Monthly Archives: November 2000

Pianissimo

AndrAs Schiff began his recent Philharmonic stint with Bach‘s D-minor Concerto, seated at the keyboard of a 9-foot concert grand piano with the lid removed, conducting a properly small contingent of string players. I’ve been around long enough to remember when Bach on the concert grand was seen as an unpardonable anachronism. That it is […]

All-American

By accident or design, the past few days‘ musical offerings added up to an impressive sweep through a varied American music — a festival in everything but name. Famous antagonists — Aaron Copland and John Cage, say — came onto programs within hissing distance of one another. Henry Cowell and Terry Riley held hands across […]

Birthday Boy

Conventional wisdom about Aaron Copland is that he is America‘s best “serious” composer so far. Already, however, we’re in trouble; that term “serious” is part of the arts vocabulary rendered meaningless by contemporary realities. What, for example, is the current workable antonym of “serious,” at a time when the music of Gershwin, Ellington — even […]

An Energetic, Electric, Eclectic Orange

COSTA MESA, Calif. — When last we visited California’s Orange County, that high-property-value enclave just to the south (and far to the right) of Los Angeles, the Orange County Philharmonic Society’s first “Eclectic Orange” Festival had run its course. Local audiences may have seemed surprised at their having survived (and even derived a certain prickly […]

Eclectic Orange

When last we visited California’s Orange County, that high-property-value enclave just to the south – and far to the right – of Los Angeles, the OC Philharmonic Society’s first “Eclectic Orange” Festival had run its course. Local audiences may have seemed surprised at their having survived (and even derived a certain prickly pleasure) from a […]

Time Capsules

Bertrand Desprez Five years ago I used some of this space to exult over my discovery of the French composer Pascal Dusapin at his first appearance on disc – a pseudo-operatic gloss on the Medea legend in a Harmonia Mundi release conducted by Philippe Herreweghe. I can’t claim that my words at that time have […]

Witchcraft

I had forgotten — if, indeed, I ever knew — the somber, deep beauties of On Wenlock Edge. Nothing of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ music, I must confess, has been a boon companion the past few years, perhaps as my expiation for a youthful crush on a couple of his early symphonies. Ian Bostridge‘s singing of […]