Monthly Archives: January 2007

First and Last Songs

Bananas At the sound of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s singing, strong men fell weak, nightingales blushed with envy, sunsets went pale. The pleasures she purveyed were guilty as hell, but how she could dish them out! We all had our favorite lines of her music, and they delivered sweet dreams: a defiance from a Johann Strauss operetta, […]

Coiled Serpents

Minimally Elderly How the decades fly past! Steve Reich turns 70, with Phil Glass in hot pursuit; John Adams glides into 60 with nary a wrinkle. Reich’s new choral work resounds at next Sunday’s Master Chorale concert; Adams’ classics retains their bloom at a couple of Philharmonic events; the mail, as usual, delivers a new […]

Cause for Celebration

Times Change Get this: “New music has never been an integral part of the winter-season diet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. On those rare occasions when our orchestra ventures an acknowledgement of the contemporary composer, the subscription audiences respond with stoic endurance at best, rude disdain at worst . . . The Philharmonic has never […]

Mastery Old Young

Being There My relationship with Bela Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra has been historic and loving. I attended the world premiere, as a second-balcony usher in Boston’s Symphony Hall, December 1, 1944. Backstage after the performance, on my way to change out of uniform, I met Bartók and shook his hand. The look in that man’s […]

Enlightened Discourse

Concerted Efforts Two segments remain (February 17-18, March 17-18) of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s two-year sweep through the piano concertos of Mozart: Saturdays at Glendale’s Alex Theatre, Sundays at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The turnouts have been close to capacity; it’s not just my imagination that I’ve absorbed these concerts as a kind of communion, […]