Monthly Archives: November 2003

Simon Says, Simon

Photo by Alan Wood “ISN’T THIS A DREADFUL orchestra?” said Simon Rattle, curly-topped, dimpled, transfixingly blue-eyed – not yet “Sir” – over cups at a downtown coffee den. The year was 1981, and he had just been made principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; a year before, he had taken over the City […]

Present At the Creation

The most beautiful sound I have yet heard at Disney Hall was the dark-blue/violet invocation from James Rotter’s alto saxophone that began Darius Milhaud’s La création du monde at last week’s Philharmonic program: throbbing, mysterious, hall-filling yet seeming to rise from far reaches. The ugliest sound came just before: last-minute arrivals pounding their way to […]

Gadgetry Galore

Photo by Anne Fishbein FINDING YOUR WAY through the intricate programming of this first Disney Hall season – the “Creation Festival” here, the “Baroque Variations” there, the “Sounds About Town” all over the place – is as challenging a process as finding your way through the hall itself. I note with some amusement the new […]

Bravery Beyond the Call

Elliott Carter composed his Night Fantasies in 1980, and entrusted its power to the four pianists who had commissioned it (and later recorded it): Paul Jacobs, Gilbert Kalish, Ursula Oppens and Charles Rosen. Nearly a quarter-century later, this half-hour work maintains that strange power to mirror any performers brave enough to take on – and, […]