June 13, 1993 |
To judge by questions frequently asked of this column, listeners are more nervous about investing a small amount of money in an unknown recorded quantity than in plunking down in the vicinity of $15 for the products of known performers on so-called major labels. But, spending a lot hardly guarantees satisfaction when it comes to the subjective considerations involved in musical interpretation.
February 4, 1996 |
A dozen years ago, the compact disc was a new concept, treated with considerable suspicion ("but it's so small!") by the classical-music crowd--conservative when it comes to new technology applied to the arts. At the time, it seemed certain that the new format would be employed only in conjunction with the newest recording technique, digital sound. And even then exclusively in standard repertory.
January 15, 2004 |
Richard Strauss' sumptuous "Der Rosenkavalier" and his unconventional "Ariadne auf Naxos" will be among four new productions during Los Angeles Opera's 2004-05 season, along with Samuel Barber's "Vanessa" and Charles Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet." The company announced Wednesday that the season will begin Sept. 8 with Mozart's early opera "Idomeneo," featuring company general director Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko and Angelika Kirschlager.
July 25, 2005 |
From its opening video images of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island to the final shots of the Statue of Liberty, Peter Boyer's "Ellis Island: The Dream of America" is a work of rare authenticity and directness. The 45-minute piece, which embeds seven first-person narratives from the Ellis Island Oral History Project in a stream of evocative music, was performed movingly by Carl St.Clair and Orange County's Pacific Symphony on Saturday at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.
April 6, 2004 |
Academy Award-winning film director William Friedkin ("The Exorcist," "The French Connection") will direct a new production of Saint-Saens' "Samson et Dalila" for the New Israeli Opera and Los Angeles Opera, the two companies jointly confirmed Monday. The production will premiere in Tel Aviv in June 2005, then receive its Los Angeles premiere in October 2005. Placido Domingo, L.A.
December 8, 2004 |
Here's my Grammy prediction for the big loser of the best classical album of 2004: the Naxos disc of Elliott Carter's Symphony No. 1, Piano Concerto and "Holiday" Overture. But nominating it four days before the dean of American music turns 96 -- still vital and still widely and irresponsibly dismissed as an unreasonable complexifier -- is a responsible and maybe not even hollow gesture.
July 5, 1992 |
The irony is inescapable: While the major recording labels sweat out the creation of contemporary performing icons, trying to force-feed reluctant consumers with an endless succession of high-priced, overhyped turkeys, the same labels hedge their bets with superior material from their archives at mid-price (about $10) or even budget (which can translate to as little as $6).
November 27, 1998 |
It's based in Los Angeles, capital of the record business, and even takes the city's name as its own. But the Los Angeles Jazz Quartet's latest album, "Family Song," was pressed in Austria and released by a record label located in Krakow, Poland. How can this be? The answer lies with the group's bassist, Darek Oleszkiewicz, who's better known to local fans as Darek Oles.