August 8, 1999 |
Though these four 20th century composers are separated by country, style, temperament and you-name-it, Ohlsson assembles a coherent, unified program from their solo piano catalogs. He takes a relatively soft-focused view of the dramatic wartime Prokofiev sonata, and the crystalline Webern radiates a gentler glow in his hands than in those of, say, Maurizio Pollini or Glenn Gould. Yet in Bartok's mostly vehement Three Studies--a relatively rare item--Ohlsson generates all the forward drive one would want.
August 14, 1988
If Elvis, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder have been recognized as musical geniuses, what does that make, say, Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington (Calendar Letters, Aug. 7)? How abut Mozart, Bartok and Monteverdi? DAVID RESKIN Hollywood
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1999
Re "Kubrick Confronted Holocaust--Indirectly," Commentary, March 12: The absurdity of the current academic fad of deconstructionism is exposed in Geoffrey Cocks' homage to Stanley Kubrick, in which Cocks maintains that Bela Bartok's "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste" (composed in 1936, not 1937) was written as a protest to Nazism. If Cocks has proof, he is sitting on a musicological discovery of major importance. It is so very easy to ascribe anti-Nazi sentiments to virtually anything composed by a refugee, if indeed Bartok was one, during those horrible years.
January 25, 1987
The three B's of classical music--Bach, Beethoven and Brahms--is what the new sound of KFAC is delivering, exactly what we, the legion of new listeners, prefer. The few old-time listeners who preferred the old format with Bartok, Britton, Brubeck and the bellowing broads of Carl Princi opera got only a lot of noise and very low ratings. Bravo KFAC! C. J. WEINSCHREIDER Mission Viejo
November 10, 1985
In his account of the Independent Composers Assn. concert of Hungarian electronic music (Music Reviews, Oct. 28), Gregg Wager writes: " Ludi Spaziali,' for tape and piano, synchronizes a wash of electronically altered piano sounds with the playing of an onstage pianist who looks like a curious caricature of Bartok." Said pianist, being myself, utterly fails to see the likeness. I dare say Philip of Spain and I bear closer resemblance than Bartok and I. In fact, it's OK with me if Wager thinks I look like Bartok.
December 16, 2001
In "As Symphonies Set in the East ..." (Dec. 9), Mark Swed revealed to his unsuspecting readers several amazing truths. He started by explaining to the ignorant masses that all the so-called Big Five orchestras are dumb and old-fashioned while two California ones are doing just about everything right. Sounds too simplistic? Hey, never mind, where is your stately pride?! He further enlightened us by proclaiming that music written by mere mediocrities such as Richard Strauss and Bela Bartok (ever heard of those two?