22 Nov 2013
4 Nov 2013
Something on my mind that has come from listening to these, and listening to these has put something in my mind. That and my endless, sub rosa obsession with Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 7: Bruckner: Symphonies 4 − 9, Otto Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra/New Philharmonia Orchestra Bruckner: Symphony No. 7, Otto Klemperer, Wiener Philharmoniker(…)
8 Apr 2013
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(…)
3 Jan 2012
After a particularly generous sesquicentennial of Mahler’s birth last year, with essential collections and vital new thinking about the composer, this has been a relatively subdued centennial of the composer’s death. David Zinman’s solid, beautifully played and recorded but slightly anodyne cycle concluded with a strong Symphony No. 10, and Valery Gergiev finished up his(…)
6 Oct 2011
This recording dates from pivotal time in the long and ongoing Mahler revival. It’s a concert performance, dated September 10, 1965, at which time Leonard Bernstein was near the end of producing his first recorded Mahler cycle, a project that was essential in boosting the composer’s popularity. Steinberg was never the public star that Bernstein(…)
16 Sep 2011
It’s the real mystery, the one that a few hardy souls are willing to incorporate into their lives, but only a few. It’s that we will never know why things like this happen, because they happen for no reason at all. That’s how the universe that we all live in functions. The physical laws to which we are all subject can’t account for, and aren’t interested in, our souls. We suffer, often, because these laws allow for an incomprehensibly vast array of random things to occur, for no reason whatsoever other than they can, and given the right circumstances do. Other than the origins of the universe and its ultimate end, if there is one, there is no plan. Things happen for no reason at all.
8 Sep 2011
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.
21 Dec 2010
Of all the music, of all kinds, released this year, these are my favorites, in alphabetical order: Die Zauberflöte, Mozart — René Jacobs, conductor, Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor; Daniel Behle, Marlis Petersen, Dainiel Schmutzhard, Sunhae Im, Anna-Kristiina Kaappola, Marcos Fink René Jacobs has finished his series of recordings of the mature Mozart operas with(…)