Monthly Archives: March 2002

88 Times Infinity

Here come the pianists; it’s odd how events tend to clump sometimes. Two weeks ago Peter Serkin and Marino Formenti played interesting, out-of-the-ordinary programs. This week hordes of pianists vie for Rachmaninoff Prize money in Pasadena, with mostly ordinary programs to be judged by mostly ordinary judges, as befits the time-honored rules of the piano-competition […]

Any Lengths

Anton Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony, played by the Vienna Philharmonic at Orange County‘s Segerstrom Hall last week, oozed along its murky path for almost exactly 90 minutes. Any one of Arnold Schoenberg’s piano pieces, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion four nights later, engaged Peter Serkin‘s mind and fingers for something like two minutes. Try to convince […]

Friends to Franz

Franz Schubert’s G-Major String Quartet haunts me once again. It‘s never far from my thoughts, but last week’s performance — by the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin in the “Historic Site” of the Queen Mary‘s gorgeous Grand Salon (a historic sight) — brings it to the front of my skull. What amazing music! It dates from June […]

The Grim Weeper

There used to be a music critic in town who could never write about the music of Piotr Ilitch (“Pete”) Tchaikovsky without throwing in the pet epithet “slush pump.” It rendered the critic predictable, which is the worst fate that can befall anyone in this line of work. It was also unfair. In the last […]