Monthly Archives: November 2002

Bright Prospects, Even Without Havergal

I was accosted at a recent concert by a well-dressed chap of a certain age. My mission, he informed me, was to throw the weight of my words behind his campaign to convince the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s management that the Gothic Symphony of Havergal Brian was, out of all the world‘s fund of musical masterpieces, […]


No abandoned orphan draws the tears and the frustrations as does Turandot, Puccini’s final work, left incomplete at the composer’s death  in November, 1924 and rushed into completion by lesser hands soon afterward. True, the formidable Arturo Toscanini cut his performance short at the world premiere, at the point where the ailing Puccini himself had […]

Mixed Blessings

It was wise local politics, if less wise music making, for the Master Chorale to deliver the first official (i.e., ticket-selling) concert at the new cathedral. It suggested the outline of a cultural enclave downtown, from the cathedral at the north end to Disney Hall at the south. Now that the map has been drawn, […]

The Slick Road Project

Photo by J. Henry Fair IF YO-YO MA WERE TO RE-DRAW the map of this planet, its land mass would consist of a large blob with no boundary lines. He’s a supremely gifted musician of extraordinarily broad passions, this smiling, Paris-born, Harvard-educated wizard cellist, nurtured on Bach and Beethoven. He can play their music as […]

The Adams Family

There is hope for us yet. In the eight days that began with Golijov‘s St. Mark’s Passion and ended with John Adams‘ Naive and Sentimental Music, it was easy to feel good about music’s future — about the creation of new music, that is, if not always about its preservation in live performance or recording. […]

“Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” at the LA Opera

The hoodoos that have bedeviled Dmitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk almost since its premiere, performed double duty in Los Angeles this past October. As with the seesawing fortunes of the composer himself, however,  the final notes were of triumph hard-won  and deserved. Anticipation had run high for the announced third offering in the Los […]