Monthly Archives: November 2008

Hallelujah Junction: A Minimalist Life

Is there anything about the composer John Adams that still needs writing down? The critics have surely had their say: Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, Alex Ross in the eloquent epigram to his important book (The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century), myself in these (sob!) pages, Thomas May in his […]


STILL AT IT: Some of you may wonder whatever happened to Martin Bernheimer or, in general, to the brand of ho-hum, above-it-all discourse he used to dispense, in the guise of music criticism, here at the L.A. Times. Rest assured, Martin is apparently alive and well, and so is his venomous pen. He is currently […]


REFRESHMENT: Hearing Carl Vine’s Piano Sonata once again was a stimulating and refreshing experience. I don’t understand why this marvelous work hasn’t assumed a prominent place in the repertory. Its language is sure and strong; if Elliott Carter is prominent among its forbears, as Vine has said, that is the aspect of Carter’s music I […]

After 2010, What

AFTER 2010, WHAT? “It’s been a momentous week,” noted Mark Swed in yesterday’s “Critic’s Notebook,” and he was, even so, a day early. The worst news of last week, many weeks, was Gérard Mortier’s decision to resign as head of the New York City Opera, over the unwillingness of board members to finance his dreams, […]


PACKAGES: Naxos of America has become the most active, and thus the most interesting, source of home media, both compact disc and DVD, as an outlet for a number of associated European labels. That number seems to be growing; it includes a veritable inundation of opera performances from European stages, where videocasting is apparently much […]