Category Archives: Daily News

A selection of articles written for the Los Angeles Daily News

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For this final Sunday of the Mozart year, another fond glance at music’s purest genius might be in order. The admirable project begun by Philips, to amass a complete recording of the Mozartian heritage in its numerical and radiant fullness, nears completion on schedule. Of 45 projected volumes, 37 are now at hand. Of the remaining […]

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Some brain-dead hobgoblin decreed some time ago that the Christmas season is a time of silence. Our concert halls are empty, except for a stray sing-along “Messiah.” Home from the holidays, the kids might, you’d think, find diuersion or self-improvement in a live symphony concert, or even a string quartet. But no; out of one […]

CLASSCOL

Two veterans of the local battlefields have been back among us these weeks. Zubin Mehta is currently here at his old stand, the Los Angeles Philharmonic podium; the first of his three programs here will be repeated this afternoon at the Music Center. Gerard Schwarz {cq}, who was never invited to the Philharmonic podium during […]

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SUGGESTED HED: CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, NEW AND OLD Some music, like some great stage ‘n’ screen stars, never shows its age. Some music, like minor luminaries, begins to wrinkle right at birth. You never know. After as much Mozart as we’ve heard in recent weeks, due to the anniversary celebration that officially (but probably not actually) ended last […]

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STEVE: I have art for opera; will bring by Tuesday noonish Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” — exquisitely comic, meticulously timed, both supple and subtle — has been put forward by the Music Center Opera as a mindless, vulgar laff show. Imposed, like wanton graffiti, upon this beautiful structure there are Pavarotti gags, chamber-pot gags, bad-breath gags. […]

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Fame in music, as in other endeavors, comes and goes. Five years ago, for example, nobody could have foreseen the return to favor of Franz Schreker. Now here we are with three new recordings of Schreker operas. This past weekend, furthermore, Nov 15-17 [F/L] the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra revived Schreker’s 1916 Chamber Symphony (for […]

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Women conducting symphony orchestras: what will they think of next? This is meant in jest, I hastily add; the phenomenon is, as of some years now, a fact of life. And yet, in all the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 72-year history, no woman had dared to broach its podium during a seasonal subscription concert — no […]

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Until this past week, the local cultural forces had honored the Mozart bicentennial with no particvlar distinction. There were lots of routine programs of predictable substance, and a half-hearted attempt by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, to commission a series of new pieces “in the style of…” that bore but withered fruit. Then came the […]

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Melvyn Tan’s playing epitomizes quite a lot of what’s right, and what’s wrong, about this whole authentic-performance hangup. Tan, who specializes in playing old pianos (across the historical spectrum from the forte-piano of Mozart’s time to the piano-forte of later decades) is popular through his many records; surprisingly, however, his performances here over the past […]

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There was nothing all that remarkable about this weekend’s Los Angeles Philharmonic program (repeated this afternoon at 2:30). But excellent orchestral performance is always a remarkable event, and this week’s entry in the orchestra’s subscription series at the Music Center, under the estimable and reliable Kurt Sanderling, was certainly that. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” Overture roared […]