January 25, 2004 |
"What are you here for?" the immigration official at Gatwick Airport asked. On my landing card, I had written "journalist" as my occupation, and I told him I was a music critic and would report on the BBC Symphony's annual "Composer Weekend" at the Barbican. "You don't mean to say that you've come all this way for four minutes and 32 seconds of silence?" "Actually, it's four minutes and 33 seconds," I corrected.
October 14, 2006 |
That rare breed, a viola concerto, showed off the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the acoustic of the Walt Disney Concert Hall about as well as Mussorgsky's mighty "Pictures at an Exhibition" did in a three-part program Thursday. Esa-Pekka Salonen led the U.S. premiere of Brett Dean's Viola Concerto, a work co-commissioned by the Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, Symphony Australia and the Sydney Symphony. The BBC Symphony led by Rumon Gamba gave the world premiere in April 2005.
March 22, 1998 |
Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series has highlighted some viable alternatives to the never-ending rehash of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff concertos. This 18th volume features Korngold's Left-Hand Concerto, written for one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein. A strenuous, Straussian affair, full of sugar and sweep, saturated harmonies and instrumental hyperactivity, it leaves you wondering what all its fuss is about--is there an unstated lurid scenario?--but it never bores.
February 28, 2002 |
Long before they reached Section 101, Row 8 of Staples Center on Wednesday afternoon, Grammy nominees Alistair Beattie and Barry Deacon realized they faced certain disadvantages in their quest for glory. Their band could offer no wicked backbeat, for instance, and there were no drop-dead beautiful bodies on their videos. There had been no promotional campaign to speak of, and for that matter, precious few actual record sales. Beattie and Deacon did, however, have kilts.
February 6, 2000 |
There is no love lost between Ned Rorem and Elliott Carter. Rorem contends in his provocative diaries that he can't make heads or tails of the "crusty cerebrality" of, say, Carter's Third String Quartet. And Carter, the master of complexity, apparently couldn't care less about the beguiling (and often deceptive) simplicity of Rorem's songs. At one point in his "Nantucket Diary," Rorem grumbles that in all their meetings over more than 30 years, "[Carter has] never asked me beans about myself."
October 20, 2002
Class of 2002 Berlin Philharmonic ...Simon Rattle New York Philharmonic...Lorin Maazel Royal Opera, London...Antonio Pappano Cleveland Orchestra...Franz Welser-Most Bournemouth Symphony, England...Marin Alsop French National Orchestra, Paris...Kurt Masur Vienna State Opera...Seiji Ozawa Oslo Philharmonic...Andre Previn La Monnaie, Brussels...Kazushi Ono Coming soon Philadelphia Orchestra...Christoph Eschenbach (2003) Boston Symphony...James Levine (2004) Minneapolis Orchestra...