Monthly Archives: February 2006


Maybe it’s something I ate, or didn’t, but I’ve been feeling unusually good about new music these days, for any number of reasons. The Philharmonic has had Thomas Ad├Ęs as guest composer/conductor/pianist, and after some concerts there have been crowds – mostly young – pushing backstage to welcome him. Steve Reich’s You Are (Variations), in […]

The Great Recycler

A Mighty Fortress Sunday morning in the devout Leipzig of Sebastian Bach, centuries before the Lutherans’ conquest of Minnesota, was an arduous if uplifting experience. The faithful gathered in one of the two main churches, St. Michael or St. Thomas, at 7 a.m. By the time they had, in heart, soul, rump and knees, journeyed […]

Dark Landscapes

Twinkle, Twinkle . . . There is no music for piano, large-scale or small, quite like the G-major Sonata of Franz Schubert. Its first sounds tease your imagination: What instrument could Schubert possibly have had in mind, in October 1826, capable of producing the ethereal, meditative sonorities at the edge of silence that begin this […]

Clipped Wings

The Inner Music Silenced Robert Wilson’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, as produced by the L.A. Opera two years ago, soared both on Puccini’s lyric urgency and on an inner music created out of Wilson’s own visions, his unique sense of stage movement and color, his repertory of gentle invention, to deepen – but not […]