Monthly Archives: November 2001

The Passion According to Sofia

In 1989 a group of Soviet composers brought their music to Boston, most of it for its first American hearings. There were some familiar names among the group; music by Schnittke, Shchedrin and Kancheli had already leaked out of the Soviet Union in those early days of glasnost. One name, however, was completely unknown. A […]

Ludwig the Eternal

The Philharmonic‘s admirable chamber-music series has moved to a new home, the recently completed Ahmanson Hall at the Skirball Center, across the freeway from the former site at the University of Judaism’s Gindi Auditorium. Neither is a satisfactory venue for chamber music. Both are too wide, undermining any sense of intimacy with the music. Ahmanson, […]


“I go to bed early,” says Margaret, Duchess of Argyll to a gossip-columnist snoop, “and often.” That said, however, you need to know that Powder Her Face, the opera by Thomas Adès that in six years has blazed a trail of adulation worldwide, from Aspen to Zagreb, is not exactly your basic bedtime story. What […]

Going to Bed, Early and Often

The big guys had their Verdi last week: the Music Center‘s La Traviata ending its run (not a moment too soon!) at one end of I-405; Opera Pacific’s Rigoletto starting its shorter run (in happier estate) at the other. Midway there was the little opera company that could (and did): Michael Milenski‘s undauntable Long Beach […]

Is There Sex After Bach?

Morimur is up there on the charts, the latest implausible release from ECM, one of the few remaining labels to turn implausibility into solid musical virtue — and perhaps into a few deutschemarks along the way. The title is something Latin about dying, and the message from the disc is that thoughts about dying were […]

Sweet Sound of Success

It‘s now 50 years since Elmer Bernstein composed his first Hollywood film score — a forgettable college-football number called Saturday’s Hero. Now pushing 80, he‘s still at it. Thus, the celebration of his work that begins tonight at the Los Angeles County Museum — a dozen films over four weeks (see Film Calendar) — must […]