Monthly Archives: September 2007

Sound and Silence

One Class Act Of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Stimmung, Andrew Porter wrote, “[It] is a piece that sounds ridiculous when described and yet proves enthralling in performance,” and I agree. The work, composed in 1968, consists of a B-flat chord sustained for about 75 minutes by six singers seated on pillows in semidarkness. The single harmony is […]

When the Going Was Good

No, Luciano “But, of course, he’s no Pavarotti.” That was Thomas Wachtell in 1984, head of a bygone organization called Music Center Opera, discussing Pl├ícido Domingo and defending the company’s decision – which I had deplored – to cancel the annual visits by the New York City Opera and pooh-poohing the recent guest shot by […]

Quality Time

Homecoming Esa-Pekka Salonen’s return to the Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl began a week of cultural overload such that you’d ordinarily expect in mid-January. Yet here we were in summer’s waning days. Well, for starters, it wasn’t just any old week at the Bowl; it was the kind of challenging, provocative week that the place […]

The Boys of Summer

Fiddling on Grand Thursday was chamber-music night on Grand Avenue: indoors with the Calder Quartet in Zipper Hall, outdoors with the Kronos Quartet, plus Wu Man and her magical pipa a short walk down at the Water Garden in California Plaza. The timing was sufficiently staggered so that you could take in both programs. Both […]