Monthly Archives: March 2006

Mozart's Side

Wild Oats Several minutes into the second act of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, the lovesick adolescent Cherubino sings a song, addressed ostensibly to the Countess Almaviva but really aimed at womanhood in general. “You [plural] who know about love,” he sings, “tell me what’s in my heart.” Nobody in all of music had ever […]

Sharp Contrasts

Late Night Thoughts Seven years separated the writing of Mahler’s Fifth and Ninth symphonies; just a week separated their hearings at Disney Hall early this month. Ingo Metzmacher (whose photo appeared in this space last week miscaptioned “Louis Andriessen”; oops) led a performance of the Fifth as hot-blooded and indulgent as Alan Gilbert’s of the […]

Surging Forward by Standing Still

Red-hot Needles The scene: a January night in New York’s Carnegie Hall, 1973. The Boston Symphony is in town for one of its hot-ticket subscription nights, but conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is trying something new. This will be an experimental “Spectrum” concert, the ads have announced: Bach, Bartók, Liszt and Steve Reich’s Four Organs. Come […]

Send No Flowers

Cloud Nine There is no sound more beautiful in a concert hall than the silence of an audience profoundly moved at the end of a musical experience and held captive by the invitation to share the performer’s trance. For well over a minute at the end of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, Alan Gilbert’s raised baton kept […]

Sounds About Town, Mozart About Time

Well-Schooled Brave and forthright rang the sounds of the Santa Monica High School Symphony; I don’t remember anything quite so ear-shattering in Disney Hall’s two-and-a-half-year history. Near the end of Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony, in fact, the guy on cymbals had to duck backstage and replenish his supply with a second set; his big golden platters […]