official “opening night” at the Hollywood Bowl – meaning, actually, the […]

Hollywood Bowl Opener

There are two ways of regarding the Hollywood Bowl, that vast unroofed monument to the senses that looms large above the unreality of its hometown and beguiles visitors over a 14-week stretch each summer – and which finally got down to business in its 79th season earlier this week with the last of two weeks’ […]

Ruling Passions

Up north, Good Friday came late this year. Three daunting artworks translate Christendom’s central tragedy into music that churns in the hearer’s gut. Bach wrote two of them, the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, works that surround the telling of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion from the respective Gospels with music that stands in for […]


In the fertile soil of Oregon, the natives obsessively proclaim, everything grows better than anywhere else: tomatoes, strawberries, tall corn and music. Nothing better confirms the thesis than the Oregon Bach Festival, whose 31st season concludes this weekend [July 9] after three weeks, 55 events, joyously devoted to the music of  Bach and far beyond. […]

Something for (Nearly) Everyone

”Someday we shall all be free,“ Garth Brooks sang at the end of his stint at the Hollywood Bowl the other night, and the crowd of 11,000 or so sang along. The great entertainers do that: create a community around their art, whether Mitsuko Uchida holding a silent audience enraptured in a Schubert slow movement […]