Author Archives: Alan Rich

Finishing Touches

There was a moment in Disney Hall last night that I will not soon forget. Christoph Eschenbach was playing Schubert’s last Piano Sonata – the B flat, No. 960 in the Deutsch chronological catalog. The slow movement came to its end, a sequence of harmonic magic that seemed to hold the very expanse of the […]

Ever on Sunday

WELCOME: John Adams has been in town these past weeks, as good company as company can get. He came with some of his own music, which was wonderful enough. What’s more, at a Green Umbrella concert, the last of the season, he introduced two new, promising young composers, and surrounded their arrival with an excellent […]

As Good as It Gets

Any notion of the season winding down –with Esa-Pekka departed and nothing to sing about except another creaky old Traviata across the street – needs a couple of weeks’ postponement, as it happens. Two of our best homegrown series ended their seasons last week in respective blazes of glory, and meanwhile, over at Disney, there […]

Kid Stuff

THEY’RE STILL OUT THERE The following, which the good people at Jacaranda received recently and have allowed me to send along, might be worthy of comment. At least I hope so. Subject: Pretentious Bullshit I just received your advertising card for The OM Century Final Concert. Lots of “premiere” performances.  There’s a reason they are […]

Music for Twelve

MUSIC FOR TWELVE: Steve Reich’s Double Sextet began the week by copping the 2009 Music Pulitzer, and began this  next week by proving to a local audience – in a Colburn School Chamber Music Society program at the Zipper Auditorium — that it deserved the award, every teeming, pulsating note. This is music that sweeps […]

…and Farewell

…AND FAREWELL A melancholy event it surely was, and yet a transforming event, an exhilarating event. At the start there may have been reasons to raise an eyebrow at the choice: our spellbinding, so-easy-to-love Music Director taking his leave with a program of Stravinsky at his most solemn – austere, even – in  a collaboration […]

Hail and…

There had been a rumor – or perhaps I had mis-heard – that Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto, the parting work of his Los Angeles adventure, might also include a part for a dancer or several. That didn’t happen, or perhaps it did happen well beyond our mundane field of vision. What happened instead was almost […]

Opera in all Sizes

The winter storms abate; Wagner’s grandiose music sweeps the stage clean, and our souls as well. The transformation from last month’s deliriously cluttered Rheingold to the spacious, think-for-yourself Die Walküre is as the composer and his music ordained, and the earthlings at the Chandler Pavilion have fulfilled his bidding. There is much in our local […]

Those ARE The Days, My Friends

MUZAK, ANYONE? The latest from embattled Cleveland – where Rodzinski, Szell and Dohnanyi once guided an orchestra to high distinction – is encapsulated in a report from a Plain Dealer article on that orchestra’s current plight and current emergency plans, to wit (italics mine): Concerts projected as “unprofitable” will be dropped from the schedule, as […]


The slow movement of Mozart’s G-minor Quintet is as heartbreaking as any music I know. I have written about this music before – a couple of pages in the foreword to my book of this same name repeat an article from New York Magazine in the 1970s, which in turn regurgitates wisdom verbatim from the […]