Monthly Archives: October 2007

Sibelius Unfound

The Glorious Fourth The six blows of Thor’s hammer – the metaphor is Donald Tovey’s, not mine – resounded through Disney Hall on Friday night, and then we were done with Sibelius. Esa-Pekka Salonen had chosen the Fifth Symphony to end his three weeks of “Sibelius Unbound”: all seven symphonies, most of the tone poems, […]

Ludwig's Mirror

Cornucopia Common knowledge has it that the 32 piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, composed over 26 of his 57 years, encapsulate the most revealing portrait of his creative life. By the same token, it has been said, performances of these works can also stand as a set of opinion pieces on Beethoven’s artistic life […]

Umbrella Held High

The Youth Has His Fling Many weeks before the whoopee at the Philharmonic attendant upon the accession of the 26-year-old Gustavo Dudamel – who returns, by the way, next month with his own Venezuelan youth orchestra – the even younger (21) Lionel Bringuier had also captivated the local judges and earned an assistant conductorship amid […]


Czech Mates Finally, Jenufa; finally, Karita Mattila: Our opera company has never more brightly shone. Leos Jan├ícek’s opera probes deeply into human agony before extracting its triumph. Its flow, past moments of unspeakable horror, seems to echo at all times that of the human heartbeat. Even its Czech language seems readily comprehensible; that is the […]

Look Homeward, Angeleno

I sit here deeply pondering, surrounded by the many years of my life, trying to decide what I could spare or miss. Over there is a small orange box of clippings, Boston Herald, 1944, my first halting steps. I’d be embarrassed to read them now, but they are there. Next is a fat binder of […]