I say “yes” to these sentiments from my colleague Christian Carey over at Sequenza21. He’s responding to a strange article in the New York Times about John Adams’ new saxophone concerto. But the piece actually turned out to be a chance for Adams to moan about an unnamed but obvious successful young composer and for(…)
John Adams, City Noir, Gustavo Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 9, Gustavo Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Avery Fisher Hall: March 27, 2013; John Adams, The Gostpel According to the Other Mary March 28, 2013; Claude Vivier, Zipangu, Claude Debussy, La Mer, Igor(…)
In 1996, I went to a San Francisco Symphony concert with a good friend. The program was generally typical of orchestra concerts around the world; an overture, a concerto, intermission, a symphony. In the details, however, lay the brilliance of Michael Tilson Thomas’ musicianship, attitude and salesmanship (a vtial talent for a music director): Rossini’s(…)
Wolfgang Mitterer, Music for Checking e-mails Alvin Lucier, Almost New York; There are some lovely drone/tuning pieces on here from Lucier. “Twonings” sets cello against piano, the stringed instrument at times matching the piano note while at others the cellist plays a sharp or flat microtone, setting up Lucier’s characteristic sonic beating. Having two live musicians playing,(…)
Basinski’s piece is an accidental one, the sound produced from the process of old magnetic tapes literally falling apart on each pass by the play head on a tape recorder. The composer says the project ended on the morning of 9/11. It’s a piece about physical decay, dissipation, the loss of records and memories. Ten years later, that’s what we have left.
During the second intermission of the Saturday night performance of John Adams’ opera Nixon in China at the Met, I remarked to a composer in attendance that this was the first time I had seen the work staged and, even though I knew the music well from recordings and the score, it seemed as if(…)
The September issue of The Brooklyn Rail is out, with my critical comment on the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “BAM Agonistes.” Read it, it’s good.