Monthly Archives: January 2002

Klinghoffer Reborn

On September 11 John Adams was in London, rehearsing vocal forces for his 10-year-old opera The Death of Klinghoffer, which the BBC was preparing for its first-ever British hearing. “The news arrived in early afternoon,” Adams remembered last week, back in London for the actual performance. “I walked out into the lobby, and there was […]

Slow Start

If the Philharmonic’s first-of-2002 concert should be remembered at all — and I see no special reason why — it ought to be tagged in the index as “D-minor Turgid.” D minor is a dangerous key anyhow: icy and menacing. (The immortal Nigel of Spinal Tap pegged it exactly: “The saddest chord known to man, […]

Time Spent With Morty

At the County Museum last week, a fair-size crowd sat through Morton Feldman‘s Crippled Symmetry with remarkable attentiveness, the near silence in the auditorium blending into the near silence on the stage. Two or three people left before the end. I counted six coughs — of which three were mine. The piece was listed to […]

PETER HEMMINGS

PETER HEMMINGS, Enfield, Middx, England, April 10, 1934 – Dorset, England, January 4, 2002 Where others had failed, or succeeded only halfway, Hemmings planted the operatic seed in the Los Angeles cultural desert and nursed it into full bloom. Determinedly ignoring a chorus of naysayers, charming a support structure into existence by dint of soft-spoken […]

In the Beginning

As is proper, we start a new year with Genesis. In 1943 the notion befell a modestly endowed but immodestly ambitious Hollywood music man, Nathaniel Shilkret (born Schuldkraut, uncle of the late Wayne), to turn nothing less than the Book of Genesis into music worthy of its words. He enlisted six European composers then refugees […]