Monthly Archives: March 2007

Bach and All Bach and All

Julius Who?If the name of Julius Reubke means nothing to you, that’s understandable; mine, however, is the even greater guilt. I’d seen the name for years, on posters and programs, record catalogs and small entries in encyclopedias, always connected with a single work, a long organ sonata of churchly mien. That had always been enough […]


Opus 110 As Alfred Brendel’s recital at Disney Hall last week amplified, in no work does the voice of Beethoven – defiant, despairing, triumphant, vulnerable – resound more compellingly than in the next-to-last of his 32 piano sonatas. I’ve never fully understood that glorious, quirky sonata of Beethoven’s declining years; Brendel’s grand, loving performance didn’t […]


The Sound Ringing Forth Years of listening to his symphonies through Hollywood Bowl amplification can leave you with a distorted sound image of Tchaikovsky’s remarkable orchestral language – what old Bernheimer used to refer to as the “slush pump.” The Fourth Symphony doesn’t seem to fare well indoors either, rendered unpopular these days by its […]


Potpourri To San Francisco I journey for John Adams’ music; it is his shrine. Last season, his Doctor Atomic at the Opera House celebrated the blotting out of the sun; this past weekend, A Flowering Tree at Davies Symphony Hall celebrated its restoration. Peter Sellars, who supplied the words for both major events, was on […]