The Latest

Paucity of posts does not mean lack of content. Solo parenting for a month meant I only got out to one concert, but it was notable, and I still produced a good amount of work, here’s where to find it: At the New York Classical Review, read my preview of The Death of Klinghoffer and my review of opening night … Continue reading The Latest

Ditto

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 … Continue reading Ditto

Maverick Media

American Mavericks is in full swing here in New York City. I have some mixed feelings about Monday's San Francisco Symphony concert -- I'm not sure what John Adams was thinking when he made Absolute Jest, and it's hard to square Jessye Norman's substantial career with a performance of John Cage's Song Books -- the … Continue reading Maverick Media

San Francisco Symphony, Adams: Harmonielehre, Short Ride in a Fast Machine

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 … Continue reading San Francisco Symphony, Adams: Harmonielehre, Short Ride in a Fast Machine

October Light Playlist

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, … Continue reading October Light Playlist

Musical Misremembrance & 9/11

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.