Author Archives: Alan Rich


MEHTA-PHOBIA: Now and then you couldn’t help but recognize the sound of the Vienna Philharmonic: in the grandiose oratory of the massed brass that brought the first movement of the Bruckner Ninth to its close; to the trio of the scherzo of the Schubert Ninth, when strings and winds conspired  to force open vistas across […]


SINS OF MY DEJA VU“Equally rare was the slickly pretentious sonata for violin and cello of Ravel, performed by [Boris] Koutzen and son George with skill and understanding. [signed] A.R.” New York Sun, February 17, 1948.   Hearing Ravel’s imaginatively colored Sonata at last week’s Philharmonic Chamber Music concert, its marvelous string of conversations  on […]

The Ring Resounds

UP ONE RUNG: Okay, here’s our Ring,  — or Chapter One, anyhow — trailing its $-multi-million price tag, its years-long saga of rumor and expectation, raised hopes and dashed.  By now they’ll probably have ironed out the inevitable first-night glitches  in this fearsome mechanism that makes the old Grendel set look like Tiddley-Winks.  At the […]


JUST HOME FROM A DAS RHEINGOLD TECH REHEARSAL. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT NOT GOING. AS THE PAPERS FOLD, ONE BY ONE, LA CITYBEAT is a small, free, alternative weekly; run by good guys and willing to allot space now and then to my writing– some of it from this blog, some not,  for at least […]


: Eye surgery in the morning, Figaro after dinner: there’s nothing like a little variety, so they say, to add spice to ones life. The surgery went well; bye-bye cataracts. All else pales before The Marriage of Figaro. Those kids at UCLA really got it right. Peter Kazaras brought the school’s opera program into its […]

Fox Trot

THE REAL THING This was to be my last piece for Bloomberg. Theirs the loss. If you were moved – nay, charmed, delighted, fascinated – by The Cunning Little Vixen at the Long Beach Opera last month, you’ve probably already discovered the excellent versions on DVD – the cute but satisfactory version in animation conducted […]


TREASURES: When did you last hear the B-minor Rondo Brillante of Schubert? Thursday’s Tetzlaff/Andsnes recital was marvelously played (as expected) and no less brilliantly planned. This Rondo ended it, a big, expansive work from 1826; Schubert had the “Great” C-,major Symphony behind  him, and had learned by then  how to flex his muscles in large […]

Nelson, Jeanette & MTT

…so anyhow, the great Trentini comes to town with his dramatic new opera Tsaaritza, hearts aflame in the time of the Tsars, and Nelson and Jeanette, who used to be lovers but who’ve been apart for lo these many years, have now been cast in the leading romantic roles. Comes the big I’ve-always-loved-you-but-now-we-must-part duet at […]


HAPPINESS: It hit me during Wednesday afternoon’s Magic Flute at the Music Center that I had become beset by a wave of unusual happiness. The reason was easily traced: this was, simply, the best performance I had ever heard of Mozart’s wonderfully wise and daffy music – or, let’s say at least, the best performance […]


COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES: Not with a whimper but a bang, the new musical year has begun gloriously. Sunday’s crowd at Disney greeted Esa-Pekka Salonen’s onstage arrival as a Second Coming (which, in fact, it nearly was, considering his two months away). Mozart’s C-minor Wind Serenade had been scheduled to open the concert and I regretted its […]