Monthly Archives: March 2005

Rainy Season

Photo by Craig SchwartzGURGLE Tan Dun flows endlessly on. The week that brought his Water Passion After St. Matthew to Disney Hall through the admirable efforts of Grant Gershon’s Master Chorale was also adorned by recent releases on Deutsche Grammophon DVD of two other major Tan works of high liquidity. One is Tea, an opera […]

Max to the Max

WHOLLY MONSTROUS AND MAD Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (known to his friends as Max) lives on, at least in this country, but barely. His several symphonies, massive works that once enjoyed the attention of Simon Rattle, seem to have disappeared from the landscape. Some of his interesting dramatic works for mixed ensembles – e.g., Resurrection, […]

The Glorious Fourth

CONVERSATIONS Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony is so seldom played that every new hearing becomes a trove of rediscovered delights; so was it with the Philharmonic last week. The orchestra, just back from its weeklong conquest of Cologne (read the reviews if you doubt this), might have been entitled to some jet lag; perhaps it was the […]


BANG BANG On comparing the body count before and after intermission at last Thursday’s concert, it was clear that the latest visit by the reigning superpianist Lang Lang, rather than the interesting orchestral offerings by the China Philharmonic Orchestra, had brought out the near-sellout crowd to UCLA’s Royce Hall. True, the performance before intermission by […]

High Baroque

Photo by Josef AstorBIT BY BIT Thirty-three short pieces made up the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s program at Disney Hall last week: 29 orchestral bits by Rameau and Handel, and four Handel arias. I would not have spared a single one. There is something immensely joyous in the way both these composers employed their orchestral forces […]